Why PM Imran Khan should first worry about his own country and then Kashmir

While Pakistan has tried to raise the Kashmir issue on the global stage, Prime Minister Imran Khan has to realise that that is really all he can do. The Foreign Office and Shah Mahmood Qureshi will now continue to raise a voice for the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) on the international platform, and Imran should now focus on the domestic issues in Pakistan. After all, that’s what he was elected to do. But this seems unlikely. Here are a few things that Imran should focus his attention towards instead. Economic turmoil The current budget deficit has soared to Rs3.45 trillion, ...

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Remembering war hero Air Commodore Rashid Bhatti: an outstanding soldier and father

My dad was not a martyr. I didn’t lose my dad to the country in his death. I lost him to the country in his life. That night, and every day, I stand proud because of that. Pakistan and India have once again come to the brink of war after the revocation of Kashmir’s special status by the Indian government. This follows the recent tension earlier this year, when Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in a dogfight over Kashmir on February 27, 2019, a day after Indian jet fighters carried out airstrikes inside Balakot. Pakistani fighters shot down two Indian planes ...

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Police brutality: Should we now fear the very people sworn to protect us?

While being tortured by the police, Salahuddin Ayubi asked his tormentors, “Who taught you these torture techniques?” Ayubi, who had been arrested for stealing money from an ATM machine, died in police custody two days after his arrest. Unfortunately, this case of police brutality is not an isolated incident. Pakistan has seen a troubling rise in the number of people who are not only subjected to police brutality, but also die as a result. With little to no action taken against these individuals and only muffled public condemnation, the police continue to carry out these practices with complete impunity. But will ...

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A rape for a rape: Another child, another case in Kasur’s long list of injustices

As a highly empathic person who is passionate about speaking about deeply-rooted social issues, the fact that I always have an atrocity committed against a girl to write about saddens me extremely. I am, unfortunately, going to shed light upon yet another horrendous incident of rape that took place just a few days ago in Kasur. I remember just last year the country was clouded in shock, disgust and hopelessness when seven-year-old Zainab Amin’s body was found from a heap of trash. Since Zainab’s case was the 12th such incident to take place that year within a 10-kilometer radius of Kasur, it ignited ...

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The joke that was Mustafa Kamal’s appointment and suspension

It has been a while since the disintegrated factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have been involved in mudslinging with regards to every issue related to Karachi. The recent episode between the incumbent Mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar and former mayor of Karachi, Mustafa Kamal took an interesting turn when the former appointed the latter and within 24 hours suspended him from the voluntary position of Project Director Garbage. The entire fiasco began when Kamal claimed that he could clean up the city of Karachi within 90 days if he was provided with the resources and funds which the Karachi Metropolitan ...

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Will a 30-minute demonstration every Friday actually help the Kashmir cause?

Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been under lockdown for more than three weeks now. Narendra Modi’s desire to annex the territory was already made clear during his election campaign, and thus many have been asking why Islamabad was unable to pre-empt this. But given that Modi’s move on the geopolitical chessboard caught Islamabad off-guard, the question arises: how should Pakistan respond? Perhaps by rallying on the streets for 30 minutes. In a recently televised address, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he wanted the people of Pakistan to come out onto the streets for half an hour every Fridays in order to stand in solidarity ...

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#CleanPakistan: A plastic ban with no alternatives

Every now and then, Naya Pakistan surprises us from its bag of wonders. Every new policy is a roller-coaster turn. While one is still gasping from the last swirl, the next one is even steeper and more unpredictable. The recent drive to de-plasticise the capital territory is the latest.  Although going plastic-free had been on the cards for some time, its implementation plan seems to have been not. The Ministry of Climate Change announced plans in early August to abolish the manufacture, sale and purchase of plastic bags in the capital. The local administration too announced to make Islamabad plastic-free ...

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The Qandeel Baloch story: Using the law of forgiveness as a license to kill

In some surreal news, Qandeel Baloch’s parents have taken steps to essentially cancel her case. Should they be successful, Qandeel’s story will most likely take the same disappointing direction as those of countless other innocent women who fell victim to a deafening patriarchy. According to an affidavit filed with the Multan courts, Qandeel’s parents have asked the court to not only dismiss the murder charges against their sons, Waseem and Aslam Shaheen, but have also requested to the court to wrap up the case as soon as possible. This is because not only have they forgiven him, but they also believe ...

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Preserving Takht-i-Bahi: why the old and the new must walk hand in hand

Before arriving at the historic ruins of Takht-i-Bahi (also called Takh’ Bahi), a former Buddhist monastic complex and an Indo-Parthian archaeological site, one passes through its namesake village. A narrow and fractured two-way road snakes through, with shops on either side, offering consumer and plastic goods. Quite unfortunately, there are no hints or traces of the village’s shared history, pride or even association to the neighbouring site’s religious, historic and cultural significance. Instead, open drains, unregulated parking, hanging wires, peeled paint strips and half-torn posters on buildings are a common sight that greet visitors. Photo: Tayeba ...

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Are we carrying out Eidul Azha rituals the right way?

Emaciated bodies, their remains everywhere, blood flowing on already dirty streets across the city and the smell of freshly cut flesh – this is a glimpse of Karachi on the first day of Eidul Azha, aka Bakra Eid. I’ve heard that amongst sacrificial animals, this day is known as D-Day. The effects of Eidul Azha are already felt a week or so prior to the event itself. It starts when you step out one fine day and your nostrils are greeted with the oddest of stenches, until you suddenly detect the actual source of the smell: the goat your neighbour bought a ...

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