Stories about ethnic

Do we need new provinces?

The idea of creating new provinces is an old one. For years different ethnic groups have been seeking the creation of their own provinces and for years these voices were ignored. But recently this issue has popped up again –  this time it feels like something might actually happen.   This is because political parties now want to publicly discuss this issue and take a stand. For years the issue has been raised in drawing rooms but never on a public platform. So, do we even need new provinces? All the cool kids are doing it Contrary to popular belief provinces are created ...

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More provinces – or not?

While provincial assemblies discuss and political parties sloganeer to muster support for the formation of new provinces — I can’t help wonder what’s the point? The ethnic division, as demanded by the PPP and the PML-Q, of Punjab and the division on administrative grounds by the PML-N both seem to be recipes for disaster. Let us start by considering the division of provinces on ethnic lines. While this option will be feasible for Punjab, Balochistan and even Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the division of Sindh on ethnic grounds could prove to be dangerous. Karachi and Hyderabad are cities where people from various ethnicities live ...

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Forget French, it’s time to learn Pushto!

Education is more than a predefined curriculum or a Grade Point Average (GPA). It can shape a society. But the education system in Pakistan has failed. The people of our country do not understand each other and have allowed issues based on culture, language and even clothes plague the future of the country. In Pakistan, diversity has turned into a burden and coexistence of culture and opinion has turned violent and bloody. All this is a result of an education model that promotes isolation and hatred. Education exchange The launch of an extensive student exchange program within the borders of Pakistan can remedy the problem of intolerance. Student exchange programs are ...

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Singing through patriarchy with a bit of desi jazz

So, three years too late I have discovered Zeb and Haniya. I discovered them thanks to a friend’s enthusiasm for ‘waii waii’, a term used in their Coke Studio rendition of Paimona Bitte. The ‘waii waii’ women have brought a ‘girls just wanna have fun’ element into Pakistani music. While Paimona was the song that got me hooked, it is their song Chup (Hush) that makes me smile whenever I listen to it. It was different. Pakistani and Indian love songs are usually all about the sacrificing, shy, scared and most importantly, submissive female. Sure, there was Nazia Hassan’s Aap jaisa koi (Someone like ...

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Two party system and ethnic politics

It is often debated why the political process is so weak in a country as old as Pakistan. Yes, the direct and indirect military intervention is one of the primary reasons, but the poor performance of political parties must share the blame as well. The country is bitterly divided on ethnic and, arguably in some cases, religious lines. This division impacts political parties to a great extent, as they are in essence a reflection of the sentiments and views of the general populace. Ethnic politics Sadly, right after its inception, the founding political party, the Muslim League was divided and subdivided into ...

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Did you hear the one about the Pathan?

It really annoys me when I hear fellow Pakistanis complaining about racism – not annoyed because of their racist attitude but because we don’t look at ourselves before we point our fingers at others. I had a nasty experience the other day when I was talking to someone on an online forum. He was pleasant enough until I told him about my ethnic background when all hell broke loose. His comments were so nasty that they would put the KKK to shame. He blamed the entire Pukhtun race for all of Pakistan’s problems interspersed with four letter words and accusations of us smelling like sweat and ...

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The time for ethnic politics is over

A popular Urdu proverb goes ‘mulla ki dor masjid tak’ meaning some people are only concerned with what affects them directly. Pakistan complies with this proverb when it comes to provincialism. There are different social, cultural and ethnic groups in Pakistan. These ethnic groups aren’t led by a tribal chieftain or an elder. In the 21st century the urbanity of ethnically associated people has evolved. The geriatric level of living has been abandoned. People don’t believe in tribal chieftains leading their ethnic group but a political leader instead. There are various ethnic groups in Pakistan, consequently there are various political ...

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Karachi equals target killing

The term “target killing,” now used as synonym for Karachi, crops up after every two to three months here. The killers certainly have an agenda have lists of people to hit, so as to provoke a reaction from various religious sects, ethnic backgrounds, and social groups. As soon as a precious life is lost, there come, as a backup of the assassins, statements from the media and political or religious quarters that marginalize the efficiency of stake holders of this city of 18 million. Such news reports spread like wild fire all around the city as well as globally, ...

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