Your cowardice will not deter me, I am Christian and I am Pakistani

The night before It was a beautiful night. We had all gathered to celebrate my cousin’s birthday in Kohati. The party went on till late night and at around 12:30 am, on my way back home, I marvelled at how peaceful Kohati bazaar looked. The city was sleeping, the shutters were down and with minimum traffic on the roads, the walk back home seemed so lovely knowing that the core of Peshawar city was so beautifully serene. Not even in my wildest dreams had I anticipated that the very next morning would smell like the blood and tears of hundreds. The mass murder It was a fine ...

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Pakistani blood is cheap, but negotiations with the Taliban is an outrageous idea

A dead major general is nothing to be ashamed of. There are countries in our neighbourhood who have lost their presidents and prime ministers to the violence of dissenters. We ourselves lost a former prime minister and popular leader to bullets. For a country that gave away 50,000 lives, a dead major general and a dead ex-premier are nothing less than souvenirs. Their blood is the symbol of the country’s determination and steadfastness towards the right cause. This is the sad stance that most of us have taken so far. However, now, with attempts to reach a settlement with the Taliban, it can rightfully be ...

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Teaching Comparative Religion: Lahore Grammar School did the right thing

Is it really wrong for our children to learn about other religions? A branch of Lahore Grammar School (LGS-55 Main), has introduced a subject titled ‘Comparative Religion’, which aims to “educate about Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Hinduism”. The course received considerable backlash, gaining mainstream attention following an episode of a talk show aired on ARY News, Khara Sach on September 16, 2013. In the episode, hosted by anchor Mubasher Luqman, the school was falsely accused of attempting to convert students to other religions, as well as ridding Islamiat from the curriculum following the sixth grade. Following this episode of Khara Sach, ...

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Miss American 2014: A tale of racism and sexism hand in hand

Though you may not care – and neither do I – on Sunday a “beauty” pageant was held here in the US. These are contests where a panel of judges evaluates a group of women on their looks, talents and answers to random questions. Then one of them is crowned “Miss something”. This one happened to be “Miss America“. As luck would have it, this year for the first time an Indian-American won the pageant. Her name is Nina Davuluri and her parents come from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Nina, however, was born in the state of New ...

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Bombs, rape and death: Are we suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Mood and anxiety disorders are prevalent all over the world and they exist in different types and forms. Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that stems from traumatic or life threatening experiences encountered by an individual. The events experienced may vary, from natural disasters and severe automobile accidents to violent personal assaults, life-threatening situations and wars. The individual initially responds with intense fear, hopelessness and horror and later develops symptoms which are visible when her or she revisits the event through perception or conversation. Patients who suffer from PTSD also have trouble sleeping. These patients have a lot of anxiety, ...

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September 14, 2013
 Ali Zafar
TOPICS

La Tomatina festival in Lahore: Can we afford to do this?

It seems as if the time has come for the Pakistani youth to be reminded of the simple yet appropriate pleasure offered by the water balloons. It just so happens that we’ve found a rather unorthodox substitute in the form of the tomato. But we can’t take all the credit for this, or any credit for that matter, as the idea has been copied from Spain’s annual tomato fight festival, ‘La Tomatina’.  For a country such as Spain, with its own traditions and culture and a far superior economic situation than ours, we might let such frivolities slide.  Millions of ...

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Banning the niqab in Britain: How very Taliban of you

A recent ban on the niqab, introduced at the Birmingham metropolitan college, has sparked huge controversy among the communities in Birmingham and across the United Kingdom. Over 9,000 students across the UK signed a petition against this decision made by the college administration. While a large number of political activists have condemned the decision, College Principal, Dame Christine Braddock DBE, described the ban as promoting robust equality, diversity and inclusiveness. She further stated that she is committed to ensure that students are provided with a safe and welcoming learning environment whilst studying there — a truly ‘British way of life’. I ...

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Of justice in India and Pakistan: Shahzeb Khan and Nirbhaya

There’s a quote by George Bernard Shaw that I love throwing around when I’m trying to prove a point – most points, actually. Most things I want to say or do are defined within these few short lines as said by one of the most iconic playwrights of the past century; “There are two kinds of men in the world. The reasonable man and the unreasonable man. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” In India The courts of India, while understanding that the people ...

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“Democracy is the best revenge,” President Zardari’s legacy

I can say with some confidence that President Zardari’s legacy will be written in golden words. I don’t say this as his son, or patron-and-chief of the Pakistan People’s Party – but as a student of history. I would compare his presidency to that of America’s Lyndon B Johnson (LBJ). He too was an accidental president. He came to power following the assassination of the popular and charismatic John F Kennedy. Much like Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto, JFK was assassinated before he could implement much of his agenda and vision for the country. LBJ used the political capital he gained following ...

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Why I do not care about teaching my toddler about letters, shapes and colours

How many adults do you know that can’t read, can’t draw a circle or can’t identify colours? Honestly, you may be able to think of one or two in your life. Statistically, one in seven adults has issues with reading and writing. So this is not an issue to completely forget about, but if you are reading this blog, chances are your child will not be one of these children. This statistic mainly comes from very impoverished and neglected children and these adults will need far more than basic grammar skills to function in life. So what’s your rush to get your toddler to ...

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