Stories about killing

Selling a kidney to end poverty

The government’s bold claims of eliminating poverty from the country are clearly derailed by the dismal state of the public health institutions. It seems that the government has found an innovative system to kill poverty by killing the poor themselves. Meanwhile, the increasing sky-rocketing inflation has also limited the common man’s access to basic health, as a large majority cannot even afford the transport expenses. In fact, this differential between the haves and have-nots is at an all-time high. It was clearly depicted recently when our president went to Dubai for his medical treatment which costs lakhs of rupees per day. I ...

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What the Nato strikes mean for TTP’s jihad

The tragic killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers at the hands of US-led NATO troops on 26 November 2011 gave yet another opportunity to the local and international Jihadis to ridicule Pakistan’s so-called alliance with the ‘crusaders’. The first statement by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) coming on the heels of the incident reiterated its anti-Western mantra and reminded the government that the US can never be a friend of Pakistan. Manipulating the tragedy to further humiliate the Pakistan government, the TTP spokesman declared that his organization is not holding any talks with the government of Pakistan because “it is futile to negotiate ...

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The every day kind of fanatic

On a cold December afternoon of 2009 my Uncle and 16-year-old cousin were martyred in a bomb blast in Rawalpindi. Earlier that year, I had heard the term suicide bomber and figures of casualties on the TV innumerable times. But each time, there were a few moments of grief and then I would go back to finishing dinner or doing my homework. The reality of these words didn’t sink in until I lost my own dear ones to an act of religious fanaticism. I will always remember the smell of gun powder, roses and blood in the air from that tragic ...

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Who needs a gun licence anyway?

When the state fails to protect life and property, anarchy rules the roost. Is that the depth to which we in Karachi have sunk? As much as we may like to disagree, a body count of 1100 over the first six months of 2011 makes a pretty convincing argument. As does the fact that the current spate of violence, with all its lulls and flares, doesn’t seem to be ending, no matter how many times Rehman Malik waves his magic wand or warns us to be careful of angry wives and girlfriends who, according to him, are responsible for ...

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Norway attacks: We will rise above through friendship and love

There is not a single day when we do not hear news of violence in Pakistan. Our country has been a survivor of terrorism since long. Thousands of children, women, and men have been killed; thousand of our soldiers have embraced martyrdom; and thousands of Pakistani citizens have been wounded in various acts of barbarism. So, while we are thousands of miles apart, we can still feel the sting of the Norwegian masses. Sufferings and sorrows of those in Norway and Pakistan are the same today. As we heal the wounds of our citizens, we are also sympathising with the ...

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Black metal, white terrorists and what Norway taught me

When I was 17-years-old, I was a trouble child. I was oscillating between depression and rage, my teachers and parents had no control over me, and most of all, I had a profound sense of being an outcast from the society that I lived in. To offset this overwhelming sense of alienation, I turned to the internet, my only window into a world outside my own. It was here that I actively sought to find meaning and to fill the gaping hole that my own society and culture could not fill. What I found, (amongst other things), was a one-man black ...

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Was there a Kharotabad cover-up?

The judicial tribunal tasked to investigate the Kharotabad incident has reached the conclusion, after holding hearings for a month, that all the five foreigners, including three women, who were killed by law enforcement agencies’ personnel,  were “well-trained terrorists” and had “strong links with terrorist networks” operating in Pakistan. There were many journalists present at the crime scene but for obvious reasons no one came forward to testify. When I asked one of them why he hadn’t come forward, he said there was no point since nothing would be done, and it would not be sensible to pick a quarrel with the ...

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Karachi’s apolitical police force

The decision to  renew special policing powers given to Rangers is a step in the wrong direction. These powers should only be granted for short periods to aid civil power, when required, rather than for long stretches.    Two weeks ago, after 100 people were killed in a period of five days, law enforcement agencies “marched into” the troubled areas of Karachi and miraculously faced “no resistance” – all guns went silent, according to news reports, that was the end the operation. Fantastic! One does wonder though: how many lives could have been saved had our protectors stepped up when the violence first erupted? How many billions ...

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Karachi and the failure of Pakistan’s multi-culturalism

The martial tradition of the Pakistani Army failed and the ‘’Islamization’’ drive of Zia which was the martial tradition merging with clerical power also failed . What did these processes fail at? They failed at creating some coherent narrative of Pakistani citizenship that was pluralistic and open enough to absorb the different ethnic, linguistic and indeed tribal affiliations of the Pakistani citizenry. State sponsored Islam (which in itself is quite unprecedented within the body of Islamic history and literature) has not created any form of universal Pakistani citizenship. The Karachi conflict is the result of decades long alienation, mistrust and hatred towards different ...

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“Firing in Saddar! Turn on the TV!”

I live near Saddar, and every single act of violence that affects Saddar affects me too. I was waiting for my mom to come pick me up, obliviously laughing with my friends over some lame joke, unaware of what I was going to go through in the next ten minutes. I was at my school, waiting for my mom to come pick me up – and for a second, I thought I’d lost her forever. A guy came rushing up to us and said: “Firing in Saddar! Turn on the TV!” Normally, being a helpless Karachiite, I would have watched the news and ...

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