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Descent into Information Chaos

Focusing on the geographical core of the problem, the Afghanistan- Pakistan region itself, unfortunately most of the material available comes from American sources – which is problematic in two aspects. Firstly, most of the US writers on AfPak focus foremost on the impact of the conflict on their homecountry, judging from Washington, often calling themselves „National Security Experts“ and often missing the gerater picture when imminent threats to the US are not given. Secondly when staying in the area itself the foreigners one meets in public space are non-American. Americans are mostly barred from moving around freely or don’t even come in the first place. Continue reading

Hitler’s Popularity in Pakistan – Jumping to conclusions

Kazim is right though in not jumping to a wrong conclusions that many Europeans immediately take – adoration of the person Hitler and Aryanism being equal to Anti-Semitism. Still he points out (and thus suggests a link)

In the Islamic world, not just in Pakistan but right across from Iran to northern Africa, anti-Semitic sentiment of course plays a role. Conversations with German visitors rapidly turn to the injustice being suffered by the Palestinians who were robbed of their land. Continue reading

Language Proficiency Necessity

When your language routinely obliges you to specify certain types of information, it forces you to be attentive to certain details in the world and to certain aspects of experience that speakers of other languages may not be required to think about all the time. And since such habits of speech are cultivated from the earliest age, it is only natural that they can settle into habits of mind that go beyond language itself, affecting your experiences, perceptions, associations, feelings, memories and orientation in the world. Continue reading

Kaplan’s Imperial Grunts

Shortly before I left back to Europe I found Kaplan’s Balkan Ghosts in a friends bookshelf in Lahore, happy to get something into my hands that would somehow prepare me for where I was heading, a reminder of the history of the continent I was going to live in again. Once there, wishing to look back I read his Soldiers of God. Continue reading

A curious case of Pakistani agencies

During the ongoing missing persons case in Pakistan’s Supreme Court, the agencies have admitted that they abducted 11 missing persons from Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi. These are the same agencies that denied having any information, on disappearance of these 11 jailed persons, for 7 months. And there are hundreds of others who face the same fate. … Continue reading

Der Spende-Hilfe Nexus

Ich stelle mir also die Frage, ob der “individual impact” oder der “global impact” meiner Spende wichtiger für mich (und mein zu beruhigendes Gewissen?) ist und wie wir unser Spendenverhalten überdenken könnten. Continue reading

The capture of Jundullah leader Abdolmalek Rigi

Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of Jundallah militant group, was nabbed in Iran on 23rd Feb in a dramatic fashion. His post-arrest statement and a photo allegedly showing him at a US base in Afghanistan just 24 hours before his arrest has sparked an interest debate on US role with Jundallah under Obama’s administration. Although Pentagon … Continue reading

Plight of Islam in the Modern World – Egypt of the Muslim Brothers compared to post 9/11 Pakistan

While Pakistan in the first decade of the 21st century may be very different to Egypt in the high time of the Muslim Brothers (1930s – 1950s), there are some striking resemblances concerning modernity and religion and how the conflict between these two terms has influenced society or in reverse was shaped by it. In this paper some of these similarities are portrayed. While Hassan al-Banna stood for a defense of the (Muslim) East against the West based on reasoning coming from the Quran, Sunna and Sufism and trying to find a non-violent consensus, his movement is remembered as radically conservative and an intellectual base for today’s leaders of terroristic activity. Similarly an underlying intellectual development in Pakistan is disregarded over the rising violent outbreaks in the name of religion. Continue reading

heer ranjha or terror, taliban and totay – where is Pakistan’s cinema?

I just returned from the cinema watching Boz Salkyn, a Kyrgyz movie – a simple story about bride-kidnapping, love and the Kyrgyz people. It has some Heer Ranja aspects. It’s emotional, completely a-political without the aim to critizice society, the state or question religion Continue reading

Forgotten Promise – Pankaj Mishra on Kashmir

Pankaj Mishra writes about the neglect of the Kashmir issue on the wide political scale, especially in light of increased focus on the AfPak area from the West that always seems to mention the Kashmir issue as a basis to the problem but never addresses it directly (similarly to the Nuclear Arms threat that Seymour … Continue reading

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