Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

Aisam-ul-Haq is my hero!

It did not go down as we all hoped against the Bryans at the US Open, but it doesn’t make a difference. Aisam-ul-Haq is my new national hero and his partnership with Rohan Bopanna has shown us just what India and Pakistan can jointly achieve if we look beyond our differences and recognize what binds us together – and what better place to learn that lesson than on a tennis court. Cricket has let us down, hockey has near-faded from memory and football has yet to emerge, but Aisam has shown us that with enough courage, integrity and hard work, ...

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I am part of the Sialkot lynch mob

The brutal two-hour long lynching of two young brothers in Sialkot at the hands of a mob, inclusive of policemen and children is so horrifying that it truly merits the questions some visitors to The Express Tribune website have been asking: Are these people animals? Is this the true face of a nation so despicable that even God has forsaken them? While I do not believe in the latter argument, I can understand where such a profound sense of grim despair comes from. In a country afflicted with back-to-back political and civil strife, war, terrorism, poverty and natural disaster, violent extremism (in ...

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August 11, 2010
TOPICS

Geo down, ARY down… government down?

A senior journalist and past colleague from Geo days woke me in the morning with the following SMS: Are you getting 2007 flashbacks? I promptly sat up, snapped open my laptop and began scanning local news websites to check what he was referring to. I got to The News and waited for my page to load. The page cannot be displayed I try Geo.tv. This webpage is not available. So it has finally happened. Democracy’s best revenge has turned on the media en force, blocking the Jang Group’s website, burning copies of their newspapers in the street, blocking their channels and taking out protests to ...

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Politicising floods: The roasting of Zardari

Our nation’s penchant for politics has found a new punching bag for the ongoing flood crisis: President Asif Ali Zardari and his ill-fated UK trip. The question that bothers me is whether this is really the appropriate response to a crisis of a magnitude which extends even beyond the Pakistan Army’s ongoing efforts, let alone that of a single man, who to his credit, has donated 2.5 million pounds and launched the UK end of aid collection with fair success. I distinctly recall the 18th amendment reducing the Presidency to a figure head for the country (representing us in other countries ...

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August 3, 2010
TOPICS

Target killing: Collateral damage in an urban war

What is to be made of the latest target killing spree in Karachi? This question has been the cause of much speculation as an unending (and escalating) wave of violence has swept through the city, with seemingly no end in sight. Conspiracy theories lavishly depicting an attempt to destabilize the government by forces both internal and external are abound. Still others cite a political battle turned grim between the MQM and ANP, or worse, sectarian conflict or the dreaded ‘third hand’. The one reason you hear least of is actually the most straightforward of the lot, and fits perfectly with the ...

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Karachi: city of trash, graffiti, magic and weapons

Riding the train into and out of Karachi is an unforgettable experience, albeit a mostly unpleasant one. Some of the things you can expect to see out the window: Seven hundred graffiti ads for a charlatan Self-proclaimed Alim, Junaid Bangali has a graffiti ad campaign which starts 40km outside of Karachi and appears on walls every 200m or so all the way to his den of kala jadoo (black magic) in the squalid urban mish-mosh under Kalapul bridge. The sheer number of ads suggests Mr Bangali has pulled a fast one on yet another poor sap, advising him/her to paint 700 signs ...

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Help, I’m being impersonated!

It’s been a long day at work keeping track of fake degree reports flying in. I’m sipping on Pakola trying to sustain myself in front of the computer screen, switching over to my email inbox and clicking the send/receive button like the nerd’s answer to squeezing a stress ball. Incoming mail. No, it’s not an irate writer demanding why their byline hasn’t appeared on a story. It’s something completely unexpected. It’s a follow-up comment to a post by Asif criticizing me for slamming his article on an independent blogging site. The only problem is, I have no idea who Asif is and ...

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A brief tale of Pakistani hospitality

I got to see a total of six foreigners on my week-long trip to Lahore. I don’t know whether that is a good average for July, but it seemed low. Five of the individuals I caught a mere glimpse of at the Wahga border. I was in a line with one hundred men jostling for position to enter the gate for ensuing border festivities; they were in a Mercedes with tinted windows pulled down momentarily to take in the ‘local flavor’ before proceeding inside with their protocol. The sixth was a young woman, perhaps twenty five whom I ran into ...

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Don’t blame Ali Azmat, blame marketing

If you’ve worked in broadcast media, chances are high that you have been part of the manic decision making process which goes into determining what story or issue should run as headline news or lead in a program. The journalistic credo to cover issues in a timely, responsible manner is the driving force behind this high-tension coordination, but the marketing aim to gather the maximum number of eyeballs and maintain their interest is always at the back of every broadcast journalist’s mind. Which story will sell? What would the audience buy? The ‘business’ of reporting the news is built into ...

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Lahore, Sufi saints and the militant mindset

Data darbar, over 40 dead and over a hundred injured and I could have been one of them. Lahore Challo This was my family’s first trip to Lahore together, and we were determined to go despite admonishments all around. “What about the Punjabi Taliban?! Its not safe!” “You’ll get blown up. That’s for sure.” “It’s ridiculously hot. You’ll pass out halfway through sight-seeing.” “No” I replied to all of the above. “We are from Karachi, we can take it.” A night on the town My mother, my two sisters and I have just finished consuming an enormous meal at a roadside café in old Anarkali, and it ...

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