Stories about police

I was on a bus in Karachi when a “helpful” lady tried to steal my belongings

Standing alone in a bus makes you feel like a lone ranger. A lone ranger surrounded by Hannibal’s brutal army. It frightens you to the core and you want the crowd to disperse as soon as possible. As a daily commuter, I’m used to travelling in packed buses in Karachi. On one of these days, I was waiting for a passenger to get off so I could take their seat. But unfortunately, I missed the opportunity of grabbing the seat as two other female passengers, tall and broad in built, were standing on either side of the seats, ready to sit down. It seemed ...

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Will I ever find an incentive to keep paying my taxes every year?

As an employee who lives his life from one pay cheque to the next, I rejoice with the fresh set of energy that generates in the last few days of every month. Fortunately, I work for a private firm which follows a strict set salary cycle every month, compensating employees on a timely basis. The bank credit text message received every month, confirming my salary’s transferred into my bank account, contains a figure that translates into an immeasurable emotional elation every time I see it in my inbox. However, a significant portion of my salary gets chopped away in lieu ...

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Holi should stop being an excuse to sexually harass women

Delhi in the month of March is really a beautiful city - the weather is mildly cool and the sun is not that sharp. One would expect that more tourists would visit the place during springtime for whiffs of fresh air. In short, peaceful sites to travel around, before the hot winds begin. But surprisingly, in this month, you will find anything but peace on the streets. This is a different kind of war I am hinting at – those who have booked their tickets for the hills to flee from the Holi horror show know exactly what I am talking about. More ...

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Islamabad is NOT a city you would like to move to, trust me

To millions of Pakistanis, Islamabad is a city they would like to move to. The assumption is, it being the nation’s capital, it will naturally be blessed with luxuries their lives have been spent dreaming about; such as uninterrupted supply of basic utilities such as water, gas, and electricity. Most importantly, a peaceful environment. In the past 10 years, successive governments have tried to make up for the disparity. No, not by lifting the standard of living of people in the rest of the country up, but by letting the capital residents down too. Even in the posh areas of the federal ...

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This video is why our police officers need to learn the art of self-defence

Recently, a brawl broke out between a citizen and a group of traffic police officers at the busy PIDC intersection in Karachi. Initially, media reports painted the citizen as a victim who had been subjected to police torture. Civil society and political activists joined the bandwagon as well and the perpetrator was released after a brief detention period. Later on, when the CCTV footage was released, it showed a completely different picture where a law enforcer was seen approaching a citizen instructing him to move his motorcycle away from the no-parking zone. After a very brief exchange of words, the deranged ...

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As a Kashmiri, I ask, will my scars ever heal?

When people talk about the effects of conflict on the psyche of the youth in Kashmir, I automatically recall my experiences in a conflict-ridden Kashmir as well. With every passing murder of innocent youths in the area – such as the recent killing of Khalid Muzaffar in the North-Kashmir area of Tral, or the earlier case of the Pathribal and Machil fake encounter –  I wonder how I could have been in their place or could have ended up taking arms against the perpetrators to avenge the pain inflicted upon us. So here I am, writing my story, a story which nearly every Kashmiri can relate to. I ...

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When the concept of ‘an eye for an eye’ seeps into the fashion world

The recent allegations surrounding designer Tabassum Mughal are widely known. She is accused of ‘beating up’ and verbally abusing a client’s mother, Shagufta Noor, when she visited the studio at the day on which the delivery of the dresses was due, and was supposedly not shown the dresses, which propelled her to demand an immediate cash refund. Photo: Facebook group Bring Tabbasum Mughal to justice Like most Pakistani saas-bahu (mother-in-law/daughter-in-law) dramas, the story is remarkably twisted. It became murkier when a complete stranger, Hira Haroon, read the client’s friend’s post on a Facebook group, and decided to help. Daughter of a retired Army ...

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Women like Shazia Perveen don’t wait for a saviour, they are their own saviour

Her eyes were ablaze with determination and professionalism while she was all set to perform her heroic duties. The picture, in true sense of the words, spoke a thousand words. Shazia Perveen is the first female fire fighter of Pakistan and her unique choice of profession is going to change things for the women of Pakistan for better and for good. “The mighty girl” is inspirational and symbolic in many ways and a silver lining of hope in the grim situation. This unusual choice of occupation would help in pushing predefined cultural boundaries for women and help them enter into a new realm of ...

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Here is why I can’t trust the police in Pakistan

A friend’s recent encounter with the police has left me fuming. He was waiting for his sister outside a restaurant on a busy road, when a transvestite tried to get into his car. Seconds after he told the transvestite to go away, a police mobile stopped next to his car, as if waiting to pounce on him and hurled a series of accusatory and demeaning questions at him. He had not been committing a crime nor attempting to do so, then why was he dealt with like a culprit? And would he have been treated the same way had he been in an ...

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Let the women of Iran take off their hijabs, give them the right to choose!

Where citizens are forced to abide by the norms of a certain culture, disrespect for that culture for the mere sake of disrespect, becomes a mode of resistance. Thousands of Iranian women are posting pictures of themselves online with their hijabs removed, as part of a rapidly growing movement across the country. Last year, an Iranian journalist, Masih Alinejad, in an act of defiance of her nation’s ultra-conservative culture, posted a picture of herself on Facebook without her hijab. She launched a Facebook group – ‘My Stealthy Freedom’ – which has now snowballed into a movement of over 800,000 followers, inspiring thousands of Iranian women to ...

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