Our cartoonist's viewpoint
I was interviewing families of missing people in Swat. The following incomplete and abandoned conversation speaks louder than many interviews I did. The respondent could only speak in Pushto and was I using translator. But the translator kept arguing with her and challenging her, despite my requests for her not to do that. So the conversation was not driven by my questions but by the translator’s refutation of respondent’s narrative...
|Dr. Qaisar Abbas||EXCLUSIVE|
Changing of the guard in Pakistan army has always been seen with curiosity and interest by regional and world powers. Army’s traditional role as a power broker internallyand an influential institution has always been in the center of attention. While the new Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif takes over, the outgoing General Kayani, also known as the “silent observer” completes his long tenure with mixed legacies.
In a country where uncertainty marks the political culture, speculations and cynicism become rife in social realm. Since military has ruled for over three decades and remains powerful even when not in power, the change of army command is bound to draw attention especially in the case of chattering classes and the petit bourgeois intelligentsia. This is because their outlook and narrow political horizon does not let them look beyond the confines of the present system.
|Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur||BALOCHISTAN DIARY|
Last week, the Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, dispatched ten trucks loaded with quilts and shawls worth Rs 9.2 million from Lahore for earthquake-stricken areas of Baluchistan. Talking to media he said that 30 thousand quilts and warm shawls costing Rs 92.4 million, as 90 more trucks laden with similar supplies, would be sent to the calamity-hit people from Rahim Yar Khan.
The Aushra procession this year brought mayhem for the residents of the garrison city Rawalpindi. This oldest of traditional processions was on its way when around 1:30 in the afternoon a Mulvi from the Deoband madrassa Dar Ul Uloom Taleem Ul Quran in Raja Bazaar uttered some inappropriate words about Imam Hussain and the Karbala incident during Friday’s sermon.
I am wondering if the promises to make Pakistan a vibrant state and an Asian tiger could be fulfilled with policymakers suggesting recipes to cook without tomatoes when laypeople complain against the rising tomato prices. That’s where the difference lies between a generalist policy maker –ministers and civil servants – and specialist policy makers –the academics, conspicuous by their expertise and knowledge.
|Noaman G. Ali||DEBATE|
The recent elections in Nepal appear to spell a heavy retreat for the country’s Maoist movement. After initiating a People’s War in 1996 that lasted ten years and saw it in control of the majority of the countryside, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) formed a front with mainstream political parties to overthrow the monarchy and institute a democratic republic in the 2006 People’s Movement.Thereafter, the CPN(Maoist)emerged as the largest party in the 2008 Constituent Assembly (CA) elections.
|Penelope Duggan||PICKET LINE|
Previous contributions spoke of the activity of far left organisations in the socialist feminist, class struggle current in the women’s movement. My goal is to show the ways in which that activity as feminists has impacted on those political organisations and made them more effective. I will argue that the basic principles of radical political organisation, democracy and collective action, are, when truly respected, the most effective way to ensure women as participants and feminist issues as major political questions are really taken into account.
Thank you for being loyal to Viewpoint. Ever since its re-launching on 21st May 2010 as an e-zine, Viewpoint has become an important progressive outlet for Pakistani left and liberal voices. Viewpoint is run by a team of volunteers and the content is largely contributed by volunteers.
December 1 marked the tenth death anniversary of the late Hamza Alavi. My reflections for this piece will chiefly consist of my memories of my lone meeting with him in the last years of his life, before reflecting a bit on how that meeting changed me both professionally and politically, and concluding with the relevance of his work for our own times, chiefly Pakistan.