Stories published in July, 2013

When eating in Ramazan means asking for a beating

With the holy month comes an all encompassing wave of piety – dairy companies’ fuss over how their milk will make Iftar a more spiritual experience and television actors don designer shalwar kameez to host Ramazan transmissions. Yes, Ramazan is very festive in our part of the world. Amidst these merry happenings, a video went viral, recently. A man was beaten to pulp in Karachi for eating during this sacred month. The video showed him bleeding profusely as a few fretted around him and a camera man struggled to get the best shot of his blood smeared face. It was a ...

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Is India attacking its own citizens under the umbrella of ‘anti-terrorism’?

Narendra Modi, adept at spinning catchy phrases that neatly fit into newspaper headlines, recently lampooned Congress leadership for its political gimmickry of wearing the ‘burqa of secularism’ and ‘hiding in a bunker’ in any crisis situation. In simple words, Modi implied that Congress leaders should stop using the ‘Muslim Card’ or playing the bogey of ‘secularism under threat in India’. But events of the past few days indicate that secularism is indeed facing a mighty threat in India, not only from Narendra Modi’s right-wing politics, but also from the security-centric policies of secular parties that seek to amass excessive state powers against ...

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When ‘sharing’ her husband was her best choice

“Baji I need to leave early today.”  I was finishing my breakfast, a few weeks ago, with the morning paper in front of me when my maid announced, polishing the dining chairs with more gusto than usual. “Why Shada? You need to go the market?” I asked her casually. Shada has been with me for several years and over the time I have managed to develop a friendly rapport with her, given her cleanliness, punctuality and zeal to create a better life for her children. She lives in a small, three room house with her postal worker husband and her three young children. ...

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Shahid Afridi, you showed us again why you are king!

I was cheering, overwhelmed by joy, jumping up and down, running around in my TV lounge shouting “He did it! He did it!”. This was the moment I had been waiting for for a very, very long time. I couldn’t have asked for more.  A hero, a legend, a fighter and a hope for millions of fans – that’s what Shahid Afridi is. He has once again shown what a prodigy he is on the pitch. For 15 years, he has been making his country proud, and he is still going strong! They are so right when they say that Lala is ...

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Deported from Israel for being a Muslim who visited Pakistan

Destination: Israel Purpose: To visit Jerusalem and everything within it which ‘drives men mad.’ I had spent months preparing for my trip to the country with the primary aim of visiting Jerusalem and seeing the great historical landmarks such as the Al Aqsa mosque and Wailing Wall. I had purchased clothes appropriate for the sweltering heat of the Middle East, booked my flight well in advance and converted almost all of my remaining savings to Israeli Shekels in an almost hyperactive state of eagerness. It was in this mood that I reached Ben Gurion airport on the morning of the 24th of ...

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Is Imran Khan’s visit to the UK worthy of criticism?

I find it ridiculous that some media anchors and members of the civil society have the nerve to criticise Imran Khan’s visit to the UK, especially to the royal gathering hosted by Prince Charles.  It is believed that the scheduled ‘All Parties Conference’ (APC) has been postponed due to Khan’s absence. However, this is nothing but a baseless allegation. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had made it clear much before Khan’s departure, that Khan will be travelling to the UK for his medical treatment and to meet his children. Moreover, if an APC was to even be carried out while Khan was away, PTI had nominated ...

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GI Joe 2: Another instance of propaganda against Pakistan

Last night I chose to watch the movie, GI Joe 2: Retaliation, hoping to get a dose of some much needed action and science fiction. However, this was not the case. A good hour and a half that felt like days later, I was praying for my electricity to crash so that I would have an excuse to get rid of the rest of the movie. But then again, what else can we expect from Hollywood, an industry that is running out of things to sell? The movie was far from light-hearted action. In fact, it should have been titled ‘Propaganda’. This ...

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Shahid Khan: Another Pakistani success story we failed to appreciate

On Saturday, 13 July, my heart swelled with national pride when Shahid Khan, a Pakistani-born billionaire based in the USA, completed the purchase of the English Premier League football club Fulham FC from Egyptian business mogul Mohamed Al Fayed. The completion of the deal, which is valued at around 150 million to 200 million pounds sterling, has made Khan the sixth American and probably the first man of Pakistani origin to purchase a Premier League club. The purchase of Fulham is not Khan’s first venture into the world of sport. In November 2011, he purchased the National Football League (NFL) team ...

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You are right, Malala’s speech could have been better!

It was a privilege to take a few minutes off my life and listen to Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the United Nations– alas, on YouTube. I’ve been away from social media the past few days, but I couldn’t help but take a cursory look at social media to see folks questioning whether Malala’s speech could have been better. Strangely, I have to swallow my anger and admit: you are right. Malala’s speech could have been better! It could have been better if this speech was delivered at the UN General Assembly by Barack Hussein Obama, the President of the United States ...

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The state of Pakistani media: 10 toons that tell it like it is

Note: All information cited in the toons below has been taken from the 2013 report Mapping Digital Media: Pakistan, released by Open Society Foundations. ______________________________________________ Read more by Jahanzaib here or follow him on ...

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