Benefits of Returning to Grad School

“I should really be studying” is something I keep telling myself. But, I have observed it is quite easier said than done. At this ripe “young” age, I returned to Grad school to continue my formal education and achieve another academic milestone. However, I was sure that 16 years of formal education have made no effect on me, none whatsoever, and another 2 years degree would make no difference. Continue reading “Benefits of Returning to Grad School”

Is Politics Good or Evil?

“We hear about politics all the time, but is politics good or evil?” asked Dr. Amani Moazzam.

She is a bespectacled, studious looking professor with an aura of a headstrong woman which many of her students find intimidating initially. In reality, she is a sweet and kind at heart teacher whose concern for her students gradually manifests itself rather involuntarily. Continue reading “Is Politics Good or Evil?”

How Can We Defeat Terrorism?

The world, no matter the popular political rhetoric, cannot rid itself of the menace of terrorism unless it agrees with a single definition of the term and detaches that interpretation from all types of religious faiths. Continue reading “How Can We Defeat Terrorism?”

Foreign Policy in a Changing World

In the arena of international relations, there is no such thing as equality. The perception of state’s power and national interests set the stage of how states interact with each other. Coincidently, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to the United States coincided with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the United Kingdom. The difference of reception of both leaders by their host countries is a classic example how states perceive other states and treat them accordingly.

Continue reading “Foreign Policy in a Changing World”

The Land of the Traitors?

Yes, you guessed that right. We are talking about Pakistan. Ours is a country where almost everyone at the opposing sides of so many social, ethnic, religious and political divides calls each other a traitor. And all it takes to call someone a traitor is just a matter of difference of opinion. Continue reading “The Land of the Traitors?”

Social Class Discrimination at Work

I am neither a Marxist nor I find myself completely in agreement with Karl Marx, however, I am sometimes fascinated by him. He identified many problems with the budding capitalist, industrialist western society of the 19th century. Marx essentially based his economic philosophy on the basis of class discrimination in the capitalist world. He divided the capitalist society into two distinct social classes; bourgeoisie (haves) and proletariat (have-nots). The social class discrimination in Marxist terms is based on the ownership of means of production; those who own the means of production (bourgeoisie, haves) and those who do not (proletariat, have-nots). Continue reading “Social Class Discrimination at Work”

Goodbye English, Hello Urdu?

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the government to implement Urdu as the official language, and say goodbye English within a period of three months. It has also reportedly asked the government to form a review committee which should periodically review progress of this change of official language. Continue reading “Goodbye English, Hello Urdu?”

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’”

Brilliance and the Captivity of Negativity

I have always been fascinated by brilliant people; I feel inspired by people’s abilities such as intelligence, creativity, knowledge, skills, and leadership qualities.  I find these inspiring people everywhere, in history books, in world news, as well as daily life. I read about them, I see them, and I wonder how these masterpieces of human race do all that great stuff which displays their sheer brilliance. And my respect for their brilliance comes irrespective of their caste, creed, or color, and when I read about them, or watch them, I tend to search patterns related to their personal and professional lives. Continue reading “Brilliance and the Captivity of Negativity”