Father – An orphaned refugee’s idealistic fantasy

An orphaned refugee, a remnant of the last jihad, writes a riveting and imaginative composition on the topic, ‘My Father’ – an idealised fantasy inked to paper in commemoration of an absent parent, a youthful escape into what might have been. Even though the writer never, seemingly, came to know his father, having been a mere infant at the time of the bitter separation, the writing vividly reflects the untainted aspirations of what a child envisions his or her father to be, particularly in the case of orphans and dejected children. The year is 1990, and the sun has already ...

Read Full Post

Were Pakistan’s 2013 elections really rigged?

13 months on, and the issue of electoral rigging is still alive and well. Many of us wish this were not so; that Imran Khan would just give it a rest and get on with his parliamentary duties rather than taking his band of merry men town to town, stirring up the same issue like a broken record. Quite a few also suspect that the purpose of his actions may not simply be the pursuit of justice or even electoral reform. For them, it seems quite logical to assume darker motives. Such speculation is eminently justified given the events currently unfolding in ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan budget 101: How comfortable does the future look?

Each family manages its affairs by assessing the financial health and consequently, deciding the expenditures correspondingly. Striving to balance between the present and future lifestyle, we all inadvertently end up ‘budgeting’ our lives to the best of our understanding. While we fail to criticise our individual budgeting misnomers, nonetheless, we anxiously wait for the honourable finance ministers to present the country’s financial outlay and shape our future every year. After all, the government bears the (ir) responsibility of our well-being, doesn’t it? Let us break the budget for the Fiscal Year 2014-15 in a crystallised form for us to pin-point the eventual impact ...

Read Full Post

A pilot’s perspective on the security lapse at Karachi airport

As a pilot, I’m often quizzed endlessly in great depth, particularly by those fearful of flying about how safe it really is to fly. My answer is always the same – you are the safest after take-off, having had already traversed the most dangerous part of your journey, that is from your home to the airport and onto the aircraft. Nowhere does this statement hold truer than in the terrorist metropolis of Karachi. My sole apprehension on every flight, in and out of Karachi, pertains to getting from Defence to the airport, and vice versa. And Sunday night, my ultimate fear ...

Read Full Post

Please God, kill my children before they are born

The midwife handed her the baby. She took the tiny thing in her arms and stared at him. He was beautiful. For a fleeting moment, she felt unbound joy. He was a part of her. He was… her focus shifted. He was nothing but a hungry mouth to feed like the eight others that awaited her at the house. Or if one could even call it a house. Two shabby rooms with a makeshift stove and a bathroom next to them was home sweet home. The ceiling leaked, the doors creaked while the paint was in tatters. Her husband had ...

Read Full Post

When will this society stop victimising women?

The recent incident of ‘honour killing’ has raised much criticism from activist groups both at home and abroad. The fact that this incident took place right outside the court of law (ironically the institution that promises to legally protect us all) and that too in front of an unwavering audience; truly shatters ones faith in humanity. What kills its last tether though is the very alert and apt police force present during this incident who refused to budge to the aid of this poor woman. Such a disgraceful act demonstrated by our own police force should be severely punished by the court ...

Read Full Post

Why are women overweight anyway?

I am writing this article in response to a blog I read titled ‘Why are Pakistani women obsessed with their weight?’ Let me clear this misconception. Women aren’t obsessed with their weight; they are obsessed with obsessing about their weight. If this wasn’t the case, there would actually be less overweight women in the world. Before you take out your kolhapuri chappal or stiletto to beat the hell out of me, have a look at the facts first. Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that women are far more likely to be obese than men. And this situation isn’t any better in Pakistan. ...

Read Full Post

If she can walk around in skin-tight clothes, why can’t I wear my veil?

Many people believe that the Islamic veil represents extremism, that it is a symbol of oppressing women. In April 2011, we saw France becoming the first European nation to ban the wearing of the veil in public. Several other countries, like Germany, Italy and Belgium among others, took inspiration from France and passed legislations banning the ‘hijab’. The irony is that even in the so-called Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a few schools forbid the wearing of the veil. Ayman Mobin, a straight A’s student in O/A Levels and now a medicine student at Dow Medical College recalled, “The director of Karachi Grammar School ...

Read Full Post

‘Dishonourable’ love – You should be stoned to death

This story about a pregnant 25-year-old woman, Farzana Parveen, being bashed to death with bricks by her brothers and uncles because she dared to marry of her own choice, is the kind of news that makes your heart drop and your stomach churn.  It’s being called an ‘honour killing’ in the press but it is murder – in fact, we should call it an execution. Farzana was going to court in Lahore to testify that she had married her husband out of choice, in response to a fake kidnapping case brought about by her family who were enraged that she ...

Read Full Post

Copy culture: Degree holders who can’t read or write

The youth, of any country, is always considered its greatest strength and an educated youth is an even stronger pillar for the state. However, these pillars cannot remain strong if young students start looking for shortcuts in their educational life. If such a situation does occur, a decline in a nation’s progress will be the inevitable result. Sadly, this process of decline is already in motion in Pakistan. Cheating culture is increasingly prevalent in our education system and it has become a pervasive phenomenon over here. Despite high claims and solemn promises, respective authorities have failed to curb the rampant and blatant cheating culture ...

Read Full Post