Stories about men

Fighting over Rs130

On a recent visit to a market in Gilgit, I witnessed two men beating up a vendor. When I inquired about the cause of the fight, I was told it was a result of bitter haggling over the price of a jacket. The two men had offered Rs100 for a jacket while the vendor insisted that he couldn’t give it for less than Rs230. The mere difference of Rs130 triggered a verbal debate, which then culminated in violence. While many may find this shocking, I thought the incident wasn’t unusual. We have come across similar cases of a much more serious ...

Read Full Post

Victims of patriarchy: Save the women of Pakistan

My last blog post on soaring cases of rapes in Pakistan received a mixed review. While some readers appreciated the issues that I highlighted as being responsible for the increasing numbers of the gruesome tragedy, to others the piece was nothing but a Islam bashing, ‘westernized’ viewpoint coming from the pen of a feminist! And while a few of the emails that I received from our foreign readers discussed the hardships that rape victims all over the world have to face and live with (appalled at the lack of support for these victims in Pakistan), there were other countrymen ...

Read Full Post

In times of suicide assaults

In a way, the recent suicide attack in Lahore is the first of a kind. The suicide attacks so far had had a target each; this one had two. It killed, or tried to kill, two birds with one stone. There was a sea of devotees brimming over at Data Darbar on account of the urs. At nearby Karbala Gamay Shah, the mourners milled around in anticipation of a chehlum procession slowly winding its way towards it. Great planning, one must say, for this way the attack had an impact on two fronts. Of course, both gatherings, from the planner’s ...

Read Full Post

A taste of London in Khadda Market

It feels like only yesterday that I was thousands of miles away from the heat, commotion and chaos that is part of life in Karachi. I was living in London pursuing graduate studies. During my time in the British capital, I came to discover that there is more to the city than history, sightseeing and its reputation as the party and entertainment capital of the world. It is also a city known for its spectacular high street shopping. Most of my friends would say shopping is not a man’s thing, but wait till you move to London and see all ...

Read Full Post

Guess who’s coming to dinner

If you are dragged feet first to a dinner your intuition is warning you against, what are the chances of it actually turning out to be a fun evening? Zilch. Especially if you’re coaxed to go not because of your scintillating company, but just to make up the numbers. One lone Pakistani woman at a restaurant table in a Pakistani joint should be chaperoned by another female desi, especially with the other diners being men. In case you’re thinking that these men must be in the league of Brad Pitt/Johnny Depp or even Ali Zafar, please disabuse yourself of that delicious notion. ...

Read Full Post

Boys want to have fun too

What comes to your mind when you think of Karachi? The magnificent sea , ever-glowing lights , loadshedding, paan gutka and for me – gender discrimination. Yup. life is so not fair for the unfair sex in the capital of Sindh. I would have never noticed such discrimination had I been living in Karachi with my family. It was only when I came back to the city to pursue higher studies that I perceived the stark discrimination. The practice here is that all the trendy hang outs, parks, recreational spots are restricted to families only. As harsh as it seems this would still ...

Read Full Post

All Kayani’s men: The faith to fight

Of course, the Army has always gone into battle with the cry of Allahu Akbar (God is Great) – just as the old German army carried Gott mit Uns (God with Us) on its helmets and standards; but according to a moderate Islamist officer, Colonel (retd) Abdul Qayyum, You shouldn’t use bits of Islam to raise military discipline, morale and so on. I’m sorry to say that this is the way it has always been used in the Pakistani army. It is our equivalent of rum – the generals use it to get their men to launch suicidal attacks. But ...

Read Full Post

Screaming from the margins

Persecution doesn’t always have to be physical. I cannot even begin to imagine the horrors of being physically abused, which is a daily reality for millions of women (and men) all around me (although the threat of that too is omnipresent), but there is a more subtle kind of persecution that absolutely none of us escape. Being a woman is bad enough, but if you are a woman and a hardcore feminist (and perhaps a few other progressive things along with that), well than god be with you. Don’t get me wrong: It’s not a women versus. men thing. I almost wish it ...

Read Full Post

For Iqbal, women’s rights are human rights

Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s philosophy is most relevant for Muslim community because of his understanding of the spirit of Islam as being essentially humanistic and reformative and for his formal arguments that satisfy the principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Iqbal finds ‘Ijma’ as an inherent principle for change in formal religious interpretations. ‘Ijma’ is both a principle of movement and reform to adjust with an everchanging reality. It is also a democratic principle as it is based on the popular opinion of muslim community. Let the Muslim of today appreciate his position, reconstruct his social life in the light of ultimate principles, and evolve, out ...

Read Full Post

Men love to hate women drivers

When I learned to ride a bicycle I was told to be aware of kids playing in the street or the roadside, old men on bikes and cars with female drivers. There is certain logic behind the three precautions and after almost seven years, I still follow these rules on the road. Yesterday, the topic of women drivers popped up, while some of my friends and I were having a chat. I do not know why but we men really enjoy talking about accidents or mishaps that take place on the roads because of female drivers. For the first time ...

Read Full Post