Stories published in January, 2014

Have you forgotten all that Musharraf did for you, Pakistan?

It was just another day, on October 12, 1999, in New York City where I was an undergraduate student. Little did I realise then that it was the day that would go down as one of the most controversial days in Pakistan’s history. It was the day when the Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) flight PK 805, was denied landing rights in Pakistan on its return from Sri Lanka. A detour out of Pakistani territory would have meant an imminent crash of the commercial airliner, due to low fuel, with its 198 passengers on board. Amongst the passengers was none other than General ...

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Letter from a 10-year-old girl to ‘Admin Saab in Kay Pee Kay’

The following is a fictitious letter from a ten-year-old girl to the admin of the shelter house for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs):  Note from the Editor: This letter has not been edited so as to maintain the essence with which it was ...

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I walked in the opposite direction when One Direction won the People’s Choice Awards

The People’s Choice Awards are undoubtedly, one of the most famous American awards shows to date. These awards exhibit what people think of certain actors, bands, artists and the like. Of course, it also exhibits how these people are somewhat challenged when it comes to choosing their favourite actors, bands, artists etcetera. Not that they should be judged or criticised for their weakness since they are, after all, called ‘People’s Choice Awards’ and not ‘My-Opinion-is-Obviously-Better-Than-Yours’ awards. But here in this article, I am free to give my personal opinion which is not all that eyebrow-raising since as I am one of the ...

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We do not deserve people like Aitzaz Hassan and Chaudhry Aslam

This blog post is perhaps more directed towards the voters and members of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), than to anyone else. It is written for those who do not see banned militant outfits as legitimate threats to Pakistan. This is for all those people who have been led by their leaders to believe that certain terrorists were previously die-hard patriots. For all those who fail to read between the lines and do not realise how their leaders have, on every occasion, very cleverly manipulated their statements and, in ...

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A visit to the Salvation Army

While handing me a letter, my wife says to me, “Tomorrow, you have the ‘writing for fun’ training from 10am until 3pm” I read the letter and then read it again. I thought the training venue was going to be the university but it was at The Salvation Army instead. Initially, I didn’t like the idea. I searched for the postal code of the address on Google Maps to find out the whereabouts of the building. To my surprise, the venue was literally a 20 minutes’ walk from my house, which was closer than the university. However, being the curious person that I am, I decided to ...

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Lest we forget: Remembering the victims of the 2013 Hazara massacre

When Aslam Raisani, the then chief minister of Balochistan, was asked about the Mastung massacre in September 2011, he replied, “The population of Balochistan is in millions, 40 dead in Mastung is no big deal.” When asked about what he would do for the grieving families of the victims, he replied, “I can send a truckload of tissue papers for them to wipe away their tears.” Horrific as this may sound, the Mastung massacre was not the bloodiest day in the long history of Shia killings in the Hazara community. That ‘honour’ goes to the massacre on January 10, 2013 in Quetta where over 100 people were killed ...

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Corey Anderson may have broken Afridi’s record, but he can’t break our spirits!

On October 4, 1996, a record was made by one of our very own. Shahid Khan Afridi, who started his career in cricket 17 years ago, made the fastest century record in his second ODI against Sri Lanka. He scored 102 of 37 balls which was the fastest century in an ODI. Afridi has an aggressive batting style as he loves hitting his famous sixes on every ball and has smashed more than 400 sixes in all formats of the game. Now, after 17 years, this record was recently broken by New Zealand’s all-rounder Corey Anderson against the West Indies in just 36 balls. ...

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Hallelujah Band: Spreading a message of hope in Pakistan

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together” – Margaret Atwood Given the unending discrimination which the Christians of Pakistan live with, certainly no words or actions can pacify or comfort them completely. The community lives under constant threat of  persecution, attacks or the blasphemy law, fearing that any day something might happen that will shatter their lives forever. Despite all this, the Christian community remains steadfast in its faith. Soon after the twin suicide attacks inside the All Saints Church of Peshawar, I relentlessly began looking for ...

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RIP Chaudhry Aslam: The man who walked through fire

I walked into the newsroom and everyone was buzzing. There was a blast in Hassan Square and someone was dead. It’s Karachi so you know, this stuff happens every other day, but it wasn’t just any other day and it wasn’t just someone. It was Chaudhry Aslam. The Taliban finally got him. After God knows how many attempts, they finally got him. In 2011, they blew up his house and then in January 2006 there was an assassination attempt made on him at Gizri by gunmen associated with a big political party. Chaudhry Aslam’s house bombed. Photo: AFP I grew fond ...

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Why shouldn’t the MQM demand a separate province?

Ever since Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain demanded a separate province for the Urdu speaking population of Sindh, local media and politicians have by and large framed the debate firmly against the MQM. As has always been the case, any stance that the MQM takes is somehow twisted and presented as anti-state, and this time was no different. The demand for a separate province is never a preferred or pleasant one, as Altaf has stated himself. However, instead of focusing on the cause of such a demand, most of our media anchors, politicians and nationalist leaders pounced upon the opportunity to bash the party instead. While the ...

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