Stories about ethics

From APS to Sahiwal: Does Pakistani media have an empathy problem?

Humans are not naturally empathetic creatures – a primary reason behind cataclysmic wars, the rise in extra-judicial killings, as well as the growing hostility towards people escaping calamities. As the world spirals into chaos, the ability to consciously acknowledge the condition of individuals undergoing distress and mentally processing their misery has nearly vanished. But then again, did such an ability exist to begin with?  There is a silent conflict between those struck by a persisting crisis and those privileged enough to smoothly slither their way out of it unscathed. Humans are prone to living completely autonomous lives, but it seems ...

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Frieha Altaf may be a celebrity but that does not mean she has the right to shame and share other people’s choices

Sitting in a packed waiting room of a prominent doctor’s clinic, I could not help noticing a middle-aged man fiddling with his phone. In a room clouded with uneasy murmurs of a long wait, he seemed at ease. The disturbing thought that he might be filming something – one of us perhaps – made me anxious. Only after I managed to sneak a peek at his cell phone screen could l let out a sigh of relief, after finding him entertaining himself with music videos. The realisation is powerful – the power of having a camera in your hand at ...

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What constitutes ‘proper’ Quranic education?

In Pakistani schools, making it compulsory to study the Holy Quran is a bit like insisting the prime minister to take a cruise along the Panama Canal for his birthday, never mind that it’s supposed to be a beautiful spot. Yet, compulsory Quranic studies is apparently in store for young Pakistanis according to a speech given by the Minister of State for Education and Professional Training, ‘Engr’ Muhammad Baligh ur Rahman. Mind you, speeches given by government ministers are often so much chaff, but still, speaking at Al-Huda International School’s fourth annual day celebrations (where else?) ‘Engr’ Rahman said that; “This process ...

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Ayesha Sana, behind the scenes!

With her glamorous attire, overdone makeup, and studio lights shining bright on her face, we see a lady sitting on a couch, speaking in a soft, polite tone, getting ready to appear on television and give a lecture on morality, etiquettes and civility. The show host believes that she, much like her morning show fraternity, is the only person capable of saving Pakistan from its moral failures. In this particular segment of her show, the topic of discussion revolves around the treatment of people belonging to a lower socio-economic class in Pakistan. Her guest on the show belongs to the very same ...

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Sensationalism over ethics, what happened to journalism?

A picture is worth a thousand words, but what if those words are untrue or misrepresent the truth? From the time print journalism made its advent, news organisations have realised the importance of the supplementary support offered to text by an image, even if it had to be a sketch or a caricature. However, with the development of photojournalism as a niche field, imagery started competing for space with words to tell a story. Sometimes, pictures told the whole story, whilst others complemented a story by supporting, embellishing and enhancing it. Things went out of synch when the editorial staff’s choice of the ...

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Do impaired individuals deserve to be made fun of?

He has had speech impairment for as long as I can remember. Each word uttered has to be a deliberate effort for him. His sentences spoken are often unclear and difficult to comprehend. Perhaps, he also faced bullying whilst growing up but that never shattered his confidence, for his career demands him to interact with large crowds and be a public speaker. Despite the lisped sentences, his statements hold clout and his opinions are always sought. People make fun of him and glances are exchanged around him, yet he only fumbles, never stumbles. He is the 14th prime minister of Pakistan, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. ...

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The failure of the police system in Pakistan

A few days back, while coming to work along with my husband and brother, I was stopped at a check post by the Islamabad Police. One of the police officials on duty inquired from my husband about the three of us. My husband stated that he and my brother were going to drop me to my office. The police official turned towards me, raised his eye brows and, while pointing towards my brother, asked rudely, “Yeh kaun hai?” (Who is he?) I replied, “Mairay bhai hain.” (He is my brother) To which the police official responded, sarcastically, “Lagta tu nahi hai.” (He doesn’t look like it) “Kia matlab lagta tu nahi hai” ...

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In Vitro Fertilisation: Don’t choose a boy over a girl, choose a baby!

Being blessed with a baby opens up a new epoch in every couple’s life. There is excitement at the new arrival, fear of the impending responsibilities and the innate desire to protect the tiny being from all evils. Even the gender of the baby gives rise to a myriad of emotions, feelings and sentiments depending on whether it is a pink blouse or a blue shirt. However, the process of having a baby is not as easy for some as it is for others. Statistics reveal that 10% to 20% couples fail to have a baby the natural way. However, all hope ...

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Calling Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy ‘jahil’ can only happen in Pakistan

A few days ago, a fierce verbal battle took place between the guests on a talk show called “On The Front” hosted by Kamran Shahid. The bone of contention was the book called ‘I am Malala’ authored by the 16-year-old herself. The guest speakers included, Orya Maqbool, Ansar Abbasi, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zafar Hilaly. With regards to the topic at hand, the conversation began with Orya Maqbool and Ansar Abbasi giving their view on the book. Highly sensationalised words were used by the two, and common ground was reached with Malala being framed as offensive towards Islam. Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy interjected stating that he had ...

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How the corporate sector turned me into a hypocrite

To become a part of the corporate world had always been my dream, and ever since my graduation, it had become my vision to enter this grand realm and use my knowledge to cater to its needs. However, it did not take me long to understand that my vision was better as a dream than as a reality, and these are the reasons why. As planned, a month after my graduation, I joined a renowned multinational to kick-start my career. Everything was looking glorious to me, as if it could not possibly get any better than this – the office, the environment, ...

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