Stories published in November, 2016

Dr Abdus Salam, forgotten but not forgiven by Pakistan

The hush silence that marked Doctor Abdus Salam’s death anniversary this year was palpable. It is fairly difficult for most of my compatriots to honour the services of a Pakistani if he happens to be an Ahmadi. However, there is a lot more to Salam than merely winning a Nobel Prize or being ostracised as a pariah for his religious affiliation. A befitting gesture on my part would be to clear some of the hazy aura and the lesser known Sisyphean struggle that makes him unique and inspirational. Missed out on a Nobel Prize, but never gave up Where the world is still in awe for Salam winning a Nobel Prize in Physics, ...

Read Full Post

Just like George Bush, Obama’s mistakes, broken promises and war-crimes will also be forgotten

Following his yearlong campaign of racism, sexism, and sheer bigotry, Donald Trump’s victory has become a summons to reflect on the eight-year tenure of President Barack Obama. Indeed, in the shocking aftermath of the election, most of us have set our default mode to ardent fans ready to jump on every chance at glorifying the outgoing Obama administration.  Opinions on any outgoing politician are always polarising. In Obama’s case, many questions and promises remain. Was he able to strengthen the American resolve to fight the threat of global terrorism, or were his detractors right all along about his foreign policy being ...

Read Full Post

For shame Imran Khan, for shame

Imran Khan, you perpetually misguided political novice. You inherently misinformed self-proclaimed leader of the youth. You have done it again. First the fiasco with shutting down Islamabad, and now the reaction to Erdogan’s visit. Just when we think you’ve gained some much needed sense, you prove us all wrong. And you don’t do that in your average every day way. No, sir. You do in the most spectacular of manners, debunking every delusion we may have had of you finally mending your ways. Over 80,000 people dead, more than 48,000 of which are civilians. Blood splattered across the streets of Pakistan, ...

Read Full Post

Is China only supporting Pakistan to get back at India?

India and Pakistan have had a tumultuous mutual history. Violent separation followed by continued disputes and clashes have created a climate of suspicion and conflict. This is a tragedy of epic proportions given the shared history and heritage of the inhabitants of this land, stretching over thousands of years.  While the circumstances of their separation were unfortunate and sowed the seeds of this distrust, a lot has happened over the years to keep those embers burning. There is considerable anger in India over Pakistan’s support for separatism and terrorism in India. Indians also feel that Pakistan has not done enough to curb or punish anti-India activities. The sight ...

Read Full Post

Was it truly necessary to suspend Misbahul Haq right now?

Pakistan lost its first Test series in Christchurch after seven consecutive Test series. Tours to New Zealand and Australia have always been tough for Pakistan. After Pakistan’s unsatisfactory performance in Sharjah against the West Indies, there have been doubts regarding our batting line up against New Zealand and Australian conditions; thus resurfacing and strengthening the fear that the Pakistani team will struggle in such trying conditions. Misbahul Haq is a legend in the current team. He has played many match-saving and match-winning innings for Pakistan. His captaincy and batting ability is the reason why Pakistan is placed in the top half of the Test playing nations’ ranking charts. Misbah has ...

Read Full Post

Rehman Malik has left but his legacy of barring cellphone networks still lives on

My driver didn’t show up today. I could drive myself but then my other family members need the car too. None of us can call Uber or Careem because the apps are not working in the absence of mobile data services so we are stuck. My friend from college is in town for a day. I cannot reach out to her because the only way to contact her is via cell phone – I cannot expect her to check emails to figure out a plan. I had planned that she would come over; we would order something and hang out ...

Read Full Post

I Let You Go by Clare Macintosh is even better than JK Rowling’s Career of Evil

Blustering rain makes the road wet and the view foggy. A mother lets go of her five-year-old son for a minute – and a car mercilessly hits him. Soon after, while Detective Inspector Ray is still working on the hit-and-run, the grieving mother is forced to leave town, as the neighbours blame her for her son’s death. A few months later, Jenna Gray is arrested for the death of five-year-old Jacob. We all love stories that hold the power to give us goosebumps and sleepless nights. But stories that emerge from the truth leave us with a lot more than just ...

Read Full Post

What Trans Action KP can teach Pakistan

The widely circulated video of Julie being flogged and tortured in Sialkot is the latest reminder of the perils of being someone who does not conform to the arbitrary norms of our society. Long marginalised and consigned to the niches of begging and dancing we have relegated them to, transgender individuals have now become the frequent target of physical brutality in Pakistan. It was not till the transgender community and their allies in social activism raised a public outcry at the murder of Alesha last May that the authorities started making any real effort to challenge this menace. It took the ...

Read Full Post

Stop complaining about old people’s homes, Pakistan

As I was trying to read a book, a constant shrilly voice was piercing through my ear. It became hard to concentrate on the book anymore, so my mind started processing the voice. It was a TV show called What’s up Rabi – about an old home. In the hope of following a new perspective, I started following the show. The show treaded on well walked lines. The narrative sailed as expected: the old citizens are victims. In a platonic world, they should be at their homes right now, relaxing with their family. But, things did not go as ...

Read Full Post

Illusions exist

If I sit here, in this room for just a moment, what would change? What would happen? Just a minute, one moment. All to myself. Would the world change if I let myself forget about it? It forgot about me. It forgot about me a long time ago. So now I sit here frozen. Frozen in time. I can’t move. I’m trying so hard, but I can’t. I sit here staring at my legs, willing them to work. I’m willing myself to move, I swear. My legs won’t work. My feet won’t move. My toes won’t wiggle. The room is so small, all I can feel are ...

Read Full Post