Rahim Khan

Abdul Rahim Khan

A freelance writer who contributes to a weekly column "Islamabad Etcetera" in the Islamabad pages of The Express Tribune

Islamabad Etcetera: Have I got a story for you

Where at a time professions used to be identified by certain distinguishing marks, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries saw the universal sign of the labourer with the flat cap, the police with their badges and so on, these emblems also come with an assumed reputation. The flat cap was as depressed as the masses and wearing one immediately identified you as a proletariat. The ‘shield’, the policemen’s badge, appeared at once imposing and formidable. So too then by this measure does one see that by merely carrying a press card or announcing ones association with the fourth estate, a certain ...

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Islamabad Etcetera: The navab’s guard of desi farangis

This little preamble shall serve as a disclaimer, for in one’s present attempt, one is by no means being actively obnoxious or wilfully indelicate about one’s chosen subject today, fellow compatriots. Taking swipes at one’s countrymen is nearly always construed as bad taste. Some creeping abasement, some personal impulsion staining one’s argument, denying its objectivity. But regardless of this oft-resorted to response, one will press on. Pakistanis in the employ of foreigners are a special breed.  Like a Gunga Din, an Uncle Tom, these trusted servants, like their literary or historic forebears, are a buffer to their employers, factotums who ...

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Islamabad Etcetera: Accursed ambulators!

Footpath walkers or street corner loafers, pedestrians to the genteel public, these pavement grinders are a contemptible lot. One will not recourse to anathema or expletives here, for it is not the place, contenting oneself instead with whatever is uttered under the breath but one feels a sheer tyranny at the hands of these seemingly unassuming ‘bystanders’. Do not of course mistake this for classicist spiel, for one’s issue is not say of condescension but the mere pragmatism of these people and the jeopardy (what a reversal!) that they put motorists in. The impulse to cross a road, to ford it, is ...

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Pak-China friendship: ‘Win-win’?

Forgive this little presumption of an open letter to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (there could very well be another Ministry in charge, one is not singling out here) but in its eternal labour of serving the country, one finds their toil riddled with well-meaning bugles or inadequacies. Responsible as they always are for ‘communicating’ the government’s will and intent , they are also its welcoming hand, proffering it through street sign or billboard to all foreign dignitaries that may visit the country or the capital. Of course this is its mandate. Recently in greeting the Chinese premier, Islamabad ...

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