Stories about K-P

Do you know what ghag is?

For the Pakhtun people, the unwritten ethical code of Pashtunwali, dating to the pre-Islamic era, is as central to their lives as Islam. This can leave the Pakhtun people torn between religion and the culture of their people. One of the more deplorable ways in which this cultural-religious disconnect manifests is through the centuries old custom of ghag. Ghag, which roughly translates as ‘avaaz lagana’ or ‘to make something known’, is when a man announces his intention to marry a particular woman. The announcement can be done in many ways. Often a messenger is sent to the house of the ...

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Child abduction: In numbers

Child abduction is defined as the forceful separation of a child from his or her parents. The reasons behind this are as follows; using children in begging rackets, sexual exploitation, forced slavery, human trafficking or organ thefts. This phenomenon has become the centre point of print, electronic, and social media in the most populous province of Pakistan: Punjab, and especially within its provincial capital, Lahore. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken suo moto notice for these abductions and the Punjab government has also acknowledged the problem and are now running preventative campaigns. However, the fear is still prevalent in the once calm and peaceful ...

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Alisha was treated outside a lavatory – shame on you, Peshawar

Like any other people, all the transgender community wants is to live with dignity. But in Pakistan, dignity for this sexual minority is almost impossible to find. From birth to their death beds, they are ostracised as if they are the bearers of some invisible disease. Forced to live with their own communities, forced to take menial jobs or to beg on the streets, forced to put up with mental and physical abuse, forced to deal with sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape, from their fellow citizens or even those tasked with protecting them, the transgender people of Pakistan ...

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Earthquake 200(1)5: Are Pakistanis mobilised best when calamities are of colossal magnitudes?

A 100 plus schools and almost 9,000 houses have been demolished in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) alone, and even official figures show that the death toll is bordering on 300 people. Calculating the number of the injured and incapacitated is not difficult to calculate. The earthquake that shook Pakistan on October 26th was not a small calamity by any means. Yet, apart from sporadic sightings of a couple of relief camps, Pakistanis are not mobilised like they were at the time of natural calamities that hit the country in the past. The initial wave of sympathy seems to have dissipated sooner than usual. The very nation which prides itself ...

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Will Maryam Nawaz invest Michelle Obama’s $70 million anywhere outside of Punjab?

This week we were treated to scenes of Maryam Nawaz Sharif standing with Michelle Obama as the First Lady announced an investment of $70 million as part of a new partnership between the United States and Pakistan to promote girls’ education. The money is part of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative, which started up in March of this year and seeks to expand educational opportunities for girls. Ms Sharif also spoke about Nawaz Sharif’s education reforms, and the importance of educating girls. It’s good to see commitment at the highest level to this worthy goal. However, I can’t help being a bit of a cynic about ...

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10 reasons why the Judicial Commission verdict is a stepping stone for PTI

The verdict is out and it has shocked leaders, members and supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Yes, we are talking about the Judicial Commission (JC) report on the alleged rigging in the 2013 General Elections. While Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) celebrations add to PTI’s wounds, anyone who thinks that the verdict is an irreparable blow to PTI may need to think again. Believing in ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, here are my two cents why JC’s verdict may be one of the best things for PTI. 1. No excuse for PML-N Had Nawaz Sharif resigned due to the sit-ins or after the findings of the JC ...

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When six single women travelled from Karachi to Skardu

It was our Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) moment. Six single women, in their 20s, boarded the Business Train to Lahore – the first destination of our trip from Karachi to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). Karachi Cantt Station. As we settled in to our cabin, we revelled over our triumph of coaxing our parents into saying: “Ja Simran ja, ji le apni zindagi.” (Go Simran go, live your life) But we were scared too. After all this was no Euro-rail. The afternoon was bright and sunny, and after taking in the cabin amenities, we were content. The cabin door, with a stable, iron lock and ...

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Why Pakistan is just as beautiful as Switzerland

Pakistan is beautiful, it is utterly blessed! We don’t just say it… it actually is. When it comes to breathtaking landscapes and mind-blowing sceneries, Pakistan is absolutely matchless. You think Switzerland is the most stunning place on this planet? Think again… 1. Gwadar, Balochistan Photo: Parhlo website 2. Bara Pani, Deosai Photo: Parhlo website 3. Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir Photo: Parhlo website 4. Shangrila Lake, Skardu Photo: Parhlo website Photo: Parhlo website 5. Deosai Plains, Northern Pakistan Photo: Parhlo website 6. Dudipatsar Lake Photo: Parhlo website 7. Fairy Meadows at night [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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Perhaps the pen is not mightier than the sword in K-P

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has finally unleashed its first substantial policy reforms since the Taliban massacre in Peshawar that killed over 130 innocent children. The policy is to allow teachers in the province to carry weapons to engage terrorists. One wonders how many geniuses it took for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government to come up with such a preposterous initiative. The naivety in argument is that there are not enough police officers in the province to provide security to every school. This clearly shows that the government has not yet conceived even the simplest and dangerous consequences that such ...

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Misplaced priorities: Why do you lose your mind when it comes to Imran Khan?

 As a journalist I have always been impartial towards political parties; experience shows that while all of them promise the world, none of them deliver. Lately, however, the dynamic of politics in Pakistan have changed. Ever since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has come into power in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), many women started taking an interest in Pakistani politics. The women are now seen constituting a majority of the supporters participating in various sit-ins that take place in cities across the country. For many it is the aura that Imran Khan emanates that becomes the primary reason for support, while for others it ...

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