Stories published in March, 2016

Why did PML-N let Musharraf go?

Those who had anticipated the former military dictator lingering behind bars, for monopolising power through unlawful acts for nearly a decade, are reminded of Manto’s masterpiece, Naya Qanoon. The story was written during the British rule in India in the midst of the promise of limited government under the Indian Act of 1935. Ustad Mangu, an ordinary, disillusioned tonga driver in Lahore attempted to test the new law by responding to racial discrimination. Mangu was arrested for beating an English man but kept screaming, “New constitution, Naya Qanoon!” The police retorted, “What nonsense are you talking? What Naya Qanoon? It’s the same old constitution, you fool.” Mangu was ...

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Prejudice towards languages and ethnicities other than Punjabi has to end

Textbooks play an important role in building the world view of students. In a country like Pakistan where the reading culture is non-existent, these books serve as primary sources of information for a huge chunk of society. Khursheed Kamal Aziz also known as K K Aziz began his book ‘The Murder of History in Pakistan’ with the following words, “In every country, the textbook is the primary implement of education at the school and pre-university stages of instruction. In Pakistan, it is the only instrument of imparting education on all levels, because the teacher and the lecturer don’t teach or ...

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I love the UN, but it is failing

I have worked for the United Nations for most of the last three decades. I was a human rights officer in Haiti in the 1990s and served in the former Yugoslavia during the Srebrenica genocide. I helped lead the response to the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Haitian earthquake, planned the mission to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons, and most recently led the Ebola mission in West Africa. I care deeply for the principles the United Nations is designed to uphold. And that’s why I have decided to leave. The world faces a range of terrifying crises, from the threat of climate change to terrorist breeding grounds in ...

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Why can’t Pakistani women wear niqabs if they don’t want to be stared at?

Dear Express Tribune (ET), (or should I say Sexpress tribune?) Here I was, browsing the internet while feeling very offended that the government had passed a ‘Women Protection Bill’, when I came across your latest liberal agenda spewing blog, titled, ‘Why can’t Pakistani men stop staring at women?’ This article made me so angry. The last time I felt so upset was when I spent seven and a half hours on Sunday pouring over every image and video on Qandeel Baloch’s Facebook page. That day I was so livid, I left comment after comment on her posts, asking her to cover ...

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Kapoor & Sons: Your own dysfunctional family

All right, now here is a definitive list of all the people who under no circumstances can miss out on the chance to watch Kapoor & Sons while they can. The perfect elder child – Rahul Kapoor (Fawad Khan) Photo: Koimoi If you are tired of living your life under the weight of all the expectations that come your way for acting to fulfil the ‘faultless child’ tag that you are burdened with and need to break free from the shackles of being eternally considered responsible. The quintessential black sheep – Arjun Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra) Photo: Koimoi If ...

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Did Aamir Liaquat accidentally defend secular democracy?

Controversial scholar, entertainer and televangelist, Aamir Liaquat, offers a liberal feminist virtually no reason to smile and nod politely. On March 16, 2016, Mr Liaquat may have finally broken that tradition. On an episode of NewsEye, Mehr Abbasi raised the subject of the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act and the controversy surrounding it. Senator Hafiz Abdullah, of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), rebuked the act as any viewer acquainted with Pakistani political dynamics may have anticipated. It was the identity of the act’s defender, which came as a pleasant surprise. Mr Aamir Liaquat was visibly bitter, missing one burning cigarette clamped casually between ...

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Can Pakistan vs India ever be just a match?

Is it Pakistan versus India? Or, is it India versus Pakistan? While a trivial issue to the casual observer, this grammatical chess-match encapsulates the depth of the cricketing rivalry between the two neighbours. As both sides jostle to gain any advantage over one another, not even the English language is spared. Is it Pakistan versus India? Or, is it India versus Pakistan?Photo: AFP Simply put, there is no match like a Pakistan-India (or, India-Pakistan) match; a match unrivalled in its ability to harness the imagination, fervour and passion of over a billion people. From Islamabad to New ...

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Stop killing our dogs, CBC, please!

I’ve been a quiet spectator of the brutal killings of stray dogs in Karachi for a very long time and despite the fact that it has enraged me time and time again, I’ve kept quiet only to realise that it is in times like these when you acknowledge the wrongdoing happening before you. You either become a silent observer boiling with rage on the inside or you try to make a difference despite the possibility that your efforts may prove to be futile.  I have recently come across several Facebook posts talking about stray dogs being shot point-blank by Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC). I ...

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Gwadar isn’t a ‘mega city’, it isn’t even a city yet!

It’s Gwadar, Gwadar everywhere; on every newspaper, news-channel, on huge billboards in our major cities. Even the Army Chief, who is the most loved person of the country, was full of mesmerising words for Gwadar. Unfortunately, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is full of controversies but whatever the route may be, whether western or eastern, it obviously starts from China and ends in Gwadar. It’s pretty obvious that building Gwadar can be a huge step in the prosperity of this country. Brief history The word Gwadar is derived from two Balochi words Gwat (Air) Darr (Door). The city’s importance is common ...

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Master storyteller, Patrick Modiano, casts a delicious spell with Suspended Sentences

For anyone who has read or is generally interested in the works of Marcel Proust and is in search of a contemporary French novelist, Patrick Modiano is a thrilling new discovery. In 2014, when the Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in literature to Modiano, the literary world was caught off guard. A household name in France and a celebrated figure in European literary circles, Modiano was little known elsewhere. With as much as 20 books scheduled for translation and international publication, Modiano’s oeuvre is starting to find a wider audience that it rightly deserves. In awarding him the prize ...

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