Stories about Defence

We as a people don’t deserve luxuries like Careem and Uber

Like any 20-something girl who doesn’t know how to drive, my best friends, and the most reliable services, are Careem and Uber. Both cab-hailing services have, to date, taken me everywhere I wanted to go and back, and the ride is always on my terms. The AC-filled car with the radio cranked up is truly a blessing, compared to the rickshaw ride I’d be jolting up and down in otherwise. More often than not, I’d order a Careem, only to have the riders call me back to confirm where I’d be going, always with a hint of worry. “Just here in Defence,” I’d say, irritated at ...

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I am stationary, and Karachi is movement

Day 1 If I stared at the world around me, a few things would stare back. The clouds dancing in the iridescently blue sky, the sun shining in its eternal glow; maybe even the trees that stood amidst the streets of Karachi. The people are the only ones that won’t stare back. I long for the day where I can look at a person, and they’ll look back and we’ll have had a conversation; not with our lips, but with our eyes. It seems as if everyone is running somewhere. My mother is running to Khattak. My brother is running at ...

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Budget 2017-2018: Is Pakistan really on the upward trajectory?

With much fanfare and hoopla, Ishaq Dar and company announced the annual budget for the nation this past Friday. It was budget as usual, delivered with haughty claims of turnarounds and opportunities within reach. Even before the budget had been announced, the Ministry of Finance had been subliminally pushing figures into the media to soften any surprises. While Pakistan missed its growth target of 5.7% from last year, it still achieved a growth of around 5.3%. This puts the country in the company of companies that are over $300 billion dollars in size.  The year over year (YoY) growth, while lower than the target, is still the ...

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Why is Pakistan’s affluent class so ashamed of getting extra food packed at a restaurant?

“You are embarrassing me!” Said the husband, upset over the fact that his wife asked the restaurant staff to pack the left overs which included one kabab, three-fourths of a naan and a bit of chicken karhai. “But it will be wasted,” She smiled and even carried the large mineral water bottle that was almost untouched with resolve. It was a delightful dinner my family and I were invited to and this conversation between our host couple was all too familiar. There is the “what will people think” attitude associated with carrying home leftovers and in doing so we forget that edible, clean ...

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The end is nigh, when North Nazimabad is the new Clifton

Everyone laughed at me in school for living on the other side of the bridge. Well who is laughing now? Was centuries of affluence really worth ending up in a real life Finding Nemo type situation? No longer will people from the other side of the bridge have to drive an hour just to see the ocean. The ocean is finally coming to them. North Nazimabad is the new Clifton. People from Defence/Clifton would sit on buses every Sunday and drive to Nazimabad for some fun. The Super Karachi Express is only the start of a city-wide trend. For so long, I have ...

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Hanging by a thread – Liverpool’s Champions League hopes still hang in the balance

Having seen the worst possible starts from the once-mighty Reds since 1982 in the Premier League, the Merseyside giants travelled to the outskirts of Bulgaria to take on Ludogorets Razgrad with the hopes of securing their berth in the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition. The fact that the Bulgarian side – currently in their first Champions League campaign and with a record transfer fee of just $1.5million – stands tall in front of the Reds is a matter of concern for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who has been piled with criticism in the recent weeks for his ...

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The kinds of people you will definitely encounter at Sunday Bazaar!

For those of you who are not from Karachi, Pakistan, and who do not know what Sunday Bazaar is, it is a huge open thrift market in the posh locality of Defence Phase 8. You will find anything and everything – bolts of luxurious fabrics, original oil paintings, fruits and vegetables, wicker baskets, leather jackets, second-hand books of all genres, used shoes and bags, disposed-off toys and electronics among many other things my brain refuses to do an inventory for. Essentially, it is a wholesale-cum-flea market which takes place on, you guessed it, Sundays only. And for those of ...

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Ferguson, a window into our own cases of police brutality

I have been arrested. I have been handcuffed. I have been put in jail. I have had a police officer put a gun against my temple in the middle of the road in Defence. I have had a police officer threaten to indict me with charges of rape and murder if I do not give him money. There is no record of any of this because I never committed any crime. My “crimes” ranged from driving on the road at 2am to being in a car with a girl without possessing a ‘Nikkahnama’. I would not call them bribes, it was extortion. ...

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What good is the Shaheen1A Missile?

“Pakistan successfully test-fires Hatf-IV ballistic missile” This was the headline that greeted me a few days ago as I logged into my Facebook account. Instinctively, I clicked on it and began reading. The story discussed the launch of a new ballistic missile called the ‘Shaheen1A Missile’ which has the capacity to carry nuclear warheads to a distance of 900 kilometres (km). After skimming through the main news, and skipping the parts of what the naval chief had to say about this, I moved towards the comments section. As expected, patriots, nationalists, and whatever other jingoistic euphemism we use to explain such kind of people, ...

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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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