Political Crisis in Pakistan
In Pakistan, a mass protest movement has emerged in the wake of president Pervez Musharraf’s March suspension of the country’s chief justice. This middle-class revolt, unexpectedly led by lawyers, has catalyzed secular and democratic frustration with the military regime. And in turn, the regime has cracked down on dissent, attacking journalists and targeting activists. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to proffer official support for Musharraf, though even some neo-conservatives are now calling for the U.S. to re-examine its support for the general, as the country heads toward fall elections. We talk to journalist BEENA SARWAR about the explosive situation.
BEENA SARWAR is a journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Karachi , Pakistan. She is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has extensive experience with the print and electronic media in Pakistan, with a special interest in human rights, media, gender and peace issues. Read Beena Sarwar's op-ed on the current crisis in Pakistan.
Pakistan's Military Industrial Complex
AYESHA SIDDIQA's new book, Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy, has caused a sensation in Pakistan, causing the respected scholar to leave the country in the wake of threats against her. Siddiqa is a longtime strategic analyst whose latest book details the way Pakistan's military leaders have created a vast business empire, including property development, airlines, construction companies, trucking companies, bakeries, even beauty parlors. In effect, Pakistan has a military economy, which serves the interest of the military elite and an entrenched class of cronies. Siddiqa spoke to us from London about her controversial book.
AYESHA SIDDIQA is a military analyst with a Ph.D in War Studies from King's College, London, and the author of several books, including Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy (Pluto Press). She contributes regularly to Jane's Defence Weekly. She was the Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars at Washington, DC for 2004-05.
National Asian American Theater Festival
We talk to TISA CHANG of the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre about the upcoming First National Asian American Theater Festival, which will bring together more than two dozen theater companies for two weeks of performances in New York. And we get a live performance of “speed plays” by two of the artists responsible for Edge of the World, a collaborative performance experiment playing at the fest.
TISA CHANG is the artistic producing director of the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, the country’s largest producer of Asian American theater.
F. OMAR TELAN directs, as well as writes and performs in “The Edge Of The World: a performance experiment”, which will play at La MaMa ETC during the National Asian American Theater Festival. The festival runs from June 11-24.
TRACI KATO-KIRIYAMA is a writer and performer in “The Edge Of The World: a performance experiment”.
Stone Forest Ensemble: Live in the Studio
Listen to a live performance by STONE FOREST ENSEMBLE, an NYC band that layers political lyrics over the eclectic sounds of electric violin, cello, beat box, and various percussion instruments.
STONE FOREST ENSEMBLE is a New York-based band whose music calls on Classical, World Music, and Hip-Hop influences, and whose lyrics take on political issues. The core members of the band include Jie-Song Zhang (Emcee and Electric Violinist), Alex "Krussia" Kalnev (Beatboxer), Varuni Tiruchelvam (Cellist), and Joshua Benson (percussionist). For more info see http://www.myspace.com/sfenyc
Stone Forest Ensemble: A Freestyle Rap
Stone Forest Ensemble's Jie-Song Zhang asked APF's Amna Akbar to throw outs some words, and Amna chose immigration reform and blue. Then Jie-Song launched into a freestyle rap around those words--namechecking Asia Pacific Forum and WBAI along the way. Listen to the results!
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