Farheen.Rizvi

Farheen Rizvi

The author is a supporter of the MQM, has a Bachelors in business management from Iowa and a Masters degree in international management from the University of Maryland. She works for US based charities like IMHO and SUN while based in Virginia. She tweets @farririzvi (twitter.com/FarriRizvi)

People of Thar have no food or water, but thanks for the free WiFi, PPP

Recently, the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) inaugurated the first free WiFi villages in Tharparkar. The project, which will cost $2 billion and is projected to be completed in 2019, involves the production of 660 megawatts of electricity through the process of coal mining. An investigative article published in The National Geographic in 2014 states: “Coal provides 40% of the world’s electricity. It produces 39% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It kills thousands a year in mines, many more with polluted air.” Even though WiFi has become such a necessity in today’s world, the question that arises is: do the people living in the villages ...

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Why did Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM?

In the first week of March, when Karachi was approaching its colourful tea festival, Mustafa Kamal returned to Karachi from Dubai. Mustafa Kamal is not an unknown name, especially in Karachi, where he was the City Nazim from 2005-2010. He was nominated to this post by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and was affiliated with the party for almost 28 years. He left the party when he was serving as MQM senator in the Pakistan senate. During his time as City Nazim, Mustafa Kamal was able to complete many projects with the help of MQM’s supporters and workers. Without their support, the projects ...

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Altaf Hussain simply explained human biology. What was so vulgar about it?

Once again, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters were quick to criticise Altaf Hussain’s recent speech – mostly on social media. The outburst obviously made me curious about the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief’s seemingly offensive words. I managed to find the speech in question from February 16, 2016, which he made to workers and office bearers at his party headquarter, famously known as Nine Zero. At about 9:30 minutes into the video, he began speaking about reproduction by quoting verse 13 of chapter 49, which is ‘Surah Hujurat’, of the Holy Quran. But what could be considered the most important part of his speech was ...

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Where will the (illegal) money collected from the ‘licensing Karachi’ campaign go?

Recently, the Karachi traffic police started a campaign, on the orders of the provincial government, against those drivers who don’t carry driving licences. According to the provincial government, this campaign is a part of the on-going process to enforce the law and order situation in the city. The driving licence is a very important public document and in many countries it is used as an identity card. The campaign was initiated with the announcement of a 15-day deadline, which was previously extended to one month but has now been extended to three months. Since the process has already started, there have been many ...

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She’s deaf, but does that eliminate her right to education?

Like any other student, 13-year-old Sonia Khan was extremely excited about her promotion to the seventh grade. For her, this was a whole new journey that allowed her to explore her life through books and knowledge. But unfortunately, the hope was diminished when she was denied admission to the next grade by the school authorities. Sonia, along with her brothers Hassan Khan and Faisal Khan, are all born with hearing and speech impairments. They are students of a government school for the deaf at Timergara, Lower Dir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). Due to no secondary schools available for special children in the area, the three ...

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Why do her clothes matter?

The only thing we know about First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia is that she wore no headscarf. She and her husband, President Barack Obama, probably discussed many worthy issues with the new Saudi King, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, but to the Western media, what mattered most was what Michelle Obama wore. The First Lady wore a long sleeved shirt and pants but no scarf upon arrival at the airport in Riyadh. Her unveiled dress code sparked controversy on social media almost instantly and Twitter was flooded with tweets about Michelle’s dress code. Sure, it was an official trip for the First ...

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A month later, helping the survivors of the #PeshawarAttack

December 16, 2014, left the Pakistani nation with horrible memories. This nation is resilient; it has faced many tragedies but manages to survive every time. But how can the people directly affected by such attacks start living their lives normally? We all cried for those innocent children who left us. Yes, it was big loss for a country that already lacks in basic education facilities, as compared to the rest of the world. But what about those children who experienced the attack and survived? What will happen to those hundreds of prodigies? Will they be able to perform the way society ...

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Thar: A picture of negligence

Almost every year, Thar makes it to the headlines. Whenever metropolitans like Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad or Peshawar face some kind of energy crisis, ministers begin using the idea of Thar coal reserves as a solution for the country’s never-ending energy issues. The government remembers Thar when it comes to coal reserves, but why does it conveniently turn a blind eye when the people of Thar die of hunger and famine? Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been ruling Sindh since the past six year. Six years is enough time for a provincial government to understand, evaluate and solve issues like the drought in ...

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Zarb-e-Azb: Are you doing your bit to fight terrorism?

With the consent of the federal government in Islamabad, the Pakistan Army has finally launched operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan. It was long due for the federal government to take responsibility of the constitution of Pakistan. The constitution is not just about executing former chiefs of the army under article six; it is also about establishing the writ of the state, providing justice to its citizens and securing their lives and properties, against criminals and terrorists. The attack on Peshawar airport was not the first attack. The attack on the Karachi airport, on army bases and headquarters, on schools and public gatherings, in marketplaces and residential areas, ...

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Caught between conspiracies

Members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have decided to show solidarity with their leader, Altaf Hussain, by demonstrating their street power on May 25, 2014 in Karachi. The MQM chief has been under investigation, for money laundering charges, in London for nearly a year now. Though the UK authorities have been unable to prove the charges with substantial evidence, for the time being, Altaf’s accounts have been frozen. Like any other political party, MQM’s major source of income is through donations, which it collects from its supporters locally and around the globe. Altaf  Hussain, the party chief who moved to ...

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