Sabeer Lodhi

The author is studying at Monash University, Melbourne. He is a student and supporter of human rights with a focus on gender equality, minority rights and feminism. He tweets as @sabeerlodhi (

Why ban alcohol when it is consumed openly?

While on one hand we hear declarations like, “sharaab haram hai!” (alcohol is forbidden in Islam) at the mere mention of alcohol, we have MPAs like Saleem Khursheed Khokhar who campaign to make it as easily available as regular soft drinks.   Celebrated Muslim poets like Omar Khayyam and Rumi often wrote about wine and intoxication, while there are claims that Allama Iqbal and Jinnah used to indulge in a little ‘suroor’  (intoxication) themselves. The modern Muslim world isn’t any different; the Middle East experienced a 70% growth in the sales of booze from 2001 to 2011. It has a high Muslim population ...

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You can’t defend the Prophet (pbuh) by torching your own city!

Blasphemy is a sensitive subject, especially in Pakistan. A topic so sensitive that it can get governors killed after a cup of coffee, ministers shot after they drive out of their homes and 12-year-old children behind bars for ‘allegedly’ committing it. Victims of blasphemy cases in Pakistan sign their death warrants. Why does it then come as a surprise to know that more than 15 people were killed and 219 wounded in protests across Pakistan yesterday? Because this time, rampant damage was caused to property and life of people who had nothing to do with it. Life and property belonging to the Muslims. Calls for peaceful protests on ...

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What legacy will you leave us with, PM Ashraf?

It was more than a decade ago, on September 20, 2001, when the infamous George Bush proclaimed, Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. He may have left the office but like his policies, this sentence still seems to resonate with the Pakistani nation, particularly PPP and its jiyalas. They label anyone who tries to question their incompetence as enemies of democracy. A manifestation of that is the latest national catastrophe that has hit Pakistan. Raja Parvaiz Ashraf has been made the 27th prime minister of Pakistan. The same Raja Rental ─  as named by the Twitterati ─ whose reputation is ...

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Doctors, where art thou?

Pakistan has a count of ‘athara crore awaam’ (thank you, dear politicians, for continuously repeating this in the television talk shows) while the doctor/patient ratio was a mere 1:1,800 in 2010 – that means a single doctor catered to the medical woes of 1,800 people, and the situation has not seen much improvement ever since. The constitution of Pakistan clearly describes that the state has a responsibility, “To provide basic necessities of life, such as, food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief, for all citizens, irrespective of sex, caste, creed or race.” But where does the problem lie? It lies in the fact that ...

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Professional beggars: More greedy than needy

Allah keh naam par 10 rupay dey dey beta. (Please give me Rs10 in God’s name, son.) Roti khila dey, tujhey ek naik aur khubsurat biwi miley. (Give me bread to eat and you will find a beautiful, decent wife) How many times have we heard this and cringed from deep within? Such phrases are played like rhythmic rhetoric every time you park your car on a signal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feudal lord’s son who will throw acid on his wife, neither do I commute in a chauffeur driven, air-conditioned SUV. I’m a common Pakistani who walks the same streets like millions other ...

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Another sad madrassa tale

The sun was shining down in all its glory on blossoming flowers which were ready to be plucked. Young children, not over the age of five, were seen laughing and giggling while birds flew and chirped overhead – creating a fusion that signified the beauty that this world holds. Three of those young children stepped forward to pull a few flowers for their teacher. However, fate had a sardonic way to disrupt the content that shone on their faces. This is not a movie script, nor is it an unraveling of a fictional story. This is a real life story ...

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