Stories about Balochistan

My friend was killed in the Quetta blasts last year…I still await justice

January 10, 2014 marked the first anniversary of the Alamdar Road blast in Quetta, where over 100 people were killed and more than 169 injured in a twin blast. The explosion took place near a snooker club where a suicide bomber detonated the bomb at approximately 8:50pm in the evening. When the first blast took place, a large group of people reached the area in order to rescue and help the victims. However, after about 10 minutes, another blast took place at the same location – this time it was a bomb which was remote detonated in a car nearby. The second blast ...

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Lest we forget: Remembering the victims of the 2013 Hazara massacre

When Aslam Raisani, the then chief minister of Balochistan, was asked about the Mastung massacre in September 2011, he replied, “The population of Balochistan is in millions, 40 dead in Mastung is no big deal.” When asked about what he would do for the grieving families of the victims, he replied, “I can send a truckload of tissue papers for them to wipe away their tears.” Horrific as this may sound, the Mastung massacre was not the bloodiest day in the long history of Shia killings in the Hazara community. That ‘honour’ goes to the massacre on January 10, 2013 in Quetta where over 100 people were killed ...

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My lover, her father and the ‘honour’ that tore us apart

Our ordeal had begun. She said to me, “What if something goes wrong? We will be doomed, my whole life will be ruined and they might even kill me.” Although I was scared, I responded in a brave voice, “Don’t be scared, just have faith and everything will be alright.” We were stuck in the midst of a battle to reclaim our lives and live it according to our aspirations and desires. The only other option we had was to abandon our hopes in the name of chauvinistic traditions, where women were the sole victims of culture and tradition. Her destiny had been sealed by her ...

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Wildlife: Cherished in Kenya, butchered in Pakistan?

Wildlife refers to plants and animals that have not been domesticated and exist in their natural environment. Hence, it is a national heritage and should therefore be preserved for future generations. Wildlife also opens employment opportunities for many including in the fields of security, game reserves and lodges. In addition, some plant species are used for medicinal purposes and also provide researchers with valuable information regarding nature. As a nature lover, I recently availed the opportunity to visit the National Park of Kenya. It would be a gross understatement to say that it was a spectacular experience! Unfortunately, it was also ...

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Crystal clear water, clean air and hospitality: This is the Makran Coastal Highway

Pakistan has always been hailed as a paradise for adventurous souls. From the valleys and mountains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the deserts and beaches of Balochistan, we have some of the most unique combinations of natural beauty in the world. Yet, the more I travel across different regions of this beautiful country, the more I realise how little I, like many of us living in the cities, know about the gorgeous scenery and breathtaking views that exist all around us, just waiting to be explored. This realisation hit me again on my recent trip to the Makran Coastal Highway and ...

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What is Balochistan like?

With every day we believe, through the media, that we are coming closer to one another. In reality, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. We see only what the media wants us to see. That being said, along with many realities, there is much more to each city than our eyes can see. Hopes, dreams and aspirations have always been a part of Balochistan, but we haven’t ever really looked to be able to recognise these. “Balochistan” When you read this word, what is the first image that pops into your mind? Flashes of violence? Target killing? Poverty, discrimination ...

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Indian elections: Give peace a chance, don’t vote for Modi

“Mr Prime Minister, the country wants to know – what is your priority? Is it national pride and respecting the blood of martyrs or is it to show eagerness to talk to Pakistan under pressure from other countries?”  This is how Narendra Modi addressed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a rather patriotic (or jingoistic) bid demanding to know his priorities. With such pressure from the opposition, Manmohan Singh has quite clearly shown reservations in resuming talks with Pakistan. Modi went on to state, “I want to ask you one question, when our soldiers and innocent citizens are being killed day and ...

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Forget NUST, our Baloch brethren need our help

NUST was the top trend on Twitter this week. 48 hours ago an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude struck Balochistan, the tremors of which were felt in Karachi and as far as Delhi. Tragically, over 300 people have died in Balochistan and according to The Express Tribune, 40,000 houses have been flattened. All the while, Nust remained top trend on Twitter. (News) #Balochistan quake death toll nears 350 http://t.co/2o5vUpPDoK #Pakistan #earthquake — The Express Tribune (@etribune) September 26, 2013 Photo: Reuters Most people seem to have forgotten that a tragedy far bigger than Nust’s dress code has struck Pakistan; either this or ...

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Jamshed Dasti: We get it, you are powerful.

I wrote my first blog for The Express Tribune about two years ago. I wrote it with high expectations, wrote it with all my heart and wrote it with the hope that the readers would feel it resonate with their daily lives. The comments surprised me to no end. How could the average man think that people in power deserve privileges that defy the norms of decency? Maybe it is just the first instinct of every reader to say, “No, you’re wrong, here’s what I think and clearly my opinion is better and your blog deserves a place in the lowest rungs of ...

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Balochistan University bus attack: My best friend died the day he wanted to live his life!

After spending all day preparing for a party at my university, I slept very late. I could hardly wait for the next morning, when my classmates and I would finally be performing in the plays we had prepared for. We had parodies lined up and even a fashion show. The next morning was going to be fantastic, I thought. The fashion show was a party tradition of the computer science and computer engineering departments of the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS). This time, upon my insistence, my friend Aqeel agreed to walk the ramp. After a ...

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