November 25, 2017

India’s Forgotten Cotton-picking Children

‘Almost half a million – mostly dalit and adivasi – Indian children are working to produce cottonseed. Around 200,000 of them are below 14 years. This is one of the shocking results of the new study “Cotton’s Forgotten Children” by India’s long-term expert on the issue, Dr Davuluri Venkateswarlu.’ Read More »

Inside the Pashtun Mindset

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani Pashtun teenage women education campaigner, continues to receive honors since being attacked by the Taliban in her hometown of Swat last year. This week, Britain’s prominent contemporary portraitist Jonathan Yeo unveiled a portrait of Malala at Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. Days before that she opened a 188 million pound library in Birmingham, a city where she ... Read More »

Reporting from Hell: The Story of Pakistani Journalism

Media in Pakistan entered 2014 under the old threat to journalists’ lives. Caught in bloody crossfire between blind state power and extremist terror, journalism has always been a tightrope walk in Pakistan. Media by default is part of this war for being the sole platform to showcase the bloody drama in newspaper columns and on the airwaves.   Last year ... Read More »

Deconstructing Patriotism

It doesn’t take long for some sort of patriotism to escalate into a jingoism of sorts. Read More »

Know the Risks Downgrading Your Organization’s Value

Organizations that support the culture of short-term compensation tend to induce excessive risk-taking. Read More »

Pakistan’s ‘Mullah Radio’ And The ‘Terror Game’

“Congratulations! you have the honor now”, a sarcastic friend from Waziristan told me in the aftermath of the newly selected chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP — the South Asian nation’s largest terrorist network), Mullah Fazlullah’s announcement to have Dir (a mountainous northwestern region in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan’s Kunar province) as the new headquarters of the TTP. According ... Read More »

15 Days in Taliban’s Captivity

  Ali Khan, 42, is probably the only taxi (cab) driver in the Serene Swat Valley who has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science. The father of three, Khan had been a truck driver in Saudi Arabia too for a few years. He was one of those few people who did not leave Swat when the Pakistan army launched an ... Read More »

Pakistan: And Extremism Spread, Not That Silently!

  Film: Khamosh Pani (Silent Waters) Genre: Drama Written and directed by Sabiha Sumar This film is set in a Pakistani village, which is shown as a microcosm of the pangs of separation that Sikh families had to bear when India was divided in 1947 to create Pakistan as a separate Muslim country in South Asia. This is also the ... Read More »

US Drone War: The Need For A New Story

  There are competing narratives about the US’s drone war in the Waziristan area, a bastion of militants. These narratives have so far failed to gain traction in the public, inside Pakistan and elsewhere. The Pakistani narrative goes like this: the drone attacks are a violation of our national sovereignty. They kill innocent people, including women and children, as collateral ... Read More »

Killing the Talib(an) Within

Will Durant says that whenever there is a turning point in the history of a people we always see a lofty character at the turn it takes. Pakistan, especially its northwest, is passing through the worst of its times but we don’t see any lofty character. A lunatic fringe is hell-bent on dragging the whole society by its hairs to ... Read More »