Stories about Nobel Peace Prize

Asma Jehangir, a force to be reckoned with

Growing up, I was filled with loathing for Asma Jehangir and yet somewhere deep down I had a sense of respect for her, however grudging it may have been. Today, I have come full circle and openly admit having deep and uninhibited respect for her. My dislike for her was primarily caused by her views which portrayed her as ‘anti-Pakistan’ and ‘against’ Islam. But I was way different back then as I used to be a typical product of state-tutored nationalism and considered any criticism of the state as anti-Pakistan. This brand of nationalism, instilled through textbooks and the media, creates deep mistrust of the outside ...

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‘Gurus’ like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Ramdev are a bad influence on society

Spirituality is no guarantee of salvation; it does not make you immune to the ordinariness of life. The yellow garb or white robe does not lift you from your prejudices and pettiness. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Ramdev, the popular spiritual gurus of India with a large following have proved this point. Their conduct establishes how they have made spirituality a business, a resource that is exploited to get closer to political power. They use their support base as a constituency to strike a bargain with the ruling class and indulge in political brinkmanship. A spiritual guru is normally silent and maintains ...

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After three Indo-Pak wars, are LoC skirmishes preparing ground for another?

The Line of Control (LoC) which divides Pakistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir has been the primary source of troublesome relations between the two countries. Not being an international border, LoC is a De Facto border agreed upon by India and Pakistan and was previously known as the cease-fire line. The security situation across this region has escalated throughout the years, as India blames Pakistan for exporting terror across the LoC. This has been the case whenever an attack has been carried out in India, or for that fact, in Pakistan as well. An important point to highlight would be that two out of three wars ...

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What they didn’t tell you about Pakistan: Seven common myths dispelled

Pakistan may be one of the most misunderstood countries around and it is certainly easy to see why when you hit the layman’s ceiling of knowledge in about 10 seconds. What most people don’t see is what lies beyond the media coverage, highlighting just the challenges the country is facing today. There is a lot more to Pakistan than what meets the eye, so prepare for some enlightenment and let’s go bust some myths. 1. Pakistan is no place for women A young girl from Kailash in native dress. Photo: Asfandi Yar. Contrary to the stereotype, not all Pakistani ...

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There will be no Eid for the families of the APS victims this year

This past Monday, my mother asked me for the third time,  “What colour kurta do you want for Eid?” By now, between two aunts and a friend, I have already been gifted three new kurtas. My response to my mother was same as it was to my aunts and my friend that I am not celebrating Eid. My mother of course wasn’t amused. This is the second year in a row I am not celebrating Eid. My friends look at me as this perpetually grim personality who needs to lighten up, and what better excuse than Eid. Eidul Fitr, or as we know it in ...

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Genetically ‘male’ woman gives birth to twins. Great, but did she have to?

A few days back, I read about a medical miracle that occurred in the Indian city of Meerut. I understand that a ‘genetically male’ woman has given birth to twins. A 32-year-old ‘woman’ had a rare hormonal conditional where she looks like a woman but is ‘almost’ a man. She did not attain puberty and has never menstruated. Her uterus was underdeveloped, her ovaries were non-functional and that she had an unpronounceable condition called “XY gonadal dysgenesis “(whew that sure was a mouthful). In short, ‘her’ body was not designed for natural conception or to hold a nine month pregnancy. She ...

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A nation that forgets its heroes will itself soon be forgotten

 American president, Calvin Coolidge, once said, “A nation that forgets its heroes will itself soon be forgotten.” It was a moment of relief and glory for Pakistanis when a hero, who was later turned into a ‘villain’ by conspiracy theorists, won the noble peace laureate on October 9, 2014. Yes, it is our brave Malala who is the youngest recipient in the world to have received this prestigious award. She will continue to be despised by those who consider anyone getting an international acclaim a ‘yahoodi agent’ (Jewish agent), ‘ghaddar’ (traitor), ‘kafir/ mashriq’ (non-Muslim/ Western) or a ‘drama’. However, whenever someone mentions Malala and the Nobel ...

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Let your children be Emma Watson, let them be Malala

I recently watched the impassioned speech that Emma Watson made for launching the UN’s ‘HeForShe’ campaign. It was a sincere appeal for a better understanding of the ‘feminist’ movement and its singular goal to establish equal rights and freedoms for both men and women. Now, in total honesty, I have grown up with a very different interpretation of what ‘feminism’ is! In fact, while I have always been taught by my family and have believed in equal rights for boys and girls, I have not really associated this with the ‘feminist movement.’ Maybe it is the word itself…why was it ever called a ‘feminist’ ...

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Shut up and listen to the music by Talal and Zoi

Drones, poverty and fundamentalism – these are often the things we hear on the news about Pakistan. But over the last two years, Pakistanis have brought home an Oscar, an Emmy, the Nobel Peace Prize, won second place in the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the World competition and secured four places in the BBC 100 Women 2014 list. On a smaller scale, Pakistani contribution to local art, literature, fashion and music is everywhere. You just have to look. In Canada, Talal Chaudhry and Zohaib Bakhtyar are one of Toronto’s most talented duos on the electronic music scene. They are gaining international attention with their deep, melodic and ...

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Are all Pakistani women damsels in distress?

It feels really good to be a Pakistani woman these days. It brings a big smile to my face when I see five Pakistani women in the list of BBC’s 100 women of 2014. And no matter how controversial one may call Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize, there is no denying the fact that it has brought Pakistani women at the centre stage again. Yes, the world is often quick to assume that women in our country are weaklings – damsels in perpetual distress. For a very long time the west has considered them little more than slaves of their male counterparts. ...

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