Stories about feudalism

In Pakistan self-preservation takes precedence over loyalty to the nation

Many today will be looking back at the two fateful days in our history that share a common date – March 23rd. The first of these was in 1940 on which the Lahore Resolution was adopted, calling for the formation of a separate state for Muslims in the Subcontinent. The second was in 1956 when the Dominion of Pakistan became the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with the passage of our first Constitution. The past is all well and good. And much will be made of it today. But the questions that we really need to be asking, as the years ...

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We’re celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day, but are we really independent?

On August 11, 1947, a newly-formed Pakistan held its first parliamentary session. The purpose was to draft a constitution. During this session, Pakistan’s founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah famously reaffirmed the pluralistic values the new nation had been founding declaring: “You are free, you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” This year will mark the nation’s 69th year ...

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Mian Iftikharuddin: The stranger in the house

On March 29, 1953, Mian Iftikharuddin said that it was regretful that the Army had stepped in to control the anti-Ahmadi riots, that the government had “shown a way to coup d’ etat” and hoped that “the Army will (sic) be relieved of its extramarital functions” A statement made by a person with clear vision of a democratic future for his country, which appeared on the map of this world with name of Pakistan. One man who stood out more than the others in his quest to transform the newly formed state into a modern, democratic and secular society was Mian Iftikharuddin. He was ...

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Why are we banning Maalik when it’s a fictitious portrayal?

A lot has been said and discussed about the newly released Lollywood film Maalik. For me, there were two things about the film that made me want to watch it. Firstly, the fact that it was directed and written by Ashir Azeem, popular for his super-hit drama serial Dhuwan. Secondly, the tagline of the film ‘Main Pakistan ka shehri, Pakistan ka Maalik hun’ (I am the citizen of Pakistan and the owner of Pakistan) which made me realise that this film was definitely going to have more substance to it rather than a typical masala movie. I decided to watch it at a local cinema. After a few days, the ...

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Be your own Maalik, be Pakistan’s Maalik

Ashir Azeem, who has many accolades to his name, be it director, actor or writer, was given the label of a patriotic entertainer after his popular drama serial, Dhuwan. His directorial debut movie, Maalik, has been amongst the most anticipated movies in Pakistani cinema due to the popularity of his previous drama. Maalik is a tale that every citizen can identify with in one way or another. It has various stories within the entire plot. The main story line revolves around an SSG officer, Major Amjad (Ashir Azeem) who starts a private security company after having faced a major tragedy in his life. What may have seemed ...

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12-year-old, for sale

I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a little wet between my thighs. Frightened about what it was that was happening to me, I sensed an uncertain feeling of guilt and shame creep up my spine. I live in a small room with eight other family members, so the first thought, after the panic, that came to my mind was, what if one of them saw me with these marks on my clothes? I picked up a lantern and rushed out of our bricked, one-room house, into the cold night. A strange sensation in my stomach wouldn’t ...

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Battered and silenced for standing up for education

Munir*, a young man from a poor village of Southern Punjab, is lost in the flow of his erratic thoughts while being bedridden for the last two months now. He starts telling his story, carrying a reminiscent look on his face,  “I decided to join my father after graduating, to help him run the only school in the village. The thing that brought me back was my father’s commitment to the cause of education – which he had been doing so all by himself for so many years.” Munir hails from a shabby village called Akbar Sahu, 216 miles south of Islamabad, ...

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‘Naya Pakistan’ needs to answer some fundamental questions

With Imran Khan turning many doubters into believers by the virtue of his unwavering, unfaltering and untiring show in Islamabad, I have no hesitation in admitting that his performance on the political ground is as bold as it used to be on the cricketing ground. His supporters have shown commendable commitment, as the sit-in at D-Chowk has crossed a golden jubilee mark thanks to street power in other cities – especially Karachi. As I listen to his speeches, quite frankly, I love the idea of Naya Pakistan more and more each day, but what really confuses me is the model he is portraying and ...

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Islamabad fizzles out, so PTI does Karachi

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, DJ Butt and their merry gang kicked off their Pakistan tour yesterday by visiting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) stronghold; Karachi. They undoubtedly drew a large crowd consisting of people from all walks of life. But then again, so does Jamaat-e-Islami. Large numbers at rallies or not, one thing that really gets to me is the massive pool of contradictions that are the PTI. They are credited with ‘emancipating women’ and the number of women at their processions and rallies is always highlighted. Yet the party had the lowest number of women contesting general seats ...

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Welcome to Hypocristan

“Feudalism is the root of all evil in our country, baita,” Ms Naheed, who runs a renowned non-government organisation (NGO), explains to Saleem, a friend of her son. “The worsening moral, social, economic and political crisis Pakistan is going through is due to the elitist mentality of the powerful feudal lords. They deny children the right to education and treat them like slaves.” Saleem jots down the key points of the discussion. He has to submit an article on ‘Feudalism in Pakistan’ for the campus magazine next week. As soon as she finishes her sentence, they hear the sound of breaking glass. Ms Naheed gets ...

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