Stories about media

New Quetta Super Sharjah Hotel: The dhaba monopolising the chai, paratha market!

Did you know that there is a chai ka dhaba (tea cafe) in Karachi that has four branches in one of the most affluent parts of the city? Similarly, were you aware of the fact that this said cafe has only three items on its menu and it operates from 6:30 in the morning till late in the night? No? Well then, don’t be disappointed; I didn’t know these facts either. In fact, there was a lot more I didn’t know about this peculiar cafe, until I decided to investigate and find out more. Photo: Saadia Tariq Almost every other morning, as I ...

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Why are Pakistani women obsessed with their weight?

I should make it clear from the beginning that this unhealthy obsession with weight is not limited to Pakistani women but is the universal truth for women everywhere.  We are either too thin or too fat, with most of us being the latter. In Pakistan, a woman’s elegance, grace, beauty or self-worth is all linked to her weight and other women, mostly, deem a skinny female to be successful.  I noticed this on a recent trip to Pakistan. After meeting relatives whom I hadn’t seen for a long time, the first thing they commented on was my weight, which had become quite rotund. It didn’t occur ...

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Yesterday was Raza Rumi, today it could be you

I remember it was May 10, 2013 as I sat in front of my television waiting for the 9pm news bulletin. I knew what had been happening in my country for the last 20 days but I was still waiting for the news. The clock struck nine and the headlines came on, “Bomb blast in Quetta and North Waziristan – 10 killed, 15 injured.” Three political parties had been targeted by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) while the rest had been given free passage to participate in the ‘un-Islamic election’ as they liked to call the general elections to be held in that month. ...

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Can you be beautiful as you age? The media says ‘No!’

Beauty has always been tantamount to youth but the frenzy of confining beauty to the fleeting time zone of youth is a recent phenomenon. Media and the cosmetic industry have played a great role in weaving and reinforcing this youth-centric narrative of beauty. Beauty is youth An anti-ageing cream heralds, “Look up to ten years younger.” And that too at the age of 32! The catch here is that the woman is 32-years-old and the gravest matter of concern for her is the growing indifference of her man due to her dull skin. The irony is that the man, no less than a Greek god, is ...

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Saying “Children die every year in Thar” doesn’t make it acceptable, Sharjeel Memon!

The Information Minister of Sindh, Sharjeel Inam Memon, has been advocating a conspiracy of false hype regarding the Tharparkar draught and claiming that the media is wrong. He even expressed his views on Waseem Badami’s show 11th Hour on ARY News: This is a classic case of the ‘feudal mindset’ – how dare the voice of the poor reach the media? A feudal never likes that. This negligence is not really an inefficiency to perform; rather it’s a policy. A feudal likes it when people come to him with issues and if all their problems were resolved, how would he make them feel indebted ...

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Aerial firing: “If Shahid Afridi’s brother can do it, so can I!”

After an indubitably glorious victory against India in the Asia Cup this past Sunday, ardent Pakistani fans, all across the world, have indeed found various ways to celebrate this euphoric occasion. While some celebrations are fun and safe, others are not. I am referring to the infamous aerial firing or, in other words, firing bullets into the air, which is a common practice in many places and cultures around the world within South and Central Asia, the Middle East and South America. While aerial firing is a widespread practice throughout Pakistan, it is particularly customary in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) region where gun ...

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The Korean borders: Another version of Wagah border?

I have always wanted to go to Imjingak, located near Seoul, in South Korea. Being a media professional, my wish was granted when I got to travel to the Freedom Bridge for a news feature I was doing for Madang Live. Having woken up to rain, we made it to Imjingak where the Freedom Bridge lies. Photography was prohibited, except where we were given explicit permission. We were not allowed to point at anyone or anything. If a North Korean waved at us, we were not allowed to wave back. Freedom Bridge, with its striking ribbons conveying the hope of millions for ...

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Is there a need for peace talks?

The Government of Pakistan has been notified by the Mohmand Agency group of the Taliban that they have killed 23 Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers who were kidnapped four years ago from Shongari checkpost in Mohmand Agency. It is ironic that this incident took place during ‘peace talks’, with both sides hinting at the prospect of a positive outcome within a few days. Ironic? Unexpected? While flipping through TV channels a few days ago, I realised that all I could see was that certain militant outfits had somehow managed to win the media war against the State of Pakistan. The only thing I seemed to have come across continuously were ...

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‘Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan’: A chance for us to introspect

There are many evils on this earth and our country has its fair share. Since our childhood, we have heard a countless number of disturbing stories – stories about little girls beaten to death by angry employers; the youngest daughter of a poor farmer being ‘taken’ by a cruel landlord only because her father failed to pay his debts; a young boy molested by his teacher in primary school; girls traded for money, women raped by beasts in the guise of aamils. And the list goes on. While female writers – including myself – are more sensitive towards issues of their own gender ...

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Lahore: No gas to turn on the heat, so if I froze to death, would I be a martyr?

I woke up this morning and found out that, for the fourth consecutive day, there was no gas at home – none whatsoever. The stove fluttered to life for merely a second before going out and I understood that turning on the heater would be a waste of time. The equation was simple – no gas, no heat. I would have to resign myself to a cup of tea. I knew that as long as we have our electric kettle and chai (tea) – the answer to all Pakistani problems – we would survive. The key word here is electric, of course. There was no electricity either. And this ...

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