Salman Latif

A blogger who blogs at and tweets @salmanlateef

Murdering 10-year-olds is easy if you are a feudal

Three years ago, two brothers were beaten to death by a mob in Sialkot. The video went viral on the internet and a lot of human rights activists protested. Justice, although delayed, was eventually served only because the social media took up the cause and forced the mainstream media to attend to the heinous incident. A similar incident has taken place in Multan, except that this time, the perpetrators of the murders are a powerful feudal lot. According to ground reports, eight-year-old Javed and 10-year-old Jameel were taken from their parents from a town in Jatoi to work as domestic help in Faheem Bukhari’s house. Bukhari, the ...

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June 21, 2013

NSA and PRISM: Say a wrong word and you’re on the watch list

Edward Snowden, a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA), has created a nightmare for the United States government by leaking information about a programme called ‘PRISM’. The programme, run by the NSA, essentially aims at comprehensively monitoring all calls in and out of the US. It sifts through huge amounts of user data collected from cyber big wigs such as Apple, Microsoft and Facebook. Once the agency has this wild amount of data, it uses a sophisticated tool called ‘Boundless Informant‘ to make sense of it. I must admit, the uproar as a result of the PRISM leaks is ...

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The rishta brigade

The show started around 10am. The room wore a very neat look with the curtains being freshly washed and couches from the adjacent room placed next to the sofas. The arrivals comprised an elderly woman and two young girls, welcomed very warmly by Ashraf and his wife, Atifa. There was a clear demarcation of positions on the either side of the table — to its left were seated the guests, and to its right, the hosts. The latter wore forced smiles which did little to hide the tense anticipation gnawing at their faces and sunk into the worn-out seats like pleading, grateful ...

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The PPP is not a liberal party, and never has been

Most of the time when I read op-eds about the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the English dailies, they’re almost bilious – especially if they’re meant to eulogise the party. Normally this is how the course of such articles go: High words fly, lofty ideals are cited, arbitrary versions of historic incidents are recounted with more than a tinge of bias, grand titles and appellations are quietly slipped into what is pitched as a balanced opinion piece and the masses are told, yet again, that in the PPP is embodied the ultimate saviour of this nation. I have often read such pieces and tolerated ...

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The flawed argument in favour of reserved seats for women

Imran Khan recently kicked up yet another melee in Pakistan’s media when he declared that he would have women contest in elections rather than enter the National Assembly (NA) on reserved seats. Before weighing the plausibility of the argument, many were quick to jump the bandwagon of unqualified criticism simply because it was Khan who said so. For the uninformed, women in Pakistan’s National Assembly currently have 60 reserved seats. How exactly are these seats filled in? Well, since the seats are allocated to each political party based on their proportion in the legislature, the said political parties have the sole authority to figure out who will ...

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Say ‘no’ to foreign aid

Selective narratives or views often tend to portray a picture of things which is very detached from reality. That, I feel, was the case about a certain recent blog that I read on The Express Tribune regarding ‘foreign aid’. The respected author portrayed ‘foreign aid’ as the ultimate blessing for the destitute, corrupt and inept countries, somehow asserting that daring to refuse such aid is a crime against humanity. He went on to show that foreign aid is meant for goals such as eradication of poverty, progression of education, health facilities and other such noble goals – and for these reasons, it must ...

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How is Abdul Qadir Gilani’s win a victory for democracy?

Yesterday the by-elections on NA-151 were held in Multan. This was the very seat from which Yousaf Raza Gilani was removed as the Prime Minister. Ever since PPP was elected and Gilani was appointed as the Prime Minister, Gilani’s sons, Abdul Qadir Gilani and Ali Musa Gilani have been doing exceptionally well. We found a few hints of this in the ephedrine case in which Musa Gilani is currently implicated. But I digress. So, in the by-elections Abdul Qadir Gilani scored a win. No surprises there – the Gilanis are a Pir family with a huge number of followers and a lot of influence ...

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Who is watching the social media wardens?

The recent issue of Maya Khan vigilantism and the subsequent uproar that ensued in the social media, resulting in the termination of the said anchor and her team, has brought to fore a number of questions. Whereas I wholeheartedly ascribe to the widely held opinion that this is a major victory for the liberal coterie which is otherwise known for keyboard ‘jihad’ alone, I have my contentions. Let’s not put down the entire thing to a liberal win. The impact of the social media’s protest over this issue, in particular, was hugely galvanised because it struck a chord with a vast ...

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Zionist mosquitoes and infidel viruses amongst us

I am assuming most of you have already realized what is causing the massive outbreak of dengue fever in Pakistan. According to a number of confirmed resources, the mosquitoes that are causing dengue have been deliberately engineered with the nefarious virus. After they were infected with the virus, they were inducted into Pakistani airspace where they wrecked havoc. And who, of all, could have inflicted such damage upon us? Of course the Zionists! They have long been jealous of our economic and social progress, not to mention the political stability, the unparalleled research centers and one of the highest literacy rates around the ...

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Don’t let Riko Diq go to the dogs

The Riko Diq deal has created a lot of hue and cry. Thanks to some conscientious petitioners, the matter has come to into the limelight with the judiciary actively investigating the viability of the deal. Dr Samar Mubarakmand’s opinion over the issue has exposed what can be arguably regarded as one of the largest corruption scandals in the history of this nation. The Tethyan Copper Company (TTC), a conglomerate of companies, which claims to be undertaking the project in goodwill and bringing employment opportunities here, is currently the most probable candidate for getting the project. It had been sanctioned by both ...

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