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Legends of our fall

8 min 5 dys

0 8 min 5 dys

Slow cancellation of the future

At the outset, you will have to forgive this writer for a few underlying assumptions. The first assumption is that you are equally shocked by the developments of the previous decade. The second that, like me, you too cannot account for the broader contexts of […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

The problem of incompetence

As the media struggled to cover the ongoing economic crisis, an interview with the MCB chairman Mian Mohammad Mansha stuck out like a sore thumb. Although he offered views on many policy issues, the observation that fascinated me the most was this: Pakistan’s biggest problem […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Article 15 — fend for yourself!

In their wholly remarkable book The narrow corridor, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson bring up a Congolese joke. It is said that since its independence from Belgium Congo has had six constitutions. But they all have one thing in common — Article 15. And it reads […]

Farrukh writes

Slow cancellation of the future

0 8 min 5 dys

At the outset, you will have to forgive this writer for a few underlying assumptions. The first assumption is that you are equally shocked by the developments of the previous decade. The second that, like me, you too cannot account for the broader contexts of […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

The problem of incompetence

As the media struggled to cover the ongoing economic crisis, an interview with the MCB chairman Mian Mohammad Mansha stuck out like a sore thumb. Although he offered views on many policy issues, the observation that fascinated me the most was this: Pakistan’s biggest problem […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Article 15 — fend for yourself!

In their wholly remarkable book The narrow corridor, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson bring up a Congolese joke. It is said that since its independence from Belgium Congo has had six constitutions. But they all have one thing in common — Article 15. And it reads […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Mystical art of not dying of shame

It is a useful art. Contrition, guilt, loss, grief, and shame are all silent killers. This art is important right now because smoke is billowing from our federal capital. I believe it was Mohsin Naqvi who in one of his verses told us about a […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Legends of our fall

What do you do with a government that wouldn’t take yes for an answer? Its governing partners gave it carte blanche to effect the much-needed if painful reforms by removing unaffordable fuel subsidies. But for the better part of its tenure, it seems to be […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

The election announcement cliffhanger

The first commodity you will need in abundance if asked to put together a fantasy league of Pakistani politicians is imagination. While the new federal cabinet seems to have come into existence as a result of similar experiments with imagination there are limiting factors. For […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Stop whining and innovate

We live in a fascinating age. Technology is quietly re-sketching the contours of our lives. And yet we only quibble about the old things. Only a little over a month ago a team of scientists unveiled the most complete human genome of all time, filling […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Celebrities, politics and outrage

The quarter of a century spent writing opinion pieces has taught me a few things in life. The first one is frustrating. The herd instinct. As opinion writers most of us obsess about more or less the same things. As we do so, many important […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 5 dys

What profits a man?

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world andforfeits his soul?” — Mark 8:36 Two weeks ago I wrote about the American political sitcom Veep and what a perfect metaphor it is for our times. Before that, I have repeatedly told you […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 5 dys

Whodunnit

Attention all readers. This is not an obituary of the last government, the party that went out of power, or for that matter of the politics of its leader and former premier Imran Khan. Nor does this piece seek to thumb the nose at any […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

Explaining gravity to a chicken

“Amy: I have bitten my tongue so long, it looks like a dog’s cushion. But no more! You have made it impossible to do this job. You have two settings – no decision and bad decision. I wouldn’t let you run a bath without having […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

Bipolar disorders

As the current political crisis unfolded and one by one the government’s erstwhile allied parties and dissident members chose their path, an anchor on a private channel asked an undecided member of the parliament whether he had made up his mind. The answer came in […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

The writing off the wall

The writing on the wall is overrated. Do you want more of the same? Endless whining or victory laps? Oh-I-told-you-so, at any rate? More of the shame? Egos driving the political agenda or the policy debates? The endless discussion regarding the glass being half empty […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 3 mths

Pointless!

My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation! Where a tradition has been invented – that none shall walk with his head held high If at all one takes a walk, a pilgrimage One must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in pretense and […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

Whither proactive foreign policy

Growing up in Pakistan with a hunger for books I found one Pakistani title rather alluring. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s The Myth of Independence has the kind of ring to it that instinctively gets what generations of Pakistani policy pundits have been failing to underscore so succinctly. But […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

The Red Queen is laughing

What’s the point? The more you want to fix it the more it all crumbles. You can wake up someone who is sleeping. You cannot rouse someone who is pretending to sleep. You can protect someone who faces an imminent threat of death. How can […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 3 mths

Pious greed

We have read much about the confluence of religion and politics, militancy and politics, and why even military and militancy. But one topic flying under the radar and hovering almost beyond the edge of sight is the collusion between the business class and religion. This […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 3 mths

Why we can’t have nice things

Any noble intention can be twisted, perverted, and weaponised to produce the most troublesome results. Do you need examples? Consider the opposition to the invasion of Iraq. This opposition produced a mass movement across the western world and led to highly publicised million marches. Sadly, […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 3 mths

Is a world war coming?

As the post-election crisis simmered in the US, a nameless, faceless French programmer (identity withheld by the authorities) decided that the decline of the Western civilisation was inevitable and with his health deteriorating so before ending his life he would send his bitcoin savings to […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

Alert: Fourth Reich imminent!

Is Russia about to walk into a trap in Ukraine? What are the forces that may want it to invade? Should Russia’s insistence on protecting its sphere of influence be compared to Hitler’s claims on Europe or America’s Monroe Doctrine? And what the consequences of […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 3 mths

Tangled web of good and evil

What makes someone or something great? A work is great if it takes the civilisation a step forward (genuine, innovative work) or if it is a bestseller? If originality, innovation, and progress were the standards for greatness then Socrates wouldn’t have to drink poison hemlock, […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 3 mths

Milking guns

The butter versus gun debate has become a perennial part of our national discourse. It was bound to be. The country has faced external existential threats since its inception. No matter what spin India tries to put on its machinations the truth remains that its […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 3 mths

Pig’s breakfast

27 December 2021: The People’s Party is organising the anniversary of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh in Sindh. In the past fourteen years, the event has become an established occasion of the show of force by her party and her next of kin. […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

So it goes

Happy new year, dear readers. Or whatever helps you sleep at night. If I were to look for a phrase to encapsulate my thoughts about this year changing business, I would have to borrow another phrase from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five apart from the title of this piece […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 6 mths

Choose your own dystopia

A piece that appears on the 25th of December and addresses neither the birth of Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam or the great leader to us) nor Christmas seems to be a waste of space. But here is the thing. It’s been 145 years since the […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 6 mths

Should they hang?

In the American cult classic TV series Arrested Development one major character is Maeby Fünke. While the complexity of the role played by Alia Shawkat goes beyond the scope of this article, suffice it to say she is this very resourceful child of a dysfunctional marriage in […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

General crash

India’s first Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat perished in a helicopter crash along with 12 others a few days ago. I have already publicly offered my condolences. His sudden departure has given birth to a host of questions, some about the future of his […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

Bad habits continue

Two menaces keep devouring Pakistan. The egotism of the elite and polarisation of the masses. Egotism because it is the epitome of classism which invariably brings you back to the precipice. In its very essence, it is the most egregiously dogmatic and exaggerated view of […]

Farrukh writes
0 8 min 6 mths

Muslims under pressure

Muslims can preempt this by doubling down on assimilation Reminder: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on December 7, 2015: Remember the poll numbers. So, listen. Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s […]

Farrukh writes
0 9 min 7 mths

Who created TLP?

It is the 20th of November. If you look out the window you may notice that heavens have not fallen nor hell frozen over. Today marks Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s 37th death anniversary. While he is gone his work, name, and legacy live on. But pundits seldom have […]

Farrukh writes