Stories about crime

You let me down, my friend

Teenage years are said to be the golden age of a person’s life; when a person feels unchained and independent as if the whole universe lies beneath him. Nothing seems unattainable, boundaries are invisible and risk remains a concept unheard of. It was during my teenage years, that I met you my dear friend. When I got hold of you for the first time it was as if I had found a dear friend. You completed me and I felt like you would never let go of my hand. And you never did, my friend. In times of good and bad, you were always there. But ...

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His only crime was being an Ahmadi

Ashir is just two-years-old. Yesterday, he was witness to the most horrific tragedy anyone can imagine. His father – a 50-year-old doctor – was brutally murdered in Pakistan. His crime: He belonged to the Ahmadiyya community. Dr Mehdi Ali was a US-trained cardiologist on a medical mission to Pakistan. He was visiting Tahir Heart Institute; a state-of-the-art Cardiology hospital in Rabwah, Pakistan. Many Pakistanis cannot even afford routine medical visits. Dr Ali was bringing specialised advanced medical care to these poor people, free of cost. It was the second day of his three-week humanitarian trip when tragedy struck. The doctor ...

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Mother’s Day: Why can’t I meet my children?

They won’t let me see my kids. Failing at marriage is an excruciating affair, but not a punishable crime. So why do we witness so many families suffering endlessly when there are four guardian courts working in Lahore alone? Is it the workload, absence of supporting law or mere lack of implementation that keeps a child from meeting one of the parents? None of the people I meet understand why I cannot see my kids. Even a sick-minded killer, an abuser or an addict has a right to meet his children under supervision. The law governing custody issues does need amendments, but it’s the ...

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In Bhakkar, breakfast is Tiffany

People eat strange things. In Southeast Asia, insects are a delicacy and in East Asia, the same goes for dogs. Pig meat, a major source of protein in the diets of many peoples, are taboo for Muslims and Jews. The same applies to the noble cow for Hindus. The reasons for these differences are manifold. So before we get ahead of ourselves, it is important to agree that ‘food’ is not an easily defined word. In Bhakkar, two brothers were arrested for desecrating a grave. While saddening, it is not really the worst of crimes. But that is only because under Pakistani ...

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Slapping sedition charges? Must have been BJP’s idea!

Doting on Pakistan is apparently a heinous crime in India. Why else would the Uttar Pradesh government slap sedition charges on 67 Kashmiri students in Meerut for cheering the Pakistani cricket team and chanting innocuous slogans like Pakistan Zindabad? When asked by a young student to share his views on the issue in Barkha Dutt’s show Political Roots, senior Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader, Chandan Mitra exclaimed, “Anybody who lives in India, breathes the air of this country and raises a slogan like Pakistan Zindabad, should be legally persecuted and charged with sedition.” Ha! Truly speaking one could not expect anything better from the Hindu nationalist party whose ...

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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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To survive at NADRA you must (not) obey the law?

NICOP and Smart NICOP facilities were started by NADRA in an attempt to assist overseas Pakistanis who send a considerable amount of their income to Pakistan and invest in the country despite the deplorable situation here. Here is the sad story of my pursuit to get this card.  My first attempt:  On October 20, 2013, I made my first attempt to acquire the Nicop. For that, I went to the Nadra office at Deans Trade Centre in Peshawar. After having spent two hours waiting in the queue at the token counter, I was told by the officer that the Nadra Dean Centre office did not accommodate applications for the ...

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Does a 5-year-old rape victim have a future to look forward to?

She was just five-years-old. She still had many more years to go before she was meant to discover that the world is not a nice place and that heinous crimes are committed against innocent people. That life is unfair and some people have to bear more pain than others. That being a girl means what is between her legs would define her entire existence. It was too soon for her to know about all this. On the evening of September 12, 2013, a five-year-old girl’s right to dream was taken away from her – an evening where her usual plans would have ...

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The Cuckoo’s Calling: Good under Robert Galbraith, excellent under JK Rowling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by author Robert Galbraith was doing an average business. Since April, 1500 copies had been sold, until it was leaked that the crime novel was actually written by none other than the queen herself, JK Rowling (JKR)! The leak propelled the novel to number one and reprints were ordered. Her fans (including me) was ecstatic and did all that we could to get our hands on The Cuckoo’s Calling. As it turned out, the book didn’t disappoint at all. However, JK Rowling has expressed her anger because she didn’t want her false identity as Robert Galbraith to be leaked to ...

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Delhi gang rape verdict: Is it a crime to be born a girl in India?

She came from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, but she had big dreams. Her father may have been just an airport baggage handler at Delhi’s international airport who earned $200 a month, but he supported his daughter’s ambition and sold his ancestral land to finance her studies. Having enrolled in a four year Physiotherapy course in Dehradun, she came to Delhi for an internship after finishing her final exams. To supplement her income, she worked nights at a firm and gave tuition to school children. She slept for only three hours because she was in such a hurry to reach ...

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