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Those who defied the sovereignty of Pakistan

August 4th, 2016|

The first constituent assembly of Pakistan (then including the present-day Bangladesh) was inaugurated on 10 August 1947, and remained in existence till October 1954. The setting up of this assembly had been demanded by the Indian Muslims in the Delhi Resolution of April 1946, as an embodiment of the new state. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah […]

The South Asian Declaration of Independence

July 29th, 2016|

When the founders of the Unites States decided to break away from the British rule, they put down their reasons in a document. This is the US Declaration of Independence, unanimously signed by 56 representatives of ‘the thirteen united states of America’ on July 4, 1776. Likewise, in the Indian subcontinent, some 450 elected leaders […]

The shortest history of Pakistan’s economy

May 25th, 2016|

Three approaches to economic planning have been tested in Pakistan. From 1947 to 1966, government and business were desired to be equal partners. From 1967 to 1986, government tried to lead business. From 1987 to 2006, business was desired to lead government. Arguably, this last approach has turned some politicians into traders, eager to sell […]

‘Introducing Iqbal’ at Warwick and Oxford

November 21st, 2015|

I got an opportunity to deliver a talk at the University of Warwick on November 9, 2015. It was later repeated at St. Edmond’s Hall, Oxford, on November 15. The title was ‘Introducing Iqbal’. Since then I have received a request to upload the transcript. I offer here the gist of my presentation. 

As a scholar […]

The shortest history of the Pakistan Movement

October 29th, 2015|

“How would you describe the ‘vital principles’ of Pakistan?” The British journalist and mystery writer Beverley Nichols asked the Quaid-i-Azam during his famous interview in 1943. “In five words,” the Quaid replied. “The Muslims are a nation.” I like it that the Quaid counted the words. This gives a finality to the statement and I am […]

Parallels in history

September 8th, 2015|

In August 1588, the Spanish Armada invaded England with a fleet of 130 ships. It is generally believed now that its defeat was indecisive in strategic terms but became a great propaganda victory for England. The Latin inscription on the commemorative medal is usually translated as ‘God blew with His wind and they were scattered.’ […]