Stories about blame

Taxi driver shot dead: The Rangers are not to blame

Most of the time, law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are blamed for corruption and for being in cahoots with criminals. However, recently, the elite contingent of Pakistani law enforcement – which is usually called in when the situation becomes too big to handle for basic level officers – has come under fire for allegations of extra judicial killings and for sporting a general “hair trigger attitude.” The reference here is, of course, to the Rangers and the spate of recent incidents that have involved shooting at presumably innocent people. The Rangers first drew media attention after they opened fire on an unarmed young man ...

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A beginner’s guide to Pakistani liberal politics

For the past one year, I have met quite a few people who are termed in Pakistani politics as “liberals”. Personally, I find this quite refreshing as I am from the generation who grew up during Zia’s era; the generation which was mainly inspired by our armed forces and characters like Mehmood Ghaznavi. However, based on my prolonged discussions with the liberals, I have managed to devise a five-step approach for the layman towards becoming a liberal in Pakistani politics. Step 1: Question the Two-Nation Theory: This is the most important and basic step. You must question why India was divided and ...

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The problem with your writing is…

Over the last one year, I’ve heard the line, “the problem with your writing is… ” so many times that I’m starting to doubt that I even get my ABC’s right. Lately, the problem has been my excessive, overindulgent use of the first-person narrative, which apparently, is a complete no-no in the world of journalism. I can’t really blame anyone — when I get to writing, I get emotional. Whether the story is about something as frivolous as Veena Malik or as grim as target killings, I just have to incorporate my girly emotions, fall prey to the pretty adjectives ...

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Why porn is popular in Pakistan

It’s late at night and the hands of the clock signal that it is just past midnight. The whole family is sound asleep with the sole exception of a young man sitting on the bed, with the laptop right in front of him. To anyone, including his family, it seems as if he’s studying, or working on an important project, or checking out the latest headlines online or watching innocent, comical clips on YouTube. All it takes is a peek over the shoulder and all is not what it seems. This scenario is part of an average, everyday lifestyle for ...

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The Taliban claim responsibility – do you?

If we get over our narrow-minded view of the world for a moment, there are many things that the Taliban can teach us. One, these fellows run a pretty tight ship and seem to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, unlike us. Two, they seem to have a strong sense of responsibility, unlike us.   About the former, I know nothing, about the latter, I want to say a few words. So this is how it goes. Somewhere in Norway a crazy caucasian gentleman blows up a building and then calmly proceeds to kill a few dozen kids on a ...

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A short biography of Mr West Pakistan

Mr West Pakistan turns 64 on Sunday. The retiree has come a long way since his birth. Unfortunately, now deathly ill, Mr Pakistan is desperately seeking a cure for the diseases that ravage his body after years of negligence. Born on a hot August day in 1947, little Pakistan came into the world with his twin brother East, and a completely dysfunctional family. Born prematurely amid severe complications, Mr Pakistan grew up an orphan. Abandoned by his mother, what little he knew of his father, was quickly erased by the abysmal faculty at school. His other brother, Mr India, did remember ...

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Help! My boyfriend won’t cuddle

Dear Miss Informed, Help me understand why my boyfriend has time for work at his father’s clinic, his cousin’s wedding, his own side business and to pick his mom from Nano’s place and  to drop his brother to school – but no space for me in his life? He doesn’t have time to call or even text. Just a brief ‘good morning’ and “Baby, I am so tired, let’s sleep. Goodnight” Miss Informed, I know he loves me but why do I always have to be the one to understand his problems? Sometimes I wish he would spoil me, pamper me and do cheesy ...

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Rangers shooting: Lust for blood

The video of Sarfaraz Shah’s last traumatic moments imploded on to cyber space with some enthusiasm and a profusion of expletives. Messages like “check kar yeh video” (check out this video), “here’s the full video, yaar,”  “sharing the HD version,” “uncut footage” and “exclusive video” pepper the Facebook newsfeed. Bloodied and battered thumbnails accompany the excited posts. Lust for blood, it seems, is not exclusive to criminals. Slowly, steadily and grimly, Sarfaraz Shah’s life was extinguished on tape. His blood was squeezed out drop by drop, fanning out in a wider and wider crimson circle around his wiry frame, as ...

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Murders in Balochistan: I blame the government

A friend of mine left Quetta for his hometown in Turbat recently without informing anyone. After reaching home, he re-established contact with the lot of us. Upon being asked as to why he would just get up and leave without telling any of us, he simply said it was for security purposes. According to him, many of his friends in the past had been whisked away from their homes in Turbat, Gwadar and Panjgur and are currently listed as ‘missing persons’. He clearly did not want a similar fate. And rightly so, I might add. Given the volatile situation in the province, ...

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Media coverage: Shock, sell, forget…

The other day, one of the major TV news channels was doing a story on the two brothers, Mughees and Muneeb who were beaten to death by a frenzied mob in Buttar village, Sialkot. The program did short interviews with residents of Hajipura, where the boys were from, and with their families. This is probably old news and will not “shock” or “sell” but it was encouraging and depressing in the same breath. It was encouraging because television channels do not usually follow-up on their stories. Something horrible happens, someone does something inhuman, there is a hue and cry, “analysts” and ...

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