Stories published in August, 2016

We’re celebrating Pakistan’s Independence Day, but are we really independent?

On August 11, 1947, a newly-formed Pakistan held its first parliamentary session. The purpose was to draft a constitution. During this session, Pakistan’s founding father Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah famously reaffirmed the pluralistic values the new nation had been founding declaring: “You are free, you are free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or any other place of worship in the state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the state.” This year will mark the nation’s 69th year ...

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Dear Victoria’s Secret, does nothing really taste as good as skinny feels?

Dear Victoria’s Secret, When I was 10-years-old I wanted nothing more than to be a Victoria’s Secret Angel; I would spend hours prancing around in front of the mirror in my ‘sexiest’ high heels, practicing my cat walk and perfecting my hair flips. After the first few times that I was rejected by modelling agencies, I began to see myself through their eyes – the fat hanging off my bones, the gaps in my crooked smile and the emptiness between my thighs that would never be empty enough. As I grew up, this turned into an obsession – I needed to make myself ...

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You have to read carefully if you want to know the Secrets of the Kashmir valley

In the valleys of green, In the depths unseen, There are eyes that wait, They remember the date, Of their own demise, Of their unseemly plight, Will their wait ever end? Or their lives will be spent; Forever in dark, Or will they close in the end, Without leaving a mark? Such is the predicament of the poor beings in Kashmir. Will they all die one day without leaving a mark on this earth? We hear about their dying voices, their blind eyes and their shelled homes but how will it end? Will it end in a humanitarian solution to their woes or will it be like it has always ...

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The terrorist label: When does an attack become a ‘terrorist’ attack?

Last week, Zakaria Bulhan, a British Somalian teenager, armed with a knife, allegedly killed one person and injured four others in a central London square as passers-by were out enjoying the evening. An ordinary scene of urban serenity was disrupted and panic ensued. However, the British authorities have so far refused to label the incident as a terrorist attack stating that the attack was “spontaneous” and triggered by mental health issues. The labelling of a “terrorist” is a delicate task. It is a deliberate decision taken by those in positions of authority rather than induced by the observations of members ...

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The Pakistani state has failed in protecting its citizens in Quetta

The atrocities against the legal profession in Quetta As our nation fast approaches its day of independence, the profession most closely associated with the struggle for freedom has paid the ultimate price. The blast at the Civil Hospital, Quetta, constituted not only a tragic loss of life, but an attack on the last defenders of the rule of law and the basic rights promised to us all on the eve of our independence. This will undoubtedly further bruise the morale of those earning their livelihood fighting for the rights of people protected under the Constitution of Pakistan. The struggle for the ...

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Was Quetta an ISIS job or a JuA job? Or was it a joint effort?

I found out about the Quetta bombing the way I do about most breaking news – through Facebook. My heart sank as I saw an article a friend had posted about a cameraman who worked for one of the same publications as I do. He was a father of four children and legal guardian to three others. On Tuesday, while filming a protest of lawyers outside a Quetta hospital he was killed in a suicide attack alongside 93 others. The attack – yet another in the violence-plagued south-western province of Balochistan – is said to have taken out an entire generation of ...

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Guys, we can no longer have an opinion on chicken handi

Liberals in Pakistan watched with envy as Hamza Ali Abbasi pretended his account got banned every time he wanted attention to further his political career. It is undeniable that Mark Zuckerberg personally stalks Hamza Ali Abbasi on Facebook. A fact further corroborated by life sized posters of Hamza Ali Abbasi at the Facebook headquarters. It is rumoured that Mr Zuckerberg created Facebook only to obtain semi-nude pictures of Hamza Ali Abbasi from his Moulin Rouge days.   The time for conservative propaganda is over kyunkay naya zamana aya aur saath cybercrime bill laya (a new era has arrived, and it has brought the cybercrime bill with it). The government ...

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A tribute to remember

She was sitting outside when the sound first reached her ears. Her gnarly hands gripped the chair firmly. Staggering, she got up and walked towards the sound. The melody grew louder, different voices rising and falling. Melancholy gripped her. As a few minutes passed, the song reached its peak moments. And then the sound died abruptly. Puzzled, she hurried into the room. Her husband stood in the middle of the room, gripping the remote firmly. He glared at the television set with contempt. But Naghmana Bibi was not discouraged by his anger. She saw what others could not see. They saw his proud head, ...

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Last Friday, August 5th, was Kashmir’s Bloody Friday

August 9, 2016: Breaking his 32-day long silence on Kashmir, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has made a statement which is full of empty political rhetoric, and lacks enough substance to address the real issue concerning the political aspiration of Kashmiris. “It is said that boys who should be holding laptops, cricket bats have been handed stones in their hands,” Modi said while addressing a rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district. This irresponsible and juvenile statement stereotyped Kashmiris as gullible and naïve people who are ready to pick up a stone at someone’s behest. “Every Indian loves Kashmir. The freedom that every Indian has also ...

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Dear God, where’s my T-shirt?

Dear God, I have a serious complaint to make. You must know… but of course you do… that there are now T-shirts out there with that man Raheel’s picture on them. God, this is too much! I am the PM not he! Why have you allowed this to happen?? Please God, remember that I am still weak although I don’t look it, because I have just had a very big operation and although many people don’t believe it (they say I went to my London apartment in Mayfair… how delicious that sounds… just to hide when that stupid Panama information leaked out but you ...

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