Stories about bribe

Corruption is now accepted as a fact of life in Pakistan

Perhaps the greatest danger to Pakistan is corruption. We can stand up to any hostile army trying to invade our sacred land, but corruption is eating away at our foundation, like termites which ultimately cause houses to collapse. Owing to corruption, the government is not able to collect enough revenue, making it necessary to borrow from the IMF, which ultimately makes the country poorer and adversely affects our ability to defend the nation from terrorists and hostile enemies. Corruption has enabled Pakistanis to invest Rs85 billion during the past six months and Rs512 billion in the past two and a half years ...

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Here is why I can’t trust the police in Pakistan

A friend’s recent encounter with the police has left me fuming. He was waiting for his sister outside a restaurant on a busy road, when a transvestite tried to get into his car. Seconds after he told the transvestite to go away, a police mobile stopped next to his car, as if waiting to pounce on him and hurled a series of accusatory and demeaning questions at him. He had not been committing a crime nor attempting to do so, then why was he dealt with like a culprit? And would he have been treated the same way had he been in an ...

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24 absurd beliefs Pakistanis have

Norms are beliefs about how members of a group should behave in a particular context. They are informal and often ‘invisible’ understandings and rules that govern a group’s behaviour towards particular religious, social, cultural, political and socio-economic triggers. Norms generally define what is acceptable in a society or group and are the building blocks for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, ideologies and narratives. These rules are generally implicit. In addition to what is considered normative in societal, political or cultural context, there are smaller groups within a society which endorse a particular norm. On one hand, norms define how to move, what to wear, how ...

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The Prado effect

Adam’s story I backed out of the driveway, closely monitoring the environment around me. This was the first time I was driving such a large vehicle and it was safe to assume that there was a very steep learning curve with regards to keeping the jeep on the road. “I need to pick up something for Natasha.” Amir squeaked from the backseat. There were around five people sitting atop each other. I nodded, glancing towards the road ahead before putting the jeep in gear. A slight tap on the accelerator and the monstrous engine roared to life, launching the vehicle onto the road. Sitting behind ...

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Is it a crime in Pakistan for a boy to drop a girl home?

A few days ago, as a friend was dropping me back home after dinner; we were pulled aside by the cops on main Khayaban-e-Shahbaz road in Defence, Karachi. No dark corner or shady alley but while driving smack in the middle of a bustling road. While we pulled over the car, the men in uniform, (who in all likelihood belonged to the Darakshan police station since the area falls under that jurisdiction) asked my friend to get out of the car. As expected, he was asked to produce the required ‘kaaghzaat’ and give details of our whereabouts. Upon inspection and failing ...

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Ehteram-e-Ramazan: Don’t forget to beat, backbite and bribe.

It has to be said, nay proclaimed, that we are the proud custodians of Islam and chest thumping leaders of the Ummah. But was there any doubt on that score? Notwithstanding the deafening silence in the land of Al Harmain Al Sharifain, Saudi Arabia, we protested against an American film by a sloppy filmmaker. We so loved setting ablaze our own property and cinemas, because of the resounding impact it had on the life and profession of that sloppy American filmmaker. We keep screaming like banshees at the plight of poor dispossessed Palestinians who have never backed us on ...

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What the Islamabad police did to me and my friend …

I am not a regular blogger and I don’t usually write. This is the first time that I’m using this platform to get my point across and I hope it works. My message is for a wider audience, for it to be helpful to many citizens, especially naïve teenagers.   Last Friday at around 10pm, I was standing with one of my female friends on Margalla Road in sector F-6. We were munching on crisps while standing and chatting when out of nowhere an Islamabad Police patrol vehicle stopped by. Three police guys, two from the Elite Force in their skin tight black ...

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The tug of war between transporters and cops

Waiting at traffic signals on the busy roads of Karachi, you can see motorcyclists, rickshaws, car drivers and even the big public transport bus drivers breach the signals because they don’t have a minute to spare for it to turn green. They ram into each other or nearly crush somebody at the other side, just to save this minute. You smile inside your helmet or your car when you think of this nation that always reaches, at least, an hour late at every event or meeting, though they don’t have a minute for the traffic signal. When the signal turns ...

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Stopped by the police?

Khalid and I got married a few months ago, and recently went on a trip to Lahore and Islamabad. We had to take the Daewoo bus from Lahore to Rawalpindi, and then a cab to our guest house. The bus reached Pindi around 11pm and we hurried into the taxi since it was extremely cold and raining cats and dogs. As our taxi approached the Islamabad check point, we were directed to pull over by the police. A tall, uniformed policeman knocked on our window and started asking the typical questions, ‘Where are you coming from? Why are you here?’ After a ...

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Let’s not hate Malik Riaz yet

I don’t hate Malik Riaz. I have no reason to. I can’t blame him for the time I had to bribe a Nadra official in Lahore to have my computerised ID card made. My name was similar to someone who was apparently wanted by the FIA for indulging in anti-state activities. I didn’t understand the system so it was a whole month before I came to my senses and realised that a couple of thousand rupees was a small price to pay to be taken off Pakistan’s most wanted list. I don’t even blame him for the time I had ...

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