By  Mowahid Hussain Shah

March 24, 2017


The “new” is not necessarily the better. This small fact is often trampled before the juggernaut of the new. The “old” is often berated as obsolete and is considered something worthy to be jettisoned in the name of progress.
In Pakistan, before mobile phones and talk shows swept society, one’s family, friends, and neighbors would visit without advance notice. There was informality. The sheer spontaneity of it all was a source of joy and merriment. Ubiquitous phones ultimately curbed the trend for non-transactional socializing.
“Old” has a pejorative connotation as if it is something stagnant, dated and inferior. At the same time, “new” is touted as a superior discovery, superseding the defunct.
30 years ago, the best and brightest minds of the world’s top beverage corporation came up with the zany idea of dispensing with the old formula of Coca Cola and displacing it with the reformulated version of the New Coke. It was a disaster. Only 77 days later, consumer revolt forced the company to re-launch the old Coke with the nomenclature 'Classic Coke.' In that case, old was gold.
Forgotten in the rush to embrace the new is the fact that the old may have stood the test of time. New and old can coexist without canceling each other.
In the name of progress, downward steps sometimes are undertaken. The advent of cell phones and tweets may have unleashed an instant flux of information and connectivity. But that cannot be confused with insight and perspective. Thoughtful reflection and conversational skills may have fallen by the wayside. Social media does not equal social sense.
Undoubtedly, technology has made human connection easier. However, the capacity to connect has not always instilled bonds of community spirit and civic sense. Dissemination of hate, xenophobia, and obscurantism has multiplied online. Better communication has run parallel with isolation, ignorance, and disinformation. In refreshing contrast, a book by noted Lahore philanthropist/lawyer, DrParvez Hassan, “Stories of Gratitude,” salutes those whose values left an inspirational imprint.
When Pakistan's East Wing seceded in 1971, West Wing beneficiaries of vivisection proudly proclaimed a 'Naya Pakistan.' It was sickening. The jubilation of the minuscule few was in stark contrast to the anguish of the many who were vanquished by grief.
Come 2017, charlatans can be heard chortling about 'naya' (new) Pakistan while being oblivious to its perils. The new may bring sham prosperity but at the cost of tranquility.
Old Pakistan, which was purana Pakistan, was once 1 nation under 1 flag, with comradery and pride in its common destiny. Then, provincial and tribal divisions were not being fanned and inflamed, and ethno-national prejudices were discouraged.
Unity in purpose was a carryover from transcendental values, which had motivated and mobilized the Pakistan Movement. Its peak was the September 1965 War, which witnessed a stirring display of national resolve, self-esteem and fighting spirit.
That dream plummeted in 1971. The new truncated Pakistan and its aftermath was not what the Quaid had envisioned.
The spirit of service and sacrifice had taken a hit. But it is not irretrievable. It is never too late to rejuvenate. Purana Pakistan was Quaid-e-Azam's Pakistan.

Hate, Inc.

By Mowahid Hussain Shah
Hate is the takeaway impression from the first month of the new White House Administration. Hate against the “other”.
Demagoguery through the ages has found it expedient to drum up hate. It’s simple; it’s easy; it’s uncomplicated; it’s safe; and it’s profitable. It is essentially the bully targeting the vulnerable under the assumption and the comfort level that the target cannot or will not make a proportionate response. From the bully point of view, it is safe to hit those who cannot retaliate.
Preachers of hate know the value of stereotyping and scapegoating. They also know how manipulable the general public is, irrespective of where they are and how formally educated they may be. Sometimes, the educated have more tools in their toolbox to weaponize hate through disinformation.
The latest report of the Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Year in Hate and Extremism”, furnishes substantial evidence. US-based hate groups, their numbers already at “near-historic highs”, still “undoubtedly understate the real level of organized hatred in America” due to the proliferation of right-wing extremists operating on the Internet. The report highlights the “dramatic” and “enormous leap” in the number of anti-Muslim hate groups over the past two years. The Center also reported on the right-wing Patriot movement, which has adopted “violent animus toward Muslims” as a key component of its beliefs. According to the New York Times of February 16, the FBI reported a 67 percent increase for 2015 in anti-Muslim hate crimes.
The not-too-distant past has resurfaced. The precedence of FDR incarcerating full-fledged American citizenry lifts the veil on the dark underbelly of US history. On May 9, 1942, President Roosevelt issued an executive order to round up and imprison in camps about 120,000 people – men, women, and children – of Japanese descent, mainly US citizens. Marking the 75th anniversary of the order, the original document has just gone on display in Los Angeles.
According to ABC-TV of February 19, immigrants and families are now fleeing the US on foot to cross the northern border for Canada, with uncertainty fueling fear.
America today is not a fundamentally white Christian society, despite delusional flailing attempts to roll back the past. The pressing momentum of demography prevents that. On February 16, nationwide in the US, many restaurants – including many McDonalds – shut down as a gesture of solidarity against the targeting of immigrants, ironically, in a nation of immigrants. According to ABC News, there are an estimated 30 million immigrant workers in America, paying over $300 billion in taxes each year. Added to this are a huge number of undocumented workers, who hold about one-third of service jobs, like cab drivers, domestic helpers, and hotel workers, according to the Pew Research Center.
Past precedent verifies that flames lit by hatred turn self-consuming. Hate exists everywhere. But when it is institutionalized and legitimized by officialdom, it sets the stage for an accelerated decline. The entrenchment of Hate, Inc. makes shallow the claims of being special and exceptional.
Pontificating about values is easy. Having those tested through the crucible of fire is another matter. Looming ahead is the fight between meanness and fairness.





Election 2004: Decisive but Divisive

Muslim Youth & Kashmir in America

The Big Picture: Wealth without Vision

Oxygen to Global Unrest

Punishing the Punctual

Change without Change

Don’t Be Weak

Passionate Attachment

The Confidence of Youth

The Other Side of Democracy

Campaign of Defamation

Pakistani Women & the Legal Profession

A Pakistani Journey

Farewell to Fazal

Mukhtaran and Beyond

Revamping the OIC

7/7 & After

Nuclear Double-Standard

Return to Racism

Hollywood – The Unofficial Media

The Sole Superpower

The UN at 60

A Slow Motion World War?

Elite vs. Street

Iqbal Today

Macedonia to Multan

Defending our Own

2006 & Maulana Zafar Ali Khan

Error against Terror

The Limits of Power

Cultural Weaknesses

Aggressive at Home, Submissive Abroad

Global Storm

The Farce of Free Expression

The Changing Mood

Condi & India


Looking inward


A Tale of Two Presidents

Close to Home

Flashpoint Kashmir

The Spreading Rage

Confronting Adversity

The Illusion of International Law

Other Side of Extremism

Five Years after 9/11

The Educated Ignorant

The Decline of Humor


Six Years of Insanity

The War Not Being Fought

Munir Niazi

Compliance & Defiance



The Goddess of Wealth

The Meaning of Moderation

The Tora Bora of Fear

Clash of Civility

The Early Race

Challenge & Response

Will & Skill


Movie-Media and Pakistan

Hug with a Thug

Quest for Integrity



Bringing Back the Past

Stuck in Iraq

Islam, Science and the West

Turmoil over Turkey

Leaders versus Leadership

Might Does Not Make Right

Kursi First

Vision & Will

Battle of the Billionaires

Assassination Alley

Extremism and Change

Rosy Expectations

Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Pain

Not Winning

Beyond Baghdad: Five Years after

The Hijab of Democracy

Hate, Fear & Hope

Weapon of Words

Hide N’ Seek

Yanking in the UN

Obama’s Breakthrough

Let Lahore Be Lahore

National Mood & Sports

Flirting with Fire

Trips Abroad

Georgia on the Mind

Duel for the White House

Zia to Zardari

Palestine: Avoiding the Unavoidable 

Not Working 

In the Ring 

Obama’s America

Smiles & Dreams

Quiet Deeds of Good

Crime and Indifference

Journey of Understanding


Terror via Counter-Terrorism

Umpires or Vampires?

The Long Road

Yesterday’s Reminder

Appeasement and the Real Threat

Israel’s Washington Agenda

New Challenges

Cairo and Beyond

Re-fighting Old Battles

America ’s Super Villains

Activism in America

Style without Substance

Overcoming Barriers

Ashes to Afghanistan

The Looming Change

Fear and Possibilities

What Is Not Debated 

Hired Guns

Rampage at Fort Hood

Manmohan in Washington

The Long Duel

Green Nukes

Vision and Division

Avoiding Why

Striving to Matter


Anxiety and Opportunity

Putting Iraq in America

The Right Strategy

Looking Beyond

Rot at the Top

Strategic Folly

Daring & Caring

Over-Stepping on Turkey

Sudan : Perils of Provincialism

Old Fears, New Target

Europe ’s Stain

The US-Pakistan Enigma

The Status Quo Is Unacceptable

9 Years after 9/11

License to Steal

US Muslims at the Crossroads

Tumor of Terror

An Arab Voice

Disastrous Decisions

Double Game

Sticky Wiki

What Quaid Was Not

Money Conspiracy

Pharaohs & Pirates

Greed and Cricket

Change & Challenge  

Forty Years after 1971

Abandoning Our Own

Rewarding Failure

Osama and Obama

Tsunami of Tolerance

Representation and Presentation

Meek and Weak

Change or the Same?

No Easy Exit

Nation to Non-Nation

10 Years after 9/11

Shining India?

Big Power, Small Politics

Rule of the Gun

Proxy of the Powerful

Fight for Fairness

Republican Race

Actors or Directors

Speaking out

Professional Sycophants

More Provinces?

Too Much Information

Soft Separation

Soft Poison

Unemployment & Over-Population

Seize the Day

The Arab Awakening

Ben Bella

At University of Gujrat

Good People Behaving Badly

Playing Over-Smart

Do Less

Resisting the Resistible

Performance, Not PR

Home-grown Havoc

Salutation to the 65 th Year

Plague of Provincialism

USA Elections 2012


Fight or Flight

Rift and Drift

Obama II

Me and We

Small Role or Small Actors?

On Losing

Who Will Guard the Guards?

Loyal to Their Loot

Prevail or Fail

Perceptions and Reality

Toll of Occupation

Re-think, Re-examine, and Self-correct 

The Washington Tribe

Voice and Vision

Moral Slump

Wall of Illusion

Under One Banner

Bitter Harvest

Gallows and the Throne

Scent of Power

At a Standstill

Leaders and Leadership

The Deadline

Fighting Darkness

Distant Connections

Governance: The Long View

Discussion in DC

Darkness in the Mind

Killing Kennedy and Liaquat Ali

Yahya Khan Speaks on 1971

Quaid & Xmas in Washington

150 Years of FC College

Tyranny of Money

50 Years of Ali

A Dose of Truth

Little Guy, Big Impact

A Reassessment in Washington

Crimea & Kashmir

Democracy or Oligarchy?

Afghan Elites: Blaming Pakistan

Pitfalls of Intervention

Arabs in America

Never Give up

German Journey

Tyranny of Today

Manipulating Language

March & Match


Out of Darkness

Modi in America

Awareness or Fairness?

Mideast Maze

Easy Scapegoats

Freedom to Insult

Journey of Recovery

Mental Colonialism

Letters from a Grandfather

Power Imbalance

Discord and Division

Colloquium at Capitol Hill

Washington Lauds Gharib Nawaz

Balkan Lessons

Pivot from the Mideast

American Campus & Mideast Turmoil

Muslim Father; Two Americans

Challenging Fear

Victim Mentality

X & Ali

Fake Democracy?

Irresponsible Passivity

Erosion of Ethics

Dragon of Hate

Extreme in the Mainstream

Ugly Times

Pakistani Summer in England

Speaking Haq

At the Oval

Britain Beware

East in West

Trump Turmoil

Tiny Nation, Towering Figure

Realities: 2016

End of an Innings


Embarrassment to America

Dishonest Media



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.