Imran Khan

In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful

There are certain events in the destiny of a nation which turn out to be a defining moments.  I believe the massacre at Newtown Ct. is one of them.  It is a defining moment not only because of the ghastly nature of the crime but also its causes.  The current narrative starting from the President downwards is that the widespread availability of the guns is to be blamed. On the other end of the spectrum the NRA is making the strange proposal of making every school teacher be armed. Under normal circumstances it would have been darkly amusing. Sure guns have something to do with it, but they are manifestation of the root cause. Lance Armstrong’s inspirational book titled ‘It’s Not About the Bike’ looks beyond what is obvious and takes the reader deeper into what really matters. What happened in Newtown can happen in any town in the USA, because the environment has been primed by the policies formed by the US government at the end of the Vietnam war. The image of children running away in the My Lai massacre changed the opinion of Americans against the Vietnam war.  It eroded the blind trust that Americans had put in their governments and things have never been quite the same.  The bitter lesson learned by the policy makers from this experience was to end the draft and not to allow journalists into the battlefield or document the returning body bags. This freed them from having to send their kids to the battlefields and to control the narrative of the events for American consumption. Anyone who stood in the way was either dehumanized or branded as unpatriotic.  The net result has been the steady growth of callouses of lack of empathy and compassion in the collective and individual behaviors.

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Imran H. Khan

We are told that Imran Khan stands a good chance of becoming the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, whenever the elections are next held. Many question whether he has the necessary organization and money in place to make a realistic run for it.  He was planning to make a fund raising trip to the US to raise the much needed funds for conducting an effective electoral campaign, but the trip was canceled/postponed at the last minute due to rapidly changing political situation with the expulsion of ex PM Gilani.  Until recently I was a luke warm supporter of Imran because of his sometimes not well thought out statements. Recent rapid changes in the socio-political landscape in Pakistan has confirmed the worst case scenarios for all the other political entities as being inimical to the health of Pakistan and Pakistanis. PPP has earned its wings as the Pakistan’s Plundering Party, Sharif’s have no concept of conflict of interest or respect for law, MQM is essentially a fascist party and different garden varieties of “Islamic” parties are anything but, and closet sympathizers of criminals and power grabbers under the guise of jihad. With all his public and private short comings, Imran Khan has been left the last man standing. His understanding of world affairs is better than all the heads of the other parties combined.  His views on Islam are not Arabized and has a healthy dose of patriotism. Read more

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Salman Ahmad

In the history of nations, there comes a time, when the chasm between what its people deserve and what they are getting is so huge, that revolutionary changes are needed to restore the balance. I believe that time is now for the people of Pakistan. It does not take much to look around at statistics and news from nearly any perspective to see that the State and the existing mind set amongst the Pakistanis has moved astray from the vision of the founding fathers. I have received countless e-mails, calls and tweets from concerned Pakistanis who all want to see a fundamental change in the dangerous trajectory that Pakistan is on. Read more

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by Farhana Azim

The Floral Art Society of Pakistan (FASP) organized a national event this year in Islamabad to raise funds for the flood effected people. It consisted of floral exhibits displayed by the members of the  four chapters and demonstrations done by members of the FASP Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The theme of the demo was “Unity and peace through The Language of Flowers”.

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by Imran H. Khan

After the shock and awe of beginnings of war is over and the dust from the towers has settled, comes the real face of war. How survivors face that face is the story of the mothers and wives who are left behind to cope with the decisions of the leaders who chose to wage them. Two American wives of the victims of 9/11 attack ,  Patricia Quigley and Susan Retik,  decided to turn their tragedy into hope for widows in Afghanistan.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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

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by Imran H. Khan

blastLittle did I know when I first posted this that there would be a number of drone strikes and suicide explosions immediately after wards. I know of no nation in the world that willfully allows another nation to attack and kill its citizens, specially when it has the resources to stop it. The current civil and military leadership of Pakistan needs to be held accountable for allowing Pakistani citizens to be killed, on a nearly daily basis, by its people. I had recorded  a talk show on US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan in April 2009. It discussed the anticipated change in the US policy brought about by the new Obama administration.   Read more

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