Stories about news

Will Sindh’s first female SHO Ghazala be able to survive in a man’s world?

It was encouraging to read the news of appointment of Officer Syeda Ghazala as Sindh’s first female Station House Officer (SHO) of Clifton Police Station, Karachi. This is definitely a step in the right direction, both in terms of policing and in domains of social justice, equality and women’s rights. The decision to appoint a female commander is nothing short of an informal declaration of the beginning of women’s emancipation in Pakistan at the grass roots level (where it is needed the most). To set the stage, let me relate my experience from early this year with Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) One Stop ...

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Don’t blame yourself, Raza

Dearest Raza, I was on my way to meet a friend when I got the news. I was frantic. I spent the next few hours refreshing every device I had connected to the internet to make sure you hadn’t personally been hurt in the attack. I then found out you had been, but seeing your injuries were minor, I thought,  “Thank God” Not that anyone wants to lose a friend, but you are more than a friend. You are someone I deeply respect and admire for both your candour and your passion. I thought I knew you well until I read your book, ‘Dehli ...

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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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Islamabad is the safest city in Pakistan? Not today…

I was tying my shoe laces, getting ready to go for a walk when the number of my children’s school flashed on my screen. My heart always flutters a little when I see this number on my phone and this time was no exception. “Maybe you should pick your kids from school early today,” said the coordinator. “Umm why,” I thought, running through a mental check list in my mind and wondering if I had forgotten a costume or an art supply or something at home. “You know, because of the shut down,” she added helpfully. I gasped. I had been too busy working to switch ...

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The right to write: Denied!

Journalism – a profession of disseminating news – has attained the status of an endangered profession globally. Incidents of violence and state sponsored prosecution attempts against journalists have become a de jure way of life for many. Prosecution and persecution to some degree, comes with the territory, if you will. This is unfortunate considering the burden that falls on a journalist’s shoulders. On January 29, 2014, there were several news stories of the Egyptian government’s decision to file charges against 20 journalists working with Al Jazeera on the pretext of risking national security. In my opinion, suppressing the voice of one journalist is akin to suppressing the ...

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My name is Mastung and I am innocent…

Perhaps you have heard about me in the news… My name is Mastung. I am situated at the bottom of the Lak Pass tunnel and one must pass through a mountain hole in order to get to me. And hence, my residents named me Mastung because in the Brahvi language, ‘Mash’ means ‘mountain’ and ‘Tung’ means ‘hole’.  Once you cross the Lak Pass tunnel, I welcome you with apple farms. A cool breeze awash with apple fragrance refreshes your soul as you enter. These apples are sold in markets across the country. What?  You say you have not heard of me? If you stop your car at a ...

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In Islamabad: “You can’t eat here because you are Pakistani”

I didn’t hear about journalist Cyril Almeida’s investigation and subsequent tweets against the restaurant ‘La Maison’ through the news or any blogs he might have written. I heard about it from my friends on Facebook, people who are otherwise active in liberal circles and rightfully vocal against the many injustices of Pakistani society. But the injustice that they were complaining about was Almeida’s outrage that a restaurant in Islamabad bans Pakistanis unless they hold a dual nationality. Read that again. They were complaining about his actions, not the restaurant’s policies. Extremely upset. Heard a rumour of a new restaurant in F-7 that only accepts reservations ...

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The Aam Aadmi Party is good news for democracy in India

Staring at the sky while lying on a wooden plank in the media section at Ram Lila ground – the venue of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s fast until death for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman – I am rapt in thinking about the fascinating revolution that is taking place in India. At a stone’s throw away, Hazare is spending the first night of his fast until death in his private chamber. It is also my first night of reporting for the Press Trust of India at the venue. It seems that the sky is also being economical in the use of light tonight for it ...

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Is Nawaz’s Youth Loan Program a silver lining, or another gimmick?

My Twitter feed is abuzz these days with the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Program. From concerned individuals trying to better understand the terms and conditions of the loan, to those who have found a new ball for their political ping pong, this initiative has garnered enough interest to continue to headline news and spark debates. From an economics perspective, more people vying for their business would create competition and thus lead to lower and more efficient prices, a benefit any consumer would appreciate. Who would pass up a bargain the next time you are out looking for sneakers? New businesses would create jobs that ...

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Mustafa Kamal: Karachi’s superhero should return!

The Karachi we know today is nothing like the city many of us lived in a decade ago. In 2000, the local government system was introduced by former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, which was initially just an experiment. However, the way Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur made use of this opportunity to flourish and improve has no parallels; one cannot find similar examples anywhere else. When Karachi is discussed, one cannot omit the role of Syed Mustafa Kamal, as the mayor of Karachi, in its development. It has been almost four years since Mustafa Kamal has left office – and Karachi hasn’t been ...

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