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Pakistan News And Discussion-12
#61
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->On can criticise MMS but he is only His Mistress’s Voice <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Should we name him Hijara, I don't want to insult Hijaras. His name Moron Singh is right according to his action or inaction.
Those parents who make excuses for their kids often face worst disappointment regarding kids later in life. Its better not to make excuse for kids, but use stick when it's required.


Lets go back to Paki land.
#62

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Heavy borrowing and large write-offs</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>PAKISTAN borrowed from external sources $15 billion during last four years and the government banks and financial agencies wrote off loans worth Rs33 billion in three years.</b> This has happened not during the civilian rule by the politicians but under a military dominated regime.

If the bank loans had been productively and profitably utilised along with the large loans written off earlier, the need for such heavy external borrowing would have been far less instead of an average of almost four billion dollars a year for four years.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#63
<b>Indian delegation led by Nirmala Deshpande on Pak visit </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->New Delhi, Aug 26: Seven Indian parliamentarians along with 46 others led by Gandhian and Rajya Sabha member Nirmala Deshpande will visit Pakistan from today during which they will pay obeisance at the Mazar of Punjabi Sufi Poet Bulleh Shah in Kasur.

During their three-day tour of the neighbouring country, the delegation will also go to Lahore after their visit at the Mazar of the Sufi poet today.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

This I call goodwill, on one side MPs and MLA's are saying ISI/Pakistan are behind Hyderbad blast on other side they are sending Indian ISI (India Secular Inc) to remember poetry, How sweet?
I love Indian ISI, no one can beat them, Why Indian ISI miss happy hours in Hyderbad or Sarojni Nagar Market or Varansi or Mumbai trian. They should also enjoy Happy hours as other Indians do.

Anyway those who want to celebrate Hyderbad Happy hours with Indian ISI enjoy <b>Bulleh Shah poetry</b> - http://music.yahoo.com/track/1671415
<b>with picture </b>
http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/aug/25hydblast1.htm
#64
<b>Eight killed in militant attacks in Pakistan </b>

<b>Pakistan test fires cruise missile</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan, a South Asian nation with nuclear capability, says it has successfully test-fired a new missile that "can carry all types of warheads."

The army said in a statement that the country on Saturday fired an "air-launched cruise missile called Hatf-8, or Ra'ad -- which means thunder in Arabic.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
They can't even name missile in thier national language.
China thanks for gift and Pakistan good paint job. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#65

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Aug 27 2007, 11:39 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Aug 27 2007, 11:39 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Eight killed in militant attacks in Pakistan </b>

<b>Pakistan test fires cruise missile</b><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan, a South Asian nation with nuclear capability, says it has successfully test-fired a new missile that "can carry all types of warheads."

The army said in a statement that the country on Saturday fired an "air-launched cruise missile called Hatf-8, or Ra'ad -- which means thunder in Arabic.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b><span style='color:red'>They can't even name missile in their national language.</span></b>
China thanks for gift and Pakistan good paint job.<!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
[right][snapback]72536[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

The Pakjabi is the dominant Ethnic Majority.

These Punjabi speaking Muslims suffer from a great sense of Inferiority Complex and as such they sacrifice their language for Urdu - A Turkic word meaning “Camp”. As such Urdu is the “Pidgin” language created-evolved from the Turkic, Arabic and Persian Languages.

In this context I would refer you to the following Article from The Friday Times of 03-09 August 2007 which I read on another Forum :

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>In another’s tongue</span>

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>KK Aziz - in the sixth installment of eight, bemoans Pakistani Punjabis’ disregard for their language</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

If a stranger entered the Lahore Coffee House before or after 1947, he would be justified in thinking that Lahore was still under British rule or that he had walked into an English restaurant. That is, until he heard people talking.

On the one hand, this cultural spate overwhelmed the province without distinction of religion, education or class; on the other, it made the Punjabi look with favour on certain Western traditions and customs. There are identifiable historical reasons for the Punjab becoming the most deeply Westernised province of British India. Tracing this historical development will take me far from my subject, so I will content myself with one other aspect of the transformation of the Punjab, as it is relevant to what went on in the Coffee House.

<b>Everyone in the House spoke Punjabi (overruling the communal divide) but for the Urdas who pretended that they did not understand or speak the language. Everyone spoke Punjabi but wrote in Urdu. To take this irrationality one step further, they spoke Urdu at the Halqa , though they continued the discussion on the same subject in Punjabi in the Coffee House or Tea House.

Whatever the reasons for this <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>(and there are many, including the Punjabis’ severe inferiority complex), the Punjabi which the house spoke incessantly was a unique blend of the native tongue and the English language. The chatterbox could not express himself in pure Punjabi for more than two minutes without using English. This use of a foreign tongue ranged from a single word to a short phrase to a long sentence. I have lived for most of my life in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and nowhere have I heard a bilingual conversation or speech outside the Subcontinent. The Urdas, who are so proud of their language and have forced it on Pakistan as its national language, are as bad or helpless as the Punjabis.</span></b>

So the Coffee House talked for 14 hours a day in what we may call Punjlish , a unique mixture of two tongues which gave everyone the ability to express his thoughts and feelings with perfect precision. Beyond that there were exasperating contradictions and fallacies. The Punjabi spoke Punjlish with his family and friends and teachers. But the arrival or presence of one single Urda made him and his circle switch immediately to Urdu. He also wrote his literature in Urdu, and discussed its finer points in Urdu, but only in the Halqa or other formal causeries. The post- Halqa meetings in the Coffee House and Tea House were conducted in Punjlish .

The more the Punjabis advanced into the murky depths of political independence, the more they abandoned Punjabi and Punjlish , and gradually, the vast majority in the urban areas became Urdu speakers. But that was not the end of the journey. In the early 1990s came a new age of speaking English (and simultaneously dressing up in European/American casual wear). Compared to today, the Coffee House was a native talk shop, even after a century of British rule.

One factor, which was both the cause and the consequence of this secularism was the impact of the West on local ideas. It is a paradox that the Punjabi intellectual was more Westernised after 1947 than in the old days of British rule. This showed up the most in his art and literature. Modern European art even infiltrated the imagination and technique of the teachers and students of the Mayo School. The founder and head of the Department of Fine Arts at the Punjab University was a European trained in England who had no knowledge of, or concern with, Islamic or Indian art.

This Western wave mounted the beach of literature the farthest. The literati who had so far talked and judged according to the terms of reference provided by Altaf Husain Hali and Muhammad Husain Azad and the foundations laid by the Aligarh movement, now brought in Thomas Arnold and TS Eliot. Few had read or now read the original works of these critics or even had the necessary competence to understand them. But once one or two essays by Eliot were translated into Urdu and people like Muzaffar Ali Syed began to swear by him, it became a fashionable thing to apply Western principles of literary criticism to Urdu letters. The major topic of discussion was the place of tradition in literature. Perhaps the new converts had only read one of Eliot’s essays. Nobody mentioned Eliot’s thoughts on Christianity and conservatism. It is easier to translate than to ponder, and the easiest of all is to flaunt the little knowledge we have. There was no Muhammad Hasan Askari in Lahore, and no Coffee House fan could read French and German.

The principal weakness of this borrowing was an ignorance of the place of tradition in a people’s literature, which led to the laughable attempts to apply Eliot’s criteria and theories to the origins and development of Urdu language and literature. In any case, none of the upholders of new criticism had read any Western literature first hand. They treated the newly discovered principles of literary criticism in the same way all Pakistanis have treated borrowed technologies, using them blindfolded, unable to repair the minutest fault.

This practice was alien to our culture (but not to our tradition – look at the 19th century dástángos of Delhi), and no café or public place recalled literature in this manner. I can account for this in reference to the Punjab and its people. Punjabi epic poetry is recited or sung in the rural areas where people understand and appreciate it. With some exceptions, the common Punjabi urbanite cannot read Punjabi, not to speak of understanding or enjoying it. He has no classics in the sense that he has no old literature which he can consider his own. Classics emerge from the soil of a region and become a part of the psyche of the people. With his decision to abandon Punjabi as his spoken tongue and to allow his schooling in Urdu, he has spurned his heritage and has disowned his past.

The modern Punjabi mind eludes analysis. It welcomes all foreign languages if they are in the use of the rulers and excels in them. It took to Persian in the 11th century and contributed to its literature with distinction. It adopted Urdu in the 19th century and ornamented its letters and poetry, sometimes surpassing the efforts of the Urdu-speaking writers. It turned to English in the 20th century, and the elite spoke and wrote it with confidence.

This changing scenario deprived the Punjabi of an opportunity to have his own classics. Even the Punjabi men of letters, whose working language is Urdu, will not accept Dastan-i-Amir-Hamza or Fasana-i-Azad or any old poetry as one of his own classics, because his ancestors had nothing to do with these writings. They are not rooted in his soil or history or tradition or mentality.

<b>Let us go a step further. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Granted the Punjabis have no classics, but do the Urdu-speaking men of letters have any? If they do, why are they not identified, read widely, reprinted and easily available at bookshops?</span> <span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>The fact is that Urdu is a foreign tongue, born and bred abroad, imposed on the country by official edict, and now only embraced by the Urdas and those Punjabis who are deluded, and have appointed themselves guardians and spokesmen of a religious ideology which they have failed to define, and of a national patriotism which they confine to one province and deny to Sindh, Balochistan and the NWFP. On this point the Coffee House population was completely confused.</span></b>

<b><i>KK Aziz is one of Pakistan’s most prominent historians</i></b>

The saying <b>“Tehzeeb Seekhi Jaati Hai Bai Ji Kay Kothay Pur”</b> exemplifies the contribution of the <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>“Bai Ji Ka Kothah”</span></b> to the Urdu Language and its Origin.

With the Pakistani Muslim Punjabis’ - especially the so called Educated Urban Class - severe inferiority complex in respect of having Neither a Language nor a Culture of their Own they have had a Language and Culture forced upon them by the Invaders they will indeed adopt names from the Language and Culture that has been forced upon them.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#66
Thanks for the article Naresh-Ji.

The complex goes even beyond the language. Just look at the names of some other chini missiles thay have painted at home and named as "Gori", "Gazni", and "Babur". These are the invaders who not only invaded Bharat but first and foremost raped and pillaged and ravaged what is Pakistan today. None of the 3 were from Pakistani sphere. Wouldn't a better name be "Ranjit" - after Ranjit Singh who was probably the last and the only 'pakistani', who from Lahore not only succesfully subjugated Afghans but even kept British at bay. But the very identity of a Pakistani mind is so much Hate-India focused that they recognize themselves with these 3 co-religious inavders who also raped what is Pakistan today, rather than with the non-Muslim real Pakistani heroes.

Only pre- and non- islami name they can identified with, strangely, is "Sikandar"! Someone please break it to them where it comes from - the deva-senadhipati - Sri Skanda.

======

The cultural inferiority complex of non-Arabic Islami world in general and late converts like Pakistanis in particular is wonderfully recorded and analyzed by Sri V S Naipaul in his two travelogues: "Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey" and its sequel after 16 years, "Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples".

In both the books, Naipaul describes his experience as he lived in four converted nations - Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and Malaysia. I have read the former, and in mid of the latter. Must read for understanding the process of conversion of the whole civilizations and nations. Very painfully described, and a stunning read.
#67

<b>Bodhi Ji :</b>

Your Post Today, 27 Aug 2007 - 03:31 PM :

Firstly, as you are aware Islam enforces the Superiority of Arabic and then the Bedouin Culture along with its Names, Dietary code, Dress code etc. on the Kafirs who have been Bestowed or forced into “Enlightenment” i.e. Conversion to Islam.

As such the Muslims of the Indian Sub-Continent accept the “Invading” Heroes as their Heroes and thus it is quite logical for the Pakistanis to name their various “Products” with Arabic Names or the names of Islamic Heroes.

Regarding the name Sikander : It is the Arabic-Islamic version of <b>Alexander</b>

Secondly I do agree that Sri V S Naipaul has correctly understood and analysed the Muslim. However, his views may get blinkered a he has married a Pakistani Lahori Muslim Woman - who has a couple a children from her earlier husband(s) - and I will not be surprised if Sri V S Naipaul also receives “Enlightenment”

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#68
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Regarding the name Sikander : It is the Arabic-Islamic version of <b>Alexander</b>
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<b>Naresh ji</b>, like the AIT, this is another fantasy that has gone on and on.

Skanda (like Rama, and Ish/Siva and later Krishna) is one of the personalities that is universally to be found in much of the "Arya" inhabitated / influenced civilizations. In particular Skanda. From 'Scand'inavia to alexander of greece to iskander of Arabia to sikandar of persia.

Now of course the Harvard-Indologists insist that every thing arrived in India from Greece. From clothes to architecture, from language to folklores, from epics to sculpture and from religion to sciences. So they also insist that after Alexandar 'the great' defeated India - Indians were so mesmerized by this god-like warrior that they deified him as Skanda-Kartikeya-Muruga. They even say that Chandragupta "Maurya" (who actually overthrew the greek satraps!) - took the Maurya as surname in reverence to the Alexandar (Maurya being the vehicle of Skanda). All hodge podge speculations projected as history.

But what we do know for sure is that Sikandar is definitely as non-Islami as Ram or Krishna.

HH ji can throw more light...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->his views may get blinkered a he has married a Pakistani Lahori Muslim Woman - who has a couple a children from her earlier husband(s) - <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Both the books I mentioned are dedicated to her.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->and I will not be surprised if Sri V S Naipaul also receives “Enlightenment”<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Ah indeed! Such is the charm of this enlightenment! But the way he writes and shows his grip on the subject, I would find it rather surprising. He is almost barred by all the modernist seculor columnists/writers. None speak about him, quote, or review.
#69
<b>'Musharraf agrees to give up uniform'</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Islamabad, August 29: In a major step towards a possible power-sharing deal, General Pervez Musharraf and former Premier Benazir Bhutto have reached an agreement on the Pakistan President giving up his Army position.

"Both sides have agreed on the issue of uniform," Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, considered close to the General, announced at a news conference here.

"There is no more a uniform issue. It has been settled and the President will make an announcement about it an appropriate time," he said
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
#70

<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

<b>Musharraf rejects Bhutto's pressure on power-sharing</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->ISLAMABAD : <b>Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has rejected calls by ex-premier Benazir Bhutto for a quick decision on a power-sharing deal that would see him quit as army chief,</b> his spokesman said on Thursday.

Bhutto told Britain's Guardian newspaper that Musharraf had until Friday to respond to her about the pact following talks in London, adding: <b>"There are no ultimatums, but we need to know where we stand by then."</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I, for one, do not see Mush the Tush "shedding" his uniform as that would relieve him of his powers à la Samson.

However, it may - and I say may - be possible for Mush to find a Pakistani General taking over as Chief of Army Staff while remaining totally subservient to Mush the Tush.

The question now arises as to how long the Pakistani General, in question, will remain subservient to Mush the Tush and not plot with the Prime Minister of that time to remove Mush the Tush or for that matter to plot with his like-minded subordinates to take over as "I DA MAN" and remove both Mush the Tush as well as the Prime Minister!

As such Mudy Ji : <b>Watch this Space</b>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#71
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The question now arises as to how long the Pakistani General, in question, will remain subservient to Mush the Tush and not plot with the Prime Minister of that time to remove Mush the Tush or for that matter to plot with his like-minded subordinates to take over as "I DA MAN" and remove both Mush the Tush as well as the Prime Minister!<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Ameriki babu are not ready. They still think they had to keep on using used material.
#72
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Such Gup</b>
<b>Under cover of darkness</b>
Our mole reports that on one dark night last week, the real PM walked out of his residence in civvies without telling a soul. He got into a nondescript car, asked a guard to accompany him, and personally drove down to GHQ. There, we hear, he met five or six of his top commanders, also in civvies, under the cover of darkness.

<b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>
<b>AIDS spreading in Pakistan</b>
As reported in daily Jang, the Mir Khalil ur Rehman Society, with the Punjab AIDS control program arranged a seminar to spread awareness about AIDS in Pakistan. The Provincial Minister of Health said that the topic of sexual relations is considered taboo and our syllabus must include education about AIDS. Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad said that educating ulema karam and religious leaders about HIV and AIDS can bring good results.

<b>Pakistani currency note has Turkish flag on it</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in daily Express speaker National Assembly Chaudhry Amir Hussan took notice of the new 1000 Pakistani Rupee note, which has a red flag, and asked the cabinet division to present an inquiry report in 30 days. MMA members suggested that the speaker should take action personally, so that the honour of the National Assembly is restored.

<b>China is our wise guy</b>
In daily Express, famous columnist Haroon ur Rashid wrote that Benazir Bhutto is delusional, as well as military rulers and other politicians. The wise guy of Pakistan is not America, but China, Iran and Arab countries. The destruction of America is near, as it has spread itself across seven continents.

<b>Where are we going?</b>
Columnist Saad ullah Jan Barq wrote in daily Express, that nowadays a favourite topic of conversation with Pakistanis is, “What’s going on?” Also, “Pakistan is going through a very serious time.”; “Where are we standing?”; and “Where are we going?” These questions don’t exist anymore, as we have gotten tired and are now lying on the ground. Only one man in India (Lurkhan Baba) can roll from one place to another.

<b>Rafiq Tarar allowed Nawaz’s exile to Saudia</b>
As reported in daily Khabrain, ex President Rafiq Tarar said that there was no deal between Musharraf and Nawaz and his family regarding exile. He said that he received an application that said that Nawaz and his family should be allowed to travel to a foreign country for medical treatment, and their punishment be revoked. Rafiq Tarar allowed them to go.

<b>Division of Muslim society in India</b>
Daily Pakistan quoted from Time magazine, that after 1857 the Muslim independence movement’s downfall began and when English was adopted as the official language, the Muslim literary rate (which was 100 percent in local languages) dropped to 20 percent in 50 years. One group thought this downfall is due to the lack of knowledge of true Islam and established Dar ul Ulum Deoband. The other school copied western education for the development of Muslim society and established Aligarh University. These two groups divided the Muslim society in India on permanent lines.

<b>Realism verses idealism on foreign policy</b>
In daily Nawa-e-Waqt, Sarerahe opined that the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Major (retd) Tanveer Hussain Qureshi, said that America and India were involved in the murder of Chinese nationals. He said that support for the Taliban, and jihad should be declared and Kashmir should be liberated by force. Thank God somebody from the government is thinking right. Calls for jihad and taking Kashmir by force are not emotionalism but realism. Tanveer Hussain has described the pain of centuries in just a few moments.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

#73
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Pakistan at 60 – The Way Forward  </b> 
“Given the power of the military, any political dispensation will have to accommodate it…”
– Ayesha Jalal, Professor of History and Director of the Centre for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Tufts University
Qasim Nauman 
Dr Ayesha Jalal is one of Pakistan’s most prominent and respected historians and has written extensively on several aspects of the country’s history, most notably the pre-independence period and civil-military relations.

She is currently Professor of History and Director of the Centre for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Tufts University. She has taught at other leading institutions as well, including Columbia University and Harvard University.

The Friday Times spoke with Dr Jalal on a variety of topics pertaining to the current political and security situation in Pakistan, as well as her opinion on the way forward.

The Friday Times: Where do you see Pakistan today?

Ayesha Jalal: There are both negatives and positives in the scenario. On the one hand, one can say that Pakistan is precariously placed: there is this apparently rising tide of extremism and a spate of suicide bombings. On the other hand, I think there is a lot to be hopeful about. Things that were rather stuck in the groove are falling apart. I’ve always believed that the worst thing in Pakistan is the tragedy of constantly repeating things and not really pulling out of the cycle. Now there is some recognition of the need to move forward. The obvious example is the judiciary, which is recognising its own significance as an institution.

The biggest tragedy with Pakistan, among others, is that it was created by a man who was an ultimate constitutionalist. And this country has constantly undermined constitutional governance. That is a major problem that has repeated itself. One would hope that now, with the judiciary acknowledging this, things may be changing.

It is also heartening that there is greater awareness among the people and different points of view are finding outlet. Democracy, for me, is conflict, and it is a positive development that there are conflicting views in Pakistan today – that was dead during the Zia period. This turmoil is potentially a positive step forward. Of course, things can go horribly wrong, but these steps need to be taken to recoup the space for democratic processes.

You mentioned the recent upsurge in extremism and related violence. In your opinion, what is the source of this rising extremism, and how do we counter it?

What has gone wrong is really a product of the late 1970s and beyond. In the 1960s and earlier, there were moments of religious agitation, but not extremism of the sort we have today. Every country has extremist elements, and there is a constant battle to keep them at bay. We must not forget that Pakistan, as a Muslim state, denounced extremist attitudes throughout the 1960s when there were modernist interpretations of Islam. What tipped the balance were the state’s policies following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, and more worryingly, its policy following Soviet withdrawal. It was, of course, going to be difficult to recoup the space that was provided to the people trained to fight the Soviets in the name of Islam.

Then there are other factors that contribute to extremism. Extremism is driven by a sense of injustice, sheer poverty and absence of any basic infrastructure, factors that we find in the tribal areas. Pakistan is 60 years old so we cannot call it an adolescent country any more. Yet, it has still not managed to control its ‘wild west’.

While I don’t deny the role of ideology, the situation is a lot more complex. Material factors and ideology converge to feed extremism. And I feel that people are inherently pragmatic. If the basic problems faced by these areas are addressed, we will see a reduction in extremism as people will act to preserve, not destroy, peace.

Also, thoughtful and reasonable people need to recoup the space they have lost to extremists. There are various interpretations of Islam and these views need to be tolerated. Religion is not about killing people or the size of your beard or your veil. It is also about ethical issues. That needs to be addressed.

You have written extensively on civil-military relations in Pakistan. What do you think is the status of the military in Pakistan today and what role, if any, will it play in the political future of the country?

I think the military is far more entrenched than ever before. The armed forces are not just responsible for security; they are involved in everything, especially the economy. And given the fact that the country has been dominated by the military for so long, its participation is confirmed in whatever political developments take place in the country. The military’s role in government is going to remain for a long time, as they hold real power. President Musharraf’s refusal to give up his uniform underlines the fact that the army continues to call the shots. So given the power of the armed forces, any political dispensation that emerges will have to accommodate the military; they will be major partners in any power-sharing arrangement.

Pakistan is dominated by the army, and people want to break out of that situation, but it has to be a gradual transition – a process. Things will not change overnight, but they can.

We must not forget that the reason the army was able to get away with all that it has done in the past is because it was allowed to. Institutions such as the judiciary let the army do as it pleased. We as a people did not address this issue properly. The judiciary seems to have found its feet in the face of military domination, and that is the first step in the process. People still respect the army as a security force and an institution, but considering the criticism that is being directed at the military today, it is apparent that their involvement in the economy and politics has shattered that once sacrosanct image. I feel this criticism is a positive development. It is something that must be furthered in national debates in newspapers and the electronic media.

The government’s participation in the US-led War on Terror has been severely criticised by most opposition parties. Should opposition parties come into power in the upcoming elections, do you see a shift away from the current anti-terror policies?

I know things have gotten worse in terms of the security situation in the country, and there is external pressure to act as well, but it’s very hard for me to envision a scenario where any political government will pull out of our commitments to fight terrorism, simply because our interests are at stake as well. Also, the military is key: it will not allow any political dispensation whatsoever to commit hara-kiri in the name of Islam.

These so-called religious parties, and I say ‘so-called’ because they are actually political parties before religious entities, are participating in the political process now. That is a positive thing in my opinion because, as political parties, they are ready to compromise. Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the MMA has shown pragmatism on several fronts even when other members of his party, most notably Qazi Hussain Ahmed, are inclined towards agitation. So while they employ powerful rhetoric against the US and the government, it remains rhetoric – something that is good for the streets. Once you’re in power, the context and set-up completely changes.

We live in a connected world, so we cannot withdraw into a hole based on a misconceived notion of sovereignty. There is no such thing as absolute sovereignty, it is always compromised: it is a fact that Pakistan has to deal with. So it will be very difficult for any political party to force a drastic shift in Pakistan’s anti-terrorism policy.

Given the context that we have established, where do you see Pakistan going from here?

The mood now is of cautious optimism. As I’ve said earlier, there are positives and negatives in the current scenario and how events unfold will depend largely on the choices we make as a people. As a historian, there is something I cannot accept, and that is the inevitability argument. I think the Pakistani people have the future in their own hands, and it is they who will decide what kind of future they want. Obviously, Pakistanis are divided, and we have to acknowledge that. Once again, a stable transition towards democracy is required to provide space for the resolution of these differences.

The current situation is ripe for change, and this opportunity cannot be missed. Pakistan has to make pragmatic decisions in its own interests. The military needs to learn to take orders from a civilian government, but it has to be reined in via a careful process. It is because of constant military interventions that we have never really had a steady run of democracy, and that is our greatest tragedy. Hopefully, the coming elections will be relatively free and impartial. Also, I think it’s absurd that the government is trying to prevent politicians from returning to the country. Let everyone come, face charges against them and contest elections.

But let’s not be starry-eyed about democratic governments, who can be equally authoritarian. We think democracy is a great thing, but we don’t recognise that it is something that comes painfully, and perpetuating it requires sacrifices and tolerance of conflicting views. We should look forward with optimism, but must break the cycle of repeating past mistakes
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#74
The Punjabi in TSP land is written in what script? Arabic or Farsi or what? I know Indian Punjabi is in Gurumukhi.
#75

<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Aug 31 2007, 01:29 AM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Aug 31 2007, 01:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->The Punjabi in TSP land is written in what script? Arabic or Farsi or what? I know Indian Punjabi is in Gurumukhi.
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<b>ramana Ji :</b>

To my knowledge Punjabi is written :

As Punjabi now -especially by the Sikhs - in Gurumukhi

Punjabi's Language's Scientific name is "Pakshami Hindi i.e. Western Hindi"

As Lahanda Hindus use the "Devnagri Script" whereas the Muslims use the "Urdu Script"

The Hindus use of Lahanda in the Devnagri Script is evidenced in their "Vahi-Khataas" i.e. Account Books.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#76

<b>The deal is doomed</b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->ISLAMABAD - On an eventful day Thursday that heard exiled premier Nawaz Sharif announce the much-awaited date of his return and <b>witnessed PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and other party leaders throw a spanner in Musharraf-Benazir deal, two persons stand out net losers: Gen. Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto.</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#77
So Nareshji, There are three scripts for Punjabi or 'Paschim Hindi'
:

Sikh-> Gurumukhi
Hindu Punjabis -> Devnagari (Is this dead or minor?)
Muslim Punjabis -> Arabic/Urdu script. So what kind of leterature do they have in this language?
#78

<b>ramana Ji :</b>

Please read the Article <b>In another’s tongue by KK Aziz</b> per my post #65 of Aug 27 2007, 02:14 PM.

The Fourth along with the Last paragraphs do tell the “Tale of Woe in respect of Pakjabis”

Gurumukhi : From the “Guru’s Mouth” i.e. the Script was initially used for Scriptures like “Guru Granth Saheb”. Even Guru Govind Singh Ji - Dashmeshwar Pita - wrote a Treatise in Persian.

A large number of Hindus in Punjab are now proficient in the Gurumukhi Script and of course the Older Generation who read the “Guru Granth Saheb” in Gurumukhi and “Gutka” in Gurumukhi as well as in the Devnagri Script.

Pakshmi Hindi : Major use is by the Business community who wrote their “Vahi Khatas” in the Devnagri Script but the spoken content of the “Account Books” was Punjabi. In addition the “Gutka” in the Devnagri Script is known as “Sundar Gutka”. Pakshmi Hindi is the Scientific Name.

Urdu Literature : K K Aziz’s comments lead one to ask “What Literature?”

In ending, many thanks for the “trust” reposed in my capabilities in respect of “knowledge” of the Punjabi Language but the little bit I know is from light readings of The Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
#79
<<From clothes to architecture, from language to folklores, from epics to sculpture and from religion to sciences. So they also insist that after Alexandar 'the great' defeated India - Indians were so mesmerized by this god-like warrior that they deified him as Skanda-Kartikeya-Muruga.>>

This is nonsense. In this form even main stream Indologists do not accept this garbage. There is no connection between the etymologies of skanda and sikander. In fact the form sikander is derived via a Persian corruption. In Sanskrit Alexander was rendered was alikasundara or alikasandra. Modern Indologists are trying to attribute Greek and Shakha influence for the origin of skanda (though not trough Alexander) but this has no basis in truth either -- Indologist exhibit flaws in both common sense and method. We could discuss this on the I&P thread if there is any interest
#80
The script used in Pakistan for Punjabi is called Shahmukhi (derived from Arabic script).

Devnagari is still used but not by all Hindus, a lot of Hindus also use Gurmukhi.


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