Stories about BBC

Why are we as Pakistanis okay with Ahmadis getting killed?

A few days ago, BBC reported that ‘Kill Ahmadis’ leaflets were found at Stockwell Green Mosque, in London. They were authored by a former head of Khatme Nabuwat, and the mosque, expectedly, denied any connection with the leaflets. This follows the murder of an Ahmadi shopkeeper named Asad Shah in Glasgow last month, because he had allegedly ‘disrespected’ Islam and falsely claimed to be a prophet. All this took place in England, but things in Pakistan, home to the most powerful anti-Ahmadi sentiment in the world, are even worse. While hate speech against all religious minorities in Pakistan is common, the ...

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Downing Street raises the Belgian flag and we tweet for Brussels – but where was this sympathy after Ankara?

Yet again Europe has been shaken by the impact of a terrorist attack – and, once again, it has responded in a way that we have come to see as tragically routine. On social media we have Facebook safety check-ins, Twitter hashtags and sharable cartoons. In real life the Belgian flag will be hoist or projected over the national monuments of neighbouring European countries. The responses have taken on the morbid ritual of a funeral. And arguably, they are important to help us process the inexplicable horror and to give us some tools with which to communicate defiance in the ...

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Did North Korea really execute its army chief of staff?

Out of the deafening silence of North Korea’s state-run media and soundproofed borders, emerge stories that go viral and take on mythological proportions. In the 18th century, when technology was not yet sufficient enough to deliver news swiftly across far distances, tales of distant lands would change hands amidst the chatter of travellers in the marketplace and taverns. Similarly, stories coming out of North Korea rely largely on hearsay and speculation. Or on the media of its neighbouring countries, which somehow, based solely on proximity, are able to decipher information. The echoes of distant screams in North Korea are reflected through the media ...

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Match-fixing in tennis: Et tu, Brute?

Just when Mohammad Amir was allowed to bowl for the first time after a lengthy ban of five years, another match-fixing controversy arose in the sports world. This time around it was in the world of tennis. The tennis world was ready for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne and most of the players were done with their first round of matches when BBC ran a shocking headline. BBC and BuzzFeed news have been investigating corruption cases in tennis for quite some time. Today they have claimed that they could expose widespread match-fixing cases against players in the ...

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He Named Me Malala is the story of an ordinary girl who made a tough choice

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” This bit of wisdom comes from Paulo Coelho, in his bestseller, The Alchemist. The other day when I was watching the film He Named Me Malala, the incredible story of the youngest Noble laureate and activist for education from the Swat district of Pakistan, Coelho’s wise words echoed in my heart. I realised that once an individual decides to stand up with courage and conviction for a great cause, nothing can stop him/her from achieving their goals. One just needs to conquer the fear of failure. He Named Me ...

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You think ISIS is the deadliest terrorist organisation in the world? Well, it’s not.

So you thought ISIS was the deadliest terrorist organisation in the world? Well, it’s not. The deadliest is Boko Haram. The outfit overtook ISIS in 2014 in terms of the number of innocent people killed. To make matters worse, the group has already pledged allegiance to ISIS making it a deadly and potent outsourced partner in Africa. While global media is abuzz with the ISIS catastrophe, Boko Haram – a Nigerian terrorist organisation – is laying strong foundations in North and West Africa. The outfit, based in Nigeria, is also active in Cameroon, Niger and Chad. It also carries attacks in other African ...

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Amidst such dismal set of facts, how is Pakistan still existing?

A former CIA official, Kevin Hulbert, recently wrote in his blog for The Cipher Brief, that Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country of the world as it is ripe with threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal. Once again, sadly, this nation has been put on the map for the most ominous things. Hulbert says, quite dramatically: “The spectre of the sixth largest country in the world being a failed state is a hypothetical catastrophe that would unleash a world of unintended consequences.” Country profiles by organisations such as BBC and HRW have named Pakistan as one of the world’s deadliest countries for ...

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Pakistan is a cesspool of humanitarian crises, but who cares? Imran and Reham just got divorced!

Imran Khan is in the news again. He has definitely got the knack for it. Even those who are staunchly against him, people like me who are not Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) supporters in any way, turn around to listen when he’s going on and on about something. Whether it’s about “teen halqe” or even his madcap rants atop the container, the man can pull crowds. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my generation, those of us who were all young and starry-eyed when he lifted the 1992 cricket World Cup, grew up with the idea of ...

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The filthy culture of bacha bazi in Afghanistan

The Afghans call this revolting act bacha bazi, and it is exactly what it sounds like. Young boys usually ostracised from villages by their families because they were attacked by a paedophile, wearing flowing colourful outfits clad in bells, dancing in seedy places for older turban wearing bearded Afghan men, only to be sexually assaulted after the contemptible night takes a drug and alcohol fuelled turn. The Guardian stated, “Dressed in a flowing shirt and long, red skirt, with sherwal pants beneath and small silver bells fastened to hands and feet, the dancer stepped across the floor, face hidden behind a ...

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Can a journalist in India write against Modi or the RSS?

A few days ago, a journalist friend of mine was laconically told by his editor that he would not be allowed to write against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), apparently because “we should allow the BJP government to enjoy its honeymoon for a while”. Ironically, the very next day, I was told that the very same editor wrote a pro-Modi article, eulogising the Hindu nationalist leader to the extent that would make the bhakts (admirers) explode with delight. When he protested and entreated the powers-that-be to vent his views on critical issues plaguing the ...

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