Stories about lives

All in a day’s work: The modern Pakistani (super) woman

If you are a woman who belongs to the circle of society that sees itself as urban and educated, you will most likely find yourself adequately qualified with a degree and then promptly married off within a few years of working. Of course, that is if you managed to put your foot down in the first place to demand that you be allowed to work before marriage. Upon assuming marital responsibilities, it is but natural that your degree and work are pushed to the back seat, because now you are expected to take on domesticity as your foremost occupation. Or so ...

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I’ll remember, insha’Allah

The other day I scheduled a long-overdue appointment for a dental cleaning. I had called a few days in advance and arranged for an early-morning slot so that I could arrive in the office before the workload got too heavy. Leaving my apartment about 35 minutes before the appointment, I imagined I left enough time to arrive on schedule. That is, until I got into a small car accident less than ten minutes later. As I waited to turn right at an intersection not far from my apartment, the car behind me abruptly drove into the rear of my small hatchback, suddenly ...

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Bhoja Air crash: We are accessories to murder

Please refrain from shedding tears or feeling remorse for the unfortunate victims of the Bhoja Air crash. As painful and heart wrenching as this episode is, I’m afraid we have no right to feel sorry or pity for the departed souls and their loved ones. This may seem harsh, but it is the truth; we are all culpable in what is brazen murder. We are the ones that are allowing these airlines to operate within our borders; we are the ones that are tolerating unethical business practices that all too frequently imply cost cutting at the expense of the public ...

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For the family of a dead soldier

Standing outside a hospital corridor, opposite the nursery, I was waiting for my wife to return from the operating theatre after giving birth to our second child. Anxiety was in the process of being replaced by happiness, and I was enjoying the quiet moment. A few minutes later, a nurse brought another newborn baby boy, and some ladies (presumably the family of the infant) followed the nurse. One of the ladies, who looked like a typical grandmother, stood out from rest of the crowd. There was something not quite normal about her. She was relentlessly wiping away tears, saying things like, Mein ...

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The worth of a Pakistani life

I was recently unsettled by a report I read from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – a private British non-profit organization based out of London. The unsettling report, states that 385 civilians have been killed by American drone strikes on Pakistan during the past seven years, including at least 168 children. One of the victims mentioned in this documented account, Din Mohommad, tragically lost a son, two daughters, and a nephew, with three of those children not old enough to go to school. While looking for official US responses to the report, I wasn’t surprised when they employed the infamous ‘stick ...

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Airblue crash: No answers, no follow-up

Last summer, a commercial plane crashed into Islamabad’s Margalla Hills. This tragic event took the entire country by shock. It was heart breaking to learn that so many people lost their lives. The incident sparked several emotions. The accident  and wounds still open, much discussion took place. Was the bad weather to be blamed for the crash? Was it human error in interpreting the signals from the control tower? Or, was it one of the conspiracy theories that took shape amidst the many debates a year back? As authorities resolved to investigate the matter, some dared to hope. Perhaps the black box sent for “expert ...

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Pakistan needs to celebrate Mothers Day

Today is Mothers Day – a day specifically marked in the calendar around the globe to honour the women of our society who throughout their lives labour so that their children may have better lives. At first, I didn’t believe in celebrating a day created by the Hallmark Card Company to make profits off emotionally charged children. But, after reading some of the most shocking stories related to mothers in this very newspaper, I have been forced to change my thought process. Mothers Day is important for the entire world – but more so for Pakistan. While we are going through, what can ...

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For the millionth time, Muslims are not terrorists Mr King

Another attack has been made on American Muslims, this time by Congressman Peter King from New York, who claims that the alQaeda is recruiting and training members on US soil. The chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has initiated a series of hearings to probe the so called “radicalisation” of American Muslims in the name of national security. In true McCarthyistic tradition, the hearings are to investigate if Muslims are “loyal” to the state and whether they are doing enough to curb extremist elements. King says the local threat against Americans is real and must be addressed urgently. The Telegraph quotes him as ...

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What about the non-VIPs?

While on my way to cover an event I was made to deviate from my intended route as the police stopped me amongst a dozen other motorists in order to allow a ‘VVIP’ to pass through.  The first thing that went through my mind was, “Are they really worth my time and my life?” The answer is, no. I had to travel a good extra couple of miles to get to another intersection where I joined a long queue of vehicles piled up at a police check point. I stopped myself from delving into a motivated judgment and decided to wait ...

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Pneumonia: Killing our babies every day

During the 1970s the world woke up to the realization that there was a deadly assailant on the loose who was out to get little children! So deadly was this assassin that soon people began comparing it to a jumbo jet that took off every one minute and crashed as soon as it went up killing all the 400 passengers onboard. Yes, this vicious murderer was taking the lives of 400 children every minute! After more than 30 years the brutal slayer is still at large and responsible for 19 per cent of all under-5 deaths in the world. Scarily, ...

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