Partition: the 67-year itch ~ (by Irfan Husain)


The following is a guest post by Mr. Irfan Husain. The article was originally published in the journal of the Pakistan Institute of International Relations.   Like an itch that won’t go away, people of my generation born before Partition keep scratching away at the words, actions and motives of the players involved in that momentous event. Each time we traverse this ... Read More »

Words That Kill


The following is a guest post by Mr. Irfan Husain. The article was originally submitted to Dawn by Mr. Husain, who is one of their regular op-ed writers. However, due to its contents,  Dawn found itself unable to print it.   I don’t know if there are official rankings for the sleaziestTV personality in Pakistan, but if there were, Amir Liaquat ... Read More »

Some thoughts on the horrific Peshawar attack

civilian casualties

1. In the overall context of the state’s war against the Taliban and its affiliates, this has been probably the best year since 2007. Fewer civilians are dying in Pakistan in terrorist attacks today than in the last half decade (data source: SATP). The above graph probably understates the level of drop-off, since it includes deaths from all over Pakistan, ... Read More »

The Sharif Family


As promised at the end of the previous post, here’s some extended detail into the wealth of the Sharif family. Almost all comes from publicly available documents that the politically active members of the family have filed at the time of contesting elections, or regular asset declarations as members of legislature, as required by the law. Starting with some history. The Ittefaq ... Read More »

Fake ‘Richest Pakistani’ lists


Well, this post is just because I’m fed up of telling sane minded, non-mentally challenged people again and again that there are no ‘official’ lists of wealthiest Pakistanis, or one prepared by a reputable financial outlet (ala Forbes’ listings). Still, the kind of idiocy that goes around has no limits. Since fake fortune lists are ever more viral and are now annually ... Read More »

WTFMughalMiniature by @MyDixonCider


Intertextuality is one of my most favourite topics to discuss in the blogging world. I have discussed it previously for songs like BHOOM BHOOM WORLD CUP, Bumbu Sauce’s My Punjabi Love For You, as well as the comic Umru Ayyar, and finally, in my own short film Sasti Masti. Here is an academic definition of the concept: …the first step ... Read More »

Fingerprint Verification – Part 3


This is the third in a series of posts on the ‘fingeprint verification’ of ballots in Pakistan. I first wrote about it in September 2013, when the whole exercise was picking up steam as some forensic way of settling electoral fraud debates. The second part was in July 2014, and expanded on the misrepresentation of facts from the NADRA reports ... Read More »

Fingerprint Verification


I have written about it before. Earlier. It was on how the majority of votes cannot even be verified. You can check that out here, and please read it before reading this post. Let’s start with hearings of complaints at Election Tribunals. Firstly, they are beyond the purview of the executive. Imran keeps on demanding the government or the challenged ... Read More »

Some questions about the North Waziristan operation


I do not know the answers to these questions: 1. Which groups are being targeted? 2. Which groups are not being targeted? What does it say that the likes of JuD have explicitly come out in support of the operation? 3. What are the strategic goals, if any, meant to be accomplished by this operation? Is this employment of force ... Read More »

Thinking out loud about what a “Taliban victory” in Pakistan looks like


I’m using this post mostly to think out loud about something I have been thinking about for a few months, so please bear with me if some of it is dumb. Mostly I’m trying to think through the tension between two narratives that seem reflexively acceptable: The TTP is a loose coalition of fighters with varying degrees of attachment to ... Read More »