Posted on January 15, 2017 by beenasarwar
Lahore protest. Photo: Khalid Mahmood
January 15, 2017 marks just over two weeks since the professor, poet and activist Salman Haider was abducted from Islamabad, followed soon after by more such “disappearances”. Human rights activists around the world are demanding that Pakistan produce the missing bloggers and end the climate of fear being created. Disappearing activists is not a new tactic, as Pervez Hoodbhoy reminds us – been happening with alarming regularity in Balochistan. But these abductions happened in Punjab. Meanwhile, the propaganda machinery of the dirty tricks brigade (#DTBPk) is out in full force painting as ‘blasphemers’ and ‘traitors’ the missing bloggers and those supporting them – which in the context of Pakistan is a clear incitement to violence and vigilante action. Below: photographs from some of the protests – Peshawar, Toba Tek Singh, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Dallas TX and London, England. Continue reading
Filed under: Human rights, Violence in the name of religion | Tagged: #DTBPk, Activism, Dallas TX, dirty tricks brigade, karachi, Lahore, London, missing bloggers, Pakistan, peshawar, toba tek singh | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 3, 2017 by beenasarwar
My article in The News on Sunday, Jan 1, 2017, on two film festivals in New York recently showcasing work from Pakistan and India. I wanted to write more about some of them but didn’t have space. Below, with additional links and pix.
Mah-e-Mir director Anjum Shehzad and producers Badar Ikram, Khurram Rana with Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi. Photo: Beena Sarwar
Desi audiences thronged to two recent film festivals in New York showcasing films from Pakistan and India
Many of the films in what is being heralded as a revival of Pakistan cinema feature the sprawling megapolis of Karachi. The multifaceted city’s historic sandstone buildings, sandy beach, traditional tiles, boundless energy emerge in these films… dreamily romantic under a perpetual full moon (Mah-e-Mir), wildly eclectic (Mailay), effervescent, multi-cultural (Actor In Law), violently revengeful (Gardaab), creative, musical (Ho Mann Jahan), a playground for street dancing (Dance Kahani), a tangle of underworld sewers and space-age factories (Teen Bahadur, animation). Continue reading
Filed under: Art and activism, Culture | Tagged: Asim Raza, Dobara Phir Se, Economic liberalisation, Fahad Mustafa, Hindutva, Ho Mann Jahaan, Mailay, Mantra, Mateela, Mehreen Jabbar, Mehwish Hayat, Nabeel Qureshi, Om Puri, Pakistan UN mission, South Asian films, Teen Bahadur | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 28, 2016 by beenasarwar
Notes from the Nieman Pulitzer 100 event in Cambridge MA, “POWER: Accountability and Abuse,” presented by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University
Sep. 9, 2016
Cambridge, MA: The thousand-seater Sanders Theatre filled up fast in anticipation of the Wynton Marsalis concert that was kicking off the Nieman Pulitzer 100 event, a few days before my first journalism class at Princeton University. No photography or videos of the performance were allowed but I figured the rule didn’t apply before they started playing so I sneaked a quick photo. Continue reading
Filed under: Music, Resistance | Tagged: Blood on the Fields, journalism, Looking back to look forward, music and politics, Nahid Siddiqui, nieman, Princeton, Wynton Marsalis | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 8, 2016 by beenasarwar
Sharing a piece I wrote with Dr. Partha Banerjee about our friend Haider “jigar”Rizvi, published by PRI on October 28, 2016, a year after he died in Lahore. Reproduced here with photos that we weren’t able to get to PRI in time.
Haider Rizvi celebrating life and love at Ghizar District, Gilgit, 2015. Photo by Qamar Abbas.
Last year around this time, we were saddened by the death of our poet and journalist friend Haider Rizvi in Lahore, Pakistan, on Oct 29, 2015. Haider had lived in New York, and was for many years a correspondent for the Inter Press Service (IPS), based at the United Nations.
With Haider’s untimely passing, we lost someone who loved to make friends irrespective of religion, color or caste — someone who believed firmly in peace.
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: Haider Rizvi, India, jigar, Kashmir, Pakistan, Peace, shared heritage | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 1, 2016 by beenasarwar
Activists support peace defenders in Pakistan, denounce false allegations
LONDON, Oct. 30: Some two dozen activists from Pakistan working in the fields of media, peace, culture, development and politics, USA, Canada and U.K. met in central London to discuss India-Pakistan relations and reaffirm the need for peace between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours. They reiterated the vision of Pakistan’s founder Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah that relations between the two countries should be like those of Canada and the United States.
Group photo of some of the peace activists after the meeting in London.
Filed under: Pakistan-India | Tagged: India, Pakistan, Peace, peacemongers, south asia | 3 Comments »
Posted on October 31, 2016 by beenasarwar
London Declaration for Pluralism and Democracy in Pakistan
October 29, 2016
Several prominent liberal, progressive and nationalist intellectuals, human rights and social media activists, and public figures from Pakistan gathered in London for a conference on ‘The Future of Pakistan’ organized under the banner of South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH), co-hosted by US-based columnist Dr Mohammad Taqi and former Pakistan ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani.
Filed under: Human rights, Progressive politics | Tagged: Balochistan, fata, Human rights, London Declaration, Pakistan, rule of law | 6 Comments »