Stories about Army

Will anyone remember Lady Constable Shabaana?

She looked at her reflection in the stained, old mirror.  ‘Ammi ke jahez ka hai ye… ab bhi purana na hota tou kab hota,’ she thought to herself, eyeing her 32-year-old face in the 33-year-old mirror on the wall. (This is from mother’s dowry… it is stained because it’s very old) Smoothing out the creases in her pants, she eyed her widening figure apprehensively. Even the long duty hours were doing her no good. “Sabeen aur Nazish jo phakki bata rahi thein, wo nihaar moun khana shuru karti hun. Magar Sabeen tou ab bhi pura tank hi ha,” she chuckled recalling how her weight-conscious colleague Sabeen had ...

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Budget 2017-2018: Is Pakistan really on the upward trajectory?

With much fanfare and hoopla, Ishaq Dar and company announced the annual budget for the nation this past Friday. It was budget as usual, delivered with haughty claims of turnarounds and opportunities within reach. Even before the budget had been announced, the Ministry of Finance had been subliminally pushing figures into the media to soften any surprises. While Pakistan missed its growth target of 5.7% from last year, it still achieved a growth of around 5.3%. This puts the country in the company of companies that are over $300 billion dollars in size.  The year over year (YoY) growth, while lower than the target, is still the ...

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Dear Twitterati, Pakistan thanks you for making 2016 bearable

Decades later… in classrooms… with high speed internet (if PTCL ever catches up), children will be studying the history of our beloved homeland, Pakistan. With pride, they will be taught how our country boasts strengths like having the most formidable army in the world (take that India! Hope you’re not thinking of another hopeless ‘surgical’ operation), having nukes (yes India, at least ours work), the quietest president in the history of the world and, of course, having the sassiest sense of humour on the face of this earth. Ours is a nation with a strappy sense of resilience that stands smiling in the face of relentless ...

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Should Imran Khan abandon his quest to expose alleged corruption?

Right then. Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Tahirul Qadri and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and possibly the Lal Masjid folk as well, are scheduled to ‘lockdown’ the capital on November 2, 2016. Pakistan may be many things, but man oh man, politically boring is definitely not one of them.  So here’s the deal: some of the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) kids had offshore companies in their name linked to properties held abroad – leaked by the hacks into Mossack-Fonseca. Imran Khan (the opposition) demanded the PM step down on moral grounds, and the PM didn’t. An investigation was supposed ...

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Is Brahamdagh Bugti right in applying for asylum in India?

It’s popularly said that times change and so do people, but sometimes after years of changes, a lot does not change at all. In classical warfare, the shrewd commander would keep a force at the front as a façade and keep a surprise for his enemy. The surprise could be an ambush from the side, moats prepared to drown the infantry, a fire hazard to cut one part of the infantry from the other and create a kill zone and so on. Modern warfare introduced more brazen tactics such Hitler’s blitzkrieg, which caused massive damage to the Allied forces. It also gave us the ...

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Corruption is now accepted as a fact of life in Pakistan

Perhaps the greatest danger to Pakistan is corruption. We can stand up to any hostile army trying to invade our sacred land, but corruption is eating away at our foundation, like termites which ultimately cause houses to collapse. Owing to corruption, the government is not able to collect enough revenue, making it necessary to borrow from the IMF, which ultimately makes the country poorer and adversely affects our ability to defend the nation from terrorists and hostile enemies. Corruption has enabled Pakistanis to invest Rs85 billion during the past six months and Rs512 billion in the past two and a half years ...

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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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It’s mourning in Kashmir

My confusion regarding whether the explosions were Eid crackers or gunshots was short-lived; slogans followed the shots, which are a rarity in the uptown area of Srinagar, where I live. I rushed downstairs to hear my father announce that Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander, had been killed in an encounter. My mother looked at me in a way that suggested she needed to hear it wasn’t true. I didn’t know yet. I quickly checked my phone and saw missed calls from my friends and fellow journalists. Sheikh Saaliq, who works with Hindustan Times had called. Kyah chu karun (what do we do). Between the shock and ...

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He named her Angel

I named her Angel and she looked the part too. After four rowdy boys, my wife and I had prayed for a girl. I was blessed, fathering four sons or at least that is what everyone told me. However, the Easter of 2011 brought with it the true tidings of joy and blessings for me, when my Angel was born. I have recorded every moment, every toothless smile, every shaky step and all first mumbles from her beautiful mouth. I have watched her sleep, memorising the details of her innocent face and I have stayed up with my wife ...

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Why did PML-N let Musharraf go?

Those who had anticipated the former military dictator lingering behind bars, for monopolising power through unlawful acts for nearly a decade, are reminded of Manto’s masterpiece, Naya Qanoon. The story was written during the British rule in India in the midst of the promise of limited government under the Indian Act of 1935. Ustad Mangu, an ordinary, disillusioned tonga driver in Lahore attempted to test the new law by responding to racial discrimination. Mangu was arrested for beating an English man but kept screaming, “New constitution, Naya Qanoon!” The police retorted, “What nonsense are you talking? What Naya Qanoon? It’s the same old constitution, you fool.” Mangu was ...

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