Stories about Mashal Khan

In conversation with Hamza Ali Abbasi: “It is shameful if you are not political in a country such as Pakistan”

Actors may be good at what they do, but only a few stand out, and one such actor is none other than Hamza Ali Abbasi. He walks in his own truth, and exudes passion in his craft. There is no denying his presence for sure! Apart from being a great actor, Hamza is extremely political, as the nation watches him discussing matters of pertinence on TV every day. In a riveting interview, I learnt more about Hamza in his own words. Was acting always what you intended to do, or was it a different career path for yourself? I believe acting ...

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Why Pakistan needs Imran Khan

It’s been a long journey for Imran Khan. He founded his political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in 1996, and for many years made no real progress. Many mocked him. The Guardian journalist Declan Walsh dismissed him as ‘a miserable politician’, whose ideas and affiliations had ‘swerved and skidded like a rickshaw in a rainshower’. PTI did make a limited amount of progress in the 2013 General Elections, when it emerged as the second largest party by national vote and with 30 parliamentary seats. Furthermore, Imran’s party secured control of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). But none of this was enough to challenge for national ...

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Suno Chanda makes the choice for women yet again – marriage trumps education and career

Pakistan’s drama industry has recently been making eye-opening TV shows. We get to see many societal flaws and are made aware of issues people face in their everyday lives. But then there are light-hearted shows as well, made for the purpose of entertaining the audience. One such show is the recently popular Suno Chanda. The adorable couple Arsal (Farhan Saeed) and Ajiya (Iqra Aziz) finally tied the knot in the last episode of this Ramazan special series. The story begins with a betrothed couple’s desire to call off their wedding while the whole family is preparing for it. Arsal and ...

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Ahsan Iqbal was shot but the bullets were provided by the very hands he shakes

As I write this, the country is still reeling from the shock of an assassination attempt on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. I am grateful that the minister has survived and is on his way to recovery. The accused attacker, who has been caught, claims to have attempted this assassination on the pretext of protecting “Khatm-e-Nabuwat” (finality of Prophethood). Considering the fact that Ahsan himself is a religious and a very decent person, this is an extremely dangerous development. It shows that now, literally, anyone could be a target, if some fanatic believes that he or she has violated the sanctity ...

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The Mashal Khan case verdict brings victory, hope and a lesson for Pakistan

The dawn of April 13, 2017 saw the might of a monster that was long nurtured in Pakistan. A monster of hate, intolerance, violence and one who misuses the blasphemy law as a tool of vengeance. This time the prey was Mashal Khan, a 23-year-old, mass communications student at Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The ghastly lynching done as a ‘great service’ to Islam was a manifestation that human beings are capable of carrying unimaginable proportions of barbarity, if they are driven by religious conviction and self-righteousness. The investigation that followed soon revealed that the allegation of blasphemy against Mashal was, in ...

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Frieha Altaf may be a celebrity but that does not mean she has the right to shame and share other people’s choices

Sitting in a packed waiting room of a prominent doctor’s clinic, I could not help noticing a middle-aged man fiddling with his phone. In a room clouded with uneasy murmurs of a long wait, he seemed at ease. The disturbing thought that he might be filming something – one of us perhaps – made me anxious. Only after I managed to sneak a peek at his cell phone screen could l let out a sigh of relief, after finding him entertaining himself with music videos. The realisation is powerful – the power of having a camera in your hand at ...

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The jury and the executioner: Misusing the blasphemy law for personal vengeance

A few days ago, I came across a headline that shook me to the core. A student killed his principal in Charsadda, on the pretext that the man had committed blasphemy by merely reprimanding him for his absence from school. The student had skipped school to attend the infamous Faizabad sit-in. The fact that the dharna was supposedly conducted for the protection of the finality of prophethood, and his principal indirectly rebuking him for attending it, was enough for the student to justify killing him. Over the past several years, I have witnessed several incidents in which blasphemy was used as a pretext for framing and killing individuals. There ...

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Is it really the end of the Islamic State?

On November 21, 2017, media outlets reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of the so-called Islamic State (IS). Soon after, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met with Syria’s Bashar al Assad, and then with Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, all three intent on reinforcing their hegemonies. Regime change in Syria now seems even more unlikely, not to mention justice for the victims of Assad’s war crimes. Erdogan will continue to silence opposition and allocate more resources in his offensive against the Kurds, while Putin strengthens ties with two allies in the Middle East. Thus, even without the IS, the ...

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Yes, Mashal Khan’s story is a difficult watch, but it’s a necessary watch to keep us from forgetting

In April, a deranged mob of college students murdered Mashal Khan, an intelligent, curious, and outspoken journalism student, over views and comments that some regarded as ‘blasphemous’. The mob-led murder caught the world’s attention after a shakily recorded cell phone video of the lynching went viral. Just like that, the door had been flung open, exposing the sheer inhumanity and intellectual neglect that constantly simmers below the surface of Pakistani society, even within its supposedly enlightened institutions. In these past few months, many minutes of prime-time were devoted to and much ink was spilled over Mashal and Pakistan’s notoriously inhumane and antiquated blasphemy laws. This week, the story ...

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Imran Khan is and always will be the common man’s saviour and Pakistan’s happily ever after

As a nation, we Pakistanis are a romantic people. From our folklore to our cultural beliefs; from our personal relationships to our politics, we love a sentimental tale of love, strife and bravery. It is only fitting then, that our choice of leaders should follow suit. The love affair of the Bhuttos is example enough – from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s fiery charisma, to his daughter’s legend, we have proven an unwavering support of the lone warrior fighting for the greater good. As one light fades, another begins to flicker – Imran Khan charges into the arena, ready to slay all wrong-doers and battling for the ...

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