Rabia Ashfaque

A graduate of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. She spent a few months teaching English to grade 7 before she found her calling and joined The Express Tribune where she works as a sub-editor on the Karachi pages.

WikiLeaks: Gossip on a global level

We like to pretend that we’re indifferent to it. The fact of the matter, however, is that it exists all around us. Sometimes in the shape of a tete-a-tete, at other instances as an intelligence report or espionage leak, it all boils down to the same idea – information generated across the circles where it has no business being. Simply put, it is just the good old strangely satisfying thing we call gossip. “Log kya kahain gey” – a maxim we’d lived under all our lives, explains perfectly the very human desire to talk, converse, and ...

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CWG: Pakistan’s pointless search for heroes

It was yet another embarrassing sports story for the Pakistanis when, on Sunday, the country’s delegation at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi decided to indulge in a tussle in the middle of the opening ceremony. It is all very well for an official to have said that the matter of Sindh Sports Minister Muhammad Ali Shah robbing the nominated flag-bearer, weightlifter Shujauddin Malik, of the national flag, should be dealt with after the delegation returns home. Millions of Pakistanis who bore witness to this incident on their television screens, however, had to deal with their personal sense of mortification and embarrassment there and then. In a country where sports and politics dominate much ...

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Too scared to be happy?

Fun, in Pakistan, is a debatable issue. Being an Islamic republic, the idea of fun somehow ends up sparking a debate on “shariah compliant” ways to take pleasure in anything. Opinions clash, sentiments are hurt and the concept of entertainment is trashed before it can become a threat. The concept of ‘having fun’ tends to be viewed as an attack on the sanctity of our religion. Everything is assessed for the label of ‘haraam’, whether it is pumping up the volume and tapping our feet to a song, sitting in an integrated gathering, indulging in a conversation with a member ...

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