Stories published in March, 2013

Maybe Bangladesh has become the country Jinnah wanted to create

When East Pakistan decided to break away from West Pakistan in 1971, one of the leading factors was the lack of importance accorded by West Pakistan’s bureaucracy and intelligentsia towards the other part of the country. It is not a surprise that the attitude did not change even after the separation of Pakistan’s two wings. Pakistan’s textbooks are still silent over the atrocities committed by our armed forces and their proxies in 1971. Although West Pakistan may have forgotten, but the people who were subjected to the inhumane behaviour just because they dreamt of a better future, remember it all ...

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Never sympathise with the rapist

Ours is not a pluralistic society. The urge to ‘other’ stems from an identity seeped in condemnation of whoever is different. As far as public discourse goes, no one can veer into the ‘sacred space’, protecting the sanctity of sensitive topics. This public can disbar women from any space but the ‘chaar dewari’ and blame-them-for-getting-raped when they dare to venture out of their confines. A couple hailing from Islamabad were recently arrested for raping and killing an 11-year-old girl who would go to the accused for tuitions. The duo confessed to other similar crimes, including one where they befriended a police official’s ...

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K-P elections 2013: A farrago of hope and fear

Pashtuns are generally the most democratic people in Pakistan. By looking at the history of elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), it is safe to say that they have voted for parties with leftist, rightist or liberal religious ideologies. Furthermore, it shows that unlike others provinces, K-P voted for all parties in the previous elections and yet no one brought tranquility and development to this region. 2013 is another election year in Pakistan and the country will brace itself to one of the most crucial elections since its birth. In K-P, every political party has an active presence and as elections draw near, political parties ...

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Who do you prefer, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

Fate wasn’t so kind to the two of the most talented and exciting footballers in history when it decided to send them together to set the world of football on fire. I can foresee regular space for them in the leading newspapers around the world for decades to come. Comparisons have been drawn between the two of them ever since they started playing and will continue to be drawn long after they hang up their boots. I am sure we all know who I am talking about, its Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Their names are synonymous with their clubs ...

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Shoot me, I’m a social worker

Parveen Rehman, a long-time director of the renowned Orangi Pilot Project was brutally killed this past Wednesday night in Karachi. She was targeted while travelling in her car near the Banaras flyover.   Rehman was an architect by profession, but left her job to work on the OPP. She was given the honourable task of improving the lives of the residents of Orangi, which she performed sincerely for the past two decades. She kept a low-profile in the media and lived a simple life with her mother in the neighbourhood of Gulistan-e-Johar. She had been receiving death threats for a while ...

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Young global leaders: What it means to the common man

An author from Counterpunch says,  “After all, despite the pretentious claims of improving the state of the world, Davos is really little more than a posh mountain retreat held for global elites hell-bent on preserving their own privileged class positions.” Likewise, YGL is about picking leaders who will perpetuate the inequities of the world through an anti-poor economic order governed by neo liberal philosophy of privatisation, taking subsidies away from the poor, and making the world an association of large global malls and corporations. Thus the question is wrong. “Do the four chosen from Pakistan (Maryam Nawaz, documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, founder ...

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Parveen Rehman’s death has left me heartbroken

An impish smile, one that reached her eyes and made them twinkle; the way she’d intertwine her arm with yours, like school girls do; her intelligent conversations; her wry humour that was always interspersed with chortles of laughter – there was a sort of joie de vivre about Parveen Rehman that suggested a new lightness of being. She exuded warmth and a gentleness that is hard to find these days. So why was her life snuffed out in that terrible manner? Was it because she was a messiah for the poor or was it due to her attempts to make people ...

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German glue, pinching ears and music — Zoe Viccaji’s favourite things

You may not know this about her, but Zoe Viccaji loves to put German glue on her hands and peel it off; she also loves to pinch ears, but her greatest love remains music. At the age of 15, when most of her teenage friends had the high-school blues, Zoe wrote songs for her friends and performed at open mic sessions as a hobby. She joined the college choir and majored in Arts and Sociology; even turned towards advertising for two years post-college, only to return to her first love – music. Born in Kharian to a Parsi father and a ...

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Man dead for falling in love: Parachinar is taking us back to the stone ages

A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post which delved into the rich prospects of the jirga system, its history and advantage to those who don’t have quick and easy access to the legal system in Pakistan. A couple of weeks ago, it made me ponder over my inflexibility towards accepting it as a system of justice – today I hold a strong stance against it. Having practiced in the courts of Pakistan, I understand first-hand the issues that the common man would face in his quest for legal justice; acute delays, unending legal costs and corruption within the ...

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When the devil takes over

“I can’t arrange the funds!” Lucifer said curtly. “Maybe later?” His wife, Delilah, spoke softly, but firmly. “Can’t promise you anything.” His face disappeared somewhere in the smoke of the cigarette. “You loved me. I mattered to you. Once.” Her eyes had a covert, but profound temper. “Once, everything was different. You weren’t so materialistic, once.” He glared back at her. “Materialistic? All that we have ever had is a physical relationship – that’s all. Isn’t that materialistic?” Her voice was sorrowful. “And still you stick around. You know why? Because of the money that I had.” Her husband replied spitefully as he bent down, and ...

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