Stories about Taliban

Playing god in the land of the pure

People everywhere look for answers in stark black and white, and love the comfort that gives them the ability to use it as a club against others. For some reason, people keep recreating the very issues in their religions that the founders of those religions sought to eradicate. True spirituality should bring complete humbleness and love. What is common to all of us is how we struggle for an authentic faith without taking refuge in the absolute; that, to my mind, is the classic source of apostasy. There is nothing I ever read about Islam that didn’t pertain equally to other religions’ ...

Read Full Post

Is freedom of expression alien to Islam?

I am a journalist and I believe in freedom of expression. While I understand there are values for which journalism stands but those empowering principles are meant to only enhance and secure the right to express. Journalists, for the most part, are conscientious individuals who portray societal fallacies and fight to eliminate human betrayals that rampantly obscure the very essence of our existence. Journalists and journalism are in deep trouble all over the world. Freedom of expression is at risk. And this is not just on account of some sporadic oppressive or rogue regimes trying to use strong-arm tactics against the ...

Read Full Post

Yes, Imran Khan’s marriage IS my priority

Let me begin this with a disclaimer: I have nothing against Reham Khan. She should not be harassed or have her private space infiltrated. She is free to choose whatever and whoever she wants to. I hope it’s clear; this is not about Reham Khan. This is about the discrepancy in Imran Khan’s choices. Imran, like any other right wing politician, exploits the religious sentiments of his voters. We are a nation who as children fall into the trap of our grandma’s religious manipulation, “Hazoor (SAWW) ne toh kabhi kisi khanay se inkaar nahi kiya, chalo achay bachoon ki tarha kaddu kha lo.” (The Prophet ...

Read Full Post

Showing off Pakistan’s achievements in 2014

2014 was like any other year for Pakistan in the last decade, with socio-political and religious excesses taking the lion’s share of space in the newspapers of the country. And yet, despite being overshadowed by dismal news, there was no dearth of winning moments for our country. In retrospect, this may just prove to be the year in which the foundation for a consolidated effort was laid, in the country’s quest to reclaim its lost glory of the 1960s. Progress was made in all domains of life. Some of those winning moments are herein under presented: Admittedly, in a country forever ...

Read Full Post

Good vs evil: Where does America stand?

Having read through the 500-odd page US Senate report on CIA torture and all of its gory details, I can understand why the CIA, Pentagon and White House didn’t want this report to come out. Remembering the international outcry over the pictures that were leaked from Abu Ghraib and Bagram, the US intelligence services knew the powder keg that they were hiding from the world. They knew what they had done were crimes against humanity and no amount of verbal discourse would make this acceptable, tolerable or forgivable. There are two parts of this discourse that are disturbing to me as a human being. First, ...

Read Full Post

The Pakistani dream: A kingdom in heaven

On 16-12-14 the Taliban struck at the very heart of Pakistan. They plucked our children one by one while we watched in a catatonic fix, struck by disbelief that the enemy had entered our homes. But why the surprise when they have been rapping at our doors? We remained deaf, blissfully unaware. In June earlier this year, the Global Coalition for the Protection of Education Against Attack pointed out nearly 800 such incidents at educational institutions in Pakistan from 2009 to 2012. A grenade explosion at a government high school in Bannu took place in November, preceded by the bombing of a school bus in Khurrum Agency that claimed ...

Read Full Post

The cost of silence

The nation is in shock after the events of the Peshawar school attack. Even for a country that has seen its fair share of violence, the tragedy that occurred was unbelievable. After becoming aware of what had happened, I sat in silence, overcome with grief, contemplating questions such as ‘Why had this happened?’ and ‘Who would do such a thing?’ But it became clear to me that perhaps I was going about it all wrong. I was trying to make sense of a situation that could never make sense. What reason could ever justify the killing of over a hundred innocent school children? ...

Read Full Post

The Taliban is not the real enemy

December 16, 2014, marked the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) deadliest attack in Pakistan. Militants from the TTP attacked an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 142 people; 132 of whom were children. Survivors of the attack are still being treated in hospitals. As declared by the Taliban, the motivation for the attack has been to avenge the Taliban families who have been targets of the drone attacks in operation Zarb-e-Azb. The attack has been widely condemned across the globe with majority of Pakistanis mourning December 16 as a ‘Black Day’ in the history of Pakistan. Consequently, the prevalent government, army, opposition parties and the wider nation ...

Read Full Post

What Pakistan went through during the Peshawar attack

Students of Psychology will be familiar with the Kübler-Ross model. The five stages of loss and grief. ‘Normal grief’. Grief of losing a loved one to a terminal illness. Grief that one has prepared themselves for. Grief that concludes with acceptance. However, there is no theory for the event in which all the first four stages of grief collide. Nothing to explain the kind of grief that does not end with ‘acceptance’. Yesterday, December 16, 2014, demonstrated to us a new trough in humanity. Just when we thought we had hit rock-bottom in a society where human life has nil ...

Read Full Post

Measuring a massacre – Should we mourn for longer? Louder?

Out of a student body of a little over 1000, 132 children are dead. At a moment like this, how do you quantify tragedy? If a thousand children were standing in line, every tenth child was shot and killed. One in 10. “One in 10 children worldwide has no access to schooling.” One in 10 families whose children went to Army Public School (APS) probably wish this statistic applied to them. “There are 1.6 hours of dream consciousness for every 16 hours of waking consciousness; this means that your chance of dreaming at any given moment is one in 10.” There is a one in 10 ...

Read Full Post