The International Day Against State Religion

The Secretary-General, United Nations: Recognize “The International Day Against State Religion”

Petition by G. M. Lakho, Karachi, Sindh

To,

The Secretary-General,

United Nations,

UN Headquarters,

New York.

Please take active, effective and meaningful steps for recognizing “The International Day Against State Religion” by the United Nations in solidarity with victims of the State Religion, namely, non-Muslims and non-believers of Pakistan.

Read more » Change.org

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-secretary-general-united-nations-recognize-the-international-day-against-state-religion-5?share_id=rGSZgPuCHQ&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

Time to change course

By Najam Sethi

Excerpt: … General Kayani’s reputation as a premier “thinking” general cannot be denied. By the same token, however, he must bear the burden of his misguided strategic theories that have brought Pakistan to an “existential” crisis (his own words) in the last five years. The “good Afghan Taliban, bad Pakistani Taliban” theory that has underpinned the army’s Af-Pak strategy has come a cropper because all forms and shades of Taliban and Al-Qaeda are one criminal network and the quest for a “stable and Pakistan-friendly” Afghanistan has foundered on the rock of big power dynamics.

It has been argued that General Kayani supported the cause of democracy by not imposing martial law when the chips were down for the PPP government. But the truth is that a fiercely independent media, aggressive judiciary and popular PMLN would have revolted against any martial law. The international community would not have supported it. And General Kayani’s own rank and file would have frowned upon it.

Under the circumstances, we hope the next COAS will change course and help the elected civilian leaders make national security policy to salvage our country.

– See more at: http://www.najamsethi.com/time-to-change-course/#sthash.5kCkjdPc.8J2Km32a.dpuf

GAURDING SINDHI LANGUAGE

By Dr Ali Akbar M. Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh

We Sindhis have sacrificed a lot as we have lost many political leaders since independence of our country Pakistan like the father of nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaqat Ali Khan, G. M. Syed, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Shaheed Mohotarma Benazir Bhutto and many other political parties workers. We have therefore got attachment and sincerity, love and affection with all our country leaders and workers. Similarly the same attachment we have with our own language or mother tongue. Every language has its own importance and status in every country. We feel pride if we speak Punjabi in Punjab, Pushto in Pakhtunkhawah, Siraiki in Multan areas, Balochi & Sindhi in Balochistan and Sindhi in our own Sindh. But we being Sindhi speaking in Sindh have not been so careful to save our own language even in our own Sindh not only outsiders have neglected but even our own Sindhi speaking people in Sindh have neglected speaking Sindhi language in right dialect and pronunciation. We senior citizen Sindhis born before the creation of Pakistan, speak sindhi somewhat in its proper dialect but sorry to express with greater grief and sadness that even we being elders of our families have never given attention towards our younger generations and future children to speak in proper pronunciation and status according to our Sindhi alphabet as the new born children particularly born in big cities of Sindh like Karachi, Hyderabad and other big towns, I have not learnt the right dialect of the Sindhi language because of being spoken generally Urdu and English in the elite families of Sindhis. It is not common in these homes where the mothers of our children are non-Sindhis and do not speak Sindhi language, they do not try to let their children speak in Sindhi. Most of our elite Sindhi families themselves do not allow their children to talk in their own language and therefore they avoid speaking their own language.

Continue reading GAURDING SINDHI LANGUAGE

Thoughts on leaving Pakistan

By Manal Khan

The last time I put thoughts to paper was a year and a half ago, when my husband and I moved back to Pakistan from the US. It happened very suddenly, under very sad circumstances, and there we were – thrust into a disorienting new life, filling roles we had never anticipated, never wanted, inhabiting, once again, the cloistered, uninspiring world of Lahore’s privileged class.

Much elapsed during the past 18 months in Lahore – much to rejoice and remember. Engagements, bridal showers, weddings. Baby showers, and babies! Farewell parties and welcome-back parties, birthday parties and Pictionary parties.

PTI fever, elections, and Pakistan’s first peaceful political transition. Cliff-diving in Khanpur under a shower of shooting stars, dancing arm-and-arm with Kalash women as spring blossomed in the Hindukush,  tracking brown bears and chasing golden marmots in the unearthly plains of Deosai.

I rediscovered my love of history, of abandoned old places that teemed with a thousand stories and ghosts and memories, thanks to a research job at LUMS. I spent many days wandering the cool corridors of  Lahore Museum, many hours contemplating the uncanny beauty of the Fasting Siddhartha, whom I had the privilege of photographing up-close. I stood beneath the most prodigious tree in the world in Harappa. I got down on my knees with a shovel and brush during a student archaeological excavation in Taxila, personally recovering the 2,000-year old terracotta bowl of a Gandhara Buddhist monk.

But, there was also dissatisfaction. Frustration. Restlessness. When we were not travelling, we were in Lahore. And Lahore was, well, warm. Convenient. Static. Living there again was like a replay of our childhood; like watching a favourite old movie on repeat. After a while it got monotonous,  somewhat annoying, and a little disappointing.

Continue reading Thoughts on leaving Pakistan

Zinda Bhaag: Pakistani cinema’s return to glory?

By Arshed Bhatti

I watched Zinda Bhaag at its World Premier in Toronto, incidentally on August 14, 2013 – Pakistan’s Independence Day. After a successful ten day run, followed by many reviews, and nominated for Pakistan’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category, I thought I’d write my personal review of the film.

Using cricket lingo, Zinda Bhaag is not a Shahid Afridi sixer, or a T-20 slog. Instead, it is a technically perfect and faultless double hundred by a maestro like Javed Miandad, with its due share of sixers and boundaries. Like any double hundred, Zinda Bhaag not only gives a winning position to the team, it also plays a catalytic role in the popularity and promotion of the game, that is, the film industry in Pakistan.

My earlier reference to Shahid Afridi’s sixers and T-20 slogs was simply to explain that his sixers are part impulse, part response to public demand, and part reflex action, whose comprehension follows rather than precedes the act; whereas, Zinda Bhaag is neither. Although it has its fair share of adrenaline pumping shots and tense situations, it is a well-timed, well-planned, and well-executed game changer.

What makes a great film, you ask?

I have a formula which contains seven elements that all new directors must strive to achieve. The film’s directors, Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi, have adhered to it in their own way. The acronym of my formula is S.A.V.E.S.M.E. The first five letters denote elements intrinsic to a film, and the last two, in a way, are extraneous to the film. S.A.V.E.S stands for Script, Acting, Visuals, Editing and Soundtrack – and once the movie is made – M.E. stands for Marketing and Exhibition.

In my humble opinion, any film must score a minimum of B+ on the first five elements to be considered a serious attempt at film-making. I gave Zinda Bhaag an A+ on script, editing and sound track; while the acting of main characters oscillates between A+ and B+.

Although the budget constraints for its marketing and promotion are obvious, I still gave it a healthy B+ on its marketing since the intelligent use of social media and personal networks of the film-makers seem to be filling the gaps quite adequately.

Now, what exactly was so great about this film?

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/19057/zinda-bhaag-pakistani-cinemas-return-to-glory/