Zia thought he was going to China to sell his liver, but he didn’t know what was waiting for him

Being a journalist in Pakistan, I frequently come across crimes committed, sentences pronounced, culprits getting caught, and in many cases, culprits getting away. Thought I may not be physically present every time, I rely on certain ‘sources’ within the respective setup to bring forth the facts, if not the whole truth. On July 30th, I was contacted by one of my sources within the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) who informed me about a poor soul and a ring of criminals caught at the airport. I asked for adequate information on the issue, and in response, I was not only ...

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Young and wise: When Bilawal Bhutto Zardari outshined Imran Khan and Shehbaz Sharif

The long-awaited wish of Imran Khan to become the prime minister of Pakistan has finally come true, and I pray that he delivers what he has promised. Change is indeed needed and perhaps at a much faster rate than the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) anticipates. Given the state of Pakistan’s crippling economy, the new government may not even have time to enjoy the “honeymoon period” and would have to start their work from the very first day. All of us know that Imran has many problems which he will have to sort out in his own time, however in my opinion, ...

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Like him or not, Jahangir Tareen won the game for PTI

The saying that one man’s hero is another man’s villain was perhaps meant for Jahangir Khan Tareen. For the opposition and forces against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Tareen is a villain going around ‘buying’ the loyalties of legislators. For his own party, Tareen is a hero who, despite being disqualified for life by the Supreme Court, still works round-the-clock to fulfil Imran Khan’s mission.    Tareen’s wealth (and his airplane) has always been the focus for both the media and his critics. In particular, the way he approached the independent candidates for the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly after ...

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What independence are we celebrating?

Some 71 years ago, people from all over subcontinent left their homes and took roads laced with perils to reach the ‘land of pure’. What made them leave their lives behind to move to an unknown land where all that awaited them was a promise? No tangible shelter but only a promise; the promise of freedom. What is meant by this ‘freedom’ that caused the greatest migration of the century? Freedom or independence means the availability of the opportunity to exercise one’s rights, powers, desires and even faith. Yes, I put emphasis on faith because any country where any ...

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My journey with Imran Khan: From the ‘tanga party’ to a ‘one-man show’

My journey with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan began perhaps when I witnessed his win in Mianwali in 2002. The results were coming in from all across the constituency, and he won by a margin of around 5,000 votes. I was 14-years-old then. Although it was one seat, it felt like we had won a majority in the National Assembly. But when I woke up the next day, I realised this win was just a drop in the ocean. Back then, I had only heard the famous Urdu quote, “Katra katra kar kay darya banta hai.” (Every drop makes a river.) But ...

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My road trip to Khunjerab and Skardu via the engineering marvel that is the Karakoram Highway

What can you do in five days? That’s the question I asked when my employers announced a five-day Eid holiday this year. With Eid conveniently falling in June, it was an excellent opportunity to explore the mighty Karakoram Highway. I booked the tour with Karakoram Tours Pakistan, and landed in Islamabad one fine morning for the journey to begin. Upon exiting the airport, I met my guide Mohammad Bashir, a polite Balti man from Skardu, and we began our journey immediately. In this blog, I will take you through one of the highest mountain ranges in the world – the Karakoram ...

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Pakistan’s brain drain: 11 exceptional Pakistanis unrecognised by their own country, until they leave

Pakistan is a land of diverse culture and boundless talent. However, what we lack here in abundance is acceptance, while denouncement and hatred are quite easy to come by. We push away anything or anyone who is even slightly diverse when compared to the hordes of our mediocre mainstream, choosing monotony over innovation. As a consequence, those who are truly gifted are forced to leave the country and follow their dreams elsewhere. And why shouldn’t they? Those with bigger dreams need bigger horizons, and instead of broadening ours, we cast them out. Then we have the audacity to comment on how ...

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The political catch-22: How will PTI help Karachi if PPP stands in its way?

The General Elections held over a week ago broke the shackles that had bound the city of Karachi for so long. The public came out and voted for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and rejected the mandate of two powerful political dynasties that have ruled at the federal level for the last three decades. Not only this, the public voted out the most prominent and influential party of Karachi, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The city of lights has been voting for the Altaf Hussain-led MQM in all kinds of elections, be they general or local body. However, except for the brief tenure ...

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PML-N and the lost fort of Punjab: Why Shehbaz can never be Nawaz

The elections are over and debating whether they were engineered or not is unfortunately useless, as we are inevitably headed towards the oath-taking of the newly elected members of the Parliament. Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) will form coalition governments in the centre and in Punjab, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will be sitting in the opposition. PML-N has missed the chance to create history by defeating the powers that be. Shehbaz Sharif’s lacklustre electoral campaign and his inability to convince the voters with his narrative “khidmat ko vote do” (vote for those who served you) led to the demise of ...

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Et tu, PML-Q?: It is time for the tractor to choose who gets its harvest – the bat or the lion?

In the post-election scenario, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has emerged from nowhere to be in a dictating position in Punjab, which is the largest province of Pakistan. This is the very party that almost got flushed out in the General Elections of 2013. In the pre-election build up, sensing that the wave of triumph was on the side of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), it was PML-Q that desired to assist PTI with seat adjustments throughout the country. In the coming days, formation of the Punjab government would be an extremely uphill task. The battle is all set with either side needing at least ...

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