They said they would take care of our children in their manifestos, did they lie?

The majority of us, particularly those in the power corridors, may not remember that 2013 was declared the ‘Year of Child Rights’ in Pakistan on November 20, 2012 by the then prime minister of Pakistan while speaking at a function to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. Unfortunately, however, his government couldn’t take any tangible steps in the first two and half months of the year. 2013 was also the year of elections in Pakistan and we heard political parties share their programmes and manifestos with the masses and make commitments related to improving health, education, social protection and other social indicators. This blog is an attempt to ...

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Bahria Town project and it’s invisible hands

It was back in October last year, when I first noticed the crowd around the Bahria Town Karachi office at Shahre Firdousi. Having physically witnessed the extravagance of Bahria Town (BT) projects in the country, I was excited about their expansion in Karachi and across Sindh. The masses in Karachi too, were delighted by the launch. What pushed me to pen this piece was the chaos and, somewhat, surreptitious mechanism that the BT adapted for the launch of these projects, specifically the Bahria Town Karachi (BTK). It was initially launched with an undisclosed location, which triggered heavy subscription, reflecting the unshaken confidence ...

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“Ask for ‘permission’ before taking a second wife? That is out of the question!”

Suddenly the head of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has claimed that it’s against the tenets of Islam for a man to seek permission from his wife before taking another one. The question that arises is why now, after more than 53 years? When the law was enacted, Islamic scholars like Maududi, Noorani and Mufti Mahmud were active politicians. None of them objected. Therefore, it was assumed that the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 was in accordance with the teachings of Islam. So, what made the current head honcho of CII claim that there is no need to ask your wife if you want ...

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Thar famine: Bilawal Bhutto, your incompetence is unpardonable

Dear lord Bilawal, The recent calamity that has hit the Thar Desert is nothing less than heart-wrenching. As I pen these words, thousands stand precariously at the cusp of death. However, the purpose of this write-up is not to vent my sentiments but to bring to your Lordship’s attention the truth of his existence and the seemingly obvious realities that hitherto remain unrealised. My lord, your people are starving and at moments like these true leaders stand amongst their people. You ought to be here; not thousands of miles away in the plush cosiness of your foreign apartments. That’s not the Quaid-e-Awam’s legacy; that’s not ‘Bhuttoism’ – in ...

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Working women do not make better moms

“Working women do not make better moms,” I told an audience comprising of my teachers and fellow students in my primary school where my own mother was working as a teacher. I had the audacity to look her in the eye as I completed my argument in the speech competition. She looked back with a smile and I looked away. I had a good reason for the argument. Ever since my mother started working I saw a change in my family life. She often brought work home and then struggled with house chores. I got lesser treats at home. There were no more homemade doughnuts ...

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Has our parliament been reduced to liquor, hashish and immorality?

We all remember the incident when the former defence minister outrageously slept through while the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was addressing the parliament. It was hard for everyone who saw this spectacle to understand what substance or issue could possibly have made him doze off like that, during such an important address. However, to everyone’s surprise, the parliamentary session on February 27, 2014 had the answer to this. A member of the National Assembly (MNA), Jamshed Ahmad Khan Dasti, representing Muzaffargarh, Punjab, deciphered the mystery behind this. He discovered the substance that caused this to happen. Dasti addressed his fellow parliamentarians a few days back ...

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Transgenders in Pakistan: An identity card hasn’t accomplished anything

We, as Pakistanis, have a profound lack of empathy for individuals that suffer from a Gender Identity Disorder (GID). These individuals have, perhaps, faced the severest form of discrimination from among all the minorities in Pakistan since ages, and unless a change from within emanates, would continue to be harassed for years to come. Though I am not a writer by profession, a recent incident in the shacks of Rawalpindi forced me to write this article. While purchasing groceries with a relative, I came across Aashi and Heer, two transgender people living in a hut nearby. As they entered the store, they were frowned ...

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Blaming women for divorce in the name of Islam?

This article is in response to the very illuminating, thoroughly informative, thought-provoking essay by Ahad Kashif in The Express Tribune titled Pakistan and high divorce rates: The girl’s parents are to blame!  The said article is littered with the ubiquitous problem in our society which is stuck in the throes of reconciliation between Islam and modernity. Islam and modernity, you say? How could this be? This is a concept that eludes many of the citizens of our over-populous nation and they finally throw their hands up in the air, let out a dramatically long sigh and say, “You know what? Not to be sexist or anything but ...

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‘Eye for an eye’: Does capital punishment do justice or encourage vengeance?

Around 140 countries have progressed to becoming abolitionist states in the last 65 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was promulgated. Unsurprisingly, Pakistan oddly stands as a retentionist for over a dozen crimes including blasphemy, drug trafficking, kidnapping and adultery. A sore reminder of this is the recent adjudication by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi that sentenced two men to seven and fourteen years imprisonment followed by a ‘to be hanged till death’ order. In a country that is deeply influenced by a strict and orthodox interpretation of the religion that the majority follows, are we ready ...

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Be Pakistani, support the Pakistan Protection Ordinance

Leadership has never been our strong suit. When it’s time to step up to the challenge and rally the nation on a certain path, our leadership crashes; it always falls short of selling an idea and forming a narrative. Similar is the case with the Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO), which has fallen victim to proponents on the left who argue that the ordinance violates human rights and may be a prelude to governmental tyranny. Sure, point taken that it represents such implications. But this ordinance was made to bypass the parliament not because Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in the process of ...

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