Mehboob Qadir

The writer is a retired brigadier of the Pakistan army and can be reached at clay.potter@hotmail.com

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Vikings of Qilla Abdullah

Vikings of Qilla Abdullah

On 23rd June, a traffic sergeant on duty at an intersection in a posh locality in Quetta was run over by a speeding Land Cruiser in broad day light ...

JIT saga — the great farce

JIT saga — the great farce

On June 14, Islamabad was buzzing with foreboding and dark expectations. Ruling party’s town criers were predicting and promising doom. On Ju ...

The judge that never was

The judge that never was

From time to time, Pakistan has been hit by floods,famine,earthquakes,failed monsoons,locust and human-made disasters like war,and sectarian milita ...

Last men standing

Last men standing

  On 12 April 2017, humanity, a man’s right to life and belief and the passage to peaceful disagreement and constructive dissent, ...

Have a heart, please

Have a heart, please

Pakistan is a magnificent country and its people are made of the strongest clay in Almighty’s mud factory. He must have injected infinite ela ...

Marriages at your convenience

Marriages at your convenience

The majestic maulana heading our Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) pulled another plug out from our already patchy family safety net. In his &lsquo ...

Apex court holds fire

Apex court holds fire

On October 28, 2015, a learned bench of the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan passed a judgment regarding NA154 Lodhran. It was a hotly contested elec ...

Roses and the nightingale

Roses and the nightingale

Nightingales have a natural preference for flowers, fragrance and rain washed shrubs and trees. My house and its neighbourhood is on the slopes of ...

Pakistan’s bazaaris — II

Pakistan’s bazaaris — II

In order to better understand these vultures let us see how the bazaaris are viewed historically. Nikki Keddie, in his book Roots of Revolution (on ...

Pakistan’s bazaaris — I

Pakistan’s bazaaris — I

Islam’s unique egalitarianism, remarkable habit of critical — nearly Aristotelian — deductive thinking to solve contemporary prob ...

The unwelcome returnees

The unwelcome returnees

This may initiate some soul searching about one of the little known effects of the 1971 war but for the bone deaf and genetically dumb, those who h ...

The bullfrog

The bullfrog

Tadpoles are interesting aquatic contraptions, born in their larval innocence with a long oar like tail and a body like a fish. They have a small p ...

Poverty

Prosperity is by the grace of God; poverty arrives from elsewhere. The two are incompatible through a different rhesus factor. In our calculus, mor ...

Why did Shehnila perish?

Why did Shehnila perish?

On almost every television channel in the country, there are banner advertisements sponsored by the governments of Punjab and Sindh highlighting th ...

Paying Neptune

Paying Neptune

Those of you familiar with oceanic geography know that the equator is an imaginary line dividing the north and south hemispheres and has fascinated ...

qdr

qdr

The year 1095 AD was a defining one in the Christian world in many ways as it changed the course of history not only in Europe but also in the Midd ...

A few good men

A few good men

Communities, societies and nations come together and grow, fertilised by the largely unspoken benevolence of men of strong and, at times, exception ...

To steel or not to steel

To steel or not to steel

  The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Mr Narendra Modi has won a historic victory in the recent Indian general elections. His ascen ...

All together but not quite

All together but not quite

Armies are peculiar reflections of their national history, culture and mother society. Within each army there are sub-structures that corresp ...

Once upon a time

Once upon a time

We met in Lahore. It was October, the time of year that, in this eternal city, is like March, always balmy and fragrant. I was a strapping young of ...

Tell me God!

Tell me God!

There is so much talk of this, that and other by sages and saints full of wisdom and knowledge, sitting in their seminar rooms and seats of learnin ...

A figure of speech — II

A figure of speech — II

Bubonic plague (black death) and Wahabist fanaticism hit the Indian subcontinent simultaneously by the mid 19th century. The plague claimed million ...

A figure of speech — I

A figure of speech — I

Along with their tanks, screaming jet fighters, Hind helicopters and Vodka, the Soviet invasion brought in a deadly virus into Afghanistan, which i ...

Our noxious nostalgia — II

Our noxious nostalgia — II

Pakistan is predominantly Muslim, but the Muslim rule for a thousand years in the region did little to change or dilute our collective shadiness. T ...

Our noxious nostalgia — I

Our noxious nostalgia — I

Like a delusive people, Muslims in general and we in Pakistan in particular are trapped in the numbing nostalgia of our past Muslim glory. Nostalgi ...

Let me speak, My Lord! — II

My Lord, let me speak. And speak of a case that for more perceptive minds is like an evolving tragedy, in order to give you a flavour of what is ma ...

A kingdom in the clouds

Kingdoms and countries anchor themselves in the history of the territory that they command and create a geographic identity to define their b ...

Let me speak My Lord! — I

Our courts are formal and procedure-ruled premises where a strict protocol is required to be observed. To add more spice, our judges have become qu ...

Khushia — II

Khushia — II

India had decided to walk the talk of Brass Tacks in 1985. We were moved to Shakargarh salient in anticipation of the escalation. The unit wa ...

Khushia — I

Khushia — I

Life could go on uneventfully till a materially superior incident takes place, which tends to jerk one out of drift and a state like that of a tiny ...

Living temples of compassion

Living temples of compassion

Compassion is a function of empathy, sensitivity and commitment. It is all about sharing, blossoming in many ways just as sensitivity has different ...

Rise of Inhumanity

Rise of Inhumanity

A nation’s social landscape at a given time in its history is not necessarily the index of her lasting basis of going about the business of l ...

A matter of  perception — I

A matter of perception — I

An impoverished, nuclear-armed, madrassas-ridden country with an army trying to destabilise the neighbourhood for strategic depth and territorial a ...

The burden of nobility

The burden of nobility

A new breed of genetically engineered, flashy men and women who crave positions of prominence and authority without the ability and desire to shoul ...

Loss of innocence — II

Loss of innocence — II

Reverting to Shahaan’s dilemma, society, family laws, and over-arching Fiqh seem to have given a ham-handed treatment to the subject of this ...

Decent folks

Decent folks

Sindhis generally are a friendly crowd. They are hospitable, mild mannered and cultured. All one needs to do is to be understanding, respectful and ...

Loss of innocence — I

Loss of innocence — I

Shahaan is a lovely child, innocent, roly-poly and contagiously likeable. His big, hazel, crystalline eyes, laced with long lashes, fascinate you w ...

Miskeen

Miskeen

Miskeen is a spoken Saudi equal of ‘poor wretch’ used to denote mainly the Asian labour force, coloured workers and expatriates from Pa ...

Doongar Singh

Doongar Singh

It was mid 1972. We had just arrived in Ranchi from Agra, badly shaken and bruised, after a fateful train journey, during which we lost a fellow of ...

Bahawalpur that was — II

Bahawalpur that was — II

The State came into being soon after Nadir Shah’s conquest of Dera Ghazi Khan in 1739. He bestowed a vast area between Muzaffargarh to Thatta ...

Bahawalpur that was — I

Bahawalpur that was — I

Like the host Cholistan desert, Bahawalpur has a very strong magnetic quality to its dusty brown, rather ascetic presence, and the Spartan but dece ...

Roving clowns of Punjab

Roving clowns of Punjab

Punjab’s alluvial soil is fertile, materially and morally both. Its material riches were a blessing and a bane at the same time. Blessing bec ...

The great hoax — II

The great hoax — II

Lets take stock of the style of ghost governance that is so brazenly being trumpeted about as democratic rule by the elected representatives albeit ...

Pakistan’s millennium curse

Pakistan’s millennium curse

Things in and around Pakistan are becoming particularly menacing at an alarming pace. The gathering clouds look ominous. I do not know what in the ...

The salt of the earth

The salt of the earth

Dera Ismail (DI) Khan is a typically rural town located west of River Indus, on the fringes of development. The British built it as a major garriso ...

Borrowed glory

Borrowed glory

It was 1982-83 when a senior Martial Law officer in Hyderabad overstepped his authority and propriety both. He was reasonably well placed in the hi ...

The savage and the noble

The savage and the noble

The Afghan freedom war was raging furiously in those days. It was 1984. Pakistani posts along the Durand Line would occasionally come under Soviet ...

The king and the fakir

The king and the fakir

In the year 1987, while posted in Rawalpindi, I went to Hathi Chowk to buy some sweets a day before Eid. A gusty wind was blowing, kicking up dust ...

The unprivileged

The unprivileged

During a tenure of duty from 1993 to 1995 in D I Khan, I used to frequently travel by road to Bahawalpur via Muzaffargarh for official business. On ...

Sonaar Baangla — II

Sonaar Baangla — II

Our Brigade Commander, Brigadier ‘Makhmad’ Hayat, was a noble exception like quite a few others and what a battle commander he was. He ...

Sonaar Baangla — I

Sonaar Baangla — I

It was a crisp and pleasantly nippy wintry morning when our plane landed at Dacca Airport on November 18, 1971, after a brief stop over at Sri Lank ...

An officer par excellence

An officer par excellence

A few of us are God-gifted, the rest seek a role model to emulate and succeed in life. General Bahadar Sher enjoyed a considerable reputation in th ...

Wet bars and abdaars

Wet bars and abdaars

It was 1969 and President Ayub Khan had been shown the door at the presidency by his friend General Yahya Khan after popular demonstrations. Air-co ...