Stories about floods

Is the road to development leading Multan somewhere else?

For centuries, Multan has stayed true to its reputation as the land of graveyards and beggars, heat and dust. Despite the sprawling mango orchards across the district, the terrain retains a semi-arid feel, a situation that only promises to get worse in the face of looming water scarcity and unscientific crop management. If tree cover in the country, in general, is significantly less than ideal, it is critically low in the Upper Indus Plain comprising southern Punjab. For decades, Pakistan’s ruling elite have favoured one mode of development above all else; build roads and prosperity will follow. From local politicians to national leaders, ...

Read Full Post

Was Fawad Khan’s decision to play a homosexual a mistake?

Kapoor and Sons has garnered much success after its release, grossing over INR100 crore globally within just one week. But apart from its box-office triumph, the film has also received acclaim for bringing topics such as infidelity and homosexuality, once considered taboo, to the forefront of upper-middle class family dynamics.  Director Karan Johar must be given credit for cleverly casting an actor that women swoon over to break the stereotypical image of gay men in our society. However, it seems Fawad Khan may have committed to the movie before having completely thought it through; his effortless and convincing acting may have done wonders for ...

Read Full Post

Why doesn’t Pakistan care about climate change?

You may have come across news about climate change or an agreement in Paris in December, and ignored it. For many of us, this threat seems far off from Pakistan; but it is coming our way, and if we don’t prepare ourselves the right way, the damage could be insurmountable. The threat I am referring to is one posed by climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are causing world temperatures to rise and if we don’t act to slow down, and eventually stop carbon emissions, our planet will become uninhabitable for our grandchildren. People in Pakistan might question why this matters for a country like ours; it is not ...

Read Full Post

Why the floods in Chitral are not a natural calamity

Last week marked the most devastating surge of floods in Chitral in over a decade. The destruction has been, according to the word of mouth, “everywhere and colossal”. Infrastructure has been grounded, a number of roads have almost disappeared, electricity has been out for days, and for days to come, clean drinking water will be a scarce commodity. People living along the river bank have lost their homes and land, and economic activities in majority of the areas have been hampered. As many as 60,000 people have been displaced in 26 flood-hit villages. While we have heard stories of unbelievably huge floods from our parents and grandparents, ...

Read Full Post

16 photos that prove India and Pakistan are just the same

Conflict isn’t the only thing common to India and Pakistan. We are just like neighbours who might quarrel but always have each other’s back. We are like neighbours who may not be too happy with the noisy parties the other throws but who would still like to be a part of each other’s happiness. This article is an attempt to focus on the everyday, the little things which unite us as a people. Forgive me if I come across as stating the obvious. But sometimes, the best of us tend to forget the obvious. And then it’s always good to remember, and to ...

Read Full Post

When will the suffering of the sugarcane farmers in Sindh end?

Pakistan is still primarily considered an agrarian economy. The on-going sugarcane pricing row between sugar mill owners and sugarcane growers in Sindh will only have damaging, if not destructive, consequences towards the rural economic backbone of Pakistan; especially in Sindh, in terms of agriculture. Personally, as an agriculturist and as a sugarcane crop grower, it is becoming increasingly exasperating and vexing to exhibit restrain when one has to deal with the indifferent and apathetic attitude of the Sindh government and the cartel of the sugar mill owners. To understand where it all began, one has to comprehend the political dynamics of Sindh, where a ...

Read Full Post

Chagharzai and other valleys: An epiphany in itself

Every now and then, we hear someone singing odes to the beauty of Pakistan’s North-West regions. Be it by one of those recent sing-along tourism promos running on nearly every news network these days, after a prolonged wave of violence in Malakand Division, or some bunch of local yahoos who’d just returned from a trip from any of the numerous valleys and lakes. The fact remains that the actual beauty and splendour of these areas is still quite underrated, despite all such praises. Even though the last few years’ armed conflicts have labelled the entire region as a no-go zone, ...

Read Full Post

Indian-occupied Kashmir under Omar Abdullah: Six years of disaster

In Kashmir, politics has always been a game of possibilities, and it remains so even today. So long as the ‘core issue’ remains unattended, neither any change in the political leadership – in mainland India, in Pakistan or in Kashmir – nor any economic package or assistance really makes a difference. And today’s politically-motivated relief camps stand in the row. Deep inside their hearts, all political parties know the extent of their political acceptance. No politician, howsoever articulate and famous, has won an election in Kashmir unless the subtlety of his election campaign encompassed decisive elements of the freedom narrative. So the rules ...

Read Full Post

After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

Read Full Post

Kashmir: Battling floods and false-reporting by the Indian media

Kashmir is battling the worst of times in its living memory. A flood that has inundated half of the valley is causing unimaginable devastation, yet the hyper-nationalist and jingoistic Indian media has made the so-called rescue operations by its army the centre of its attention and coverage. “Army and air force are risking their own lives to save lives in #JKfloods. Separatists who have only abused the fauj should feel chastened now,” tweeted the cheerleader of India’s broadcast media Barkha Dutt. Army & Air Force are risking their own lives to save lives in #JKfloods. Separatists who have only abused the Fauj should ...

Read Full Post