Stories about drugs

Doctors in Pakistan: Sumbal, only the peptic ulcer wali bibi, not a person with feelings

Her doctor thought she was an open mouth for him to dunk pills into. Instead, she turned out to be a person with thoughts, feelings and questions that were all left unaddressed. As part of Pakistan’s tightly-knit community of doctors, it is common for us to share our horror stories about non-compliant, abusive patients with laughable misconceptions about drugs and bodily functions. We softly giggle at them mistaking left-sided abdominal pains for appendicitis, when the appendix is in fact on the right side. And the unspoken conclusion drawn each time is that a patient is too uninformed to be trusted with his own ...

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Drugged infants on the streets of Pakistan

I’ve seen newborns on drugs and so have you. Unfortunately, so has every MPA, MNA, human rights activist, police official, mother and father. Recently, a woman holding a newborn came to my window to beg. I struck her a deal — Rs5,000 on the spot if she could wake the child up for me. Immediately, she went about trying to wake the baby she was carrying. I waited, knowing all along that the child wouldn’t wake up but desperately hoped he would. As expected, the child seemed lifeless. She sheepishly said, “You know, he’s sleeping on a full stomach. He will wake ...

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I was not meant for mediocrity, that’s why I did it…

Dragging himself through the doors, Ammar threw his bag against the wall and slumped his aching body face first onto his bed. As he heard the whirring of the fan above him, accompanied by a creaking noise every now and then, he began pondering upon the path of uncertainty his life was taking. His thoughts started drifting to three years ago – his cleaved discipline throughout high school, getting straight As, while adhering a bare minimum social life; taking part in committees, becoming the school prefect and then earning a scholarship to a prestigious college. He was what every mother nagged ...

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DHA blast and the drug addicts of the future

For decades now, Pakistan has been known to be a hub for the production and smuggling of heroin and hashish but as of recent years, more psychotropic drugs have also surfaced to challenge a nation already struggling with a handful of troubles. With Muharram’s blast alerts, which raised immense levels of security, there was an explosion in my ‘supposedly’ safe neighbourhood of Defence in Karachi. The blast was a result of criminals and their makeshift lab for the drug crystal methamphetamine. During the investigation, it emerged that children from elite families from surrounding areas were buyers and users of the ...

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A week of ‘highs’, lows and highs for the cops

A mixed news week for the police ended on a relative high, which may seem unsurprising considering the week started with news that senior cops in the twin cities were making a few bucks on the side by getting citizens high. I refer of course to the news that a superintendent of the Islamabad police is believed to be supporting abootlegging operations run by the Maliks, a name familiar to any Islamabadis with an interest in famed Scottish, Russian, and Germanic products. While saddening, police connivance with bootleggers is a fact of life in every country in the world where ...

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Confessions of a Facebook ‘Like’ junkie

Hi, I am Ali- this is where you say “Hi Ali”- and I am a ‘Like-junkie.’ What is a ‘Like-junkie’ you ask? It’s quite obvious is it not? A ‘Like-junkie‘ is very much like a junkie, except they are not addicted to drugs, but rather to ‘Likes’ on Facebook. Now at this point you may either roll your eyes and laugh or you may go, “Oh no, not another lame piece on The Express Tribune…” You can do both of those things, but let me tell you this much, this is neither something to laugh at, nor is it something to ignore, for you might not ...

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Professional beggars: More greedy than needy

Allah keh naam par 10 rupay dey dey beta. (Please give me Rs10 in God’s name, son.) Roti khila dey, tujhey ek naik aur khubsurat biwi miley. (Give me bread to eat and you will find a beautiful, decent wife) How many times have we heard this and cringed from deep within? Such phrases are played like rhythmic rhetoric every time you park your car on a signal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a feudal lord’s son who will throw acid on his wife, neither do I commute in a chauffeur driven, air-conditioned SUV. I’m a common Pakistani who walks the same streets like millions other ...

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Meet Umair, Pakistan’s very own child prodigy

Child prodigies are an eclectic bunch; being  on the fast-track in the lane of life at such a tender age makes them so. Although, some go on to commit suicide, turn to crime and develop drink and drug problems, we remain irrevocably fascinated by them.  We are overcome by their childhood achievements and allured by the fame and recognition they bring to the family. Secretly we wish in the depths of our hearts that our children would also do the same. However, what we fail to realise is the immense pressure that these kids are put under, the long hours that they spend ...

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Lusting for heroin, living in excess

My friends always did seem to be perpetually waiting for something.  They wanted an explosion of culture and expression and art to suddenly rip open their city, something that they could be a part of. The explosion never came and they got tired of waiting. The paradigm shifted from making music, writing poetry and actually being productive to watching Basketball Diaries and Trainspotting, listening to Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots. “They did heroin you know?” “We should do heroin.’’ “Why?” ‘’Because. What else can we do?’’ I saw it happen, this whole fascination with Americana and the people who made it – for ...

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Can Kabaddi ever be taken seriously?

Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi. Dope, dope, dope. The biggest highlight of the Kabaddi World Cup 2011 earlier this month was not that India won the tournament but the fact that 45 players failed the dope test in a single event. The tournament featured 14 teams, but by the time it finished there were only 12 teams officially named at the closing ceremony. This is primarily because Australia was expelled as five of its players were tested positive for dope. The organisers, additionally, banned the US from the tournament before the semifinals as three of its players refused to take the dope test ...

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