I don’t support PTI but Imran Khan may be our only saviour against corruption

I, being a non-PTI supporter and voter, believe that Imran Khan’s upcoming protest on April 24th will go a long way in making millions of Pakistanis aware of the corrupt individuals governing our country. Since the Panama revelations, much has been written about our prime minister and his family’s substantial investments abroad. Some have argued that Nawaz Sharif has lost moral authority and should, therefore, make way for new leadership to govern our country. Others argue that Nawaz’s departure from the political realm would only damage political stability and the future of democracy. I, personally, believe that the questions the Panama Papers have raised may ...

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Sorry, Mr Jinnah, we had to ruin your beloved Pakistan

You wanted Pakistan to be a state where we would be free; free to go to our mosques, temples and churches, but today it is a country where many are free to bomb places of worship. You said there would be no difference between Hindus, Christians and Muslims, but today Pakistan’s Muslims are killing each other (as well as Hindus and Christians) because they cannot tolerate those whose beliefs are different from theirs. Your Pakistan would have been a model democracy, but 10 years after your death, a military dictator took over the reins of the country, and we hailed ...

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The hypocrisy of Muslim outrage in Pakistan

I’m sure everyone remembers Ahmed Mohammed, the clock boy. Does everyone also remember the furor it caused in the pious Muslim circles? Sure, it was pretty ridiculous of the authorities to nab him from his school in the US and it was fairly stupid of them to mistake a homemade clock for a bomb but I do remember the self-righteous outrage in the circles that generally wouldn’t do this ‘please share to spread awareness’ kind of thing if the subject was Naveed Rafique.  Who is Naveed Rafique you ask? He is a 13-year-old boy from Jaranwala, Punjab. Naveed was a position holder in his ...

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A brainless hospital in Lahore hired a fake brain surgeon

Ms Maima worked as a neurosurgeon at one of Pakistan’s most prominent government hospitals at Punjab, Services Hospital Lahore. There, she worked on numerous patients, performing several brain surgeries for a period of eight months. One fine day, Professor Dr Rizwan Masood Butt, the head of the Neurosurgery Department, asked her routine questions during a medical round. To his alarm, she failed to answer properly. You see, Ms Maima, who had been working on the brains of patients at Pakistan’s second biggest hospital for so long, was actually a fake. Yes, this fake brain surgeon had outsmarted all the brainless people ...

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Do you qualify? The imperialistic exclusivity of the Karachi Grammar School

Like many Karachiites who get very good results in their ‘O’ levels, I decided that my grades were my ticket to the prestigious Karachi Grammar School (KGS). KGS, you see, practises a vague semblance of meritocracy (and maintains its college admission rate records) by allowing a handful of high-achievers into their hallowed gates at the A-level stage. People nod impressively if you tell them you went to KGS, and in a city obsessed with class and nepotism, the doors of KGS mean opportunity and exclusivity. In short, the school represented to me an elusive and exclusive glamour that I ...

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He was penalised for drinking water out of a well

O’ lord, my Lord, may I have my wage…? It is dark out now and my boys eagerly wait… It was a scorching hot day as I tended to your crops… I toiled all day as sweat rolled down in drops… I felt needles in my throat… my eyes burned with fever… I longed to sit in the shade and have a cool drink of water… I worked near the tube well, a lot of wood I logged… Yet I dared not quench my thirst for the fear of being flogged… I am not complaining O’ master… I have known the rules for ...

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Does the death penalty target criminals or the poor?

A damning report places Pakistan as third in the list of countries where the most number of executions took place in 2015, after China and Iran and before Saudi Arabia and the United States. In other compelling statistics, in 2014, the Global Slavery Index, Pakistan ranked third in a list of 167 countries where the problem of human slavery is most severe. In 2012, we had the most number of people (28 million) affected by war and conflict. Along with other South Asian countries, Pakistan ranks high in hunger and malnutrition statistics, with about 41 million people undernourished in the period 2014-16, a whopping 22 per ...

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You’re looking at Nawaz Sharif, but do you pay your taxes?

It is no secret that Panama, with its strictest financial secrecy rules on the planet, has been a long-time friend to crooks, dictators, corporations and the ridiculously rich. Turned into a tax and money-laundering haven in the 70s with the help of American banks, Panama’s financial laws remain extremely lax and welcoming. As a Panamanian lawyer put it in his 2014 VICE News interview, “When it comes to money laundering, we offer full service: rinse, wash, and dry. You can go to any law firm in the city, from the smallest to the biggest, and open up a shell company with no questions asked.” To ...

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Welcome to the game of drones

The US President, Barack Obama, acknowledged on Friday that civilians should not have been killed in drone strikes. He went on to say that the US administration is now cautious on striking where women or children are present. Gee thanks, Mr President. It took President Obama close to eight years to acknowledge this fact. Drones might be the third most annoying thing in the sky after mosquitoes and plastic bags caught in the breeze. Despite being a nuisance, the US president loves them. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, not only has he launched more than eight times the drone strikes his predecessor did, ...

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This post is about Autism, but are you even going to bother reading it, Pakistan?

Last year at the Harvard Ed School we ‘lit it up blue’ for Autism Awareness. We had blue lights on the buildings and people wore blue shirts in solidarity. A lot of my focus while in school was on education in Pakistan, and so as I walked by and saw the sea of blue, I wondered what might be happening back home on this day. The State of Pakistan I found some articles about autism in Pakistan on popular online news outlets and magazines. I wondered how many people actually clicked on the articles and read them. Someone else had obviously ...

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