Stories published in March, 2014

The Rachel Canning case and why Pakistani parents should be worried

Whoever is raising children in this present age can only applaud the decision taken by the judge in the strange New Jersey case of 18-year-old Rachel Canning suing her parents for kicking her out of the house. To add insult to injury, the girl demanded her parents, Sean and Elizabeth Canning, pay for the private high school that she is attending, her current living expenses, and some of her upcoming college tuition. The judge’s ruling was akin to music to a lot of parents’ ears that the parents were not liable for either Rachel’s current living expenses or her legal fees, which is now ...

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Hasan Nisar and nude beaches in Pakistan

A well-known journalist, Hasan Nisar was recently criticised by religious extremists and individual zealots from all over the country for a statement he made on a TV show. The most circulated interpretation of his statement has been that he suggested nude beaches in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. I won’t be surprised if the analyst regrets having said something like that in a country where a woman is not just a woman but an honour for her family, sometimes her neighbourhood and in the case of women like Dr Aafia Siddiqui and Veena Malik, for the entire country. From a liberal perspective, the suggestion has been ...

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Embellish it all you want, it will still be ‘lawn’, stop making it unaffordable!

“Which designer lawn are you wearing?” This is the most commonly asked question among ladies when it comes to summer wear. This lawn craze has really picked up pace in the last few years. Even before the first signs of summer appear, we are bombarded by these designer lawn hoardings throughout the cities. And if roads were not enough, they make their presence felt in print, on social media and on TVCs in an attempt to seek the attention of the masses. Last year, I paid a visit to the very famous Saleem Fabrics in Liberty Market, Lahore with a friend sometime in the beginning of the summer ...

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Pak sarzameen shaadbaad

“Pak sarzameen shaadbaad” (Blessed be the sacred land) The old, rusty metal door made a creaking sound when the hunched attendant with crooked teeth and clubbed, callous fingers with dirty nails, opened it with a push of his shoulder. He took a drag from the cigarette hanging between his beetle nut stained lips and exhaled. The smoke made strange shapes before disappearing into the thick air. A lone, low wattage energy saver hung from the ceiling with a wire, the light it emitted made everything look ghastly. Not that there were many things worth seeing. The smell of tobacco got mixed with the strong ...

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Banish the CII

In a more civilised society where progress is equated with innovation, technological advancement and competitiveness, the recent ‘suggestions’ put forth by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and its band of brothers would certainly have been political suicide. This ‘advisory’ body – which has remained dormant until its ineptness surfaced – has proved itself to only serve as a control mechanism as to how people should live and conduct their lives, as is the case with all religiously sanctioned forums. The clerics, who constitute the CII, and many of their kind elsewhere, have served one and one purpose only: societal control for self-fulfilment. Because ...

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The quickest and most delicious Nutella Mousse you’ll ever make!

I recently filled up ‘Homemaker’ in a form which had a field called ‘Occupation’. And soon after I was asked, “So what else do you do apart from staying at home and ensuring nutritious meals for your children?” To which I replied, “Actually nothing, just trying to do a PhD in Domestic Staff Management (and failing miserably). I also have a diploma in ‘Hair Management’ where we were taught how not to pull your hair if the ‘feeder’ blows up or internet connections fail to work or Sui Gas connections were blown up in Balochistan. During my break time, I go from one ...

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Before blaming the Islamic Council, look at your own nikkahnama!

I am befuddled by the outrage caused by Maulana Muhammad Khan Sheerani’s statement on the issue of second marriage. I am amazed at the public hypocrisy. When will #CII concentrate on rights of woman, no marriage against will, right 2 divorce, etc. etc. Rights which are consistently violated! — Ali Rahman (@Baahirezaman) March 11, 2014 Wow: Permission from 1st wife for 2nd marriage& inability to marry underage girls are the key issues that make #Pakistan unIslamic~ #CII — Ilmana Fasih (@ZEEMANA) March 11, 2014 Issues in #Pakistan:Terrorism, economy,famine,educn,poverty. Issues for #CII:Oiling wheels of second shaadi & making it legit to marry kids. — Maheen Usmani (@MaheenUsmani) March 11, ...

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Shahid Afridi: The face of sexism?

In the land of the pure, apparently, one cannot be a man and a feminist at the same time. The two seem to be mutually exclusive. Usually, this disconnect is attributed to the misconception that feminists are man-hating, rabid women out for social revenge; however, in Pakistan, the culprit is menial passivity because that’s just how it is here. In a recent resurgence of a four-month-old interview, Shahid Afridi took it upon himself to remind Pakistani women that their skills are most useful in the kitchen. His response to a simple fluff question about a women’s cricket team in Peshawar has outraged many, ...

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9 things you should know about the missing Malaysian Flight MH370

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has proven to be an absolute mystery with more questions than answers. The Boeing 777 plane, which was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:41 local time on March 8. Its transponder’s signal was lost to air traffic control at 1:22 local time while still over the sea in the Gulf of Thailand; barely 40 minutes into its flight to Beijing, China. If there was one thing which was immediately clear, it was that Flight 370 had gone through a catastrophic event at 1:22 when its transponder stopped ...

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Remembering Jalib, remembering his fight against dictatorship

There was a man who audaciously used to say, “Mai nahi Manta” (I refuse to accept) He was neither a bourgeois nor a feudal and surely, he was not patronised by any ‘third force’ (Teesri Quwwat) that has a hand in every incident that takes place in Pakistan. He was an ideologue, charismatic and an eloquent poet. Moreover, he was best known for his revolutionary zeal. He struggled for the restoration of democracy and human rights. His enthralling poetry elucidated the notorious rule of dictators. However, his poesy still befits today’s political setting. That man was none other than the great Habib Ahmed Jalib. Dastoor was ...

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