Arsalan Faruqi

Arsalan Faruqi

An entrepreneur with a degree in computer engineering and an MBA from IBA Karachi. He tweets as @arsalanfaruqi (twitter.com/arsalanfaruqi)

#NineZeroRaid: Why is MQM the only one being targeted?

The early morning raid at Nine-Zero, the headquarters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has raised a series of questions. On one hand, it seemed like a well-coordinated search operation carried out reportedly upon a tip off by the intelligence agencies, while at the same time, the timing of the raid right after the Senate elections and especially when MQM, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had apparently turned over a new leaf, gives credence to some political back channel arm twisting either by PML-N or the ruling party in Sindh, PPP. Such serious actions are usually taken when either there ...

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Life as Faiq by day, Aashi by night

Aashi, a transgender who is Faiq by day and Aashi at night, says, “Living a discrete life is not everyone’s cup of tea.” It was an uphill task getting in touch with a person from this community who would willingly sit down and disclose the issues they face every day without much exaggeration and clichéd responses. We searched for one such individual from traffic signals to the slums of Karachi and eventually through a reliable source, we managed to reach Faiq’s apartment in a posh neighbourhood of Defence in Karachi. Faiq was expecting us and greeted us with warmth and with great courtesy, which ...

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Dear PTI and MQM, abuse and vitriol won’t get us anywhere

The recent war of words, clichéd personal attacks and mudslinging between Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership has once again drawn a wedge between the two major political forces of the country. Starting from the startling revelations by Sindh rangers regarding the Baldia Town inferno, to a half-cooked joint investigation report by law enforcement agencies (that too so close to senate elections), everything reeks of a dirty political game. The friction started when top tiered PTI leadership didn’t waste a single moment in blaming MQM for the massacre at the factory despite the fact that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) doesn’t pass ...

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Security measures that every parent wants to see installed in Pakistani schools

The massacre at Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar changed our way of life, our approach towards educational institutes and our concern for the safety of our kids. The events of December 16, 2014 left some really ugly scars on the minds of our youth which will probably take decades to heal. Such incidents provide a new dimension in terms of planning for personal safety and providing a safe future for the newer generation. By giving the duty of ‘chaperone’ to a sizable number of law enforcement officers to placate the rich, elite and VIPs of our country, our government has ...

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Why Lahore is better than Karachi today

Karachi saw its renewed glory days under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. For the first time, the citizens felt bonded with the city and its ways. There was an air of optimism and under the ‘I own Karachi’ program, for the first time in a long time, Karachiites came forward to beautify their city and contribute towards its uplift. The two mayors, Mr Naimatullah Khan from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) followed by Mustafa Kamal from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), did wonders and set the city on the path of progress and development. I personally know a number of expatriates who relocated back to Karachi in order to ...

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Are the beaches in Karachi safe?

This Eid proved to be the deadliest in terms of loss of lives when news started coming in of the recovery of more than two dozen dead bodies that were washed ashore at the Clifton beach, Paradise Point and Hubco beach strips. As of now, 36 bodies have been recovered and the death toll is rising with several still missing. Till further notice, the beach has been closed for public. The horror started on the first day of Eid when an unusually large number of people turned up at the beach and spent entire days and nights enjoying their Eid beating the heat. ...

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Yes, Karachi does need a Metro Bus service!

Nawaz Sharif’s visits to Karachi have been brief and mostly concerned with law and order. The last visit, however, was a bit different from the previous ones; the prime minister (PM) has announced to launch the Metro bus named Green Line for Karachi with a gigantic budget of Rs15 billion as reported by the media. He also supervised another important meeting at the Governor House, regarding other development projects in Karachi. Millions of commuters, every day, have to rely on obsolete and dilapidated buses and recklessly driven Qingqi rickshaws to reach to their destinations and back. The beautiful bus stops that ...

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Definition of a ‘traitor’ in Pakistan: An honest army general

Pervez Musharraf’s indictment in the high treason case has opened up a Pandora ’s Box; with this, our corrupt politicians will no longer fear an army clamp down on their evil doings, only because now they know that the judiciary already provides complete shelter to their corrupt practices. The army will obviously stay away regardless of how much the public may plead. But this is what Pakistan wants, right? This indictment will also ensure that the title of ‘traitor’ is exclusively reserved for an honest army general who sent a group of corrupt politicians packing, gave strength to a failing state by giving ...

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The Karachi Eat Food Festival kicked the Sindh Festival out of the park!

The Karachi Eat Food Festival (KEFF) was probably the event of the decade, at least for Karachi. In spite of so much chaos, paranoia and terror around, the brave Karachiites queued up for two spectacular days of culinary delights at this festival of its own kind. The opening day kicked off in a rather sluggish style with delays on part of the participating vendors which was a bit disappointing for the visitors. However, as things started to settle, the event saw civilised and cultured people, men and women, young and old, visiting the two-day food fest and spending some quality time with ...

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Baby Bhutto, his superman ajrak and the ‘cultural coup’… yeah right!

It was quite entertaining to watch Bilawal Bhutto speak of Sindhi culture, dressed up in a presidential style sherwani and speak in roman Urdu. The most amusing part of the ‘address’ was him putting all the blame on successive governments for the destruction of Sindhi heritage. What Bilawal did not notice, or his speech writer probably overlooked, was the fact that Sindh has predominantly been ruled by his own political party, PPP, which for the record, hasn’t been able to carry out any development work in any of its strong holds in interior Sindh and has, instead, destroyed whatever little heritage was left. The ...

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