Stories about Balochistan

Can we please talk about Quetta?

Can we talk about Quetta? They called Quetta the fruit garden of Pakistan, once. You read about it in your social studies class as the ninth-largest city in Pakistan; it was a capital, and capitals are revered. But no one ever talked about Quetta outside of textbooks. Monday night, October 24, 2016, cadets at a police training academy in Quetta awoke to a terrorist attack that killed 61, and injured more than 120. The dead bodies piled up, young men in the prime of their youth, young men that fall in the same age bracket as our brothers and sons, our husbands ...

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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 ...

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An open letter to Indians

Dear Indians, As someone whose recent family history is very much a consequence of partition, I am no stranger to the divisiveness of Pak-India politics. Despite a shared history and culture, we stand today as two nuclear armed nations that have fought three wars against each other. Hatred for the other is fostered in both countries – neither India nor Pakistan is innocent as far as propagating hyper-nationalist aggression is concerned, but this time around, it feels slightly different. This time around, your government, sections of your media, and sections of your civil society (in concert with the government) are behaving in an exceptionally immature and dangerous manner. They ...

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Why I am disappointed with Coke Studio season 9

Dear Coke Studio, I thank you for your efforts, for giving us some fine music yet again and bringing together the best talent in Pakistan. You are indeed a platform that makes us proud of our music. There are so many reasons why we love you and eagerly await your season each year. However, despite being a fan of your music, I couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied over the fact that you have completely neglected other provinces and their music in your latest season. Your biased attitude has disgruntled me. And it leaves me as a fan feeling like this gesture was in bad taste. I love Punjabi and Urdu ...

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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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Is Modi’s pride more important than Kashmiri lives?

It’s not a good sign for democracy when the government and media start speaking the same language and begin complimenting each other. The media has never been as compromised and irresponsible as it is today. It has forgotten its role as a fifth pillar of democracy, which plays a pivotal role in nation building. Today, the larger media in India is a polarised institution, accentuating the existing social and religious fault lines rather than cementing it. The larger blame falls on televised media. In its desperate attempts to attract attention and increase ratings, the media literally plays to the gallery appealing to the baser ...

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India must remember that Balochistan is not Bangladesh

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day Speech on August 15, 2016 raised the issue of Pakistan’s human rights violations in Balochistan. This has brought a new excitement in New Delhi, particularly among the right wing commentators as if India has finally found a solution to the Kashmir issue. Since the death of a charismatic militant Burhan Wani in the hands of the security agencies on July 8, 2016, Kashmir is witnessing unprecedented violent protest. Modi and his advisors hope that Kashmir unrest will come to an end if India starts spreading the fire in Balochistan. If Modi and his advisors really believe that the Balochistan threat will dissuade Pakistani ...

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The Night Of is the best wake-up call our TV industry needs

HBO’s The Night Of  proved to be the most important summer show on television. The very transformation of the co-lead Riz Ahmed’s Nasir Khan as a clean-cut kid turned drug mule is a perfect example of why everything needs a little push. Oh, and also when two of Hollywood’s most likable ladies, Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks, are raving about something on TV, we should take notice. This is where the whole ‘wrong guy at the wrong time in the wrong place’ worked so well in the show. Imagine the chaos we’ve seen in 2016 in Pakistan. After some terror attacks and the murders of Amjad Sabri, Qandeel Baloch amongst others, one would ...

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Balochistan is bleeding, and no one cares

There is the pungent smell of spices, the unguent waft of cooking oil, and the acrid bite of car exhausts – clinging to the faint breeze that is desperately trying to cleanse this city of its daytime humour. The clamour of voices starts to rise as the mosques empty after prayer; car horns constantly bark out their warnings to everyone but those for whom they are intended, and all of a sudden the dark brings with it the horrors Quetta witnessed on the August 8th. Undoubtedly, the darkest day in Balochistan’s history, when our beaming future was snatched away after the ghastly bomb detonated, leaving Balochistan paralysed, ...

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The Pakistani state has failed in protecting its citizens in Quetta

The atrocities against the legal profession in Quetta As our nation fast approaches its day of independence, the profession most closely associated with the struggle for freedom has paid the ultimate price. The blast at the Civil Hospital, Quetta, constituted not only a tragic loss of life, but an attack on the last defenders of the rule of law and the basic rights promised to us all on the eve of our independence. This will undoubtedly further bruise the morale of those earning their livelihood fighting for the rights of people protected under the Constitution of Pakistan. The struggle for the ...

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