Stories about Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

To be or not to be a holiday: The only reason we remember Allama Iqbal?

Many people had been ranting about our shair-e-mashriq (poet of the East) Allama Iqbal rolling in his grave at the (mis)treatment due to the ‘controversy’ over how to celebrate/commemorate/observe his birth anniversary. I, on the other hand, had another vision flitting through my mind’s eye. No, it wasn’t of him holding a pansy in his hand, muttering ‘Pakistan loves me, loves me not’, while plucking at each petal. I could envision him sitting calmly in his chair, legs neatly folded, with a hint of a smug smile on his face, saying, “So you thought you could forget me, eh?” There has been far greater ...

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People are dying, yet clerics say they are ‘happy’ to see attendance rise in mosques

It was déjà vu for anyone who lived through October 8, 2005, and not just the feeling that the ground was going to split open. Yet again, we have shown that at times when people come together, irrespective of cast, creed, faith and political affiliation, we Pakistanis would rather choose to be divisive. People are dying, yet clerics say they are ‘happy’ to see attendance rise in mosques. People have been left homeless, yet politicians are busy point scoring, blaming each other for the slow response of the other instead of taking responsibility for their own mismanagement. Hospitals are being called high risk buildings by their own staffers, yet ...

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PTI claims improvement in K-P, but the tales of Nathiagali speak otherwise

I spent my childhood playing in daisy-filled meadows, walking the pakdandis and exploring the narrow roads of Nathiagali. I have drifted along these pakdandis for miles, getting lost in the green hills only to be brought home by the villagers who witnessed us growing up. My family and I are blessed that we can flee to the Galiyats, escaping the hustle bustle and frenzy that has seeped into almost every other city in Pakistan. The hill station has been my parents and grandparents retreat of choice since the 60s. This year brings the fourth generation of our family to the Galiyats at a ...

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Five cricketers who may change the future of Pakistani cricket

After the dismal performance of our team in the World Cup 2015 and the recent Bangladesh series, people are beginning to perceive that Pakistani cricket is running out of talent due to the flaws in our domestic system. However, even after such flaws, we possess some extraordinary cricketers who haven’t made their debuts yet or still have to show their potential. The best part about these youngsters is that they are all below 25-years of age. They possess great talent and hold unique match-winning abilities. Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Asghar, Ziaul Haq, and Muhammad Rizwan are some ...

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Don’t let teachers bring guns to school in KP… Please!

It would appear that the province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) is still waiting for its ‘change’ or tabdeeli. Many Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters argue that things have changed and we all hope they are right. But the one thing they might want to ask their leader to look into is the alarming incidents of gun violence in academic institutions. A study conducted done in 2006 revealed that 77% of the homicidal deaths in K-P were a result of gun related incidents/gunshot wounds. Maybe no one in the K-P government knew or understood just how violence can erupt or hadn’t read that study when they decided to ...

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Gilgit-Baltistan elections: The nth nail in the coffin of women equality

Religion has deepened its roots into Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) once again, where the Legislative elections are set to be held in June, 2015. The first symptom of this religiosity is the allegations against various party leaders for using mosques and imambargahs as launching platforms for their political activities. The second symptom is the current unanimous decision of a so-called jirga (local council) which bars women to vote, as it would put the religious, cultural and social honour of the region at stake – according to a report by BBC Urdu. The jirga was held in Diamir, one of the seven districts of G-B. Whereas ...

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PTI’s fight against dynastic politics: Discredit Maryam Nawaz, appoint Reham Khan

When Maryam Nawaz Sharif was appointed as chairman of the Prime Minister’s Youth Program, the act reeked of nepotism, despotism, cronyism and all other vile ‘isms’. Maryam was appointed, in all probability, because she is the prime minister’s daughter. It was a move typical of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) evil and dynastic ways. They ignored any and all qualified individuals for the position and chose the daughter of the party president for an important post. How dare they! Moving forward, Reham Khan has recently been appointed the ambassador for street children by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government. Behold the nobility that oozes from this profound feat by ...

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Just another ridiculous joint session in the Pakistani Parliament

They questioned the legitimacy of Parliament. They objected to the transparency and fairness of the general elections in 2013. They protested and resigned, making their return conditional upon the formation of an inquiry commission to probe into the allegations of rigging during the 2013 elections. And they returned to Parliament after the promulgation of an Ordinance establishing that very commission. So what was all the fuss about? Yesterday, during the Parliament’s joint session which was called to discuss the pertinent Saudi-Yemen issue and Pakistan’s role therein, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislators returned to the National Assembly after seven whole months. Once again, despite all its vices, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) proved to ...

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#PakVsIre or the #LahoreChurchBlast – which caught your attention?

One wonders if the National Action Plan (NAP) was actually implemented beyond the Punjab police’s wide arrests of clerics who tried using loudspeakers. After all, Maulana Abdul Aziz and his devotedly-radical wife Umm-e-Hassan still use a state-recognised mosque to propagate a narrative that insists the actions of groups like ISIS or the Afghan Taliban are all justified – commendable even. Add this to the fact that the most high-profile raid to happen in mainstream news recently was not a madrassah sending jihadists to Kashmir or a mosque being operated by the rabidly anti-Shia Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) (which still holds ...

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AIB Controversy: Who has the last laugh, India or the moral police?

Although New Delhi’s legislative assembly elections are just round the corner and the city that has been the helm of power in the subcontinent for centuries will choose between its ‘aam aadmis’ and ‘khaas aadmis’, the fulcrum of debate instead is a comedy show uploaded to YouTube, a video-sharing website, that many Pakistanis wouldn’t know of, on January 28, 2015. It is fascinating how one chooses to become a comedian in a part of the world where something funny is going on all the time. A few years back a group of witty comedians, comprising Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan ...

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