Stories about terrorists

O’ Canada, we (immigrants) stand on guard for thee!

If you are from Pakistan, a random suicide attack or senseless bouts of bloodshed are normal in all abnormal ways possible. Usually, a few selected cities and areas are targeted while the other parts of the country go on with life. However innocent blood is always shed and Pakistan is made out to be a no-go-zone in international news. This is a tragic reality that Pakistan has to crawl its way through every day. As a new immigrant in Canada, I imagine a life of peace and harmony because, let’s face it, that’s a given. Until it’s not. Terrorists attack Montreal and Ottawa and you get ...

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Homeland is NOT Islamophobic

Based around an American prisoner of war’s conversion to Islam and his suspected descent into the terrorist fold, five time Golden Globe-winning series, ‘Homeland’ is widely acclaimed by critics for its top-notch political commentary and a devoted performance by the show’s CIA heroine, Claire Daines. It’s not as uncontroversial among the American Muslim community, however; gaining a mixed response primarily because it has been accused of legitimising Islamophobia by portraying many of its antagonists as radical Muslim terrorists. What’s also feared is that Homeland will incorrectly portray Pakistan, the setting of its upcoming fourth season. Yet I personally think it’s unfair to simplify Homeland as an anti-Muslim ...

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Brother, you are from Pakistan and you don’t speak Arabic?

One of the biggest advantages of living abroad is the chance to hear what people think about your country. I have been living in Germany for the last three months and during this short stay, I have made friends from different regions of the world. At first, it appeared mystifying, the fact that everyone that I had met, knew something about Pakistan. It is no surprise that with the ongoing situation in Pakistan, where every day there is horrifying news that in the imagination of people I have come across, Pakistan comes closer to being an aberration. Wishfully, I often think ...

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And so it is

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. “Hi love! Care to meet me today?” Rayaan, on the other end of the line, teasingly asked his long time sweetheart. “Ray, you do realise this is the tenth time you have called me. How can I work if you keep distracting me like this?” Ariana responded, loving the attention he was showering upon her. “You know my day is not complete until I see your lovely face. How about I pick you at 7pm?” “Sounds great! But where are we going today?” Rayaan smiled and said, “It’s a surprise. I will ...

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Zarb-e-Azb: Are you doing your bit to fight terrorism?

With the consent of the federal government in Islamabad, the Pakistan Army has finally launched operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan. It was long due for the federal government to take responsibility of the constitution of Pakistan. The constitution is not just about executing former chiefs of the army under article six; it is also about establishing the writ of the state, providing justice to its citizens and securing their lives and properties, against criminals and terrorists. The attack on Peshawar airport was not the first attack. The attack on the Karachi airport, on army bases and headquarters, on schools and public gatherings, in marketplaces and residential areas, ...

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Mimicking rape styles from India: Hang the rapists!

The outrageous rape and hanging of Muzammil Bibi near Multan is shocking to say the least. However, it will only remain a source of horror and disgust for a couple of days because as a nation we have grown immune to such and even worse cases. These news items catch our eye for a second and we mention it to our friends during the current day. Our discussion ends with, “Yaar, these things are common in Pakistan and no one can do anything about it.” We rarely remember this the next day and by the third day, there is another wild story to enrapture us, ...

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To all the leftist liberals and the beghairat brigade, my blood is still green!

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It’s like looking through the window of a bullet train passing by downtown of a metropolis at night. You only see the well-lit boulevards and tall skyscrapers while the darkened slums are blurred out of view. Today, when I look back at my 29 years in Pakistan, I can’t remember the pitch dark slums of the late 80s or early 90s. The memories that have remained or those which my brain has chosen to record are the ones where only the metaphorical boulevards and skyscrapers remain. Before a myriad of Pakistani television channels sprung up, before a number ...

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The day the Taliban attacked my father

Death is very different from finishing a novel; both symbolise the end of something, the emotional attachment to both is poles apart. One similarity, however, between the death of a good person and the end of a good novel is that both leave a mark on your life. It’s hard to realise the importance of some people, until one day you wake up to find out that those people are no more in your life. I understood this reality on June 26, 2013. It was a very strange, sad day for me and my family. The day started like any other. My father, a ...

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An old Christian lady and a suicide bomber…

“You have to make sure you press this little red button twice near your left pocket, not more than three feet away from the target. You know how much three feet is, don’t you?” This last point of the instructions came out of the so-called engineer’s mouth for the fourth time, along with bad breath and an unpleasant smell that emanated from his clothes which had specks of gun powder in several places. The boys didn’t know his real name but his reputation as ‘engineer’ was rock solid among the other members of the secret cell. No one ever questioned the logic of ...

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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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