Stories about Chaudhry Nisar

Is violence following accusations of blasphemy becoming a familiar phenomenon in Pakistan?

This month, the spirit of Cain appears to possess the nation. Within a span of 11 days, there have been two incidents of vigilante mobs responding to ostensible accusations of blasphemy. In the first such occurrence in Mardan, the blood lust was satisfied by murdering and disfiguring Mashal Khan, a bright and principled young man. In the second incident, a man accused of standing up in a mosque after Friday prayers and making ‘offensive’ statements was brutally beaten by a crowd. His life was saved by the mosque’s cleric intervening and facilitating his transfer to the police. The fact is that violence following accusations of blasphemy is becoming a distressingly familiar Pakistani phenomenon, ...

Read Full Post

I support the Compulsory Education of Arabic Bill 2015

Recently, a friend asked me if I had seen the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Being averse to things I have no real interest in, I told him I see it every day. Surprised, he asked me what I meant, to which I replied,  “In Pakistan, we are all to some level masochistic. Either that or we are just plain servile. How can we be bombed, killed, raped and beaten into submission every day and just go on with our lives as if nothing is happening?” Pakistan has a history of insurgency and violence, which reached its peak during the ‘War ...

Read Full Post

Under attack again: When will our government stop tolerating banned outfits?

Another day, another tragedy in Quetta. The city has seen too many to be listed but the attack on Balochistan Police College that took at least 61 lives, is the third time in less than three months that terrorists have been successful. On August 8th, Quetta’s legal community was wiped out in a devastating bomb blast. Two months later, on October 5th, four Hazara Shia women were dragged from a public bus and shot dead on the road. Today we mourn the police cadets that were killed. Calling them martyrs will not help. They are dead. Dead like many, ...

Read Full Post

The Kashmir issue has proven that Pakistan and India refuse to learn from history

The pot and the kettle are calling each other black. The truth is that they’re both black – and neither of them is willing to accept it; just like India and Pakistan. New Delhi holds Pakistan responsible for spreading terrorism in its territory and Islamabad claims vice versa. India is not willing to accept its faults in Jammu and Kashmir and alleges that the Islamic Republic is solely responsible for the trouble in the valley. Pakistan, on the other hand, says that the cry for freedom in Kashmir should not be equated with terrorism; the Islamic republic itself is a victim of terrorism and is as ...

Read Full Post

Despite re-verifying CNICs, the Mullah Akhtar Mansoors in Pakistan will continue to enjoy their perks and fake identities

What a strange country we live in! First you harbour terrorists from across the border, facilitate them and help them get a computerised national identity card (CNIC) and travel documents. Then when, inevitably, the terrorist is found with those documents provided to him by the state, the interior minister of Pakistan acts indignant and says that he would push for re-verification of all CNICs in the country. Now what did I, a hapless citizen of Pakistan, do to be punished for what is essentially a sin of the state? And what will re-verification achieve? What new Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) will the government put ...

Read Full Post

The B-side: Junaid Jamshed and untold stories behind the controversies

After leaving a lucrative career as a pop singer, Junaid Jamshed (JJ) has evolved into a preacher and poster boy for the austere deobandi group, the Tableeghi Jamaat. He once jokingly remarked, “When I was a singer people use to throw rose petals at me, since I came into Islam they throw stones at me.” This simple statement does more to highlight Pakistan’s state of affairs than explain how someone, who has been referred to by his musician friends, and in his Islamic circles, as “the nicest person one can meet”, can be party to one controversy after another? Some say, he is ...

Read Full Post

Is Valentine’s Day really something to get so worked up about?

There have been reports making rounds on social media that the federal capital, on the instructions of Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar, had banned Valentine’s Day in Islamabad. What followed was a mix of condemnation and congratulations from the two different sides of the coin; each one adamant that theirs was the right one. As a result, this reaction was followed by the Islamabad Deputy Commissioner denying that such an order had even taken place. Valentine’s Day will go ahead with full furor like it does every year; each restaurant, gift, flower and chocolate shop milking and capitalising it to the nth ...

Read Full Post

How did General Kayani’s brother manage to scam DHA?

In late 2012, a man familiar with the domestic property market had asked me if anyone would do an expose on “the DHA scam”. Curious about what he was referring to, I asked for more details. He said General (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s brother Kamran Kayani – also a retired officer – was scamming DHA Lahore out of money through an unfulfilled contract. Instead of putting a stop to it, DHA had given him a fresh deal in Islamabad. Still confused, I asked for more information. He essentially described the residential ‘non-development’ DHA valley, which is among the subjects of the current National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ...

Read Full Post

#PakVsIre or the #LahoreChurchBlast – which caught your attention?

One wonders if the National Action Plan (NAP) was actually implemented beyond the Punjab police’s wide arrests of clerics who tried using loudspeakers. After all, Maulana Abdul Aziz and his devotedly-radical wife Umm-e-Hassan still use a state-recognised mosque to propagate a narrative that insists the actions of groups like ISIS or the Afghan Taliban are all justified – commendable even. Add this to the fact that the most high-profile raid to happen in mainstream news recently was not a madrassah sending jihadists to Kashmir or a mosque being operated by the rabidly anti-Shia Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) (which still holds ...

Read Full Post

Imran still in the game, but will civil disobedience work?

In the movie Jinnah, there is a telling scene when Mountbatten asks Mahatma Gandhi to give up his protests and play “by the rules”. Gandhi replies, “In order to play by the rules, you have to include us in the game.” Imran Khan feels similarly cheated of things promised by the Constitution. I disagree with him but why are many PTI supporters on the defensive about civil disobedience? What are the objections? The most obvious is that it is ‘illegal’. A simple, and powerful, retort: “so what if it is illegal?”.  The call for a mid-term election might have been couched in a different language ...

Read Full Post