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