Month: October 2015

Energy Crisis in Pakistan

Jun 2010 After thoroughly suffering from the electricity shortage and being humiliated completely, reacting in a typical Pakistani way that is to analyse only after a crisis has set in rather than before, we decided to look into this matter at depth. To our utter surprise we found that while there were many articles passionately discussing various political issues around this matter, there was hardly any objective analysis in a dispassionate manner. Most crucially there is failure to understand this crisis in the broader terms of energy shortage.

Muslim Women & Property Rights

Abstract This paper examines the rights to the property accorded to the women in Islam under direct Qur’anic injunctions and compares it to the state of these rights in the present Muslim societies. It then argues that correct application of the Qur’anic law will not only materially improve the status of women in Muslim societies and guarantee them economic security, it will bring economic prosperity to such societies directly by exploiting the human capital of women population and indirectly by changing the means of socioeconomic milieu. In the first part of the study we shall briefly, set out the rights accorded by Qur’an and subsequent changing and slow weakening of these laws to the present period. We will also provide a brief comparative analysis of western women’s property rights and its role in relation to economic development. For the purpose of this study we shall divide the Muslim history into three broad periods. The period of the Prophet (PBUH) and first four caliphs; period when sharia law was codified and few centuries following that and present Muslim …

What is Blasphemy?

Blasphemy, in its literal meanings, is defined as a behavior or language expressing disrespect for God or for something sacred The issue of blasphemy, highlighted again by the recent banning of certain websites in Pakistan, has caught the attention of everyone again, through debates on media. I also read and heard different versions of thought on the issues of blasphemy. While due to the rapid transmission of the message throughout the country, and due to pressure generated by the perceived angry reaction( read road demonstrations resulting in injuries, burning , destruction and looting) of the people, authorities were keen to ban the sites within a few hours.

Not in God’s Name- Not for Religion’s Sake

Change and Freedom are the terms that dominate the socio political vocabulary in our times. Some may say that since the evolution of the human consciousness, these have been the most enchanting slogans. Either way, indisputably, these are considered to be the foundations of the process of progress and development for any society and any country. In fact this so well established and taken as granted, that we often forget and ignore why do we all want and crave for Change and fight for the Freedom? The answer to this question may vary in different times and spaces. But the fundamental answer remains the same. We want Change and Freedom for the betterment and well being of Humans and for peace among Humanity.

Human Rights and Blasphemy in Pakistan

Today, Human Rights Day is being observed all around the world. Every year, on the 10th of December, this day is celebrated to acknowledge and honor, United Nations’adoption of ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, sixty two years ago in 1948. The theme for commemoration is different every year. This year’s theme identifies the struggle and sacrifices of Human Rights activists around the world, who risk their lives to safeguard rights of the others, against violence, women abuse, child abuse, physical torture, religious and gender discrimination etc.

Defining Pakistan-II

  Azhar Aslam This article is a continuation of the first part of Defining Pakistan. We laid out, in the first part, ‘the dream’ of Pakistan’s emergence as a nation symbolizing the human paradigm. We believe that the most fundamental essential for establishment of such system of state is a well laid out strategy of reforms, which we will extend here in this part.

IMF and the plight of Pakistani Nation

Azhar Aslam & Shermeen Bano Introduction Pakistan is a low income South Asian country that stands at the precipice of an economic crisis. Experts cite several reasons for the ongoing slow economic demise of the country. However, it is increased involvement of IMF in the economic matters of Pakistan that is viewed by many as a major contributor to our impending economic crisis.


Afreen Baig The World financial crisis of 2008 –2010, exposed the weaknesses in the several of the first world economies, which were earlier considered to be the paradigm of economic success. Failure of the banking system, collapse of sub~prime mortgage business, ascending debt~to~GDP ratio, unpredictable unemployment and bankruptcies declared by several established businesses, raised serious doubts regarding the foundations of those economies.

The Conflict over Jinnah’s Vision for Pakistan-III

Azhar Aslam & Shaista Kazmi Alex Von Tunzelmann’s book, Indian Summer has been described as ‘…. the best book I have ever read on the independence and partition of…’ by no less than William Dalrympole. On page 92 she writes ‘ Some historians go so far as to describe him (Jinnah)as a ‘bad’ Muslim, revealing more about their own ideas of what a Muslim should be than about Jinnah’s faith.’ Describing Jinnah as one of the key figures in the rise of 2oth century Islam she sates ‘… Jinnah was no fundamentalist. His Islam was liberal, moderate and tolerant……. In fact he never pretended to be anything other than a progressive Muslim….here was a Muslim who understood the British sufficiently enough to parley on equal terms, but asserted his Islamic identity strongly enough that he could never been seen to grovel. His refusal of Knighthood was significant; so was his demurral in the face of Muslim attempts to call him ‘Maulana’…..’ Alex generously credits Jinnah with ‘… almost single-handedly reviving Islam as a modern political …

The conflict about the Jinnah’s Vision for Pakistan- I

Azhar Aslam & Shaista Kazmi On all the national holidays of Pakistan, different events and programs are held for reflection about these special days. The issue of the nature of the state in Pakistan and the vision of Jinnah about its nature, remains contentious. People on different sides of the ideology divide in Pakistan, have different views about what Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be. The main field for battle is whether he wanted an ‘Islamic’ state (mostly meant in Ziaist terms) or a Secular one.