Stories about fire

So what if she is 8-months old? She is Ahmadi, kill her!

As Pakistanis prepare for the end of Ramazan and the arrival of Eid, we come across the news that an Ahmadi residence was set on fire by a mob, killing a mother and her two daughters, five-year-old Kainat and eight-month-old Hira. As are most religious crimes of vengeance, this incident also has roots in our archaic notion of blasphemy. People are only too keen to take justice into their own hands when it comes to religious sentiments, as this incident shows. Minorities bear the brunt of such accusations, although blasphemy laws have been used against Sunni Muslims as well to settle land and ...

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All the best, Pakistan, we are with you!

What do you do when your neighbour’s house catches fire? Do you sit by, try to extinguish the fire using water or hasten its destruction by throwing petrol in it? Pakistan, our neighbour, my dear friends, has been afire for the last 12 years. Verily, it is one of the biggest victims of terrorism, duh. Statistics reveal an alarming rise in the number of fatalities due to acts of terrorist violence in the Islamic Republic in recent years. As per the data available with the South Asia Terrorism Portal, as many as 52,409 people, including women, children and brave security personnel, lost their ...

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Déjà vu: The workers died due to suffocation

‘The workers died due to suffocation’ – this is not the first time we have heard news like this. The first time we heard it was back in 2012. Two years ago, on September 11, 2012, when the garment factory caught fire claiming 259 lives and injuring 140. They called for help, screamed and shouted in agony but all in vain. The rescue forces didn’t get there in time. There were no fire escapes, fire retardants or safety measures. The doors were locked and the only unlocked door was on fire. One might think that they could have used the windows to escape instead ...

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The charming Manuel Pellegrini knows how to deliver gold!

The Barclays Premier League has finally concluded with Manchester City FC being crowned as the Champions of England. They faced West Ham in their final match of the season and required a draw or win to bag the trophy. And they bagged it! They did it with a mature and professional performance beating West Ham two goals to nil, thus finishing the season on top of the Premier League table. Over the next few weeks praise will be showered upon all the players and the management but, the one person who really was at the focal point of this successful ...

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Only in Pakistan: Setting an 11-year-old girl on fire to ‘treat’ typhoid

We were in the middle of a counselling class, whereby our experienced, capable and intelligent course instructor was attempting to answer a fairly difficult question.  One of the practicing psychologists present had asked her what they were to do if a client insisted on rejecting therapy and instead preferred to go to a ‘quack’ or a local maulvi for treatment. Carefully measuring her words, the instructor replied, “Don’t discourage them from attempting spiritual treatment. Let them seek a faith healer, a priest or a maulvi if they want but ask them to seek a therapist’s expertise on the side as well. Tell them there’s ...

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RIP Chaudhry Aslam: The man who walked through fire

I walked into the newsroom and everyone was buzzing. There was a blast in Hassan Square and someone was dead. It’s Karachi so you know, this stuff happens every other day, but it wasn’t just any other day and it wasn’t just someone. It was Chaudhry Aslam. The Taliban finally got him. After God knows how many attempts, they finally got him. In 2011, they blew up his house and then in January 2006 there was an assassination attempt made on him at Gizri by gunmen associated with a big political party. Chaudhry Aslam’s house bombed. Photo: AFP I grew fond ...

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10 reasons why Malala is Pakistan’s very own Katniss Everdeen

Most of us Pakistanis who have seen Hunger Games had the same question in their mind. What if we had a Katniss Everdeen of our own? Who would it be? Well, for those who don’t already know, we do. We have Malala Yousafzai and here is how I view their similarities: 1. People think they’re both ‘pretentious’ A lot of people think Malala is fake and pretentious. A lot of people thought Katniss was fake too, until the passion shone through. Like Katniss won the hearts of Panem, Malala won the hearts of people across the world. When Katniss showed up in Panem with an innocent personality and a shy, ...

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Why do the Karachiite-type men fall for Punjabi women?

I begin with the disclaimer that this blog is not for three kinds of people: 1. Those who have an issue with the sweeping generalisations I am about to make in the spirit of fun, though parts will be definitely based on truth and years of research-based observation. 2. Ladies who are non-Punjabi and take the title as a jibe against themselves, and say to themselves “what does she mean? Don’t men like non-Punjabi women? She doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I know my husband would never be able to do with a Punjabi woman… they’re so loud!” 3. Punjabi women ...

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Asylum seekers: Why should Australia shoulder our burden?

Australia has recently come under fire for its new policy regarding asylum seekers attempting to enter the country without a visa. According to their prime minister, this policy is an attempt to ‘curtail the record number of people attempting the dangerous boat journey to claim asylum’. From now on, people arriving on refugee boats at Christmas Island will not be allowed to disembark and begin the procedure for resettlement in Australia but instead will be sent on to Papua New Guinea; a third world country, improvished with completely different asylum laws. Many of these refugees arrive from countries such as Pakistan, ...

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Another Ahmadi venture under fire: When will we learn?

Teacher to Akram and Aslam: You both failed the test because you were late for class. Why were you late? Akram: Sir, I was busy looking for my atthani which I lost on my way to school today. Teacher: What is your reason Aslam? Aslam: (Sheepishly): Sorry sir, but I was standing on top of his atthani, hiding it. Reading such knock-knock jokes on the last page of The Lahore is one of my fondest memories of growing up in Lahore. At the age of ten, honestly, I could not comprehend the literary, cultural and political content of the magazine. So of course, I was surprised to read that such an innocuous magazine ...

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