Imran H. Khan

F-86_dayton_FrontSome stories take a lifetime to develop. Sometimes an incredibly capable concoction of aluminium, rubber and electronics ends up reminding you of its significance from time to time all during ones life. One such very exquisite piece of technology is the F-86 Sabre. Most recently I came across it standing in the National Museum of USAF in Dayton Ohio. It belonged to Bruce Hinton who became the first US pilot to shoot down a Mig-15 in the Korean war. My earliest childhood memory in Mauripur PAF base, Karachi are filled with the sights and sounds of this new aircraft that would shake the windows of our house, as the pilots were flying them low like the propeller driven planes that they had been used to. One of my fondest memory is of my father taking me to the F-86 that he had just ferried from the US. He had hidden an inordinate number of toys in all possible compartments that he opened one after the other to my unending joy. It was quite a heady times for a newly formed nation with such state of the art planes. I can only imagine what a high it would have been for my father from being a refugee ,with the only belonging being the clothes on his body a few years earlier after partition, to being able to fly these shiny airborne chariots. Pakistan Air Force (PAF) ended up acquiring 240 Sabres that stayed in service from 1956 to 1979.

Read more

Views: 8056Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Imran Khan

Ten years after the “Islamic Attack” on 9/11, some of the saner Americans have overcome the trauma to reflect on the reality that is Islam’s historic legacy. I had the privilege of viewing many pieces of art from various muslim countries made of the period of centuries at the Metropolitan museum in New York. The pain taken in exquisitely presenting these incredible pieces is worth every praise.  The curators took the time and effort to dig into the history of each and every piece and present it to the visitor in both written and aural form. The respect shown to the work of muslim artists is in sharp contrast to the negative narrative still in mainstream media. But healthy signs are now manifesting them in different forms where some of the americans are having the guts to standing up to the mainstream media.

Read more

Views: 4012Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by A.M.(Retd.) Inam H. Khan

To start with I would like to write about characteristics of Mohalla Nai Sarai (MNS) pucca houses  built nearly 200 years  around 1800 or earlier and still going strong.

Read more

Views: 10310Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by Imran H. Khan

Water was not what I had in mind this early in my read of Quran, but with so much going on related to it, I decided to discuss it earlier than later. Water as we know it is the source of life. When NASA sends its probes to different heavenly bodies, one of the key pieces of information is the presence of water. Indeed one of the key recent discoveries recently have been the presence of water on the poles of the Moon and the possibility of it on Mars. So it is not surprising to find multiple references to water in different contexts in Quran.

“We have made every living thing out of water.” (Sura 21 The Prophets, ayat 30).

Read more

Views: 9172Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by John Briscoe

Anyone foolish enough to write on war or peace in the Indus needs to first banish a set of immediate suspicions. I am neither Indian nor Pakistani. I am a South African who has worked on water issues in the subcontinent for 35 years and who has lived in Bangladesh (in the 1970s) and Delhi (in the 2000s). In 2006 I published, with fine Indian colleagues, an Oxford University Press book titled India’s Water Economy: Facing a Turbulent Future and, with fine Pakistani colleagues, one titled Pakistan’s Water Economy: Running Dry.

Read more

Views: 5578Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by Imran H. Khan

Salman Ahmed is a well known musician out of Pakistan and South Asia. He is the founder of one of the most famous rock bands out of that region by the name of Junoon. He has recently written a book by the name of “Rock and Roll Jihad“. When I first heard about the book and the title it struck me as something odd. Rock and Roll and Jihad had until now not been said in the same sentence. Jihad in Arabic language means to strive. In the Islamic religious sense it means  “striving in the cause of God”. Jihad has been classified either as al-jihād al-akbar (the greater jihad), the struggle against one’s soul (nafs), or al-jihād al-asghar (the lesser jihad), the external, physical effort, often implying fighting.  Having had seen Salman grow from a cute little child to what he is now, it does not take much to understand how he has used his musical skills to achieve social activism in fighting injustices, bigotry, national animosities, disease, religious misunderstandings, religious radicalism and the list goes on.

Read more

Views: 5707Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by Sardar Mohammad Fazley Haque Khan

My family came to India with Malik Hayder Ghazi, who laid the foundation of Bassi, on the outskirts of Sirhind City during the reign of Sher Shah Suri. 12 Tumans (Zais) came here, but many have become extinct and a few are left now. Their chief source was and is either agriculture or service. Some of them used to serve in Hyderabad Deccan even in pre mutiny days.The Afghans used to enjoy semi-independence till the cessation of Bassi to Patiala State and chose their own rulers. When the Moghul rule was nearing its end, the Afghans of Bassi were unable to defend themselves and they began to search for a Ruler who could defend them from the Sikh Invasion. Nawab Shamshair Khan Killewalla (Bassi), backed with the majority of Bassi Afghans, brought  an Ahluwalia Family related to the Maharaja of Kapurthala, to rule in Bassi,  while two families of Omarzai Afghans sided with Patiala. They on their own accord brought a Patiala Tahsildar to Bassi, against the wishes of the rest of Afghan community. The result was that the then reigning power began to torture them, their houses were looted and burnt, and men imprisoned (our Omar Zai ancestors). More than once Patiala Forces were sent to help against Kapurthala Forces. These two families were of Nijabat Khan (Muqueem Bhai’s ancestors in Katehra Mohalla across town from ours in Mohalla Nai Sarai and Ghous Khan (our ancestors)of Nai Sarai. Read more

Views: 3756Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by Shehryar Ahmad

In 2004, my brother Salman and I visited the birthplace of my mother Shahine Habibullah Khan Ahmad in Bassi-Pathanan, near Sirhind in the erstwhile state of Patiala, now Punjab, India. The decrepit ruins of Ashraf Manzil, named after my great-great-grandfather (“per-nana”) Ashraf Khan, had such a powerful effect on me that I will never forget the moment of coming across this place.
Read more

Views: 12111Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by A.M. (Retd.) Inam H. Khan

“ it is not the inch of land, what is important is your history, religion, social and cultural traditions, etc.”   –Allama Iqbal.

Omarzais of MNS were a middle class inward looking community having agriculture and services as the main source of income, only an odd person indulged in business or a profession. Jagirs/land were mostly awarded/allotted as Reya e Khas (special subjects) by ruler of Patiala  after Omarzais helped Bassi to be a part of his State, M Ghous Khan, his son Bhikan Khan (father of Namdar Khan) and Nijabat Khan (ancestor of General Fazle Muqueem Khan) of Kathera across the town were the main supporters  for Patiala against Rani Jindan of Kapurthala. Revenue tax  was also exempted for Reya e Khas.

The picture above was taken in 1935 outside a palatial house built by Choudhry M Ashraf Khan (Minister, Patiala State) for his father Choudhry M Namdar Khan, (Chairman Regency Council Patiala State in late 19th Century). Soon thereafter M Ashraf Khan expired at age of 96 years.

Read more

Views: 4681Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

by Imran H. Khan

Core technologies and capabilities that drive the economies take a long time, large amounts of money and even bigger patience to bear fruit. But once they mature, the rewards are well worth the effort.  Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” makes a similar case for outstanding achievers, that it is more of their earlier start than their brains that make them excel. It is sustained practice of ones art or profession that over the period of time blossoms into an unsurpassed  ability.  Developing countries typically try to shy away from making investments in longer gestation technologies and therefore commit themselves to the path of perpetually playing catchup with developed countries. This is a story of a jet engine that propelled Air Forces possessing it into an unrivaled position. Read more

Views: 21151Share

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Next Page →