Maria Kari

Maria Kari

The author is a lawyer and freelance journalist. She tweets as @mariakari1414 (twitter.com/mariakari1414)

October 4, 2019
TOPICS

Capital punishment and the cracks in Pakistan’s judicial system

Up until very recently, Pakistan had the world’s largest population on death row. China has since taken over this dubious honour, but Pakistan remains second in line with the United States trailing closely behind. Right now, in Pakistan, a whopping 6000 people are awaiting execution. The question then becomes: Who are we hanging? And why? If a recent article in The Economist is anything to go by, the answer is that Pakistan is hanging far too many innocent people. Of course, this injustice and incompetence are not exclusive to our country. For example, in the United States, where I currently live, the ...

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Widowed, divorced, unmarried: Taking cue from Bangladesh’s amended marriage laws

Since 1961, Bangladesh’s Muslim marriage laws required the bride to select one of the three options on a marriage certificate: widowed, divorced or kumari (virgin). Whereas, grooms had no similar requirement. However, earlier this week, Bangladesh’s highest court overturned this extremely medieval law. Now, not only will the word ‘virgin’ be removed but marriage certificates will also require grooms to select their marital status as either unmarried, widowed or divorced. This monumental step wasn’t easy for the lawyers and activists involved in this case. It took five years for the court to hear their petition. And while they issued a brief verdict straight ...

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The Qandeel Baloch story: Using the law of forgiveness as a license to kill

In some surreal news, Qandeel Baloch’s parents have taken steps to essentially cancel her case. Should they be successful, Qandeel’s story will most likely take the same disappointing direction as those of countless other innocent women who fell victim to a deafening patriarchy. According to an affidavit filed with the Multan courts, Qandeel’s parents have asked the court to not only dismiss the murder charges against their sons, Waseem and Aslam Shaheen, but have also requested to the court to wrap up the case as soon as possible. This is because not only have they forgiven him, but they also believe ...

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Priyanka Chopra, a UN celebrity gone rogue

Earlier this week, Ayesha Malik called out Priyanka Chopra at Beautycon over the latter’s hypocrisy in styling herself as a champion of humanitarian causes while simultaneously sending out a tweet which many perceived as supporting nuclear warfare. In response, Chopra shut up Malik in the most humiliating, paternalistic, and holier-than-thou manner. Hi, I’m the girl that “yelled” at Priyanka Chopra. It was hard listening to her say, “we should be neighbors and love each other” — swing that advice over to your PM. Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favor for nuclear war. — Ayesha Malik ...

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In trying to humanise the police, Delhi Crime loses focus of Jyoti Singh’s harrowing story

If Rotten Tomatoes’ ratings and the opinion of my favourite funny woman, Twinkle Khanna, are anything to go by, I might be the only person on this planet who didn’t love India’s latest Netflix offering, Delhi Crime. I went into it really wanting to love the show because it’s based on actual police files from the Jyoti Singh case investigation, a case I followed closely since December 16, 2012; the day the world found out about the absolutely abhorrent way Singh, a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern, was brutally gang-raped by six men on a bus. Photo: Screenshot Since Singh’s story ...

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Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp: Is the credibility of #MeToo and women survivors under threat?

Last week, actor Johnny Depp hit his former wife Amber Heard with a massive $50 million lawsuit, which alleges that Heard’s claims of domestic abuse against Depp were a “hoax” intended to “advance her career”. Not only is Depp arguing that his then-wife’s case was completely fake, he is also alleging that he was the victim of domestic violence. Depp’s lawyers claim to have a lot of evidence, including almost 87 video surveillance clips from around their home and testimonies of numerous witnesses including the couple’s friends and neighbours. Even though the court of public opinion has already demonised Heard ...

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#NewZealandShooting: I just want to bow my head and pray in my mosque – freely and without fear

Like an ugly game of hide and seek, I’ve been dodging the dingy alleyways of the internet tonight. I am scared of coming face-to-face with the live footage of today’s terrorist attacks at two New Zealand mosques. I don’t want to see the suffering, to hear the screams, or to witness the ensuing, inevitable silence. The Prophet (PBUH) himself once spoke of a strange restlessness, this shared sense of affliction and anguish that accompanies the bonds of brotherhood, which he described as, “If any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with ...

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From slaps and shakedowns to metal rods and death, the evolution of corporal punishment

This new year has been a horrific one for the children of Pakistan so far. Days after the brutal murder of little Zainab, nine-year-old Muhammad Hussain’s Quran teacher beat him with a metal rod so badly that the boy died. Unshaken and unrepentant, the teacher has since justified the murder as a simple case of a teacher disciplining his pupil that accidentally went horribly wrong. This is the Mullah who beat an 8-year-old student Muhammad Hussain to death at a Madrassa in Karachi's Bin Qasim Town pic.twitter.com/oAlLpDv4Qh — Bilal Farooqi (@bilalfqi) January 22, 2018 Most of us still have memories of the slaps ...

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Is Nawaz Sharif trying to prove he is above and beyond the law?

Last year’s Panama Paper leaks not only exposed the truth behind the corrupt and swindling ways of Nawaz Sharif but also the person he really is. It turns out that behind his false facade of being a selfless father, husband and brother, Nawaz is really nothing more than a self-involved actor who took our country for a ride. Furthermore, he claims to love nothing more than his countrymen and is quick to rise from the ashes like a phoenix (despite being ousted repeatedly), when this is anything but true. Last week, in a great twist of irony, Nawaz finally decided to take us on ...

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Yes, Mashal Khan’s story is a difficult watch, but it’s a necessary watch to keep us from forgetting

In April, a deranged mob of college students murdered Mashal Khan, an intelligent, curious, and outspoken journalism student, over views and comments that some regarded as ‘blasphemous’. The mob-led murder caught the world’s attention after a shakily recorded cell phone video of the lynching went viral. Just like that, the door had been flung open, exposing the sheer inhumanity and intellectual neglect that constantly simmers below the surface of Pakistani society, even within its supposedly enlightened institutions. In these past few months, many minutes of prime-time were devoted to and much ink was spilled over Mashal and Pakistan’s notoriously inhumane and antiquated blasphemy laws. This week, the story ...

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