Archive for September, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI remarks – A Lahori Perspective


Recent comments by Pope Benedict XVI during his speech in a German university have sparked wide spread condemnation and protests worldwide. Like other cities of Pakistan, religious parties have arranged a demonstrations in Lahore too.

I think Pope didn’t get a good advice this time, which is usually the case whenever he is making a speech. It was obvious that his remarks will provoke a controversy. But without going into a debate we should first read the full text of speech he made and then comment. I have read the full text of Pope’s speech available here. The remarks (you can read exact remarks and the background in 2nd and 3rd paragraph of his full speech) which have been taken as most offensive are actually quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and “an educated Persian” on the truths of Christianity and Islam. I think he quoted an excerpt to start a thought provoking debate between great cultures of this world. Specially after reading the last paragraph, I do not think he himself agrees with the views of Emperor Manuel Paleologos II but he was just quoting it to start a debate. I am not sure though that he used enough or right words to convey his intentions clearly and that’s where I personally see the problem.

The last paragraph is worth reading though where he talks about need for a dialogue between different religions and cultures. “A just consideration of the religious dimension is, in fact, an essential premise for fruitful dialogue with the great cultures and religions of the world.” And then he carries on “the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions”

After Pope’s apology today, I hope the controversy should end now and focus should be shifted on contents of his speech. There is definitely a need for positive and healthy dialogue between two great religions of the world. After all it’s one world we all share and it’s extremely important to understand and respect each other’s views and beliefs. There is a lot to be done on our side to show people the real face of Islam which is its message of peace and that can only be done by convincing people with logic and dialogue.

Lahore History Tour – Installment #23

Continuing from the last post in which we started the tour of Moti Mosque of the Lahore Fort, today we visit the beautiful white marble domes of the mosque as well as the intricate internal supporting marble arches.


Three compartments of the front aisle, the central one, and those at the extreme ends are covered by domes, while the remaining compartments of both aisles have vaulting.


The central compartment of the near aisle contains a mihrab deeply recessed in the back wall within the outlines of a cuspid arch. Adjacent to it on the north stands a maimbar (pulpit) of marble.

Google News Archives: A bit about Pakistan

A historically valuable article on the formation of the ‘dominian’ of Pakistan, 1947! And this article was published on 15th of August, 1947.

I seriously doubted that such old history is now so readily available. But blame this lazy skeptiscim to my under-estimation of Google! Google news archives is a great place to be looking and snapshots of history, right from the violent creation of our beautiful country to the accusations on W. Churchil and his political ‘gestures’ and what not. A valuable addition to the already impressive assets of Google!
Bravo. And God Bless

Courtesy: LIFE ETC

GPO and Lahore High Court

These pictures of GPO and Lahore High Court have been taken by Fakhar E Alam Bhatti, a famous Lahori photographer, from Mahkamah E Awqaf building. I thought it would be appropriate to share them here.




Lahore History Tour – Installment #22

In the last history tour installment we finished off the Shish Mahal courtyard of the Lahore Fort and today we will be moving on to some of the seperate standing sturctures in the Fort, as opposed to the structures within quadrangles which we have visited in the previous posts. Today, we will visit two of these structures, namely Maktab Khana and Moti Mosque both of which lie is close proximity to each other.


Entrance to the Maktab Khana (Clerk’s House). It is a small cloistered court surrounded by arcades in which clerks use to sit, recording the names of visitors. The inscription outside tells that King Jahangir built Maktab Khana in 1618.

Fireworks businesses under fire again

I posted a news story in this regard a few days earlier as well and now as Shab-e-Baraat is coming near, fireworks manufacturers are under the gun again.

Lahore Police have arrested 31 shopkeepers in a crackdown on fireworks manufacturers a day before Shab-e-Baraat. They would be charged under Section 286 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the ‘dangerous offensive trade or profession’ of the Local Government Ordinance of 2001. The police seized thousands of boxes of match bombs, 1,200 fountain flares (anar), 1,100 crackers, and 1,400 packets of sparklers.

I guess this law isn’t for people manufacturing, smuggling or selling guns, bombs, or bullets and other explosives etc. ; the things which are much more dangerous than these measely fireworks which are the main form of substinance for these poor people.

This action by the government is already sending this business underground resulting in more shady practices. There are reports that traders and their employees roam the markets offering fireworks to people. When people agree, they are taken to secret stores where fireworks are kept. There are only eight people in the city who have licenses to manufacturing fireworks, and about 400 people are involved in the trade. Licenses require certain safety precautions to be adhered to but most of the people in this business to are poor to effectively arrange all the precautionary measures. The government needs to come up with a better plan to deal with this issue instead of going around and arresting these people who have no other means of income that their business.

Unrelenting Rains

The unrelenting rain over the last few days has made for a miserable life in Lahore. Everywhere you look, there is water, or muddy swamps, or oozing from the sewers. Hopefully, things will get back to normal quickly enough.

Here is a scene from Waris Road besides the FJMC hostels and the Lahore Law College.


Credit: Daily Times

Where art thou, o bandwidth!?

Bandwidth, something you only realize the importance of when you don’t have enough of it! Same goes for almost everything else, every other freakin’ thing else!

The lahoris here know it too well, that we have been experiencing one of the finest weathers for a long time. Cool, peaceful breeze with the faintest of showers, so faint that it seems to slowly appear rather than pour! (I know that some parts of Lahore have drowned their roads in silent protest to the government, but that is for a different post!) And for people who are tucked away in their homes, our LESCO (the electric manipulations company!) sends a wake up call, by giving you no light, no fan, no TV, no nothing. The LESCO formula seems to be catching on, now that WorldCall almost religiously follows the same patterns; a little ‘stormy’ weather, and BHOOM, no cable, no Internet. The modem light just blinks, as if mocking you. I stare at the blinking light, trying to catch a beat to it perhaps, but no, it does not have a metronome built it, alas!

My cable is down, the modem light blinking as if to mock me! Akkh. The dial up cards that I had to buy are unbelievably slow. I did not know that majority of the Internet users here in Lahore had to go through ‘this’, this pipette-like bandwidth!

I am hoping you guys will guide me as to which dialup connection is the best and at what times! I still recall, fainlty though, that there were un-written timing when a certain ISP would give you good bandwidth; for example, BRAINNET would be the fastest in the early morning hours. But now, I don’t know. I am using GoNet right now, or perhaps Go Net is using me!

It’s like rationing bandwith, it’s like when the Israel of the Internet attacks the Lebanon of your Peace of Mind, it’s like when you had to tilt that empty coke bottle all the way to the bottoms-up position and then wait! wait for at least ‘some’ drop to find its way through the bottle-neck to give your drying mouth a taste of what ‘could have been!’ Oye hoeyyyy, I miss my bandwidth.

So I have a quick question for all of you here: How many on dialup and how many on cable? DSL, satellite etc?

P.S. I had to re-connect THREE times before I was able to post this! And let me re-confirm your doubt that yes, I am ticked off and I have seen better days than this. I am ticked off enough to at least humor this situation!

city tower on fire?

I heard city tower gulberg is on fire. Anybody knows details?

Update: A fire broke out on the 8th floor of a multi-storey commercial building ‘City Tower at Gulburg area here.

According to initial information, short circuit caused the fire. Fire Brigade arriving at the scene of incident was seen trying to control the blaze, while the buildings around it were evacuated as protective measures besides all traffic heading for Gulburg has been halted.

Police and the officials of other concerned departments were also seen active over there.

Source: GEO

Aag; Lag Gayi!

Geo Television Network has launched its third sattelite channel; Aag TV. The regular transmission of Aag started from yesterday Friday September 1, 2006.


Primarily, a channel focused on music & lifestyle, Aag will also cover matters of concern for Pakistani youth and their issues through discussion forums and other related programmes.

Its mostly going to be run on the same pattern as have IM & The Musik been running.

The wonderful idea of GEO Entertainment as GEO’s second initiative was tarnished by Indian soaps being aired on it. Let’s see if GEO has something new to offer this time…

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