The Real Horror Is Not War

The image of a Syrian toddler lying dead on a Turkish shore has shocked the world. The innocence screaming in the picture touches even the most self-centered and the selfish. The gruesome reality of the horrors which imperial designs and unceasing wars have unleashed in the Middle East is just beginning to dawn upon the public opinion of the rest of the world. Continue reading “The Real Horror Is Not War”

Islamic Revolution in Pakistan

Two months after the polling day of national elections in Pakistan in the year 2013, I attempted a small analysis of the possibility of an Islamic revolution in Pakistan.

Continue reading “Islamic Revolution in Pakistan”

NGOs and Challenges for the State

ABSTRACT:

The dawn of 21st century has seen a growing interest in civil society organizations and their potential role in achieving development goals and sharing the burden of governance and public management. These civil society organizations have shaped up in the backdrop of modern concepts such as public accountability, policy advocacy and social and political change, and have also played their role in defining the new paradigms of public administration and global governance. Pakistan has seen a remarkable growth in the number of civil society organizations as well as their scope and role in the public space. This paper lays the foundations of exploring the idea of civil society, its philosophical connection with political liberalism and various challenges it poses as new social and administrative phenomena. The paper argues that NGOs, with their organized mobilization of citizenry for social and political change on the one hand, and while competing for provision of public goods and services due to privatization and contractualism on the other hand, have become a powerful tool of political and administrative control. Continue reading “NGOs and Challenges for the State”

Change and the ‘Self’

This is another of the many Urdu articles I wrote before and after Pakistan National Elections in 2013.

This one, titled Muasharti Tabdeeli Aur Humara Nafs (transliteration: “Societal Change and Our “Self”), was written after the elections on June 7th, 2013, discussing briefly how we want to bring “change” in the country without changing ourselves for the better – which, in my opinion, is our gross national folly. Continue reading “Change and the ‘Self’”

Selfie and Rising Individualism in Pakistan

Pakistan has been traditionally characterized as a collectivist society, where individuals recognized themselves as part of a group or a community, and where values and norms were collectively shared, and people took responsibility of the group or the community they identified themselves with. Continue reading “Selfie and Rising Individualism in Pakistan”

Eureka! The Road to World Peace

International geopolitics is such a treacherous territory to monitor; ugly, unfathomable and unpredictable at the same time. It takes an unbearable amount of burden on my tiny brain to read and listen to all these news and analysis that I feel I will have a nervous breakdown. My family does this all the time, ah; I will die of these news drones. Continue reading “Eureka! The Road to World Peace”

Social Justice and Motivated Violence

In a very stimulating recent article, David Dubois of the INSEAD has studied the patterns and reasons of bad behavior in different levels of social classes. Initially, he refers to the anecdotal evidence that suggests that people higher in social class are more likely to behave unethically; he goes on further to acknowledge that people in the lower social class can also have unethical behaviors. However, what differentiate the two are the reasons for which people in different social classes behave unethically. David Dubois’ work “found that higher-class individuals are more likely to cheat when the unethical behavior benefits the self but lower-class individuals are more likely to cheat when the unethical behavior benefits another person”. Continue reading “Social Justice and Motivated Violence”

On the White Man’s Burden

Intellectuals across the world would continue to debate whether modern science is a gift, or a curse. Modern science has brought a magnitude of convenience in life that could not have been imagined a century or two ago. If by convenience, the understanding is that it has reduced distances, travel times, communication difficulties, and has substantially increased ease of doing things and much more, then yes, it has certainly done so. Some would say that science is immoral; it has brought a lot to human species but at the cost of much that was very dear, and essential for human survival, for example the environmental cost of scientific development. Continue reading “On the White Man’s Burden”