Stories about Fatima Bhutto

Quantico’s apology is a slap in the face of every Muslim misrepresented by Hollywood

The past week has caused uproar in the international media, after a Hollywood show had the misfortune of treading conflicting political grounds. ABC, an American television studio, later issued an apology to Indian fans after its crime drama Quantico portrayed Hindu nationalists in a negative light, as they planned a terrorist plot and tried to frame Pakistan for it. The scene from Quantico’s most recent episode, The Blood of Romeo, received prompt backlash from Indians after Priyanka Chopra, who plays the lead character of an FBI agent, holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads as evidence that the plotter, who planned to detonate ...

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Ek Thi Marium – this is what empowerment looks like

Steering away from the melodramatic genre of our drama industry – which continually encircles around the ‘bechari aurat’ (oppressed woman) – projects like Ek Thi Marium attempt to bring about a much needed change showcasing the true meaning of the commonly misused term: woman empowerment. The project is a biopic of the first Pakistani woman fighter pilot, Marium Mukhtar, who was martyred whilst in the line of duty. The gripping narrative, crisp direction, and deep dialogues have made this telefilm both moving and inspirational; two qualities which our monotonous sagas continually lack. Pakistani woman fighter pilot, Marium MukhtarPhoto: Reuters Ek thi Marium narrates the story ...

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Zimbabwe’s visit to Pakistan: Dawn of a new era?

“Daarhion ne phir marwa diya hai” (The beards [bearded men] have gotten us into trouble again) These were the first words I heard on a dreary school morning as news of the attackon the touring Sri Lankan team made the headlines. A desolate shroud enveloped Zinda Dilan-e-Lahore as news broke that the bus carrying the touring Sri Lankan cricket team was fired at by a coterie of Kalashnikov toting ‘na maloom afraad’ in broad daylight. The nearby elite would hear of such incidents up in the agencies next to the Afghan border and seldom, the Taliban types would make it as far as Peshawar, but a gun massacre somewhere as central ...

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Why am I speaking for Shafqat Hussain?

A day before Shafqat Hussain was scheduled to be hanged on March 19th, I released a video called “How were you like when you were 14?” as my contribution to the #SaveShafqat campaign trending online.

Shafqat has completed his five-year prison term for involuntary manslaughter. Yes, there are no murder charges against him. He was originally convicted for murder by the trial court but the High Court in appeal overturned same in 2007. Shafqat now faces death only on one count – kidnapping for ransom. The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 passed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was designed in a way to ...

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Shahid Afridi: The face of sexism?

In the land of the pure, apparently, one cannot be a man and a feminist at the same time. The two seem to be mutually exclusive. Usually, this disconnect is attributed to the misconception that feminists are man-hating, rabid women out for social revenge; however, in Pakistan, the culprit is menial passivity because that’s just how it is here. In a recent resurgence of a four-month-old interview, Shahid Afridi took it upon himself to remind Pakistani women that their skills are most useful in the kitchen. His response to a simple fluff question about a women’s cricket team in Peshawar has outraged many, ...

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Water car: Preaching intellectualism in a society of illiterates

So, it’s been more than a month since a ‘messiah’ from the underprivileged led people to believe that he can cure the energy crises, not only of the nation but the entire world. Engineer Agha Waqar from Pakistan spoke of a car that runs only on water as fuel. Some called him crazy, many more called him a fame-hungry small-town engineer and noted local scientists, they labelled him a fraud. Pervez Hoodbhoy, went one step further observing how far Pakistan has fallen into the pit of ignorance and reflected on the decline in the level of public intellect. Well the whole ...

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Video blog: Fatima vs Bilawal Bhutto – a brighter future?

This video addresses the two bright youngsters of the Bhutto family, Fatima Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto. Filmed in a way that encourages comparison, the imperative question asked is which one of the two could lead Pakistan to a better future. The name Bhutto is, most definitely, one that is familiar to each and every Pakistani. With Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the Chairman of the PPP, emerged a family that would continue to play a strong role in Pakistani politics. Even though three of his four children were murdered, Fatima Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto are continuing to carry the family legacy of an active ...

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Fatima Bhutto and her songs of blood, sword and fairytales

She was beautiful. She was eloquent. She was vivid, and witty. Yet while orating at the Sydney Writers’ Festival Fatima Bhutto also managed to be  naïve, hollow and juvenile. Seemingly, the trauma of her beloved father’s death has not left her and this, unfortunately, has become an indistinguishable part of her personality – to discuss her experiences while speculating about national issues. Her recent speech clearly epitomises the emblem of her book, “Songs of Blood and Sword,” published in April, 2010, that is, selective amnesia and fiction in the absence of fact. Her speech starts with the popular state propagated narrative of politician ...

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Et tu, Fatima Bhutto?

A few weeks ago, I came across a blog on this website by an American pilot, John Bockmann. John was part of the American flood relief mission to Pakistan and he wrote about taking rice, flour, blankets, housing materials, cooking oil and other materials up and down the Swat and Indus River Valleys. He also spoke of bringing sick, injured, and displaced people to hospitals and hometowns. Although he missed his family and his home in Alaska, John said that he had been warmed by the hospitality that he was shown here. Sometimes, fancy phrases and flowery words are not needed to ...

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The mathematics of disaster

Can anyone – anyone at all – in this country do some simple math? The Pakistani premier, Yusuf Raza Gilani (whom I imagine all those wonderfully enlightened Zardari-bashers will vote for in the next election, given how badly they wanted someone on the ground, overlooking the relief efforts… what’s that? You don’t vote at all?) has said that 132,000 square kilometers of Pakistani territory has been affected by these floods. According to Wikipedia, Pakistan’s total territory cover 803,940 km-sq. Sixteen percent of our total landmass is currently inundated with water. And that’s just KP and Punjab. By the time that flood hits ...

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