NI 445 - Pakistan - daring to hope - September, 2011

NI 445 - September, 2011

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Pakistan - daring to hope

A note from the editor

Ziauddin Sardar

A brighter future for Pakistan?

While in Pakistan earlier this year, I visited an art exhibition at the Indus School of Art and Architecture in Karachi. It was called ‘And Nothing But the Truth’. It was so well attended that I could hardly get in the gallery; and once inside, it was difficult not to marvel at the quality of art on display. The exhibition explored rumours, risks, negotiation and political complacency. It illustrated not just what Pakistanis are thinking but also what they cannot put into words.

There is a great deal of despair and despondency in Pakistan. But there is also hope. It is provided by all the young people I met at the exhibition and on buses and restaurants in the country. For them Pakistan is not a failed state, but a young country – both in terms of demography and chronology – struggling to shape a viable future. It is a country where art and culture are flourishing. Civil society is alive and fighting. The highly independent media is fearless in the face of fatal danger. We should not underestimate the buoyancy of its people.

We’re also delighted this month to feature an interview with Arundhati Roy, who talks cogently about the state of democracy in her country (India) and elsewhere. And regular columnist Mark Engler reflects on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and argues that the ‘war on terror’ should never have happened.

Ziauddin Sardar for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Big bully: a police officer kicks a boy to force him back in line at a food distribution point for people feeling a military offensive in South Waziristan.

Big bully: a police officer kicks a boy to force him back in line at a food distribution point for people feeling a military offensive in South Waziristan.

Pakistan on the edge of hope

Despite its turbulent past, Ziauddin Sardar finds reasons for optimism in Pakistan's future.

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Visitors to Kohsar Market are greeted by a gushing fountain. Next to it, chirpy parrots, encased in a large wire cage, put on a colourful display. The muezzin calls the faithful to prayer from a small, charming mosque. The market is a favourite haunt for Islamabad’s wealthy residents and Western expatriates. This is where the élite gather to sip their cappuccinos, get their hair cut at Al-Saleem Hair Experience Saloon and buy their copies of the Wall Street Journal.

On 3 January...




Features.

The 2010 floods devastated parts of Northwest Frontier.

After the floods... A North Frontier village makes a comeback

Merryl Wyn Davies visits a remote village in Northwest Frontier to find out how it is recovering from last year’s devastating floods.

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Pakistan - the facts

An infographic covering population, religion, quality of life and more.

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A guiding light: a Labour Party supporter remembers political workers killed in the 2007 Karachi riots. The Pakistani Left has since regrouped and hopes to lead the way in the country's future.

The Pakistani Left is re-grouping

The Pakistani Left has a history to be proud of and is regrouping to fight in new battles, as Qualandar Bux Memon and Ali Mohsni report.

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Blog.

‘Complete knowledge for long life’ – Ayurveda leads the way

‘Complete knowledge for long life’ – Ayurveda leads the way

A visit to an ayurvedic doctor convinces Mari Marcel Thekaekara that we need to balance the way we live.

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Read more blogs...

Opinion.

Should foreign investment replace aid for Africa?

Donu Kogbara and Dereje Alemayehu go head to head - join the debate in this month's Argument.

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Agenda.

I am the first to divorce for Guatemala

I am the first to divorce for Guatemala

Guatemalans go to the polls on 11 September - but despite an embarrassment of candidates, many fear it's a case of simply hoping that the least bad option wins.

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Tajik women rally after divorce-by-text

Tajik women rally after divorce-by-text

Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan is experiencing a strange new disintegration of its own. Angela Robson reports.

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Regulars.

Armenia

Facts, figures and ratings in our latest country profile.

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Kim Longinotto

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto on her latest film, Pink Saris.

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Letter from Cairo: the struggle for a free press

Letter from Cairo: the struggle for a free press

The independent press has gained strength from the revolution, writes Maria Golia.

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Interview with Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy speaks out: on the moral police of India's anti-corruption campaign, on the silence surrounding civil wars, and on despotism and democracy.

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