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The Other View

This category contains 56 posts

Saudi imperialism in the name of Islam

  This year Saudi Arabia’s government completed their version of Big Ben, Abraj Al Bait (Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower) in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. This second tallest building in the world (after Burj Khalifa), has only significance of this building is it is standing over Masjid al Haram or Kaaba. I am … Continue reading

Has PMLN already lost Lahore to PTI?

I’d been a Lahori since birth and only one the family who was born here; and that was a jibe often thrown at me while growing up with my siblings in Islamabad. But my romance with Lahore developed when I moved here some 8 years back. Politically speaking, I didn’t have much idea about what … Continue reading

Hijacked Drones (II b) – Peshawarse pichai

Not only for our driver during work in Kashmir whom we knew very well and he equally knew and understood us, was I coming from a place ‘Peshawarse pichai’ [from behind/beyond Peshawar]. Continue reading

Hijacked Drones (II) – walking/mapping the unknown space

Apart from a number of other approaches, I think understanding the space the public debate is refering to when talking of ‘the lawless regions of Pakistan’, ‘the tribal belt’ or ‘the Northwest of Pakistan’ is a fundamental prerequisite to discuss the drone war and then taken further the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Continue reading

Hijacked Drones – History, Law and Ungoverned Space

The debate on the use of drones in the Afghanistan – Pakistan borderlands has been hijacked, by its defenders just like by those who condemn the drone war. Statistics, legal arguments and some dramatic personal accounts can all be used to argue for or against. What these debates all fail to do is to describe what significance the drone war actually has for the population in the targeted areas – they are largely used to keep people who are far away from the Predator’s impact busy. People like me. I am just acting in perfect bhutto/zardari-like fashion – have a say in it all while keeping my assets save here in Switzerland. Continue reading

Leaving Pakistan behind for good – the Ahmadiyya in Zurich

It is noteable with what unease and regret the Pakistani community members talked about their (former) homecountry when I adressed it. Even returning for visits of relatives or their place of upbringing is not an option anymore. Continue reading

Urumqi, Dushanbe, Lahore – constructed pasts and presents in Urban Museums

Among critical Western tourists they are altogether regarded as a sham (least so probably the Lahore Museum). Displays are poorly explained, often no coherence in the overall setup is visible and cultural propaganda is obvious – I find just that to be a good reason to visit these museums and take all your time to walk through it even if the guard already threatens to turn the room’s light off to get you moving. Continue reading

Die spannendsten Thesen für den pseudo-Sino-Pakistan Experten – Letzter Teil der Sino-Pak Serie

Das offizielle Chinesisch-Pakistanische Friendship Jahr ist vorbei, eine chinesische Frau wurde in Peshawar als Antwort auf die kürzlich wieder in den Medien aufscheinenden Riots in Xinjiang erschossen, und wir schliessen damit diese Serie hier auch. Zum Schluss gibt es die spannendsten Theorien zu dieser Beziehung, über die sich trefflich diskutieren lässt ohne auch nur einen Schimmer einer Ahnung zu haben – ganz im Stile der hier in den letzten Teilen vorgestellten medialen Auseinandersetzung mit diesen zwei Ländern. Continue reading

Political toilets

How heavily Pakistan is politicized after 10 years of Afghan war and advent of free media can be gauged by the fact that doors of public toilets carry political slogans and not vulgar jokes now. From Hazara province demands to NATO murdabad. From Altaf Hussain kutta, MQM kafir to satire on Wahabism – all is … Continue reading

Austrian Weapons and Swiss Money – On Foreign Repute

This Police man however, with a proud smile pointed on his chest, where the logo of the Elite Force, comprising of bullets and two Glock pistols, is prominently placed. He was well aware, that the Glock pistol is an Austrian product. Continue reading

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