A Battle for the Soul of Pakistan

Beena Sarwar

I wonder if the bangle sellers outside the shrine are alive. I still have some chunky glass bangles I bought, bargaining more for the sake of it than to save money.

Did the woman bouncing a little girl on her shoulders, chanting and dancing to an inner beat before the drums sounded, go back last Thursday? Did they survive the blast?

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Khurram Zaki: The Voice that Spoke for the Dead by Suleman Akhtar

Dead men can’t talk,” Malik Ishaq — leader of militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi — told Fida Hussain Ghalvi and three other men who testified against him during a trial in the presence of a civil judge.

Ishaq had been charged with killing 12 members of Ghalvi’s family at amajlis in 1997. During the trial, eight more people linked to witnesses were killed. Ishaq was acquitted in 2011 because of a lack of evidence.

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Pakistan's Competing Schools of Fundamentalists

Ziauddin Sardar

Junaid Jamshed was a rock star in Pakistan during the 1990s. As the adored lead singer of Vital Signs, the band that laid the foundation for the country’s thriving rock-music industry, he was responsible for a string of hits, including the unofficial Pakistani anthem, ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ (‘My Heart is Pakistan’). He went on to have successful careers as a solo artist and television personality.

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Backlash as Pakistan arms teachers after Peshawar school attack by Iftikhar Malik

The attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December by the Pakistani Taliban in which 150 students and their teachers were killed, was one of the most traumatic events of the post-9/11 violence across the Indus Valley regions shared by Pakistan and Afghanistan. It sparked a flurry of reactions from politicians – and now a move to arm teachers and train them to stave off future attacks.

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Today, for Us Young Citizens, Pakistan Feels Like a Country Empty of Dreams

Fatima Bhutto

I called a family friend in Peshawar last night. How is everything? I asked. I had no language for what I felt. I had no words for the horror that scrolled across the television screens or my constantly updating Twitter feed.

“Oh my god,” he said. “They were so young.”

Most of the dead were between the ages of 12 and 16. On the phone I listened to the story of a son who was trapped in the school. The boy was shot in the jaw and in the shoulder. But he is alive.

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The Pakistani Origins of the Israeli State

Ishaan Tharoor

"Pakistan is like Israel, an ideological state," said then Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq in 1981. "Take out the Judaism from Israel and it will fall like a house of cards.

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Pakistan - How Did It All Go Wrong? (Part III)

Mohammad Soukat Ali

All that I have described in my earlier writings - Part I and II - created a very weak and unstable Pakistan. The events inevitably led to her intellectual degeneration, growth of minnow politicians, spread of religious fundamentalism and a general sense of hopelessness. The country is surviving and will do so for a long time. This is the way Pakistan is now.

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Pakistan's Tyranny of Blasphemy

Ali Sethi

LAHORE, Pakistan — “I used to feel my life was too straight, too linear.”

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Change is the Only Constant

Ehsan Masood

Instead of critically questioning religion, what we are taught (in countries such as Pakistan) is that one interpretation is the final word. We’ve never been taught that human interpreters of the Quran and the Hadith have always differed, and still differ. It’s just that we don’t have the conditions where those differences are allowed to bubble up to the surface and explain themselves.

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