Views and Reviews
by Ammar Ali Qureshi
“A highly interesting and instructive book, a compilation of published columns and book reviews by Ammar Ali Qureshi. His scholarship, his command over the entire gamut of subjects that he delves into in each of his pieces, from columns to book reviews, and his captivating style makes the reading of the book a pleasurable experience”
– Muhammad Ziauddin, former Executive Editor The Express Tribune
“Ammar Ali Qureshi has done something refreshing that is not frequently seen in this part of the world. Borrowing from his guru AJP Taylor, he has picked some of his own published book reviews and essays from the last fifteen years to bring a book into shape. Qureshi’s lens is wide, whether it is trends, people, history, contemporary politics or culture. Each piece is interesting and readable, and carries the mark of his depth of knowledge and erudition. Therein lies the value of this publication.”
– Farah Zia, former Editor The News on Sunday
“Ammar Ali Qureshi’s unique blend of political analysis, cultural salience and spirit of reform shines through in this great collection of articles he has written during a most crucial time in Pakistan’s history. Voices like Qureshi’s help connect the high minded with the banal in just the right measure.”
– Mosharraf Zaidi, Columnist The News, and Policy Analyst
Release date: August 2021
Eight Theses on Authoritarianism in Pakistan
by Ammar Ali Jan
Rs. 750 | $ 10.00
Why have democratic institutions and norms not taken root in Pakistan? In these polemical essays, Ammar Jan presents eight theses to explain the political, economic and social roots of authoritarianism in the country. Rather than fixating on particular individuals or governments, this work focuses on the structural features propelling the rising militarisation of society. Jan locates the deep fear of the masses held by ruling classes and state officials as a critical point of departure to grasp the pervasive disregard for popular sovereignty. This paranoia has created a permanent state of emergency in Pakistan that is used to deploy excessive violence against popular challenges to the status quo. To fight back against this failing order, the book calls for the construction of alternative ideas that can unite disparate movements struggling for justice and dignity.
“Rule by Fear is a much-needed primer for progressive politics in Pakistan. Ammar Jan brings together his scholarly insights and experience as an activist in this clearly written and accessible text. It reminds us of Pakistan’s checkered past, yet provides a way forward toward a more egalitarian and socially just future. A must read for those interested in the linkages of the Pakistani state with the colonial era and how this history continues to inform the contemporary period.”
– Kamran Asdar Ali, Surkh Salam: Communist Politics and Class Activism in Pakistan 1947-1972
“Rule by Fear is a compendium of all the hidden, progressive stories of Pakistan that fundamentally reads as a love story for the people of Pakistan, particularly students and workers who have been systematically denied any right to call themselves Pakistani because of politicians and military leaders who pose as if they are the only groups who can protect Pakistan against the many threats to its security. Jan traces this constant state of fear of attack back to the colonial period. He argues that the military and certain politicians are only able to portray this threat as new, and themselves as the true protectors of Pakistan’s integrity, and win “… the battle of ideas” because they rob “the public of its own past”. Jan’s book illustrates precisely that past. A fantastic feat by an activist-academic who has worked tirelessly to stand by the ideals he believes in. Ammar Jan has written a book that will be, for years to come, a sourcebook for social historians who are searching for the hidden histories of progressive Pakistan.”
– Anushay Malik, Narrowing Politics: The Labour Movement in Lahore, 1947-1974
“Ammar Ali Jan’s Rule by Fear is an intellectual tour de force that provides nuanced theoretical insights into the historical processes of Pakistan’s political formations, social complexities and economic upheavals over the last seven decades. Through his rigorous critical analysis, Jan helps set up a plan for revolutionary praxis as young Pakistani students, feminists, farmers, workers, ethno-nationalists and human rights activists seek to transform the country’s outlook for a better future, an egalitarian society and a radical democracy.”
– Ali Usman Qasmi, Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan
Publisher: Folio Books
Release date: November 2021
Unaffordable housing, poverty wages, inadequate healthcare, border policing, climate change—these are not what you ordinarily hear feminists talking about. But aren’t they the biggest issues for the vast majority of women around the globe?
Taking as its inspiration the new wave of feminist militancy that has erupted globally, this manifesto makes a simple but powerful case: feminism shouldn’t start—or stop—with the drive to have women represented at the top of their professions. It must focus on those at the bottom, and fght for the world they deserve. And that means targeting capitalism. Feminism must be anticapitalist, eco-socialist and antiracist.
Publisher: Folio Books
Division: Folio Classics
Binding: Hardback (Cloth Cover)
Publishing date: March 08, 2020
Availability: In Stock
by Bacha Khan
Translated from the original Pukhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahibzada
Affectionately known as ‘Bacha’ Khan or ‘King’ Khan amongst his people, Ghaﬀar Khan’s life was dedicated to the social reform of the Pukhtuns, who traditionally adhere to a strict code of life, ‘Pukhtunwali’, governed by rather rigid tribal norms. His life-long struggle to modernise Pukhtun society and his decades-long non-violent defiance, adopted by his Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) party during the struggle for independence against the British, have earned him a stature that few other anti-colonial leaders in the Sub-continent can match. Few are aware that the Khudai Khidmatgar lost the greatest number of workers compared to any other party that was part of the anti-colonial movement.
An increasing consciousness amongst the Pukhtuns against oppression and war, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has led to a resurgence of the teachings of Bacha Khan. His powerful political weapon of non-violence, his emphasis on including women in all walks of life, his belief in religious tolerance and his legacy of speaking truth to power, are, today, values that bear increasing relevance to the people of a much-troubled region.
“Bacha Khan’s message of the power of peaceful protest for liberty, equality and justice changed our culture and customs forever and inspires me every day in my activism for girls’ education and women’s empowerment.”
-Malala Yousafzai, Youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
“As a student activist, what struck me the most about working with Bacha Khan was the strength of his compassion and his disarming humility. He would insist on walking long distances even in old age to reach the marginalised to help them or to at least express solidarity with them. The publication of English translation of his Pakhto autobiography is coming out at a time when younger generations are rediscovering Bacha Khan’s life and struggle.”
-Afrasiab Khattak, Former Provincial President of Awami National Party, former senator, writer and analyst of regional affairs.
“This compelling story is more relevant now than ever. Bacha Khan’s tireless struggle against oppression and division was non-violent and uncompromising, principled and creative. Readers will be enthralled and inspired.”
-Mukulika Banerjee, Author of The Pathan Unarmed, 2001.
“The life story of a man of peace and non-violence, born amidst mayhem and conflict across the Sub-continent, still carries a powerful message in the turbulent times we live in. The autobiography of Bacha Khan in English, for the first time in a lucid translation from the original Pakhto by Imtiaz Ahmad Sahizada, is a landmark publication. The history of modern South Asia has been incomplete without a better understanding of how and why the fierce Pashtun tribes embraced the Gandhian ideology of non-violent defiance. My Life and Struggle introduces a new and younger generation to the tribulations of the Pashtuns.”
-Ahmed Rashid, Author of Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 2012.
Publisher: Folio Books
Weight in kg: 0.900
Publishing date: February 06, 2021
Rights: Pakistan and Afghanistan
Pakistani Women’s Literary and Cinematic Fictions
While news reports about Pakistan tend to cover Taliban attacks and bombings, and academics focus on security issues, the environment often takes a backseat in media reportage and scholarship. In particular, Pakistani women’s attachment to their environment and their environmental concerns are almost always ignored. Shazia Rahman traces the ways in which Pakistani women explore alternative, environmental modes of belonging, examines the vitality of place-based identities within Pakistani culture, and thereby contributes to evolving understandings of Pakistani women—in relation to both their environment and to various discourses of nation and patriarchy.
Through an astute analysis of such works as Sabiha Sumar’s Khamosh Pani (2003), Mehreen Jabbar’s Ramchand Pakistani (2008), Sorayya Khan’s Noor (2006), Uzma Aslam Khan’s Trespassing (2003), and Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows (2009), Rahman illuminates how Pakistani women’s creative works portray how people live with one another, deal with their environment, and intuit their relationship with the spiritual. She considers how literary and cinematic documentation of place-based identities simultaneously critiques and counters stereotypes of Pakistan as a country of religious nationalism and oppressive patriarchy. Rahman’s analysis discloses fresh perspectives for thinking about the relationship between social and environmental justice.
Shazia Rahman is a professor of English at Western Illinois University.
“A welcome intervention to the incipient debate on women and ecological degradation in Pakistan that will enrich understandings of self, place, and belonging beyond the narrow confines of the postcolonial state’s official nationalism.”
– Ayesha Jalal, director of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Tufts University
“An urgent and consequential book on the deep entanglements between gender
politics and environmental justice. . . . Impressive, vital work.”
– Rob Nixon, author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
“This book will be required reading not only among ecocritics but also among feminist, postcolonial, ethnic, Pakistani, and American studies scholars.”
– Joni Adamson, director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative at Arizona State University
“Shazia Rahman’s ethically charged book offers a fresh and novel engagement with cultural production from Pakistan, an enormously important part of South Asia that is nevertheless often neglected in postcolonial studies.”
– Ananya Jahanara Kabir, author of Partition’s Post-Amnesias: 1947, 1971, and Modern South Asia
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: April 2021
Availability: In Stock