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Pakistan

Good Books opened by Tariq Ali

Sunday 9 April 2006

“Good Books” a joint Left book shop was opened formally by Tariq Ali on 2nd April in Lahore. A joint venture of two radical publications, Jamhoori Publications and Jeddojuhd Publications Lahore, Good Books inaugurations was attended by over 100 intellectuals’ writers, poets and political activists. Among those who spoke were Dr. Mubashar Hassan, a former federal minister under Bhotto, SM Masood, another former federal minister under Bhoto, a noted writer Asghar Nadeem Syed, Retired Major Aftab Ahmed, a former prisoner of Zia ul Haq who was accused of conspiracy to overthrow Zia ul Haque dictatorship in the eighties and Tariq Ali.

Tariq Ali told the audience that after 9/11, the space for an alternative views in the mainstream media is reduced to zero. In such situation, books are good tool to spread the ideas. This was one of the reasons that I wrote “Clash of Fundamentalism” which is now translated in Urdu language. “Books help us to understand the real situation” Tariq Ali said.

When I begin to think why Islam did not undergo a change, I started looking for answer and answer is there in history. That is how I started my quintet; the last part is yet to be written. Peoples keep asking me when I will write the last part, I tell them that I was about to start when Bush started his was on Afghanistan. So I had to write “Clash of Fundamentalism”. Then I was about to start again, then Bush started his war on Iraq, so I had to write a book “ Bush in Babylon”. So if Bush does not start another war, I will pen down my last part and setting should be Lahore. After all, Lahore also is a center of Islamic civilization. We all keep mentioning Emperor Aurangzeb but there was a Dara Shikoh as well.

He praised the efforts of Labour Party Pakistan to launch a Left wing book stall and he said such a bookshop will become a meeting point for the students, youth and activists. Slowly but definitely, the words about this bookshop will spread.

Good Books is situated at 14 Mozang Road Lahore.

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