Stories about morals

A moral argument for abortion

Abortion. An eight lettered word that can ruin any well-heeled kitty party or friends’ night out. I should know, since I have successfully brought conversations to a screeching halt (or the opposite) on both occasions. I often wonder what it is about that word which awakens the morality brigade. Those arguing against abortion often claim “It’s a living thing!” blithely ignoring my scathing looks of disbelief. Science and logic seem to take a back seat in this argument. How about some facts to back up emotion? The power is hers I’m pro-choice, in case there was any doubt. If there is anything in life ...

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Sex for sale: Where are we heading?

On a recent trip to a juice shop in Lahore, my husband and I noticed a huge black Cygnus car stop at the turn across the road. After closer observation, we saw two women, both around the age of 25, dressed in bright silk step into the jeep that careened off. Two other women were left behind. After some 20 minutes, they too stepped into a Camry and sped off. My husband and I looked towards each other simultaneously – we knew what we just saw but did not have the guts to admit what was going on so openly at ...

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Veena: Warrior princess

Veena Malik is my new hero. Really, she is. And not because she looked absolutely stunning (someone had to mention it!) on Kamran Shahid’s train-wreck of a show the other day. My newfound respect is not just due to the fact that I have become a fan of her self-confidence and cool, laid-back personality over the last couple of months, but because she is the only person in Pakistan’s ultra-holy green-tinted limelight right now who isn’t afraid to say it like it is. She’s bold, honest and pretty straightforward, which is something I can’t say for many Pakistanis out there. Sad, ...

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To ‘civilised’ Pakistanis: Learn to stand in line

A four-way road-crossing magically functions in many Western cities, without a traffic policeman or a traffic signal. They call it the four-way ‘Stop’ sign; every car stops before the crossing, waits for other cars before it moves and then moves on its turn. Such discipline is a rare, if not impossible, sight when you live in a developing country. This unsupervised display of morally and socially correct actions speaks volumes about the citizens of any country. No concept of standing in line The concept of waiting in queue is missing in Pakistan. While it represents unruly, misguided and animal-like behaviour, it ...

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Obscenity in the ‘Land of the Pure’

“I saw some people whispering after seeing something on a mobile phone. One of them showed me the video on the phone in which she was fully nude and committing objectionable acts. She not only made a film of those acts but also widely circulated it via mobile phone, thus hurting the young generation and the morals of society,” said an irate complainant. The man, Chaudhry Muhammad Khan, registered an FIR against a female lawyer under Sections 292 and 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The two sections deal with the punishable offences of the sale, distribution, public exhibition, production ...

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Et tu, Fatima Bhutto?

A few weeks ago, I came across a blog on this website by an American pilot, John Bockmann. John was part of the American flood relief mission to Pakistan and he wrote about taking rice, flour, blankets, housing materials, cooking oil and other materials up and down the Swat and Indus River Valleys. He also spoke of bringing sick, injured, and displaced people to hospitals and hometowns. Although he missed his family and his home in Alaska, John said that he had been warmed by the hospitality that he was shown here. Sometimes, fancy phrases and flowery words are not needed to ...

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Robots with guns (and morals?)

Robotic warfare is here. US soldiers are killing insurgents across the world with remote controlled drones. A worried UN investigator Christof Heyns has urged the UN to set up a panel on the ethics of robot weapons. We in Pakistan are fighting faceless machines now, they appear out of nowhere, shoot us down and disappear. The right kind of war Would you want a war where your sole existence depends on the decision of a machine which cannot see, hear or feel? War is supposed to have consequences that may be lost if the current trend of robotic warfare continues. When war is dehumanized and ...

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