Monthly Archives: May 2007

Time for a peace initiative

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WILL President Pervez Musharraf’s pacification mission to Karachi last week bear fruit? From the accounts given by some of the “elites” and “notables” who attended his briefing, no healing of wounds can be expected. One of them disclosed that they had been advised not to be negative in their approach.

The president acknowledged that a few “after shocks” are still being felt but he believes that if we “suppress” them they will die out. Surrounded by self-serving advisers, the president failed to sense the undercurrent of tension in the city.

He commended the political parties for their positive role in trying to bring harmony and peace to the city. But he seems to have spoken prematurely. Soon thereafter, a war of words erupted between the MQM and the Tehrik-i-Insaf which degenerated into personalised attacks against each other’s leaders.
Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Politics, War and Peace |

Judicial probe to heal wounds

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

IT IS intriguing why the government has not responded promptly to the public demand for a judicial enquiry into the carnage in Karachi on May 12. Given the scale of the killings, the mayhem and the paralysis or collapse — whichever way one may view it — of the law and order machinery in the city, this would seem to be the most logical thing to do.
Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Politics, Terrorism and Violence |

Resisting exploitation, but …

Reviewed By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

BASED on a doctoral thesis, this book explores the different kinds of leaderships that control labour informally outside the workplace and those exercising authority within the framework of the factory in Pakistan. Although this research was conducted in the ’70s and focuses on two case studies of the cotton textile industry in Karachi, it continues to be as relevant today as it was then.
Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Book Reviews, Economy, Labour |

The day Karachi bled & burn

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE 34 who met a violent death in Karachi on its black day on Saturday had not even been buried when the blame game started. President Pervez Musharraf placed the onus for the tragic happenings in Karachi squarely on Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and the opposition parties.

Were not they the ones to politicise the reference issue? And were not they the ones to proceed to Karachi against official advice when the government had reports that there was going to be trouble on May 12?

The opposition retaliated by blaming the Sindh administration — specifically the MQM which is a coalition partner in the provincial government — for being the first to unleash violence and for letting it spiral out of control. The police were either conspicuous by their absence or stood idly by watching the carnage.
Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Terrorism and Violence |

The making of a suicide bomber

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

ACCORDING to a report, 20 suicide bombings have occurred in Pakistan since last year in which 213 lives have been lost. Since all of these have been carried out by people emerging from madressahs run by religious extremists, it is plain that they have been indoctrinated and trained by their mentors.

One wonders what makes a person commit such a heinous crime and that too in such a way that he gives up his own life in the process. It is now common knowledge that people committing suicide are mentally ill – it is depression and an intense sense of hopelessness and despair that drives them to resort to the extreme measure of taking their own life. But psychiatrists and psychologists are unanimous in their view that suicide bombers are not suffering from depression.
Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Islamisation, Terrorism and Violence |

Unending violence syndrome

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

LAST week, the print and the electronic media flashed two images that were striking in their similarity. One was that of the Hafsa Madressah girls draped in black burqas and veils marching in Islamabad and demanding the imposition of the Sharia in the country. The other was the picture of the rally organised by anti-Musharraf lawyers who were protesting against the treatment meted out to Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.
Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Terrorism and Violence |