Tag Archives: Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

A tale of two passports, the year 1979, and walking to India: Fawzia Naqvi

Guest Post by Fawzia Naqvi

For the first time Pakistan’s elected President has completed his full five-year term and has willingly stepped down to transfer power to another elected President, a herculean achievement for a country with chronic dictatoritus.  The people of Pakistan must be congratulated for ensuring that democracy becomes an enduring grace and not just a good idea in some unforeseeable future.  So while there is earsplitting cacophony of debate and disagreement on virtually all issues, there is near unanimous political consensus that the army should remain in the barracks and that there should be peace with India. The time is now. And Pakistanis have accomplished this in an era when Pakistan is suffering its worst hellish nightmare of daily bombings and killings by terrorists, and a loss of over 40,000 of its own citizens in the last decade or so.  Pakistan teeters on the precipice of a very dark abyss, and has been inching ever closer to this dangerous edge for the last 34 years if not more. The first disturbing sign which I can remember was when the state institutionalized bigotry by officially declaring the Ahmadi community non-Muslim in 1974, opening up a hornets nest of discrimination, violence and unequal citizenship.  A tragic disaster, and fatal capitulation to right wing elements, by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. No one is really safe in today’s Pakistan but clearly those less safe, those hunted and killed are the Shias, the Christians, the Ahmadis and the Hindus. Those doing the killings have given insidiousness to the meaning of “the land of the pure.”

Continue reading A tale of two passports, the year 1979, and walking to India: Fawzia Naqvi

The Year of the Coup D’état: Fawzia Naqvi

Guest post by FAWZIA NAQVI

Imran Khan was not the first one to be obsessed with both cricket and politics. Saira and I beat him to it 20 years ago. We spent 50% of our time swooning over him and the other 50% worshipping Mr. Bhutto. 20 years later I believe it was I who got over Imran Khan and Saira who got over Mr. Bhutto. Although I must confess, it was Imran who adorned every inch of wall and closet space in my dressing room, the “shrine” as my brother labelled it. And it was Imran’s picture which popped out of the inside cover of my high school notebook. During moments of boredom and droning lectures I would stare at his picture for an hour straight and muse and sigh over the fact that one could see his house from the balcony of our school and perhaps today might be the day when he would come to pick up his sister from our school. The God, the Adonis, Imran was it for both of us.

I don’t know how Saira became an Imran groupie. I do recall well how I did. I was taken to my first ever live cricket match in 1976. My brother’s best friend pointed toward the field from high up in the spectator stands to what looked to me like white dots, and told me with much seriousness in his voice, “there over there is the most handsome man you’ll ever see…” and then he made his most remarkable claim, “he’s so handsome you’ll forget about Izzy!” Continue reading The Year of the Coup D’état: Fawzia Naqvi