Jibran Nasir

A lawyer and civil and political rights activist. He is the co-founder of Elaj Trust, Pakistan For All and Never Forget Pakistan. He tweets @MJibranNasir (

Dear Bilawal Bhutto, with your protocol, you undermine the value of a common citizen’s life

Dear Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Let me start with appreciating the good work you did today. Thank you for taking out the time and inaugurating the new trauma facility at Civil Hospital. I am sure many citizens will benefit from it. And now let me address the more pressing issue. A baby girl died today as she was denied access to emergency treatment while you inaugurated the medical facility. I may not be able to find a better and grimmer illustration of the word ‘irony’. When you are chairman of one of the biggest political parties of Pakistan, you cannot act unaware of the difficulties ...

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Pakistanis pushing boundaries – An ode to my people!

I was invited to speak at the opening ceremony of Khayaal Arts Festival 2014 as one of four keynote speakers. The theme of the festival was ‘Pushing Boundaries’ and I was asked to discuss how I attempt to push boundaries in my life. However, I’m of the view that enough has been written and said about my work. It is unfair that we develop a habit of only recognising a select few as people doing good work in the country. I, myself, have benefited from the contributions of countless Pakistanis who have made this country prosper and become better for me to live, grow, ...

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Is it terrorism itself or the cities where terror strikes that is more appalling?

The country’s capital was rocked by the deadliest terror attack it has seen in over 20 years. Dozens have been reported dead with some calling it a “satanic attack” and the world has not shed a tear. Yes, you have not posted or tweeted about it. You did not come up with any hashtags or express any condemnation. You just, perhaps, accepted it as a harsh reality and moved on because the capital was Beirut not Paris. The night before Paris was attacked, Beirut lost more than 40 lives and you moved on. You are not just the common Twitterati, you are the international ...

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Chitral earthquake relief: Aid may be expensive but lives are priceless

Floods in Chitral became the reason for the first introduction of our team at Elaj Trust and this beautiful valley. We are in the area again, this time due to earthquake relief. Nature has not been kind, government aid has not been effective. But the people are resilient. Victims who are still looking for compensation announced at the time of floods have not lost faith. Sorlaspur village, at 10,000 feet above sea level, is the last stop before Shandur, home of the world’s highest polo ground. Nearly 70 houses are completely destroyed here and nearly 350 in the surrounding area. In ...

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Hafiz Saeed is not Nawaz Sharif but as a citizen of Pakistan he has the same rights

Punjab Home Department has released a report stating that two Pakistanis are the next target of RAW, India’s intelligence agencies. The first gentleman, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, is known to the world as the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. The second man, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, is known to the world as head of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), organisations blacklisted by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267. JUD and FIF are also placed on the watch list of the Government of Pakistan and are affiliated with another banned organisation called Lashkar-e-Taiba. The report suggests that RAW intends to ...

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The responsibility of being a famous celebrity in Pakistan

Saif Ali Khan’s Phantom (2015) was a sad excuse for a movie, much like Shaan Shahid’s Musalman (2001). Movies that play on the very jingoistic sentiment, which have led us into various wars and thousands of casualties, do nothing but betray their audiences who otherwise wish and need peace in the region. Pakistan was right to ban the film as a sign of protest. I would expect the same from India but India being a much older democracy has been far more disappointing. Not only did it ban non-political movies and dramas from Pakistan, but our artists like Shakeel Siddiqui and singers ...

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Did the Judicial Commission and dharnas even benefit PTI?

The Judicial Commission has finally given its conclusion that the 2013 elections were fair and in accordance with the law. Some who are against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) would perhaps only see this as an opportunity to mock the 126-day dharna (protest) which apparently for many only benefited one man, DJ Butt. On the other hand, those in favour of PTI would perhaps see this as another failure of the system to deliver justice and would conclude that the Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk is also incapable of holding a fair inquiry. This is exactly where we fail time and again that we tend to adopt extreme views ...

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There will be no Eid for the families of the APS victims this year

This past Monday, my mother asked me for the third time,  “What colour kurta do you want for Eid?” By now, between two aunts and a friend, I have already been gifted three new kurtas. My response to my mother was same as it was to my aunts and my friend that I am not celebrating Eid. My mother of course wasn’t amused. This is the second year in a row I am not celebrating Eid. My friends look at me as this perpetually grim personality who needs to lighten up, and what better excuse than Eid. Eidul Fitr, or as we know it in ...

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Why am I speaking for Shafqat Hussain?

A day before Shafqat Hussain was scheduled to be hanged on March 19th, I released a video called “How were you like when you were 14?” as my contribution to the #SaveShafqat campaign trending online.

Shafqat has completed his five-year prison term for involuntary manslaughter. Yes, there are no murder charges against him. He was originally convicted for murder by the trial court but the High Court in appeal overturned same in 2007. Shafqat now faces death only on one count – kidnapping for ransom. The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 passed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was designed in a way to ...

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An open letter to Islamabad Commissioner

Dear Sir, I am writing this to bring your urgent attention to an illegal public gathering of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), which was declared as a banned outfit on February 15, 2013, by the Government of Pakistan. The gathering is being held on February 21, 2015, after Maghrib Prayers, at Karachi Company Market, G-9 Sector, Islamabad, which falls within your jurisdiction. In fact it is just seven minutes away from the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration Office. Photo: Jibran Nasir The gathering is being held to mark the death anniversary of the founder of Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP), Haq Nawaz ...

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