Azam Khan

Azam Khan

An Islamabad based reporter for The Express Tribune.

A Pakistani in India

History, unfortunately, has given Indian and Pakistan varying reasons for hostility. It is sad to see two nations with so much in common distrust and, in general, hate each other. The media rampant with messages of anger against the ‘other’ and thus, choosing the path of friendship or normalisation is a mission of passion. Travelling from Islamabad to New Delhi, however, has changed my perspective to a great extent. During a recent month-long stay in India’s capital, I found myself feeling as if I were a local, thanks to the similarities in language, culture and ethnicity. I fit in like a hand in ...

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Welcoming Putin to Pakistan

Vladimir Putin, a former spymaster, known for his political struggle and his contribution to the uplift of his country after its disintegration in 1991, has been the president of Russia since May 7, 2012. Previously, Putin served as president from 2000 to 2008 and as prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012. The Russian president is scheduled to visit Pakistan in the first week of October and this is a welcome shift in our country’s foreign policy. It is high time Pakistan develops cordial relations with other countries of the world to overcome its multiple challenges. While ...

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Are we to be blamed for Rimsha?

Qari Khalid Chishti is caught in the same trap that he had initially set for a minor Christian girl — which was intended as a tool against the Christian community in his area. The unexpected backfiring of this case seems to garner hope that Rimsha Masih will receive justice. The widespread reaction of religious scholars against Chishti’s actions is new hope for all citizens and for minorities, in particular, who feel insecure at the hands of such elements that misuse the blasphemy law. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are based on British colonial laws dating from 1860 and were amended in the 1980s ...

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Lessons in disguise

The present controversy involving Dr Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz is a lesson in disguise for institutions. The media caught in the explosive case was a matter of concern and opportunity for the honourable judges to reconsider their positions. In its order, the Supreme Court mentioned the media’s role, inviting its practitioners to follow the code of ethics before reporting such delicate matters. It also referred to meaningless statements made by the three anchorpersons. The astounding planted TV talk show again raised eyebrows causing the judges to discuss it in their full court meeting this week and issue directives for ...

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The insignificance of judicial commissions

Yesterday was the first death anniversary of Osama bin Laden. Pakistanis assumed the role of victims following his killing due to the unprecedented incursion launched by foreign troops on our soil. But what remains a matter of concern is the knowledge that we were host to the world’s most wanted person. The incident jolted the world, but Pakistan in particular, because it added yet another feather to the capful of bad impressions Pakistan leaves on the world community. A judicial commission was formed to determine if negligence led to the national embarrassment. A year later, the commission has not finalised anything ...

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A reporter’s eye: Inside the Supreme Court

Among heavy contingents of law enforcement agencies and hovering helicopters, a horde of people marched towards the Supreme Court yesterday. As they crossed countless walk-through security gates with special entry cards in their hands, they looked excited about catching a glimpse of the soon-to-be-convicted prime minister. While it is totally in keeping with local tradition to create such a scene, at the contempt hearing yesterday, goras (foreigners) too joined us at the forefront. Inside courtroom number 4, the environment was electric. All seats in the courtroom were filled hours before the proceedings began. Besides lawyers, the room was packed with federal ...

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February 22, 2012
TOPICS

Missing prisoners: Skeletons with urine bags

For many the media is a watchdog, but some want to make it a scapegoat to achieve their short-term personal goals. The prevailing crises in the country have also increased the challenges for the media to maintain its credibility and impartiality. I have no words to highlight the threats made to media people by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, or certain terrorist groups. But today I still have something to say. One of the country’s top lawyers, defending the prime minister in a contempt of court case, also accused the media of negatively portraying the issue. “Don’t get into this controversy, they are ...

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Fear and loathing for military coups

Three unrelated stories reported in the mainstream media recently gave me an emotional high — and a low. The first story was about a decision by a court in the Turkish capital of Ankara to indict and charge the leader of that country’s 1980 coup with crimes against the state. Bravo! This was a high. But a sudden low came with a news piece on a tribunal’s decision in Bangladesh to send 90-year-old Ghulam Azam, the country’s most prominent Islamist leader, to jail, pending trial for war crimes. The 90-year-old was accused of helping the Pakistan Army in the 1971 ...

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‘Jinnah’s Pakistan’ has no room for Hindus

Hindus and Muslims may have similar wedding celebrations, but there is no registration system for Hindu marriages in Pakistan. The Indian parliament passed the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955 which made it mandatory for Hindu marriages to be registered in India. In Pakistan, the Hindu community has been demanding the same rights for decades, but to no avail. Members of the Hindu community gave a two-month deadline to the government and threatened to hold a sit-in in front of the Parliament House in June if these demands were not met. They urged the media and concerned citizens to participate in a petition campaign as a ...

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