Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shekhar Gupta on the Pakistani National Security State

This is a must-read for anyone even remotely interested in Pakistan: We respect all, we suspect all, until proven ok.

It is remarkable how much free speech and criticism even this security establishment allows the mostly western-educated intellectual class. But with one unwritten condition: it must remain confined to English, which is a marginalised discourse here. Follow some of Pakistan's finest, most courageous minds—many of them young women—in the new media. They have enormously more spunk than us in India. But all in English. Urdu is a different matter altogether. English publications' circulation is minuscule compared to Urdu and there isn't even one news channel in English, though they have in Mubashir Luqman someone who can by himself outshout all our English prime-time warriors, including the champion of champions. My friends tell me the story of Raza Rumi, a fine, brave liberal commentator and patriot. He was ignored as long as he confined himself to English. Then one day he succumbed to the temptation of TV, obviously in Urdu, and continued speaking the same honest truth. His car was attacked, his driver died and he escaped with a bullet and is now exiled in Washington. Do Google his writings.

PS: Raza Rumi's writings can be found here.