Stories about Dawn

The corrupt, disgraced and disqualified prime minister who cried wolf

A while ago, Nawaz Sharif suggested that if things kept going the way they were, he would also, in retaliation, reveal the many secrets and insider information he was privy to. This was a veiled threat, but the implication was clear: Nawaz would not go down quietly, and if the attack on him did not abate, he would most likely disclose state secrets. Now, Nawaz seems to have made good on his threat, for in a recent interview to controversial journalist Cyril Almeida, he acknowledged that the terrorists behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were non-state actors sent by Pakistan, and ...

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Why have we forgotten the long lost glory of the Punjabi language?

The thorny issue of “Pakistan’s regional languages face looming extinction” has been projected to the forefront in an AFP report carried, among others, by The Express Tribune and Dawn. ‘“There is not a single newspaper or magazine published in Punjabi for the 60 million-plus Punjabi speakers,” wrote journalist Abbas Zaidi in an essay, despite it being the language of the nationally revered Sufi poet Bulleh Shah and the native-tongue of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.’ The historical relegation of the Punjabi language comes from the cloud overshadowing the Punjabi stance in the 1857 War of Independence, paving the way for Urdu’s ascendance. The Punjabis meekly ceded the high ground moving house ...

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I refused a sexual relationship with my boss, he refused to pay me for my work

If you’re working as a freelance writer, you’re bound to meet and work with people belonging to different cultures and mentalities. To maintain a healthy business in a professional manner, especially now when technology and virtual communication is integral to any business, it’s important to set certain restrictions and guidelines, leaving room for flexibility. But in all cases, be careful about who you trust because this is what happened to me when I let myself trust a ‘big name’. Two months ago, I chose to work for a well-known journalist, Wajahat Kazmi – one of those personalities who have a ...

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Of dirty politics, Cyril Almeida, Lal Masjid and Asia Bibi

The Supreme Court’s adjournment of Asia Bibi’s final hearing, the Lal Masjid warning of dire consequences of her release and Cyril Almeida, Dawn’s prominent columnist and purported inheritor of Ardeshir Cowasjee’s mantle, figuring on the Exit Control List, have all converged to test Pakistan’s status as a civil society based on the rule of law, equal protection of minorities, free speech and an independent press. The issue of Asia Bibi has no doubt inserted the government of Pakistan between a rock and a hard place, but it is precisely from where the present government can emerge with credibility or merely ...

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2170 days

It was a cold sunny morning, in March 2010, when I was given the opportunity to work with a young dynamic team that would be a part of an upcoming newspaper. We, as a small team at our Islamabad office, had started telling people that we were working for The Express Tribune, a paper affiliated with the New York Times, to be launched in a couple of months. “We don’t know what newspaper you guys are talking about,” almost everybody responded. “We will talk to you when this paper actually launches.” To our horror, most of the people we called slammed their phones on ...

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Why did no one stand up for Tahera Ahmad and the bigotry she faced?

If you have been following the ‘Tahera Ahmad and the Diet Coke’ saga, you know that a United Airlines flight attendant refused to serve a Muslim Chaplain, Ms Ahmad, on the grounds that the can could be used as a weapon, a disagreement followed, and a fellow passenger made profane comments aimed at her religious identity. Soon Ms Ahmad posted on Facebook saying: “I am in tears of humiliation.” Resultantly, Ms Ahmad became a symbol and icon. In an article at The Guardian she says, “This isn’t about me and a soda can, it’s about systemic injustice.” She adds, “They’re basically failing to recognise the humiliation.” The ensuing controversy can ...

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Humans have no place in the ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

“All hail Caesar” Taking place around 10 years after the memorable events of its predecessor movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows a world where humans have been all but wiped out by the simian virus. Caesar, who we last saw leading his band of apes into the forest, is now the leader of a much larger and intelligent troupe of apes. They live in relative peace until a group of humans stumble upon their territory causing a cataclysmic sequence of events that result in an all out war between the two species. The fact of the matter is that the apes were, ...

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I waited for Cowasjee to say “saala” but he never did

I was just another reader who looked up to him. After his last submission in November 2011, it became clear that Mr Cowasjee saw an end to life imminent on the horizon; well at least that is how I interpreted it. By July 2012, I finally mustered the courage to type out a mail of candid praise, and in that I mentioned my desire to meet him. A reply followed and to my surprise, it included an invitation to his residence. The lady on the phone explained that I had to find a certain Mary Road in Bath Island and ...

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Ardeshir Cowasjee, you were truly one in a million

Much has been said and read regarding Ardeshir Cowasjee since last night and I too want to remember him by a few anecdotes that have stuck with me since I first met him. As an aspiring journalist, I longed to meet the great man; I wanted to pick his brains on his writing and just be in the company of this remarkable man. What started as research interactions overtime became a beautiful friendship. In him I did not discover a journalist but to use the term very loosely, Cowasjee was a ‘citizen journalist’. He wrote what many of us were ...

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‘Faiz is a hat?’

For those who do not know (and that number is growing) November 20 is the death anniversary of one of Urdu’s great intellectuals and poets, Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Sadly, the man and his body of work have become increasingly irrelevant for many Pakistanis, including myself. Conversation in the newsroom Me (upon spotting the story on a local news site): “Guys, today is the death anniversary of Faiz – are we covering it?” (Clueless) subeditor: “Isn’t Faiz a hat?” Yes, Fez is a hat. And yes, Faiz has been reduced to token mentions in the print media or online (“Today is Faiz’ birth or ...

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