Stories about bomb

The Angry Birds Movie: Can it slingshot over your expectations?

For quite a few years now, young viewers, and adults alike, have been playing Angry Birds on smartphones – crashing wacky birds in buildings and killing the green-coloured pigs. So you can just imagine how the excitement obviously doubles up when a movie based on their all-time favourite video game comes out!  I watched The Angry Birds Movie with the same enthusiasm with which I score points in the Angry Birds game and it did not disappoint me. The movie does have all the elements depicted in the game and once having played the game, one can easily relate to the movie. Brought ...

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Letters to my deceased parents

When there’s a bomb blast, it takes a few seconds to realise what has happened and then you hear people screaming, dying and running like they never have.  The physical impressions last a few hours. There is sadness, there’s mourning and then for the majority it’s buried somewhere down memory lane. But then, there’s the psychological impact, where the clock keeps ticking and the bomb keeps exploding again and again and again…ad infinitum. While investigating a recent story as to what happened to the victims of a bomb attack, I came across a 17-year-old girl who lost her parents. She lives in extreme poverty with ...

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The brilliant minds of our insurgents

As Zarb-e-Azb moves towards a ground offensive in Miranshah, bomb disposal units are assigned the daunting task of safely detonating troves of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) precariously stacked in numerous factories scattered across town. A junior military officer, part of one such unit, reflected on a mission he had successfully carried out earlier in the day. Referring to the IED composition, he said, “They (TTP) are damn experts, awesome work. Brilliant minds how they use local materials urea and the likes to make IEDs, awesome. I wish I could get trained by them”. Simply by an apt assessment of the adversary’s skill set, in this case ...

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After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

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Security checks: Why are military (looking) men and women exempt?

My husband and I had the dubious fortune of visiting a government office recently. Before we entered we were stopped at a security barrier as usual. My husband has a martial air about him, it seems, because they often mistake him for an army officer. In Lahore, that’s useful.  Not one to be left behind, I too can produce my alter ego when required, you know, as though there’s something smelly under my nose, like Mrs Malfoy, and that’s useful too. The security guard took one look at us two stiff necks in the back seat and his resolution ...

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May 28: Remembering the bomb, forgetting the people

Today marks the best of days and today marks the worst of days. May 28 or as a true patriot would call it “Youm-e-Takbeer” marks the day when Pakistan registered its might in modern warfare and arsenal by successfully conducting a controlled nuclear explosion. Pakistan with its sensitive and strategic geographical location also became armed with perhaps the most powerful weapon (though there are some who still believe education is the most powerful weapon). Pakistan had the attention of the world and especially had its good neighbor, India, and our favorite piñata (minus the candies), Uncle Sam, up in arms. ...

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It was a cat, not a bomb, parents tell their children in Landhi

Someone beat a cat on the roof. This was the explanation Saeed gave his tiny son on Thursday night. “Billi ko kisi ne mara.” (Somebody hit a cat.) Ayaan, who prefers chewing the handle of his rattle to the rattle itself, was one of the hundreds of children who heard or saw the bombs that went off just a stone’s throw from their Landhi homes in Sherpao Colony. Saeed came back from work as a part-time cook in DHA to find the three year old clinging to his mother and running a fever. “It was just a cat. Just a cat,” he kept ...

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From the mouth of a Hazara

On January 10, 2013 more than 100 people, a majority of them Hazara Shias, were killed in bomb blasts in Quetta. The killing prompted a four-day long sit-in by the families of the victims.  I just wish that I could have sat with the mourning families at Alamdar Road to protest against the ongoing killing of Shia Hazaras. I talked to a few people in Quetta, and a classmate of mine narrated to me the stories of mourning and scenes at Alamdar Road through emails. My classmate’s young married cousin perished in the bomb blast at Bacha Khan Road. Here I will try to accurately narrate the story of grief I was told of that young ...

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Dear US, solve gun control before waging war!

Student A: “I’ve got a new gun, it’s a Glock 39. It’s a small yet powerful package” Student B: “Wow, that’s so cool. I brought my new ‘Desert Eagle’ today, let’s check them out.” Student A: “Sure, after class. Let’s try few shots on the nerdy Physics professor; he’s been wearing DOD’s ballistic undies lately” As both students talk quietly in the class, the teacher comes up from behind them and loads his M4 Carbine, “Both of you- hands up! Drop your weapons – You were not supposed to take them out of your bags and plan a new assault on your professors.” The teacher then ...

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What to do if you are caught in a bomb blast

Suicide bombing is an operational method in which the very act of the attack is dependent upon the death of the perpetrator. Though only 3% of all terrorist attacks around the world can be classified as suicide bombing attacks, these account for 48% of the casualties. Pakistan witnesses a suicide bombing attack on every 6th day on average. While there is no magic formula to protect you from acts of terrorism, one can always follow some common sense steps to reduce the risks. The following things you can do during and after an explosion to make the horrible event less painful ...

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