Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, Speaks for a Better Pakistan.


A talk by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy, organized by the Oxford University Press and The Jinnah Society, titled “The Dialectics of Faith, Unity, Discipline (What Does Pakistan Need Today)” took place yesterday, at the FOMMA (Foundation for the Museum of Modern Art) at the Zamzama Park, DHA.

The event started with a welcome address by the eminent Ameena Saiyid and a short speech by Mr Liaquat Merchant who is also the president of The Jinnah Society. The talk by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy started by tracing back the history to the time of, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, his life, his speeches and his vision of Pakistan, Dr. Hoodbhoy took a neutral stance and explained each Faith, Unity and Discipline from Quaid-e-Azam’s point of view, he also discusses how Mr. Jinnah wanted Pakistan to be a free land for the people of all beliefs, faiths and religions Quaid-e-Azam’s version of Islamic Pakistan which was not at all what Islamic extremists today believe to be, was also discussed.

The talk ended with a conclusion that one thing Pakistan defiantly needs to prosper and has always needed is freedom, freedom of expressing ones opinion, practicing one’s faith and freedom to be a Muslim , Hindu Sikh or Christian.

The event was attended my intellects of the city, writers, journalists and social workers. Karachi sees very few such events where mindsets are changed, issues are discussed, and possible solutions to a better Pakistan are thought out. The event was highly stimulating, and a wonderful effort to change the typical mindset of our society. I hope such talks and events become a common norm of the city.

33 Comments so far

  1. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 8:35 pm

    Jamal, your post is incomplete. You clicked the submit button a bit too early.

  2. MB (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

    O Jamash thank you so much

    Such a nice man Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy

    A self made man. Worked hard all his life to become what he is now. Excellent wisdom. I never miss his articles. Chowk has got plenty of his articles on different topics.


  3. MB (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

    Why didn’t you inform us first. I would love to attend this if possible.

  4. saima Nasir (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 9:49 pm

    would be great if his actual speech can be reproduced somewhere and we can get the link to that.

  5. Wonderer (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

    It is damn saddening that even after sixty years of independence we are still suffering from this confusion and identity crisis of to be secular or Islamic,traditional or modern.If we had a will and commitment as a nation i’m sure we would have done much beter.Just see where was Korea yesterday and where it is now.Even Malaysia or Indonesia have progressed by leaps and bounds while we are just twisting and playing with figures and numbers to show that yes there is some progress.I think first of all what we need is to form clear and concrete policies and goals for every social,economic and technical sector and pursue these goals with conviction and dedication as a nation.Evolve leaders and intelligentsia who can turn these dreams into reality.Opressed societies don’t produce and encourage creativity in arts or cultures and people living in these societies are not happy people.They are bitter people emotionally and intellectually enslaved.Pakistan was created in the name of freedom and i won’t allow my freedom to be taken by some self proclaimed righteous.What’s the reason of living in a free country if you have to live according to others wishes.
    Discourage and shed this extremism of imposing personal views or beliefs on others.Modern world demands open minds and respecting each other’s noses.It’s Dr. Hoodbhoy and few other voices of sanity that are trying their best to keep moderating forces in control and prevent extremism whether in the name of religion or ethnicities prevailing in the society.
    Both progressives and orthodox have to learn and respect about each others spaces and boundries.
    How about inventing a giant mixer and making a shandy of mullahism and modernism and drink in the name of peace between the two.
    I wan’t to see Pakistan as country where everyone can be what he or she wants to be and live according to his way as permitted within the norms of civilised societies.

  6. MB (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 10:42 pm

    As long as my memory serves the moderates by definition are the ones with a balance.

    The two extremes are fanatics & over liberals ( or the ones with westerns germs).

    As for your question about those countries moving forward, its because of many factors. Political setup being one. There is a lot that can be said in the reasons category. Its not only confined to this battle of extreme leftist vs rightist.

  7. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

    In short, Mr. Hoobhoy was trying to say indirectly that Secularism was the answer of all evils of society[including Islamic/religious extreemism].

    Similar topic was discussed by him on Chowk.com and after reading his article it appeared that he himself is not sure where should he opt first.

    Offcourse people like Hoodbhoy doesn’t make any attempt to teach youth lessons of past that how they suffered and then rebuilt by rejecting the extreemism of both factions.

    An intresting article in today’s DAWN Magazine about Iranian revolution that how a dictator,the King tried to misuse his power to impose secularism by force in a state[like Musharraf] and how then the guy suffered big time by his own people. The shah of Iran was more popular than Musharraf and even more active to remove Islam from the state than Musharraf. For example he tried implement Zoroastrian calendar in Iran which came out as a big mistake and he got defeated by a madarssah man[Khomeni]. We are the people who never learns from history and people like HoodBhoy,Cowasjee have been singing same anthem since beginning rather telling the truth about history to the future generations. Shame on such psuedo intellectual morons.

  8. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

    The article link is here;


  9. SELF (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 11:08 pm

    “The two extremes are fanatics & over liberals ( or the ones with westerns germs).”

    MB I am not clear on this. I understand religious fanatics who have killed 100,000s of Muslims in the name of Islam in Bangladesh, Afghanistan or even within Pakistan and continue to do so. I however don’t understand the “ove rliberal” extremists that you have mentioned? How many Muslims/Pakistanis have these over liberals killed?

    Seems to me you are a Mullah in disguise and like Adnan Siddiqui trying to hide it by choosing an apparent middle line which I suspect no one expect you think is working.

    Consult your religious book, what is a bigger crime? Nahaq murder of a momin/muslim or naach gana? In fact as far as I understand there is not even a punishment for naach gana but Mullahs like you would have us believe that somehow it is as extreme as killing innocent people. Shame on you.

  10. Jamash (unregistered) on April 15th, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

    Thank you Arsalaan for pointing out, I just fixed it.

    I Wish I had recorded his speech.

    Sorry MB but next time I will let you know when any such event will come up.

  11. Bozz (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 12:04 am

    On this one I tend to agree with Self. MB you have over used the same argument (The two extremes are fanatics & over liberals) to the result that it has lost is meaning, if there was one in the first place.

    Plus there is no term such as over liberals! By using it your are leaning heavily and it is quite obvious.

    Incidentally most of the germs are desi and one thing is for sure that to cure that you would need western medicine.

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 12:17 am

    Self: Ignorance is bliss but not too much. Read the history of creation of Bangladesh again, you would hate to see your face in mirror. If you consider yahya and Gen Niazi a religious extreemist then I doubt your educational background or your mentors who made you what are you today.

    How many Muslims/Pakistanis have these over liberals killed?

    5)people killed in Lahore during basant

    you just name it man!

  13. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    @Bozz, yeah, expired western medicines. *grin*

  14. SELF (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    “How many Muslims/Pakistanis have these over liberals killed?


    You mean same palaces where Mullahs are in bed with Military and wouldn’t let go? The same Mullahs that gave the gift of 17th amendment to Musharaf to make him permanent on us? The same Mullahs who are “leader of the opposite” even though being minority in opposition as they are the only opposition approved by Military and for good reason? The same Mullahs who are helped by ISI in every election including during Musharraf period (this is on record by both Gen Aslam Beg and Qazi Hussain Ahmad? The same mullahs who created al-badr and al-shams to help military “deal” with “bengali problem” in Bangladesh? The same Mullahs who have a tie up with military for decades and who and military are the two heads of the same beast? Who are always dealt with leniently (if ever dealt with) by military (Jamia Hufsa is just one example) while CJ is dragged on the streets? When was Pakistan military ever liberal and not working with and in collaboration with Mullahs?


    Who killed who in the last two decades?

    “5)people killed in Lahore during basant”

    Are you comparing a few people dying accidentally to 100,000s killed by Mullahs deliberately including but not limited to in suicide bombings? You obviously are not reading your religious scriptures properly.

  15. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:38 am

    Self: That shows your curelty where killing of few in Lahore doesn’t matter since they were not related with you. What should you be called here? a moderate or an extremist?

    I see you skipped the Bangladesh part.. why?;)

    Oh between I forgot the CJ and missing people case.

    I didn’t know that Bugti was a mullah. I also see that you are cursing to Military in case of Wana etc but at same time you praise military[Musharraf] for their so called Enlightened and Moderation. You better decide yourself what do you want to condemn here. Right now you seem confused to me like Hoodbhoy. As I said in earlier post and say again that please do make a study of the things which you want to discuss. It’s good to watch western news channels but it’s more good to utilize brain to analyze things. Same western resources were reporting that US planes initiated a strike to kill Pakistani soliders and civiliians includnig kids in name of Osama & Zaharvi. The same channels were telecasting statment of Richard Boucher who expressed his doubts that American Aid given to Pakistan is being used by Pakistani Military.[as usual I must say] and America just not want relationship with Musharraf but with Pakistani people as well which pissed Mush a lot and he used Shortcut aziz as his mouth piece to *warn* USA to shut his mouth and prefer to use silent diplomacy rather using media to criticize Pakistani govt.

  16. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 1:53 am

    Oh,BTW reminding me about reading my scripture again and again, my scripture clearly mentioned ..These are signs for those who can understand which is a message by the scripture author to use brain rather following something blindly[e.g: follow Hoodbhoy just because he’s the famous]. Tell me which scripture do you follow, I might help you to recall the forgotten lesson.

  17. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 2:01 am

    1971 – East Pakistan become history

    It is Bangladesh now and The Pakistan Defence Ministry (the biggest loser and reason of Fall of East Pakistan) Celeberates it with the Students of Bangaldesh Army Navy Airforce officers studying in Pakistan.

    Parvez Hoodbhoy a self made man a scholar and an Intellectual whatever he speaks does make sense to Majority who believe that State has nothing doing beliefs of individuals.

    The dictatorship either by a civilain or a military ruler is always using either majority ( be it mullah or be it liberals) for their own benefit.

    Shaikh Mujeeb was leader of East Pakistan demanding what democracy and ideology of Pakistan is based upon, Bugti was a Leader who did not gave in and died resisting for his reasons. Nobody can deprieve a free man, of his rights to think and act what he feels right for him and his family.

    Pakistan shall be liberated from Mullayat and from those who wish nungi putangi azadi, a managable liberal socio economic structure with maximum deterance to extermism, either way.

    “1st casualty of war is innocence”

    “1st casualty of terrorism is social structure”

  18. wasiq (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:03 am

    Recently new and fresh blood was introduced into the vains of KMB…which i believe had something to do with me iam not sure what….most of which appears to be dormant,hibernating or simply afraid of our friend MR siddiqi…..is it true..?
    Anyways, ab toh buss sirf yeah hee arzoo hai kay siddiqi sab author hon aur hum sub unn ki “post” ki wat lagaein….han na…?lol


  19. ash (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:54 am

    By my understanding of MB’s phrase “over liberal” probably means agnostics, drinkers, free love believers and girls who dont wear bigbag like shalloo’s. These people are innocent of killing anyone except maybe themselves. So they cant be compared to the extreme religious right.
    But then Adnan, quick to realise the truth in that argument and so quickly tells us that Mush is infact an over liberal. Yet Mush does not drink, bang women he isnt married to, dress indecently or renounce religion ….so now by acknowledging Adnan’s point (that Mush is violent) MB’s point becomes negated… because Mush is certainly not an “over liberal” by any reasonable definition.
    Show me one person in pakistan who has said either drink alchohol or i’ll kill you…renounce God or i’ll kill you…dress nakedly or i’ll kill you , that would be “overliberal terrorism” and we all know it doesnt exist.

  20. ash (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:57 am

    there is no moral equivalence btw the actions of liberals and fundo;s in pakistan today, – but this much is true. Both extremes are a fraction of the larger part of pakistani society and hence both should be equally irrelevent. I think that was MB’s point and actually that part is true and reasonable.

  21. ash (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:59 am

    there is no moral equivalence btw the actions of liberals and fundo;s in pakistan today, – but this much is true. Both extremes are a fraction of the larger part of pakistani society and hence both should be equally irrelevent. I think that was MB’s point and actually that part is true and reasonable.

  22. SELF (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 7:41 am

    “Ignorance is bliss but not too much”

    You would know I guess.

  23. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:42 am

    hahah wasiq! tumhe ab tak andaza hojana chahye thaa k mey author kion nahi houn *wink*

    Mian meri[aur kai aur k] comments ki waat tu 2005 se lag rahee hey. tum nai naweley ho shayed is liye tum per abhi inkishaf huwa =)

  24. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 10:47 am

    1971 – East Pakistan become history

    Shamsi mian this is our ignorant attitude which is the biggest hurdle in Pakistan’s progress that is, we forget our past. I know if someday[Allah na karay] Balochistan or Karachi will get liberated then you wil be saying same words in Langra Loola pakistan that “xxxx become history”.

    By the way this altaf is the same person who once chanted about Jinnah Pur and even recently he once again threathened abot Liberation. I can figure out why he’s adorable to our liberals :-)

  25. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 11:11 am

    Jamal, you are most welcome.

  26. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    In order to understand Jamash’s claim

    Dr. Hoodbhoy took a neutral stance and explained each Faith,

    It’s better to understand what Mr.Hoodbhoy thinks about religion. Hoodbhoy visit Nehru Institute Banglore in 2005 and he shared his experience which also published in 2005 dawn.


    Mr.Hoodbhoy writes:

    Attitudes of Indian scientists towards science are conservative. Progress through science is an immensely popular notion in India, stressed both by past and present leaders. But what is science understood to be? I was a little jolted upon reading Nehru’s words, written in stone at the entrance to the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Research in Bangalore: “I too have worshipped at the shrine of science”. The notion of “worship” and “shrine of science” do not go well with the modern science and the scientific temper. Science is about challenging, not worshipping As a secular man, Nehru was not given to worship but his metaphorical allusions to industries and factories as temples of science found full resonance..

    The MIT guy who belongs to cabal of scientist who believes that science is all about rejection supreme being, got pissed after reading the term “worship” on slab. There are several other occasions where he made statments that religion[/Islam] and science are two different things. How a person with such attitude could be considered _neutral_? I don’t get at all. Mr.Hoodbhoy was always against Pakistani nuclear program despite of knowing that there is INDIA as our neighbor,this is why he started the article with the line:

    Few Pakistanis get to visit India, the so-called “enemy country”, and fewer still to independently assess the development of science and ….

    Pakistan is the country where celebrities are worshiped rather their work. Since hoodbhoy is an MIT graduate in Nuclear Physics which is very *new* thing for Pakistanis and his constant appearance on PTV in 90s made him visible among *learned* Pakistanis and all of them started considering a messiah of modern pakistan. *sigh*-hamari qaum…

  27. mansoor (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:27 pm

    how would mr hoodbhoy cringe if he reads the dialogue going on this thread….

  28. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 3:38 pm
  29. JayJay (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:10 pm

    If some of the commentators have there way, Dr Hoodbhoy will have to support an unkempt growth on his chin to qualify as a “neutral commentator” on Paki affairs and probably will have to blow himself up to kill innocent Indians to demonstrate his patriotism.

    It is even more shocking that even his credentials in the field on nuclear physics are being questioned at the KMB.

    Dr Hoodbhoy’s “Muslims and Science” should be a must read at high schools — and especially in madrassas, when the Talibanic students have free two seconds from blindly memorizing scriptures, watching the height of the hems of shalwaars above ankles and “pleasing” their teachers.

    Before we completely disown Dr Hoodbhoy as we did with Dr Salaam (again to confirm Dr Hoodbhoy’s contention that Islam as practiced by Salafis/Wahhabis is incompatible with modern science and learning), better check Dr Hoodbhoy’s academic credentials below.


  30. SELF (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:33 pm

    “how would mr hoodbhoy cringe if he reads the dialogue going on this thread…. ”

    Mansoor: Hoodbhoy is used to hypocrites and religious bigots. He is one of those rare men of honour still left with us that aim to lift the nation and provide grace to it. Something these Mullahs have no idea of neither at the time of creation of Pakistan nor now. They just try to beat up any person who can do well for Pakistan from Quaid e Azam to Hoodbhoy. If it were on Mullahs we would still be part of India today as minority. Certainly they are trying to get us back to that by trying to keep the country backward. Before we can progress we must get rid of Mullahs.

  31. SELF (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

    PS: I wonder why Allah always selects secular people for his good work these days? Hmmm….. there is a sign right there.

  32. JayJay (unregistered) on April 16th, 2007 @ 6:46 pm

    Self: Because good work requires selflessness and can only be done without expecting a reward in the world or in the imaginary world. Only a secular person can think for al human beings and can lift him/herself above narrow parachial considerations.

    Not so with the bearded lot. They stay focussed on attaining the ultimate reward of 72 virgins for themseleves. To hell with making this world a better place for other humans.

  33. wasiq (unregistered) on April 17th, 2007 @ 1:34 am

    Still i believe this change will do you more good than harm….think about it….please!

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