Stories about killing

Karachi Literature Festival 2013: With tolerance and respect for all

So the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is over. Three jam-packed days devoted to writing, to literature and to everything else in between. A festival not just of books, but of thoughts and ideas, with the space for diverse opinions to be held and expressed, and respected by all. I would have to say that this year’s festival, the fourth, was the most mature and powerful it has ever been. This festival has really come into its own, from its first time at the Carlton Hotel. This year’s festival was held at the Beach Luxury Hotel, which revitalised and renenergised the ...

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Obama is not the only hypocrite

A few weeks ago, there was a great outrage when the killing of school children in the US state of Connecticut, USA was compared to the tragic deaths of children killed in drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. An article in the Guardian succinctly described the gloom felt all over Pakistan as children lose their lives as collateral damage. All criticism was regarded impassively by US diplomats who are rumoured to have ignored similar sentiments expressed by the NYU-Stanford report on drones. If our fury is directed towards the unfair attention and outrage felt for the loss of ...

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Pakistan: A land with feudals, a nation without Shahzeb

Suddenly, out of the blue, one incident can jolt a group of people into corrective action. It breaks through their familiarity. It shatters apathy. Simultaneously, several strong-willed, capable individuals are united in the knowledge that their own heart might intercept the next bullet that escapes a wayward weapon, unless they act this instant. Shahzeb Khan, January 31, 1992 – December 25, 2012, was shot the night of his sister’s valima because of a tiff with members of a feudal family. His murder was similar to millions of others in Pakistan. The reasons for these tragedies are strikingly similar too; in the vacuum of ...

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Controlling rabies: No, you cannot just ‘shoot stray dogs at sight’

Reading a recent blog by Sakina Kavi, entitled Don’t let the dogs out at the University of Karachi on The Express Tribune, I feel it’s time to draw people’s attention to the fundamental cause of stray dog bites and fear of rabies resulting from them. Being an animal rights activist, I appreciate the writer’s spirit and call for refraining from killing dogs as if wiping away pest. However, I do not agree with her suggestion of shooting stray dogs on site. This is inhumane and any animal rights activist will tell you this. In the first place, we must distinguish between a rabid ...

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Watch out! Video games could breed our own Breiviks

Norway’s mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, in an effort to ‘desensitise’ himself before going on his shooting spree, spent a total of 130 hours playing the video game “Call of Duty”, as revealed by the judge who sentenced him. This reminds me of my own 15-year-old brother and several other people I know of, who are not just fans of this game, but play it religiously. Is there a possibility of any of them turning out to be something like Breivik? It would be a sweeping generalisation if I say yes. But the idea of these games helping in the desensitisation of someone cannot ...

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Burma killings: Think before you point fingers

I have always thought of Buddhists as being the wisest, most religious and peace loving of all people. Hence, their recent atrocities in Burma were shocking on many levels. Burmese Buddhists are carrying out a ‘cleansing’ and have (reportedly) killed many Muslims over the past two months.  To answer the ‘why’, let’s examine a bit of history first for that is where most of the answers lie. Burma/Myanmar is situated next to Bangladesh and Muslims started arriving there in the early 20th Century. Memons and Shias also migrated in large numbers – that is also the origin of ‘Khao Suey’ we so enjoy today ...

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Gilgit is to blame for this bloodshed

‘Paradise on earth’ might be a cliché, but it is the only locution that describes the beauty of Gilgit. Its elegance is matchless, but the sectarian violence that has plagued this area has reduced this city to a mere shadow of the beauty it once boasted.  Spring had always filled Gilgit with a rosy fragrance, but this spring, all anyone can smell is the unmistakable stench of blood. It is truly baffling how the gardener has lit his own garden on fire. People from different sects are killing each other ruthlessly, and one doesn’t dare to venture out on the streets unless ...

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Karachi violence: Gunshots on bus U-10

It is frightening to even think what one human can do to another. Getting late for work in the morning, on March 27, I was unaware that my city was already bleeding when I jumped onto a bus called the U-10. We were motioning slowly and gradually until we reached a spot near Tipu Sultan road. From nowhere, a man appeared in front of the bus with a gun in his hand and yelled out to all the passengers, to get off the bus. In a gust of panic, people started rushing out and the driver giving in to fake assumption motioned ...

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Emo kids get shot in Iraq

So I was going through the news a couple of days ago, and came across a rather odd piece of news – ‘Iraq emo killings raise alarm’. The first thought in my head was “whoa, did they run out of bombs?”. And the second was: – I have short hair – I wear black – I have a pierced lip. If I was in Iraq would they put my name on a hit list just because of the way I was dress? According to a news piece published in Huffington Post on March 11, 2012, these so-called ‘emo kids’ are being killed because as a ...

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Shia killing: If we tolerate this, our children will be next

Last week, I heard the news of the targeted sectarian killing of Jaffer Mohsin. The name didn’t ring a bell at the time, but later that day, when a friend told me that a fellow schoolmate’s father had been shot dead, it jogged my memory. I then realised that doctor Jaffer Mohsin was our friend’s father. That’s when the memories came flooding back. Back when I used to live near my school building, Dr Mohsin’s family lived in the lane next to mine. Like regular Pakistani youths who bond over a common love for cricket, his sons and I played the ...

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