Stories about day

Diwali in Pakistan, through pictures

The first day of Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – was celebrated at Krishna temple in Rawalpindi yesterday. As a budding photojournalist and having many friends who belong to minority sects, I feel passionately about the state of affairs of the Pakistani minorities. I was, therefore, thrilled to be part of the annual Diwali celebrations for the first time. The warm, friendly and hospitable atmosphere at the temple made my stay extremely exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed covering this colourful celebration. Here are a few highlights of my unique experience: 1) A girl performs the ‘pooja’ ritual before the Hindu deity Lord Krishna. ...

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Can Saad Haroon be the ‘Funniest Person in the World’?

Comedian Saad Haroon has been making people laugh for over 10 years now, and he now stands on the cusp of achieving something truly great. Saad is representing Pakistan in the finals of the inaugural ‘Funniest Person in the World’ competition and this weekend saw him perform in front of legendary comedians at Los Angeles’ ‘Laugh Factory’ – a venue that has hosted top performers such as Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and Robin Williams. It was wonderful to see Saad don a sherwani for his semi-final performance and to entertain an American audience with quips about biryani and the hospitality of Asian parents. Ahead ...

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I was hopeful today…

It was 6am when my alarm went off. I woke up to it, got off my bed, performed wuzu and then offered my prayers. At 6:30am, as usual, I decided to go out for a refreshing morning walk. It seemed like an ordinary morning – just like any other day. Whilst on my walk, my phone beeped informing me that I had received a text message from a friend of mine. The message greeted me “good morning” and read: “If you fail to achieve your dreams, change your ways but not your principles, as trees change their leaves, not their roots.” Instantly, a smile ...

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Undoing religious intolerance – undoing the second amendment

Religious clerics in Pakistan celebrate September 7th as a day of victory for Islam and Pakistan. Officially dubbed the “Khatme Nubuwwat Day” or “Finality of Prophethood Day,” many mosques come alive with celebrations this day, sweets are distributed and intense speeches are made in large religious gatherings.  Forty years ago this day, Pakistan passed the second amendment to its Constitution, forcibly declaring the Ahmadis non-Muslim. With the stroke of a pen, the Ahmadis had been snatched of their basic right to self-identity at the insistence of the very clerics who had opposed Jinnah in his rightful struggle. It was this day that Pakistan started drifting away from ...

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Don’t demolish Balaknash temple, Pakistan!

This year I had the opportunity to participate in the Janmashtami festival, the Hindu festival in which they celebrate the birth Hindu god Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Hindu god, Vishnu. The festival is celebrated on the eight day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month August or September. As I entered the Gracy Lines area in Rawalpindi, I asked for directions to the Balaknash Temple, an 82-year-old temple that will be demolished soon along with 53 quarter houses. It is surrounded by FWO flats. As a guard at the check point told me where to go, he asked inquisitively ...

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5 reasons I still support Imran Khan

At least once a day, I am asked, “You support Imran Khan? Seriously?” It is mainly because I do not fit the stereotypical image people have about PTI people. Emotional, young, immature and what we call “trolls”. I like to think I am none of these. Very few in my field of work are open about their political tilts, if any. Maybe because there is a remote chance it may interfere with journalistic objectivity. However, I have been very clear since day one. Anything I report will say the truth and nothing but the truth. Even if it goes against the ...

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Pakistan – In search of the missing patriot

In the latest political upheaval to rock the country, all those involved may appear to be at complete odds but retain one salient feature that unites them all. The government, by the virtue of their status, espouse patriotism which is reflected in an unflinching dedication to democracy on the part of the Sharif brothers; the opposition under the tutelage of Imran Khan continues its elongated quest to reform the electoral process through a long march to the capital under the camouflage of patriotism; and the Canadian chameleon Tahirul Qadri (TuQ) invokes patriotism in his fiery rhetoric to establish the true force of democracy in Pakistan. They ...

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Pakistan versus Sri Lanka: Victory or disgrace?

The relentless, brilliant and energetic Younus Khan played a heroic knock of 177 on day one of the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and simultaneously completed his 24th Test hundred. The Pakistani side was at a dismal 53 runs with a loss of three wickets before Younus took charge and saved his team from facing a terrible defeat. Pakistan needed a solid inning, in order to win this Test series, and Younus made sure of that by giving a strong target to the host team. Pakistan ended up posting 451 on the scoreboard, which, by the way, ...

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An open letter to murderers of minorities

Dear ruthless, relentless and barbaric attackers of the minorities in my country, I‘d like to start by asking you about what happened day before yesterday? With what conscience did you think that it was acceptable to brutally gun down a Sikh teenager and open fire at two other Sikh businessmen in Peshawar? Were you just having a bad day at the Hashtnagri Bazaar, as sources confirm that there was no enmity between them and you? Was the heat too much to bear that Jagmohan Singh, the teenager you shot, had to take the brunt of your barbarism? You critically injured Parimjit and Manmit Singh ...

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Eid in Gaza

Can you imagine how it feels to see a dear one killed in front of your eyes, knowing that it is supposedly a happy day, a festive day? How does it feel to lose a beloved on or right before Eid? I can’t even imagine the pain. Unfortunately, the feeling is not like a moment in a dream which simply vanishes during disrupted sleep. It’s far more permanent. Countless days of just this – either being killed or seeing your loved ones die. The recurring situation seems to have no end. While sitting on the stairs outside our house during a ...

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