What the Islamabad police did to me and my friend …

I am not a regular blogger and I don’t usually write. This is the first time that I’m using this platform to get my point across and I hope it works. My message is for a wider audience, for it to be helpful to many citizens, especially naïve teenagers.   Last Friday at around 10pm, I was standing with one of my female friends on Margalla Road in sector F-6. We were munching on crisps while standing and chatting when out of nowhere an Islamabad Police patrol vehicle stopped by. Three police guys, two from the Elite Force in their skin tight black ...

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Hamza Ahmed: No cause is too elite to fight for

A 16-year-old boy was shot dead due to a petty argument in the troubled city of Karachi. Like thousands of others before him and hundreds of innocents after him, he stands a good chance of being denied an impartial, fair investigation, and a thorough delivery of justice. Yet, when his family and friends protest against the murder of their loved one, it is met with scepticism as to whether the killing of this boy deserves the media attention it is getting. When his picture and story are shared on social media, they are met by comments on how he “brought it ...

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Dear Jinnah, I am sorry to disappoint …

Honourable Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah, I’m convinced you’re well and in a much better place. I’m a citizen of Pakistan and after having enough, I thought I should speak to you – inform you about the Pakistan you fought for on our behalf. Sir, we have your picture on Pakistani currency which we use for bribing. We also have your picture in our government offices, under which our managers (I’m sorry Sir, but I don’t find any leader in this country as of now) sit and rape (literally) the constitution and tell lies. Sir, the Pakistan you thought of, we are nowhere ...

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Slim is weak and healthy is fat? Are women a flock of sheep?

Submerged in a conversation with my friend a few days ago, she suddenly looked at me and quipped, “Oh, I wish I was as thin as you.” As per ritual, I started blabbering about how healthy she was, how her weight suited her and that she should embrace and flaunt it rather than complain about it. A few seconds later, I joined her and started complaining about how extremely petite I was and how I wish I was slightly athletic looking. We spent almost fifteen minutes cursing, complaining, then patting each other on the back and consoling each other. The conversation went on and my ...

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KGS admission blues and the pursuit of (academic) happiness

Saturday, March 16, 2013 was probably one of the few very anticipated days in the academic calendar. For many, it was undoubtedly a defining moment for their kids. Yes, it was the day when one of the most prestigious schools in Karachi held its admission test for entry into class three. Success would mean victory, triumph and a sense of academic achievement par excellence. Failure would spell doom, despair, depression and a social stigma – in other words – for some nothing short of a calamity. The so called pursuit of academic excellence, if that is what we are after, comes with ...

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April 21, 2013
 Arsalan Faruqi
TOPICS

A SWOT analysis of Pakistan’s political parties

The following is an analysis of our political parties gauged on their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT): Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Strengths: PML-N has a strong following in Punjab – the largest and most powerful province in Pakistan. Furthermore, it has a great alignment with right wing groups and religious circles. Major cities of Punjab have seen tremendous development during the last five years. Weaknesses: PML-N has not been able to carry out any substantial development in remote areas and far off villages of Punjab. It has teamed up with same old faces that previously supported and strengthened a dictator’s government. Opportunities: The poor performance ...

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Vote for PPP or PML-N: New parties can’t help Pakistan

I am not subscribing to a Marxist analysis but it is evident that our society has two distinct classes. The first is the rich and educated minority of Pakistan that makes up the ruling and influential group; the second is the deprived and backward masses who are ruled. In this context, democracy appears to be the best system of governance for the country. However, Pakistan has seen so many military interventions that the evolution of political institutions has been stunted. Many political parties are family-run organisations where leadership remains within the circle of wife, husband, and children. When such descriptions are discussed, the ...

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Justice Ebrahim, when will you tell us if overseas Pakistanis can vote or not?

This is a sincere request to our Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, to take emergency notice of the matter regarding voting rights of overseas Pakistanis. Officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have buried the issue by saying that bureaucratic hurdles are making it impossible to grant voting facilities to expats. Currently, there are around 7.5 million Pakistanis abroad, and our economy is primarily running on remittances sent by them. Pakistan was ranked number ten for remittances in 2012, which totalled around $13 billion that year. Due to meagre employment opportunities, many leave the country in search of a better livelihood so that ...

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Rape: It’s not about sex; it’s about power, anger and violence

Public debate about ‘rape’ is always an emotional affair. I place ‘rape’ in commas as it is an out-dated word carrying incorrect perceptions about sexual violence; perceptions that blur the true picture and inhibit effective solutions. The first and most distracting misconception is that sexual assault is about sex. Sexual assault is no more about sex than assault with a weapon is about the weapon. Experts, such as Stephen Homes, Larry Seigal and Gene Ragula, are among a range who have published writing clearly stating that sexual assault/abuse is not about sex. It’s about power, anger and violence. Legal systems across ...

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Does your child deserve a lower grade because he is an introvert?

Our society consists of an extrovert-dominated culture and students usually realise this when they enter an education system. However, it is not until after their university life that they are able to grasp the true magnitude of this trend. Teachers endorse a societal prejudice against introverts by valuing and praising students who are more expressive, communicative and vocal. The general perception amongst teachers is that introversion is something that needs to be overcome. The attitude of students is no better; introverts are looked down upon and treated as if there is something wrong with them or that they are somehow inferior to others. I ...

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