Showing posts from September, 2012

The shape of things to come

Last Friday was a public holiday in Pakistan – a government-declared ‘Youm-e-Ishq-e-Rasool’ so that the people of Pakistan could show their love for Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and ‘peacefully’ protest against the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims. Cellular services were suspended in 15 cities for a few hours to somehow ‘protect’ the citizens. YouTube is still blocked in the country so that people don’t get riled up by watching the blasphemous film’s trailer. Despite all these so-called ‘protective measures’, Pakistanis demonstrated their ‘love’ for the Prophet (PBUH) by torching vehicles, damaging private property, looting, burning several cinemas across the country and a church in Mardan.

While at least 23 Pakistanis lost their lives during the violent protests on Friday and hundreds others were injured, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira proudly stated that ours was the only country that protested against the film at the state level. Mr Kaira belon…

Future of Indo-Pak narrative

India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna recently visited Pakistan to meet with his Pakistani counterpart Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. The atmosphere was indeed relaxed during the joint press conference and fortunately there were no visible tensions between the two dignitaries as was the case in the recent past (read Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s ‘more loyal than the king’ overtures two years ago when Mr Krishna visited Pakistan).

Foreign Minister Khar managed to steal the show as some Indian journalists covering the press conference noted. Ms Khar reiterated the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP’s) commitment to peace with our neighbours, especially India and Afghanistan – two nations with whom Pakistan has had a difficult relationship. Ms Khar talked about lost opportunities in case of Indo-Pak relations and gave the recent example of the Gyari tragedy in Siachen. Pakistan is sending a message that the country is willing to move ahead “without being held hostage to past positions”…