Asif Nawaz

Asif Nawaz

Asif Nawaz is a doctor from Abbottabad who's either traveling or writing while not procrastinating. He tweets as @asifnz (twitter.com/asifnz)

Dear Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Reham Bhabi and Ayyan Ali – Hi!

Open letters are the new ‘in’ thing. Everyone, while not busy taking selfies or engaging in internet wars, is writing them. Unlike personal letters that are addressed to and only read by the person intended, these have a universal appeal. Hence, I decided to write a few of my own, a series of them in fact. Here is the first one: To Hamza Ali Abbasi from an Online Jihadi. Hazrat Hamza Ali Abbasi Sahib, My heart sank when I saw the trailer of your upcoming movie, Jawani Phir Nahin Ani. And it sank even further to the bottom of the very pool you were seen ...

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So, you want to be a doctor? Think again!

Dear prospective, to-be doctors, this article contains stuff you may consider sadistic or full of spoilers. Read at your own discretion. Don’t say you were not warned! Let’s observe some reasons why your medical ambitions might turn out to be more challenging than you initially thought they would be. No pressure, of course. You will never, ever stop studying You will have to appear in approximately about 15,000 examinations. Yes, it’s true, and mind you, more keep adding up on a daily basis in case you ever think you are close to getting done. It only makes sense then that books and wards are going to ...

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Pakistan could be a tourist’s delight

You may have heard some remarkable stories about Pakistan as a tourism hub from your parents and grandparents. The 60s and 70s, in particular, were the decades when tourism in Pakistan saw its prime. The pictures of those days can still be found doing rounds on the internet, boasting a plethora of visitors from all around. Those were the days when Pakistan would invariably feature in the lists of international tourist destinations. I haven’t seen that Pakistan, but I can well imagine it, owing to the accounts I’ve had from many people around. Therefore, when I came across this article titled, ‘Pakistan tourism: a sleeping giant?’ in an Australian ...

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Twenty things I love about Lahore

Lahore and I have always had a complicated relationship. The city can plunge me deep into an abyss of depression at will, yet it’s the sole antidote to depression I know of. It reminds me of various people, family members and others, who passed away; yet it’s a place that still makes me want to live. I would choose Lahore over any other city of Pakistan if given the choice. So it’s only after 20 years of my acquaintance with Lahore, countless memories, ample experiences and an article in The Express Tribune Magazine entitled ’10 things I hate about Lahore’ (which ...

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Burma killings: Keep religion out of it!

If you’re active on Facebook or Twitter, you’re sure to have witnessed the ongoing outrage of a number of people over the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma at the hands of the Rakhine Buddhists. Agreed, our country is not exactly one to be proud of when it comes to basic human rights, but expressing our concern over wrongdoings, whenever they happen, isn’t hypocrisy, it is our right. However, those in the social sphere – who, in the availability of an internet connection – believe they have been blessed with knowledge of the world are always ready to share ...

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‘Firaaq’: When the suppressed resort to terrorism

Since the year 2004, Pakistan has seen its North-West tribal agencies recurrently get bombed by American drones. After a total of around 300 drone strikes, about 3000 people have lost their lives. Though the United States proudly claims these attacks to be instrumental in eradicating the terrorist activities in the region, drone strikes still invite the debate as to whether they actually serve this purpose and this purpose only. More so, a wide majority of Pakistanis─ the tribal population included─ question the casual use of Pakistani air-space by the American military. Though people complain that these attacks ridicule the sovereignty of Pakistan, there ...

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Abbottabad has more to offer than Osama bin Laden

Only months ago, whenever I had to tell anyone that I resided in Abbottabad, I was, more often than not, met with a catatonic pause. Apparently, only geography-buffs knew what this was and even less knew where this was. But then happened the notorious Bin Laden episode, and that spared us the agony of having to go through Abbottabad’s location every single time. However, the dimension of interrogation sported an altogether different angle. Many now seem curious as to what living in Abbottabad is like. ‘Isn’t it dangerous?’ ‘Are there other terrorists too?’ ‘Do you feel secure?’ These are some of the more common questions ...

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Dan Brown: A disappointing one-hit wonder

“The Da Vinci Code” hit book shelves in 2003, and went on to become the best-selling English language novel of the 21st century. Very few books dig down into the roots of history, challenge your beliefs and provide food for thought; this one did. Besides igniting some ferocious controversies and becoming a global phenomenon, the book established its author, Dan Brown, as a talent to watch. However, Brown’s next books have failed to live up to the standards that he himself modeled. There’s a blatant sense of repetition and a tone of monotony easily palpable in his novels that followed. Take ...

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Abbottabad police, I blame you!

Being a resident of Abbottabad and having been a witness to all the processions of the Hazara Movement, it’s a welcome thought to know that the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights has rejected the inquiry report submitted by a judicial commission on the police violence that took place in the city on April 12, 2010. From what I know, the Hazara Movement actually functioned on the stance of non-violence. I was attending college on the day that all the protesters were rallying against the renaming of Khyber Pakhtunwa, and I’m not sure what led to the police firing ...

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Was Jinnah’s Pakistan ‘Islamic’?

Whether the country that came into being on August 14, 1947 was actually intended either for the Muslims or Islam is a matter that still invites enormous room for debate. This question has always meddled with our ideological roots; but even after 64 long years, we are not anywhere close to the answer. This confusion can be held for transforming our country into a mighty farce. Jinnah the liberal Jinnah, as it comes out, was a liberal to his bones. Why, he dressed up in sleek, hip western suits, drove imported cars, conversed in a foreign language and never sported a ...

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