Stories about black day

Black Day: Without international mediation, there can be no lasting peaceful resolution in Kashmir

The impasse that is the land of Kashmir – which Allama Iqbal described as “heaven on earth” – has shown little signs of abating, with only escalations in sight. On October 21st, thousands of demonstrators marched on a village in Kulgam, where Indian forces were battling an unaccounted number of suspected Kashmiri fighters. This led to a shootout in which Indian troops killed at least 14 youths and injured at least 30 others in the Laroo area of the Kulgam district, in an attack that included pillaging and destruction of the neighbourhood, according to local police and military officials in the ...

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APS attack: Love can move mountains, part rivers and change Pakistan

I used to hear about a condition often faced by writers called ‘writer’s block’, which entails the writer losing the ability to produce new work or experiencing a creative slowdown. Not that I can call myself a writer but I have certainly had some sort of a block for nearly six years, when it came to penning something down. It coincides almost precisely with the time I left my beloved Pakistan, and I couldn’t quite understand why. I used to wonder whether it was because I had left all the richness of my beautiful country and its people behind which was fuel ...

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Are we not ‘Pakistani’ enough for them or are we not ‘Muslim’ enough?

I got to work and checked my phone; there were a dozen missed calls and messages from my friends and family – all in a span of 30 minutes. Being a Karachiite, I instantly knew something was wrong. As soon as I read my father’s message, I froze. I was stunned at the words before me. An attack had taken place and this time it was our community. 45 of our people. We were no longer the silent observers. We were the victims. When I reached my cubicle, I could hear news of the attack blaring from multiple TV screens. I sat and watched news ...

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Is the wicked game of Chinese Whispers destroying Pakistan’s beauty?

Pakistan’s current political situation discussed in dining rooms, gatherings and media is beginning to resemble an advanced version of Chinese Whispers; a popular game played worldwide in which entertainment is derived from the errors in retelling a message through a series of shared whispers.  Regardless of the authenticity of the source, people are increasingly discussing the deteriorating law and order situation, Talibanisation, bombings and violent street clashes in Pakistan, all of which paint a disturbing picture of what is actually happening in the country. Despite the dismal pictures being painted and reinforced by my surroundings, I wanted to go explore my country and see it for myself. ...

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Measuring a massacre – Should we mourn for longer? Louder?

Out of a student body of a little over 1000, 132 children are dead. At a moment like this, how do you quantify tragedy? If a thousand children were standing in line, every tenth child was shot and killed. One in 10. “One in 10 children worldwide has no access to schooling.” One in 10 families whose children went to Army Public School (APS) probably wish this statistic applied to them. “There are 1.6 hours of dream consciousness for every 16 hours of waking consciousness; this means that your chance of dreaming at any given moment is one in 10.” There is a one in 10 ...

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This was not revenge, this was murder without mercy

From today, we can no longer be divided into groups and raise slogans for politicians. Today, we need to join hands and stand together as Pakistanis for the future of this nation. The ‪‎Peshawar attack is another brutal example of the heinous criminals that infest our nation. As the death count rises, we are counting the bodies of dead children. Dead children, for God’s sake. There is no excuse for this brutality. There is no excuse for this infamy. There is no excuse for anyone to even consider fighting for anything other than the Pakistan that 132 families sacrificed their future generations for ...

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Red is such an ugly colour on green

My Facebook timeline is black. It’s so black that every time a coloured photo appears on it, I am taken aback and even angered; how anyone can think of posting anything other than black? Black is an appropriate colour for today. I think if grief and shock to the point of being numb would have a colour, it would be black. I want everything to be black; I want my mind to go black, and I keep trying to make it do so, but it insists on flashing bright red with images of the beautiful children of my country, murdered in cold blood. They ...

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To the Taliban, We are Pakistan and we will never forgive you

You can burn down our schools, tear the lives of families apart and ask minors to recite the kalma before you shoot them in the head. You can wage a war against humanity, impose a rule of tyranny and redefine oppression. Your guns can shoot, but their voices will never echo louder than the resolve of this nation. Your flames will burn out, but a nation will still emerge from its ashes, even if it is battered, bruised and beaten. You will run out of lives to give, but there will always be a Pakistani ready to lay his or hers down for ...

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Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and Sheikh Rasheed: Recipe for disaster?

In January 2013, Dr Tahirul Qadri, author of a renowned fatwa against terrorism, held Pakistan’s capital hostage for several days while making a categorical litany of demands that had to be met within 15 minutes by the government “or else”. It was a four-day-long drama but the crowd of 25,000-60,000 remained remarkably peaceful. A similar carnival is coming to town again. This time not only does it feature Dr Qadri and his followers, but the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Shiekh Rasheed and the Jamaat-e-Islaami’s (JI) alliance as well. It’s a peculiar bunch but that is often what makes the carnival more appealing – one ...

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Enter PML-F: A turning point in Sindh’s politics

In Punjab, the PML-N is set to face competition from the emerging PTI, PML-Q and PPP. However, one never thought that the political scenario in Sindh would be similarly fraught with stiff competition. This is because PPP has historically enjoyed a monopoly over Sindh. But nobody knew what December 14, 2012 would bring forth. December 14, was the day when the unprecedented monopoly of PPP was finally challenged. It was not PML-N nor the PTI, but the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F) led by Syed Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi, popularly known as Pir Pagaro, that did so. Yesterday, a rally was held in Hyderabad by the Hur Jamaat ...

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