Stories published in December, 2013

A psychiatrist’s perspective on gay and transgender persons in Pakistan

Aab Tak, a Pakistani television station started its transmission earlier this year with a strong statement, ‘Ladies, Gentlemen and She-males’ It did not take long for the station to air a sensational TV show Khufia where the hostess, Uzma Tahir, ignored people’s right to independence and a free life as she bullied them with a television camera. Chasing people frantically on the streets of Karachi, she and her team put hands on people, manhandled them and then barged into their homes with a camera crew to ask the victims of her camera bullying, “Are you gay or transgender?” The saddest part of the show occurred ...

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Before blocking NATO supplies, take a look at the repercussions for Pakistan’s economy!

In an interview with a journalist, Akram Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), who was the former Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) portrayed his plans for economic development as: “We believe that God prearranged food and clothing for every man, which He created. If we give up the ways of God and devise our own solutions to perceived problems, we may land in trouble.” The policy pursued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) towards the drones strike is very much in procession with that of Akram Durrani’s. It is true that God feeds every mouth on the planet but it is also true ...

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Egyptian verdict: They gave her 11 years in prison, she gave them a beautiful, victorious smile

As I scroll down my Twitter feed, a smile captivates me. The face had thousands of words, endless thoughts and most importantly tranquillity of soul. She isn’t a celebrity or a popular activist rather a girl next door, who wouldn’t be noticed in normal surroundings. Caged in an Egyptian courtroom with 20 others like her, she received an 11 years sentence for her crimes. The gravity of their offense lay in treading the forbidden path – ‘challenging dictatorship’ – a much greater sin than eating the apple. These young women, all in their teens and tweens, rounded up late last month were ...

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Begging: Pakistan’s new profession for kids?

They keep navigating from one car to another, knocking at your car windows and doors until you pay attention to them. This is the time when we are waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. They make sure their appearance is seen and not ignored. They are adamant and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Every summer I come down to Pakistan to spend time with my grandparents, and on my way home from the airport, I feel disheartened looking at these children navigating between cars. These are the handicapped young children on the streets of Pakistan asking for alms. The secret of getting ...

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10 things I hate about being attacked at work

1. The fear. The fear that whoever is chucking grenades and has been firing bullets for the last 10 minutes is about to enter the building. Should I be hiding under my desk? Or should I be leading my team somewhere? Or should I follow my gut and run screaming up and down the hallway? 2. Watching your colleagues run terrified out of an emergency back exit, only to hear another hail of bullets echo in the dark street outside the office. The anxiety as the door they ran out of is slammed shut by those panicking inside. 3. Crouching low and kicking yourself multiple ...

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My father divorced my mother because she gave birth to me, a girl

A few days ago, a newborn baby girl was dumped in a garbage heap by an unidentified woman in Faisalabad. No one realised there was a baby until the heap was set on fire and the cries of the baby girl alerted the garbage collector. She was taken to hospital with more than three-fourth of her body burnt. Unfortunately, the doctors could not save her. Female infanticide is still very common in Pakistan. It is sad to see that even in the 21st century the birth of a female is considered a stigma. When my eldest sister Tena* was born (we are three sisters ...

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Mustafa Kamal: Karachi’s superhero should return!

The Karachi we know today is nothing like the city many of us lived in a decade ago. In 2000, the local government system was introduced by former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, which was initially just an experiment. However, the way Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur made use of this opportunity to flourish and improve has no parallels; one cannot find similar examples anywhere else. When Karachi is discussed, one cannot omit the role of Syed Mustafa Kamal, as the mayor of Karachi, in its development. It has been almost four years since Mustafa Kamal has left office – and Karachi hasn’t been ...

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Can Pakistan beat India at the Kabaddi World Cup?

The time to chant “kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi” is upon us again, as the fourth Kabaddi World Cup tournament has commenced in Punjab, India, from November 30, 2013 and it will continue till December 14, 2013. It is a known fact that players from Pakistan and India are the best in the game, as Kabaddi has been derived from this very region. These two teams are obviously going to be a huge challenge for the other international teams in the tournament. Pakistan kabaddi player is tackled by a Scotland opponent during the 3rd Pearls World Cup Kabaddi Punjab-2012 tournament at Guru ...

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Remembering Paul Walker, our Fast & Furious hero

December 1, 2013 – 8:30 am I woke up Sunday morning, dreading the day that was going to be full of guests very soon. I had a busy day ahead of me and all I could think of doing was lazing around in bed, not bothering with anything in the world. Knowing, however, that I couldn’t do that, I struggled to move the warm embrace my blanket insisted on giving me.  December 1, 2013 – 8:30 pm The last few guests moved from the dining room, into the TV lounge for green tea before they (finally) made an exit. Whilst serving them hot cups ...

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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: One of the best episodes ever!

The ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary special finally hit the airwaves on Saturday November 23, after the endless amount of hype, merchandise, spoilers and speculation. The episode has received a Guinness World Record for the worlds largest ever simulcast of a TV drama after being broadcasted in 94 countries across the globe. More than 1,500 theatres worldwide screened the show, some even in 3D. ‘The Day of the Doctor’. Photo: Reuters Spoilers ahead! Although the viewers were anticipating big, promising events from ‘The Day of the Doctor’, it surprisingly leaves out the major villains of the series to focus on the history of Gallifrey. ...

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