Stories about issue

Did Nawaz Sharif just wake up to honour killings in Pakistan?

When it comes to the barrage of crimes against women, Pakistan ranks among the highest in the world. Such crimes against women include violence (sexual and non-sexual), trafficking and murder in the name of “honour”. While no crime is worse than the other, the regularity with which honour killings occur in Pakistan is especially harrowing. As a matter of fact, more than 1,000 women die from honour-based killings every year. These are just the reported cases. Think about how far the number would jump up considering the fact that most of the cases of violence against women go undocumented. Despite the uniformity of these crimes, ...

Read Full Post

Does Pakistan’s media encourage sexism?

The recent controversy surrounding Junaid Jamshed has dominated social media over the weekend. The matter is between him and God; I am in no position to comment on the apology or the blasphemy issue at all. Maybe this incident will open a conversation about the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. However, I am surprised at the lack of a conversation around the casual sexist remarks passed by public personalities in the media in Pakistan. Junaid Jamshed has previously suggested that men should not teach their wives how to drive. In response to the recent controversy, Aamir Liaquat responded in kind with comments about Junaid Jamshed’s mother. We live ...

Read Full Post

Round one: Imran Khan versus Asma Jahangir

When a minor political disagreement turns into an acrimonious battle of nerves, the stage is set for a senseless blame game. Beyond this point, the purpose is no longer to find a solution to the issue at hand. On the contrary, it becomes a matter of settling scores and, at best, winning. The war of words between PTI chief, Imran Khan, and prominent lawyer and former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president, Asma Jahangir, last week offers a glaring testament of this belief. Unfortunately, not all battles can be won through veiled assaults and criticism. Silent tussle The conflict brewed against the backdrop ...

Read Full Post

Muslim denominations: Are you Shia or Sunni?

It started quite early. I was seven-years-old. That’s when I first realised that there was something called a “Shia”, and people thought I was one; because in Pakistan, certain surnames are associated with being a Shia. ‘Zaidi’, one of them, sounds similar to the surname ‘Zahidi’, so I was and am often asked this question – “are you a Shia?”. So I came home and asked my father, to which Abba replied in a very matter-of-factly that by faith, Shias and Sunnis are both Muslims. He explained to me that it’s like two brothers from the same family, we all love Prophet ...

Read Full Post

Eidul Azha and Pakistan’s hygiene issue

A few days ago, the cattle markets began receiving a huge number of people every hour, coming from different parts of the city, to buy the sacrificial animal that suited their budget and met their needs convincingly. Different animals, ranging from cows and goats to camels, were seen almost everywhere, albeit on a street or a former empty, barren piece of land. Animals were tied to posts almost every step of the way. And we all know, where there is a herd of cattle, there is a foul smell taking over the air. The city started to look, and smell, like a ...

Read Full Post

#HeForShe will not make you any less of a man

In an era where celebrities predominantly exercise an almost magnetic influence over their fan base to promote products and virtually dictate the way the populous dresses or behaves, it becomes exceedingly rare to see an individual stand up and talk about a pertinent issue. Emma Watson, an actress known mostly for her performance in the Harry Potter series, showed how celebrity power can be used in a positive way. Speaking before a UN conference, Watson kick started her ‘HeForShe’ campaign, a movement which aims to achieve gender equality by including men in the fight against female oppression. Although as a race, we have ...

Read Full Post

Can an older woman marry a younger man in Pakistan?

“I got a very nice proposal,” said a friend who was at a stage in life where she wanted to settle down in marriage. “But there is an issue. I am 31. And he is 26. I am five years older. I really like him but my mom says that in another five years mein uski maa lagoon gi (I will look like his mother). I will have to say no,” she said with resigned acceptance. But fate had other plans. The “boy” liked the “woman” very seriously it seemed. He pursued her. Her heart relented. They got married and are now in the seventh ...

Read Full Post

Shireen Mazari’s weight is not a political issue!

Being an overweight public figure isn’t easy. In a world obsessed with appearances, it’s like wearing a ready-made joke on your lapel that you just know your critics will use the first chance they get, however irrelevant it might be. Fat-shaming is effortless. On the list of categories of comedy arranged by the level of creativity involved, a fat joke is half a step higher than letting out a fart and giggling. All one requires, is to take note of the obvious fact that a person weighs more than normal, and compare him or her to any number of large, heavy ...

Read Full Post

Were Pakistan’s 2013 elections really rigged?

13 months on, and the issue of electoral rigging is still alive and well. Many of us wish this were not so; that Imran Khan would just give it a rest and get on with his parliamentary duties rather than taking his band of merry men town to town, stirring up the same issue like a broken record. Quite a few also suspect that the purpose of his actions may not simply be the pursuit of justice or even electoral reform. For them, it seems quite logical to assume darker motives. Such speculation is eminently justified given the events currently unfolding in ...

Read Full Post

Has our parliament been reduced to liquor, hashish and immorality?

We all remember the incident when the former defence minister outrageously slept through while the former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was addressing the parliament. It was hard for everyone who saw this spectacle to understand what substance or issue could possibly have made him doze off like that, during such an important address. However, to everyone’s surprise, the parliamentary session on February 27, 2014 had the answer to this. A member of the National Assembly (MNA), Jamshed Ahmad Khan Dasti, representing Muzaffargarh, Punjab, deciphered the mystery behind this. He discovered the substance that caused this to happen. Dasti addressed his fellow parliamentarians a few days back ...

Read Full Post