Stories published in October, 2016

A historical walk through the forgotten Sheranwala Bagh in Gujranwala

Gujranwala is one of the cities of Punjab that have contributed to its history, especially during Ranjit Singh’s rise to power and the establishment of the Sikh empire. This is where Ranjit Singh was born to Sardar Maha Singh, who belonged to Sukerchakia misl in 1780. Sheranwala Bagh is home to the monuments of the Sikh rule in Gujranwala. I had been hearing about the charm of Sheranwala Bagh for a long time, and every time I went to visit my maternal family, I’d dream about the bagh. It wasn’t until this year that the dream finally came true. [caption id="" ...

Read Full Post

A mother’s dream, an American dream and gold star parents

I am a woman, I am a mother, I am an immigrant, I am a Pakistani-American, I am a Muslim, I live in the swing state of Nevada and I was in the audience this past Saturday when Mr Khizr Khan, the gold-star parent of honourable Captain Humayun Khan, stood at the podium talking to many like me. I was tearing, as was everyone else in the room. A short video about the Khan family rolled on the large screen in the Monet Room, at the Bellagio, Las Vegas (the venue). It seemed like the story of any hardworking immigrant ...

Read Full Post

Bacon greased bullets? Really, America?

As I write these lines, I’m in the middle of mourning the loss of my friend, Jim – a fine gentleman, who, as a young man, fled Robert Mugabe’s brutal Zimbabwe and took refuge in the United States. Like millions of others, Jim regarded America his home, the same America that despite all its fallacies and futilities remains, with malice toward none, the greatest country on earth. You must be wondering why I am bringing up a friend’s passing away in a political conversation. You see, in order to connect the dots of the anomalies that surround us, one must ...

Read Full Post

An open letter to my younger self

Dear Tanzila, Today your wish will come true. You will get what you had always wanted. Remember that hair straightener set? Mum has gotten it for you. It has curlers too! But I have some bad news: you will forget about the beloved straightener within three years and never think about it again. Why? Because, you will embrace the hijab as your identity – don’t freak out! You will love it. Today, as the 26-year-old ‘you’, I have reached out to you of the past to share some lessons. Some of them I learned in Sweden, some as I was sitting in a training session ...

Read Full Post

Does the creation of Bangladesh prove the two-nation theory wrong?

This article is not a “defence” or repudiation of the two-nation theory (TNT). Rather it tries to critically evaluate the argument that the creation of Bangladesh in fact proved that the two-nation theory was not valid. Those who claim that the two-nation theory has proven to be a failure cite the creation of Bangladesh as an example. It is claimed that ethnic nationalism trumped religion and therefore the two-nation theory has proven to be a failure. I do not intend to prove that the two-nation theory is wrong or right but just evaluate it with reference to the creation ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan, where merit takes a backseat and connections take the wheel

Growing up as the child of a journalist isn’t easy. Especially when your father was a struggling reporter in the 90s and Karachi was at its most violent. But apart from the violent riots and massive chaos during that time, journalism in the 90s was extremely different from what it is now; there were no social media connections, no online submissions and no Snapchat stories to pass off as reportage. You had to arrive at an office during the evening, start your work in the dead of the night because the ‘morning’ newspaper was where everyone got their news from. Life wasn’t easy for ...

Read Full Post

Narcos – Season Two: Plata O Plomo?

If you are like me, someone who swears at anything and everything under the sun, there are times when the repertoire of your favourite curse words is simply not enough for the occasion. For these very times, your love for foreign cinema comes in really handy. The first season of Narcos – being a cracker of a show aside – was a must-watch for those like me who swear by their swear words. So you can imagine the level of excitement I had for the second season. I was dying to add a few more Spanish expletives to my everyday ...

Read Full Post

RIP Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch, the shining pearl of Balochistan

In a country where you would be hard pressed to find men footballers who ply their trade in a foreign league, I was actually quite surprised when I was first told of Shahlyla Baloch. A woman soccer player who hailed from Balochistan, demonstrating her skills in Maldives. Boy, was I impressed! My astonishment didn’t just stop here; news came in that Shahlyla then went on to grab herself a hat-trick during her stint in Maldives. Woah, this girl is going places. Unfortunately, this precocious talent is no more amongst us. Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch died in a car crash in Karachi late ...

Read Full Post

Indirect taxation is a regressive move affecting the poor – make FBR independent instead

Taxes are what make governments work and allow other functions to operate smoothly. It maintains the country’s infrastructure, funds government operations, facilities and the logistics involved in running a country. All across the world, governments’ levy taxes from its citizens to generate revenue to run their affairs and benefit their subjects in ways untold. Taxes are the price paid by civilised societies for the opportunity to remain civilised. Being the lifeblood of governments, there is no concept of governance and socio-economic development without taxes. Paying taxes is our civic duty, along with a requirement of the law and its non-payment is backed by sanctions. Is ...

Read Full Post

It is in Trump’s America that a seven-year-old Muslim boy can be bullied and bruised

I still have a hard time believing it. I say this to myself every time I see Donald Trump on television as a presidential candidate. My disbelief doubled and tripled as I watched the recent presidential debate. During one of the debates, on the issue of ‘Black Lives Matter’, Donald Trump completely subverted the issue of racism and turned it into an issue of ‘law and order’. As if that wasn’t enough, his infamous tapes of proudly harassing women have surfaced. “This guy? Seriously, America? You want to make this guy your president?” I say that to myself every time. Ironically, he ...

Read Full Post