Hamid Mir and Pakistan’s ideological security establishment

Below, text of my interview with Viewpoint Online about the Hamid Mir saga, that began with the murderous attack on one of Pakistan’s top journalists and television talk show hosts, who has angered Pakistan’s ideological security establishment with his stands on 1971, regional peace (including with India), and most recently, Balochistan. Besides speaking openly about the distorted history we are taught about this issue in Pakistan, he even walked in support with the Baloch Long March activists. Also read these excellent analyses: Sahar Habib Ghazi on Pakistani spies, Mir, and the missing people of Balochistan, and Jugnu Mohsin –  Rumi and Mir. The character assassination on Hamid Mir now reminds me of the campaigns that followed the attack on Raza Rumi that killed his driver, and even before that, against Malala Yusufzai when she was shot. And this measured speech by Shaheen Qureshi at a recent SAFMA meeting (video, Urdu). Continue reading

The Orangi Pilot Project and Legacy of Architect Perween Rehman @ MIT

Arif Hasan: Architect with ethics

Arif Hasan and Perween Rehman: Architects with ethics

Parveen Rehman, photo by Steve Inskeep, NPR

Perween Rehman, photo by Steve Inskeep, NPR

 An abbreviated version of my article on the symposium held at MIT to commemorate Perween Rehman and her legacy was published in The News on Sunday last weekend, titled Commitment personified. Below, the full text with additional links and photos:  

Speakers at a symposium in the Boston area last week, on “The Orangi Pilot Project and Legacy of Architect Perween Rehmanpaid tribute to the late architect and OPP director, as “a woman, architect and social activist”. They also discussed parallels between the issues faced by the urban poor in and elsewhere. Hosted by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the symposium featured prominent academics from India, Pakistan and the United States. The event, spearheaded by graduate students Fizzah Sajjad and Hala B. Malik from Lahore, had been in the planning soon after the murder of Perween Rehman in Karachi on March 13, 2013. Continue reading

What Mastung blast survivors need now

Ridha and Ibtihaj

Ridha and Ibtihaj: He bravely faces his staggering loss.

My article for The News on Sunday, shared here with additional links, pix, and tweets:

By Beena Sarwar

Death, destruction, disaster are newsworthy for the mainstream media. What happens to the survivors and how they cope in the long-term are not.

Those who orchestrate bomb blasts thrive on media attention. Those affected by their dastardly acts are left to carry on as best as they can, often with inspiring courage and resilience. Continue reading

The Southasian penumbra

IMG_5208

Kanak Dixit: thought-provoking

My PERSONAL POLITICAL column in The News and in Hard News, India, last week

Beena Sarwar

I was curious when my old friend, the Nepali journalist Kank Mani Dixit proposed the topic “To be Desi or Southasian” as the topic of a talk that another journalist friend, Aseem Chahbra from India, was setting up for him in New York.

Continue reading

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