Analysis / 13.08.2009

By Anjum Altaf What is the difference between the yarmulke and the burqa besides the fact that one is minimally small and the other is maximally large? By now the controversy over the burqa is well known. In France, President Sarkozy has said: “The burqa is not a religious sign. It is a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement...

Analysis / 10.07.2009

As a follow up to our brief debate on the Kashmir issue, I wish to propose an exercise that evaluates the Kashmir policies of the governments of India and Pakistan and also puts our own objectivity to the test. Such an exercise could yield an awareness that might enable us to move the discussion forward. What I propose is the following: For the first part of the exercise stop thinking of yourself as a citizen of your country. Consider yourself an external examiner (ideally from Mars) who has been invited to evaluate the Kashmir policies of the governments of India and Pakistan, respectively.
Analysis / 03.07.2009

We have gone back and forth on the issue of American intervention in developing countries and I wish to return to the topic to broaden the terms of the discussion. Reader Tahir had raised the issue in defense of Imran Khan’s position that was the subject of three earlier posts (here, here, and here). Let us see if a wider perspective improves our understanding and helps us think of better responses, both intellectual and practical. The evidence of American interventions is not in dispute. In his Cairo address, President Obama conceded American involvement in the 1953 coup in Iran that toppled a democratic government. And this is only one of many, many instances well known to all except, perhaps, a majority of American voters. Imran Khan is part of the multitude that sees through the American rhetoric of high morality.
Analysis / 29.06.2009

This post continues the series initiated by Imran Khan’s observations on the differences between West and East (Why the West Craves Materialism and Why the East Sticks to Religion) but it is more about the issues and less about Imran Khan. In particular it addresses the points raised by Tahir in his four comments on the earlier post. These points cover so many areas that it is best to deal with them in a separate post. To start with, it is useful to separate the various strands in the comments and respond to them one at a time. For example, it would help to separate the political and the religious dimensions. There is little doubt that the US has exploited many countries including Pakistan. But this has very little to do with religion.