Stories about police

Of self-exiled Canadians and ‘peaceful’ revolutions

For the past three days, headlines portray a Pakistan on the verge of descending into chaos; a long-awaited tsunami is about to sweep the capital; a self-claimed messianic revolutionary and his supporters are locked in a ‘peaceful’ struggle against the ‘Satanic’ government, while the sluggish government leaders are almost lazily dealing with a problem by barricades and containers that aren’t achieving their objectives. Indeed, the main players of the government have more or less avoided admitting the failure of their leadership in dealing with a Canadian cleric, desperate to gain something out of perceived government dissatisfaction. In any other functional state, Tahirul Qadri, would ...

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Is my tax money funding your political advertisement?

Open any newspaper and you’ll find government advertisements – be it provincial or federal – flashing their on-going or upcoming projects. The best term I could come up with for this exercise of self-promotion is ‘political advertising’, meant for boosting a politician’s profile or a junior level politician behaving like a sycophant for his party boss. The phenomenon cuts through all political parties and ideologies, and affects all forms of media, print or electronic. Such adverts are often used to serve party politics rather than public policy. The incumbent government spends the most on such commercials, which explains why the government’s budget for advertising is ...

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Will Muhammad Shoaib Adil be convicted for blasphemy or will the state save him?

“The clerics tried to attack me at my office and later at the race course police station. The police were very supportive and didn’t let them touch me. Later, they surrounded the race course police station and tried to pressurise the police. Luckily, some of my friends came to my aid and they did whatever they could to make sure I get out of police station safely.” He was freed from the police station in the wee hours of night, when the angry mob had dispersed. That day his life changed and he went into hiding along with his family. ...

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The failure of the police system in Pakistan

A few days back, while coming to work along with my husband and brother, I was stopped at a check post by the Islamabad Police. One of the police officials on duty inquired from my husband about the three of us. My husband stated that he and my brother were going to drop me to my office. The police official turned towards me, raised his eye brows and, while pointing towards my brother, asked rudely, “Yeh kaun hai?” (Who is he?) I replied, “Mairay bhai hain.” (He is my brother) To which the police official responded, sarcastically, “Lagta tu nahi hai.” (He doesn’t look like it) “Kia matlab lagta tu nahi hai” ...

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Gullu Butt: The ugly face of Pakistani politics

There came the sacred, exalted goon, smashing the cars in an invincibly high spirit. Behind him stood hundreds of baton-loaded policemen, entrusted with the protection of our life and property, silently appreciating the heroics of Gullu Butt. Somehow, those pictures of Butt and the police symbolise the ugly facet of our national politics abscessed with the misuse and abuse of power. The likes of Butt, who has been identified as a PML-N worker, represent the kind of mindset that exists throughout the ranks of conventional political parties; the mindset that considers power a tool to subvert and supersede the law; the mindset ...

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Chaos, panic, disorder and Dr Tahirul Qadri

Dr Tahirul Qadri plans to come back for his yearly visit on June 23, 2014. Now all of us are aware of the security given to our politicians – everyone is the president and treated like royalty with the area, surrounding their house, being cordoned off and protocol all around. Life as we know it, comes to a standstill for all those residing nearby. An utter nuisance. Dr Qadri’s case is no different. The only difference is – he isn’t even in the country yet. Earlier today, upon receiving multiple complaints from people residing around the Dr Qadri’s mansion about the barriers ...

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Sleeping with the enemy

Today, on June 10, 2014, Pakistan has officially become the biggest joke in the world. This is the second attack to have taken place, one at and one near the largest airports in the country. It came after an emotional morning in which the world was informed that bodies of seven people, remnants of the first attack, who were stuck inside the cold storage area, were retrieved. This, of course, only happened when the media boxed the eardrums of every politician it could reach. Before that… well before that we were asleep. We did wake up though. For a few ...

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#‎KarachiAirportAttack‬: We learn from history, that we NEVER learn from history

The story developed like a gathering storm. First there was news of a security breach when some armed men cut through the fence from the ‘Fokker gate’ near the Ispahani Hanger, close to the Pehelwah Goth area which had already been cited as a security risk many times. Television audience was just trying to catch its breath over the horror unfolding in Taftan, on the Pak-Iran border where over 23 Shia zaireen lost their lives to a suicide attack, in a manner that has such a familiar, horrible ring to it. As if that breaking news was not heartbreaking enough, news ...

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A letter to the prime minister: My neighbour was killed, Sir, will I be killed too?

Dear Mr Prime Minister, My neighbour was shot yesterday. I heard cries erupt all over the house, when the news of his death was conveyed to his loved ones. He was a simple man, taking care of a family of four. One wonders why anyone would want to kill someone so harmless. People say he was shot because of his sect. But, I guess that is not so important to you. Why would my neighbour or I be important? Millions of harmless men, such as these, die each day and it breaks my heart to see this harmless man’s family in pain. But that is not ...

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May 11, 2013 changed Pakistan for the better, will May 11, 2014 do the same?

On the eve of  May 10 and 11, 2013 I saw a very different Lahore. Lahore was completely crowded with families and teenagers supporting their respective political parties, majorly PTI and PML-N. A poster in central Lahore asking citizens of Pakistan to vote. ‘Say yes to vote’ Photo: AFP From Liberty roundabout to Hussain Chowk and from Hussain Chowk to either side of Firdous and Mini Market roundabout, roads were jam packed with cars and motorbikes. It seemed like nothing else was more important to anyone that day, they came out to celebrate and their democratic festivity showed! To represent the spirit of ...

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