The Political Economy of Intolerance in Pakistan

Intolerance in society – an individual with an intolerant mindset, or a community with values of intolerance and hatred – is the prime incubator for extremism, which manifests itself in the form of violent militancy and terrorism. Counter-terror policies are completely inadequate if they do not include the necessary social, political, educational and legal reforms that address the root causes of intolerance that are unique to every country and circumstance.


News of intolerance against minorities in Pakistan has become a weekly if not daily occurrence: the youth and the political elite have become desensitized to it; the voices of civil society are either silenced or are not heard; and the minorities themselves are wary of living in peace and practicing their religion and customs freely. Any action they undertake to safeguard or promote their interests, or to live a successful life and enjoy opportunities to succeed and improve their living standards, can make them the target of the extremists and intolerant Muslims in their midst – whom they live amongst, and who are regularly indoctrinated with lessons in hatred, exclusivism and delusions of grandeur by the religious elite and clerics: a separate class which have their own vested interests in perpetuating their power within society by keeping and maintaining a band of followers (murid’s) who promote the agenda of the cleric, and who protect the cleric’s interests knowingly or unwittingly.

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BJP starts showing anti-Pakistan agenda, blocks website for Pakistan

The official website of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been blocked in Pakistan by Indian authorities, according to a party spokesman.

Internet users from Pakistan were barred from accessing the BJP website on Tuesday. However, the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s portal was still reachable, the website’s administrators confirmed. Continue reading BJP starts showing anti-Pakistan agenda, blocks website for Pakistan

South Korea ferry disaster company owner had criminal record

A man bows at a memorial in Ansan, South Korea, for the presumed victims of the Sewol ferry disasterSouth Korean prosecutors investigating the fatal sinking of the Sewol ferry have raided the home of Yoo Byung-un, the head of a family behind the vessel’s parent company, as the undersea search for victims entered its second week.

The Yonhap news agency reported that Yoo’s home and a church in which he is believed to have an interest were raided on Wednesday. Continue reading South Korea ferry disaster company owner had criminal record

Indian Election 2014: What matters to common man

Janta Maaf Nahi Karegi joke

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Sisterhood & After: A history of Feminism

Tonight the East London Fawcett Society is holding a debate on the legacy of feminist campaigners from the Second Wave, 50 Years of Feminism. This event, chaired by the Southbank’s Jude Kelly, has been inspired by and is being held in partnership with The British Library’s new feminist oral history project, Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Panelists include Melissa Benn, Beatrix Campbell, Laura Bates and Lesley Abdela.

To coincide with this event, The British Library has selected three of the more than 150 recordings to share with Feminist Times readers. These recordings and their transcripts, as well as the rest of the archive, are available online on the British Library’s ‘Sisterhood & After’ website. Listen to them below.

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ISI faces Indian slander over baseless allegations

The Indian media, while taking advantage of Jang Group’s slur campaign in the aftermath of Saturday’s gun attack on anchor Hamid Mir, has launched a frontal attack on Pakistan’s security establishment, particularly its premier intelligence agency, say political observers.

Soon after the attack, Geo TV pointed an accusatory finger at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its chief Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam. According to observers, the baseless allegations provided a godsend opportunity to the Indian media to direct their guns at the ISI. Instead of expressing solidarity with Mir, the Indian media highlighted the alleged involvement of the ISI in the attack. Continue reading ISI faces Indian slander over baseless allegations

Polio endemic predicted in the absence of polio drops

The inability to vaccinate children in some parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and other sensitive places in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) will make Pakistan the last country in the world to eradicate polio, concluded a senior official from the K-P health department.

“If the virus from Fata and Afghanistan is not controlled immediately, all efforts and resources dedicated to the eradication of polio in other areas will remain futile,” said an official closely involved with polio eradication campaigns in the region while requesting not to be named.

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Pakistan Army’s female Generals

Major General Shahida Malik, and Major General Shahida Badshah, the first two star female generals of Pakistan armed forces, the only ones in the Muslim world.

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Shooting in the dark

What do you do if you think you are being threatened? You have to be clear on the exact nature of the threat and how it has been delivered. Did you get a call? Was it given in a one on one meeting? Were there witnesses? Have you received something in writing or via email? Was it through a third person and if so how reliable is that person? These are vitally important questions to establish the credibility of the threat.

The threatened person has to make sure that he does not become a subject of ridicule by being labeled paranoid or a seeker of publicity to enhance his or her importance. After all if the alleged threat is to a media personality and is being attributed to a government agency then one has to consider if that agency can be so moronic and blatant knowing that it will be exposed.

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India’s rising star urges eviction of Muslim community

It is getting increasingly harder for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to convince sceptical voters that it poses no threat to Muslims, after Pravin Togadia, president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a sister organisation, was caught on camera talking about how to prevent Muslims from buying property in Hindu-dominated areas.

“Muslims have been buying Hindu properties at throwaway prices. How do you stop this?” As a solution, he offers, “You put pressure on the government to enforce the Disturbed Areas Act the way we have in cities like Ahmedabad.” Continue reading India’s rising star urges eviction of Muslim community