Atika.rehman

Atika Rehman

Editor of the Life & Style pages of The Express Tribune and an LLB graduate from the University of London.

Where do you urinate if there is no lavatory?

“Yahaan pishaab karna mana hai“ (Do not urinate here) “Yahaan ghadda pishaab kar raha hai“ (The person urinating here is a donkey) These warnings are painted on many walls in our cities. Here is a picture: But these warnings are widely ignored by most people. One week ago, I decided to go out and talk to some pedestrians near my office about this practice; I asked them if they have ever urinated in a public place and why, and if they were willing to pay Rs5 per visit to a public toilet facility. The responses were varied, but one that stayed with me is that relieving ...

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April 25, 2012
TOPICS

Satisfied with TV coverage of the Bhoja Air crash?

As the Bhoja Air plane went up in flames on Friday evening, so did tempers within the Pakistani social media crowd. Along with the “RIP all victims of Bhoja Air crash” status updates on Facebook, there were angry tweets questioning why television channels aired the passenger list and why images of the crash site were being aired. It seemed that it was easier for people to direct their fury at the media for being “sensational, insensitive and unethical”. Some from the media circle, however, defended the coverage and retaliated by saying that the reporters were doing their jobs. This brings to light a few ...

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To wear or not to wear a niqab

It is no surprise that both our top blogs this week have talked about the face veil. In the first one, our blogger wrote about a social experiment she conducted by wearing a niqab for a day. The other blog talked about the controversy surrounding a picture of a veiled woman holding up a bra. Here are some of the reactions to these pieces: “’Female figure is a source of evil and therefore should be kept strictly hidden. All girl children be taught to be ashamed of their own bodies. Any reference to female anatomy meets with a response of disgust, ...

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PML-N’s message: To ‘Ali Baba’, from a ‘dengue brother’

How does one measure the “success” of an anti-government political rally? Do you go by the statement of the political party itself? Do you talk to its supporters? To irritated residents in the vicinity who complain about traffic woes and noise pollution? Or do you gauge the temperature rising in the capital in its aftermath? The anti-government rally lead by the Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N) on October 28 was prominently covered by the local press and dominated conversation in Lahore on Saturday. News anchors dubbed the event as “kamyab” (successful) in the 9 o’ clock news bulletin, complete with sound ...

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September 28, 2011
TOPICS

What Mathira and Paris Hilton don’t have in common

An article published in the Los Angeles Times describes notorious TV show host Mathira as “Pakistan’s Paris Hilton”. While the comparison does fit with regards to both women being sex symbols (don’t roll your eyes, Mathira’s got the oomph), to me she seems to represent so much more than that. In a country where a greater part of the population prefers to watch “family friendly” TV shows, Mathira brazenly landed up on the sets of VIBE as a host on Love Indicator, a show where she invited callers to share their relationship problems and make song requests. While many were ...

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Does your foreign minister own a Birkin?

‘What was she wearing?’ rather than ‘what was she saying?’ was the question that made the rounds during Hina Rabbani Khar’s Delhi visit this week. As she sashayed off the plane onto the tarmac, glamorous HRK touched down in Delhi amidst the Indian press, her cobalt blue dupatta billowing in the wind. As happy as I am that she is Pakistan’s first female Foreign Minister, I have to ask this question (snarky as it may seem): Could she not have done without the Hermes Birkin? Before you brush me aside as a hater, let me clarify that I am a big supporter of ...

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June 17, 2011
TOPICS

Selling rewards for the after-life

Sex – and anything remotely connected to sex – sells. Whether its one-liners in Nandos ads punning on ‘peri-peri hot chicks’ or a Twitter upload of Anthony Weiner’s manhood, sexual innuendos are popular. Don’t ask me why – I’m not a social scientist and I don’t purport to know why people are so interested in the act. I just know that they are.  And this YouTube video proves my point. This ‘scholar’ (I hate to use this word to describe him, but this is a public forum and I am going to maintain a certain level of respect) is preaching his ...

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Unattended IDPs: Fodder for terrorists

Fifty five year old Haji Khatab Khan has lived in the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar as an IDP for the last two years. On June 7, he will face the dreary reality of returning to what once used to be his home in Bajaur Agency, but the homecoming will not be festive. “Security forces demolished our houses in Mamond [Tehsil of Bajaur Agency], so where should we go now?” he beseeches, adding that he wants compensation to rebuild his house that was destroyed in the army operation to wipe out militants from his area. The situation is alarming. A blogger ...

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Raymond Davis case and Uncle Sam’s hypocrisy

“The message that the Obama administration sent in Islamabad on Wednesday is loud and clear. If you work for the CIA, the US government will pay your way out of jail even if you are being held on murder charges.” This was the crux of Pratap Chatterjee’s report for the Guardian The ransoming of Raymond Davis. Call it blood money, call it a bribe – the fact is that someone paid $2.3 million to get Raymond Davis out of a Koth Lakhpat jail and on a special plane faster than you can say “CIA agent”. Where this money came from is ...

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Butt, where is the shame?

“I am not playing in the event, I thought it was worth participating as an expert,” said Salman Butt when he was asked to comment on his recent decision to appear as a cricket commentator for the World Cup on a local news channel. I am outraged at his decision, and my anger is the result of a bruised cricket-loving ego. Salman Butt lost the right to associate himself with cricket the day the ICC proved him a liar and cheater. His cockiness regarding the matter is appalling; it’s almost like he’s telling the world “they were just no-balls, it’s not a big ...

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