Blog

Indian Curfew Threatens Kashmiri Cultural Heritage
10/03/2020

Kashmir is home to one of world’s most vibrant heritage and culture, which Kashmiris have inculcated in their tourism, handicrafts and lifestyle allowing them to produce exquisite work of arts and crafts. Today, world-renowned Kashmiri woodwork, household articles, art and craft are subjected to Indian violence. Exports of Kashmiri handicrafts have come to a halt as the curfew crosses 170 days. The life of Kashmiris was already under siege but now...

Pakistan is a heaven for Buddhist tourism. Its land and people charm with traces of history, generous hospitality and brotherly warmth
24/01/2020

In conversation with Reverend Dr. Neung Hur a Buddhist Monk on Religious Pilgrimage to Pakistan Many people don’t know that Pakistan as a land of Gandhara is like Mecca – the holy place of Islam – for the Buddhist community. Swat is also the birthplace of Padmasambhava who is universally celebrated as the Second Buddha, reincarnated in the 8th century AD. There are several leading ancient philosophers from Peshawar, Swat and Taxila, who...

Zoos As Prisons Where Animals Are Kept As Innocent Prisoners
02/01/2020

Islamabad: Executive Director, Center for Culture and Development, Dr Nadeem Omar Tarar has said that animals are part of human habitat and same humanity must be extended to all species on the earth. Dr Omar was addressing a seminar on ‘The state of zoos in Pakistan: searching for humanity,’ organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Dr Omar said that unfortunately there is general denial of rights of the animals,...

Sexual Harassment
02/01/2020

DESPITE accounting for about half of Pakistan’s population, women are disproportionately underrepresented in national emp­loyment registers. Given our society’s endemic gender inequality, working women know that to compete in a man’s world they must work twice as hard. From highly paid CEOs to lowly paid domestic workers, the social and psychological costs that working women bear often outweigh the financial gains. Feminist groups were in the...

Engendering Rights
02/01/2020

KHAWAJASIRA, the Urdu language equivalent for ‘transgender’ in Pakistan, was the title of the chief eunuch in the Mughal court. Eunuchs were royal slaves who not only served as custodians of the harem but also enjoyed unrestricted access to the king’s private chambers, wielded enormous power in the palace court, and possessed the elevated status of nobles in society. As close royal aides, transgender persons were appointed as generals,...

Net Dangers
02/01/2020

THE internet age has opened up new vistas for the advancement of information, news, and entertainment in Pakistan. The digital penetration of mobile phones has reached close to 50 per cent of our population, and the increasingly cheap availability of smartphones means that most Pakistanis, across social and demographic divides, have a digital footprint. The growing use of social media, smartphones and digital devices is transforming our children’s...

A Different View
02/01/2020

IT is a cliché that Pakistani society is being torn apart by ethnic, linguistic, religious and sectarian conflicts. From highbrow politicians to street vendors, the level of concern for the strife in society is matched by the depth of ignorance regarding its reasons or the cure. Little do we realise that there is a field of knowledge called social sciences, where students are trained to understand the changing dynamics of human societies by...

Cultural Gap
02/01/2020

FOR the state, NGOs, donor agencies and multilateral institutions, culture is a segregated affair, perceived as a ‘set of things’ requiring sectoral interventions as in music, the arts and literature. Even Unesco, whose mandate it is to raise awareness of the rich and diverse mesh of culture, has invested only in select domains of Pakistan’s cultural heritage. The concept of culture remains limited to heritage, aesthetics and art, and its...

Signs Of The Times
02/01/2020

Informal signage, meant to inform Rawalpindi’s residents and those who may be visiting, offer more than just guidance or instructions: they offer us a window into civic life in the garrison city. One can see where the municipality falls short of its targets and where there is a greater underlying civic problem; but only if you read the signs right. The inscription on the stairs of the Purana Qila Mosque may read ‘Note: Do not put shoes on the...