Stories published in March, 2016

Why I will not celebrate Mumtaz Qadri’s execution

The rumours had been floating around since the beginning of the year, but not many outside a close-knit group really knew when it would happen, if at all. Then, before his crusaders could get a whiff of what was on the cards, his family was called in one last time, and at some ungodly hour before dawn on Monday, the patron saint of religious violence – Mumtaz Qadri – was hung at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. As a recap for those of you who don’t know (and I suspect there will not be many): the man in question killed Salmaan Taseer – the Governor of ...

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Mumtaz Qadri: From Ghazi to Shaheed

The poster boy for the arbitrary use of blasphemy laws has been hanged. His supporters have carried out various protests all across Pakistan. Members of the Islamabad Bar Association called his hanging a judicial murder and observed a “black day”. Tens of thousands gathered for his funeral. Many of them turned violent and attacked journalists and reporters even breaking their equipment. Some self-professed clerics cornered up and verbally abused Information Minister Pervez Rashid at Karachi airport. The government responded by not allowing any in depth coverage of these incidents and asked anchors to keep a lid on it. But does ...

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Should #WeDisownSharmeen?

It was yet another proud moment for Pakistan when Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy held up her second Oscar for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. To begin with, her being nominated for a second time was good enough, but winning a second Oscar came as a welcome surprise for me. Unfortunately, most people don’t share the same sentiments as I do. Many are celebrating her success, but most are bashing her for portraying Pakistan in a negative light… yet again. But why? Are we enraged over the fact Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy projected the stark reality or are we upset we ...

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Why do Karachiites love to live in apartments?

Karachi is certainly the financial engine of Pakistan’s recovering economy. When the city of lights falters, as it did over the past few years owing to security challenges, economic effects reached deep into other parts of the country as well. But thanks to the intervention by security forces over the last two years, Karachi appears to be getting back on its growth trajectory. The sentiment among the business community is witnessing a positive trend, jobs are coming at a greater pace and the real estate and housing sectors have seen heightened activity. According to the property web portal Zameen.com, average prices ...

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Aligarh: Gay love in the time of Bollywood

All right, I am holding my hands up and I admit I was a homophobe back in the day. Like any typical Pakistani youngster, a lot of my cussing and swearing involved slurs against the gay community. Even the word ‘gay’ itself turns pejorative since it’s used with a derisive attitude in our society and considered as a general term of disparagement amongst Pakistani youth and ashamedly, I was no different. But for me personally, my days as a typical homophobic youngster changed for good when I happened to stumble upon Brokeback Mountain (2005). I am not a big fan of movies ...

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