Areeba Kamal

An alumna and former employee of Nixor College. She is currently studying International Relations and Computer Science at Mount Holyoke, USA. She tweets @KamalAreeba

Dear leaders, we expect you to care this time

Despite the hardships of the past four months, we are engaged in the most momentous elections in Pakistan’s brief democratic history. For once, this nation is echoing a uniform concern: who is worthy of shaping the next five years of our future? And as we arrive at the answer to this question independently, something has changed. Our expectations from the next government of Pakistan have changed; our standards for what we will settle for in the next half decade have changed. To the future government of Pakistan, elected into power on May 11, 2013, I want to say: You are more than merely ...

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Hamza Ahmed: No cause is too elite to fight for

A 16-year-old boy was shot dead due to a petty argument in the troubled city of Karachi. Like thousands of others before him and hundreds of innocents after him, he stands a good chance of being denied an impartial, fair investigation, and a thorough delivery of justice. Yet, when his family and friends protest against the murder of their loved one, it is met with scepticism as to whether the killing of this boy deserves the media attention it is getting. When his picture and story are shared on social media, they are met by comments on how he “brought it ...

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Boston Marathon blasts: Is terrorism Muslim?

Last time I checked, terrorism had no nationality or religion. It was defined as the senseless slaughter of innocents by perpetrators of violence. No matter what causes these terrorists claim to endorse, the damage they inflicted was not supposed to represent the teachings of the religion they identified with or the country they hailed from. All that tolerance is only in theory though. When we hear of attacks and blasts by violent groups, we tend to assume everyone who is associated with the belief system which these extremists recognise is tainted by their malicious intents. With the Boston Marathon blasts only ...

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When Pakistanis can love Indians and vice versa

The India-Pakistan conflict has spanned decades, keeping the news channels on tenterhooks with every turn of events. However, while years of struggling to keep each other at bay have taught the two political arch-rivals strategies to abate tension wherever possible, the media in both countries has largely refrained from employing any peacemaking tactics. Newsmakers on either side jump at the prospect of magnifying any hint of strain in relations. Harping on how evil the other side has proved to be one of the most effective methods of attracting new audiences. On either side, reports are one dimensional, biased and indifferent to the ...

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My love for Pakistan, dangerous but unconditional

Being away from Pakistan has drastically transformed my memories of it – an interesting phenomenon indeed. It is not an erratic chaos in my head anymore. Lately, when I try to describe home, I use words such as bright lights and bustling ambition, conveniently ignoring recollections of clenched teeth, sweltering heat and endless agitation. When I contemplate my current abode in a progressive Massachusetts college, my yearning for home is surprising. I am more comfortable here, by any standard. I have spent weeks without cussing traffic. I have not experienced any electric load shedding for even an instant. Nobody stares at me if I step ...

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Pay no attention to me, I am just a Pakistani citizen

I am nothing but a pawn to be thrown around in a game I do not choose to play. Nothing I own belongs to me. I have surrendered it all to the chaos I call my homeland. Consider my cell phone. I pay a considerable sum to be able to connect with the people in my life. I part with hard-earned cash every month in order to make calls and send text messages upon my will. It is my security against inconveniences and possible emergencies. Yet, I wake up every week to news that my right to communicate via cellular networks will ...

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Pakistan: A land with feudals, a nation without Shahzeb

Suddenly, out of the blue, one incident can jolt a group of people into corrective action. It breaks through their familiarity. It shatters apathy. Simultaneously, several strong-willed, capable individuals are united in the knowledge that their own heart might intercept the next bullet that escapes a wayward weapon, unless they act this instant. Shahzeb Khan, January 31, 1992 – December 25, 2012, was shot the night of his sister’s valima because of a tiff with members of a feudal family. His murder was similar to millions of others in Pakistan. The reasons for these tragedies are strikingly similar too; in the vacuum of ...

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