At a time when the print media is facing a sharp decline, launching a top-notch magazine was the need of the hour. The quality of Narratives’ content, as well as its printing, are exceptional. One comes across a lot of diversity in the content of the magazine. Readers would happily welcome and appreciate this effort. Good luck to the editorial team.
Filling the Gap
Congratulations upon bringing out a much-needed English language political magazine. Following the closure of Altaf Gauhar’s prestigious magazine, South, there was a big vacuum. But after seeing Narratives, I feel that the vacuum has been filled. Its editorial team has a vast experience in journalism; I am sure that the intelligentsia will like this magazine, and people like me will learn a lot from it. I wish the Narratives team good luck.
Flying abroad on medical grounds to dodge court cases has now become a common practice among Pakistani politicians. A year ago, following the law suit against him, PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif flew to London with an undertaking to return within four weeks. His brother Shehbaz Sharif signed an agreement to ensure his return. As expected, Nawaz Sharif did not return, and neither does he plan to do so in the near future. London has become his safe haven to hurl diatribes against the respected institutions of Pakistan. In fact, Sharif is trying his best to seek political asylum in the UK. These facts were aptly highlighted by Ather Kazmi in his article ‘The Other Home Country?’
We must remind the entire PML-N brigade of their false promises about Sharif’s return to Pakistan. The nation cannot be fooled anymore by their hollow political rhetoric of ‘free and fair trial.’ They must come back to the country without putting any pre-conditions. It is time the Pakistan government accelerate its efforts to seek Sharif’s extradition from the UK.
Sufism is a concept that has always remained under the spotlight with researchers of Islamic doctrines. Sufism is a spiritual dimension of Islam that covers all the fundamentals of society. One of these fundamentals covered in the article, ‘The Quest for Truth,’ is humanity. The concept of humanity and love is the essence of all the literature that has been written on Sufism. As highlighted by Maryam Iraj in her book review, Bulleh Shah was second to none in his advocacy of humanity.
In my opinion, ego is one of the many factors that stop a person from practicing humanity. As stated in Sufism, the concept of ego will remain incomplete, if it’s not discussed with respect to self-discovery. All the teachings of the Sufi preachers lead to God through the journey of self-discovery.
Sufism has many dimensions that can help us understand humanity. It can guide a person to fathom the spiritual dimension of Islam. The key here is to understand Sufism from authentic literature and learned preachers instead of imbibing knowledge from dubious sources.
Democratic or Dynastic?
The slogan of working towards restoring democracy in its true essence, by parties associated with the PDM, should compel one to ask the sloganeers a few questions. How can they claim to strive for the ‘restoration’ of democracy when their own parties’ internal structures have no democratic values to speak of? Was it a divine command that the new breed of dynastic politicians should take over the parties’ reins once their parents had had their turns? If they wish to restore true democracy, they should perhaps begin by making their own parties democratic.
Moreover, their taking turns at ruling the country, in succession, doesn’t help their narrative either. How can they claim to work for the restoration of democracy when they failed to carry out a population census and hold local bodies’ elections until the Supreme Court intervened and forced them to do so? It makes their claims of struggling for democracy questionable. A truly democratic Pakistan would make it possible for men and women from any social strata to takeover the leadership of parties such as the PPP or PML-N. Will the new breed of dynastic leaders, spearheading the PDM movement be willing to make that happen?
Corona Takes All
While present-day analysts predict what the post-Covid world will look like, many future historians will definitely view this year as a turning point in the history of the 21st century. The pandemic seems to have catapulted China to a position that was previously held by the US — that of saviour of the world. While China emerges stronger in the post-Covid world, the US population seems to be more divided than ever, thanks to Trump’s isolationist policy of “America First.”
The virus that originated in China seems to have devoured other nations, especially its rival — the US — but given the outcome of the current American presidential election, it remains to be seen if the US will be able to regain its status in the world.
In Pakistan, the PTI government struggles to stay in control, while the opposition holds rally after rally to garner support to remove the incumbent prime minister. On the other side of the border, farmers are giving the fascist Modi government a tough time. It appears that the corona virus has taken its toll on all and sundry.
Wise and Viable
Like other Muslim-majority countries, Bangladesh also experienced protests against the French President. Any statement or projection that demeans Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or Islam, provokes Muslims. The recent protests across the Muslim countries were the outburst of such feelings.
As a citizen of a democratic nation, I support freedom of speech, but it shouldn’t be practiced at the expense of any religion, class, ethnicity, culture or individual. We must promote mutual respect and understanding. On the other hand, I find it hard to digest the demands made by some religious groups, of breaking diplomatic ties and boycotting the French market.
France is one of the largest buyers of ready-made Bangladeshi garments. As a booming economy, it would be unwise of them to snap ties with France. Fortunately, the Bangladeshi government subscribes to this view. So, while we must take necessary action to record our protest against France, our approach should be wise and viable. It should not hurt our own people and our own economy.
The year 2020 will always remain memorable in history as it witnessed many unprecedented events that shook the entire world. The COVID-19 pandemic created a global health and economic crisis and had its ramifications for the Trump administration as well. The US voters decided to oust President Donald Trump by electing Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. The election result has shown that most Americans have firmly rejected the Trump administration, foreign as well as domestic policies.
To date, Trump has refused to concede defeat and falsely claimed, without evidence, that he has won the elections “by a lot of votes,” and that the results have been tampered with. His social media team worked hard to spread numerous conspiracies to substantiate their allegations of electoral fraud. His legal team filed several lawsuits in swing states, most of which were thrown out. The rejection of President Trump’s lawsuits has compelled his administration to concede defeat and commence the transition process. It would be interesting to observe at the Presidential inauguration on January 20, 2021, when Biden replaces him as President of the U.S.
‘Lift the moratorium’ is a rationale-driven read arguing for the saner option among the many suggested by our policymakers, the majority of whom are advocating for populist choices.
It is the need of the hour that instead of trying to gain political mileage by proposing impractical solutions, our state apparatus should work on implementing, refining and reforming the laws which are in place to curb crime.
This article attends to the same workable solution through which a criminal justice system can operate efficiently.
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