Stories published in December, 2014

#Ferguson: Was it only about being black?

The world has rallied around Ferguson after a grand jury refused to indict an officer for killing Michael Brown. Add the deaths of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, revisit past cases of police brutality such as Abner Louima (1997) and Amadou Diallo (1999), and what’s the result? Marches in New York City and Washington DC, and thousands of protestors demanding an end to racism and murderous cops. The international press magnifies this narrative and creates morality plays out of American drama. Shehzad Ghias wrote, “Racism is still prevalent in the United States.” Ahson Saeed Hasan stated, “Cops essentially have a license to kill!” These views are shared by many inside and outside the US. But are they flawed? Do ...

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Lub pay aati hai dua bann kay tamanna meri

On December 16, 2014 The Express Tribune blogs desk received many submissions from grief stricken people from all over Pakistan. These people wanted to show their solidarity with the families of the victims. They wanted to mourn the deaths of the students and teachers from the Army Public School, who were brutally massacred by the TTP in Peshawar. Due to shortage of space, we were unable to accommodate many, but we understood that this was a traumatic event in which every Pakistani’s protest should be recorded. So, this post was created as a window for people to come together and ...

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Measuring a massacre – Should we mourn for longer? Louder?

Out of a student body of a little over 1000, 132 children are dead. At a moment like this, how do you quantify tragedy? If a thousand children were standing in line, every tenth child was shot and killed. One in 10. “One in 10 children worldwide has no access to schooling.” One in 10 families whose children went to Army Public School (APS) probably wish this statistic applied to them. “There are 1.6 hours of dream consciousness for every 16 hours of waking consciousness; this means that your chance of dreaming at any given moment is one in 10.” There is a one in 10 ...

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This was not revenge, this was murder without mercy

From today, we can no longer be divided into groups and raise slogans for politicians. Today, we need to join hands and stand together as Pakistanis for the future of this nation. The ‪‎Peshawar attack is another brutal example of the heinous criminals that infest our nation. As the death count rises, we are counting the bodies of dead children. Dead children, for God’s sake. There is no excuse for this brutality. There is no excuse for this infamy. There is no excuse for anyone to even consider fighting for anything other than the Pakistan that 132 families sacrificed their future generations for ...

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The artistic and extraordinary, freshly baked bread

Bread making is both science and art. It’s science in the sense that it involves a lot of chemistry, including fermentation, temperature control and enzymatic activity. It’s an art because crafting and baking artisanal handmade breads ensure quality, taste and satisfaction. So, here is an artistic and extraordinarily versatile recipe for a very popular bread loaf.  I regularly bake this for home consumption as well as for my friends and family. I bake these using either pre-fermented dough which requires a portion of the bread to be fermented for 16 to 20 hours. The method I am sharing here is for straight dough which requires hardly ...

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The death penalty is justified today

Two recent terrorist attacks have proven to be a watershed in our history.  First, the unfortunate siege at the Karachi airport which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and thereby, creating a proverbial consensus among many Pakistanis in support of a military operation. Since then, there have been debates on what a successful military operation entails. The commentators have regularly suggested that a military solution must accompany certain policy changes such as terminating the distinction between good Taliban and bad Taliban, reversal in our Afghan policy and developing a counter-terrorism strategy.  However, it failed to mark any seismic shift in our policies. The second is Tuesday’s massacre ...

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Red is such an ugly colour on green

My Facebook timeline is black. It’s so black that every time a coloured photo appears on it, I am taken aback and even angered; how anyone can think of posting anything other than black? Black is an appropriate colour for today. I think if grief and shock to the point of being numb would have a colour, it would be black. I want everything to be black; I want my mind to go black, and I keep trying to make it do so, but it insists on flashing bright red with images of the beautiful children of my country, murdered in cold blood. They ...

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To the Taliban, We are Pakistan and we will never forgive you

You can burn down our schools, tear the lives of families apart and ask minors to recite the kalma before you shoot them in the head. You can wage a war against humanity, impose a rule of tyranny and redefine oppression. Your guns can shoot, but their voices will never echo louder than the resolve of this nation. Your flames will burn out, but a nation will still emerge from its ashes, even if it is battered, bruised and beaten. You will run out of lives to give, but there will always be a Pakistani ready to lay his or hers down for ...

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Have a heart, PCB, postpone today’s match

My fellow Pakistanis, there is a cricket match scheduled for today. Yes, you read that right. At 4pm, Pakistan time, our nation will take on New Zealand in the fourth cricket ODI in Abu Dhabi. Needless to say, that such an event is taking place a day after one of the blackest days in Pakistan’s history, just doesn’t feel right. If anything, sport is a celebration – a celebration of athleticism where human beings compete in an arena of onlookers to determine who has more skill. We watch them simply because we can’t do what they can do. They can hit harder, bowl faster, and ...

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What if heaven was unprepared for the little souls of Peshawar?

I don’t know what happens to souls when people die, it is believed that they go to a place called heaven, paradise. But what if heaven is unprepared, what if heaven says, “Oh beautiful souls of Peshawar, your time is not yet, you need to live some more, you are young, you are innocent, you are angels in human form, you embody goodness, you are the ambassadors of heaven, your fieldwork on man’s earth is not done yet. God sent you down for a reason, because you are perfect, you have the capacity to do wonders, you are so beautiful, ...

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