Stories about Nelson Mandela

9 times PM Imran Khan made us cringe and laugh our way through ‘Naya Pakistan’

There has hardly been a moment of peace over the past eight months since Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power, given the sheer number of controversies he has caused on a regular basis. Imran is famous for speaking extemporaneously and saying whatever comes to his mind; facts and reason be damned. It doesn’t help that his army of cult followers do not have the ability to think past his persona and move beyond the Kaptaan fan club. But Imran often moves beyond saying controversial things to making statements that are absolutely ridiculous, resulting not only in national embarrassment but also ...

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Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, was recently arrested during a night-time raid on her home. The Israeli authorities accuse her of “assaulting” an Israeli soldier and an officer. A day earlier, she had confronted Israeli soldiers who had entered her family’s backyard. The incident happened shortly after a soldier shot her 14-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet, and fired tear-gas canisters directly at their home, breaking its windows. Both Ahed and her mother have now been indicted for assault and incitement.  النبي صالح #فيديو قوات الاحتلال اعتقلت الفتاة عهد التميمي 17 عاما من قرية النبي صالح في رام الله بسبب طردها جنديين اسرائيليين من أمام منزل عائلتها Posted by Shehab ...

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I think, pray and speak in English, so why should I speak to my children in Urdu?

My twins are almost three-years-old and they can’t speak Urdu, my ‘mother tongue’. They hear it being spoken around the house, and occasionally I may try to converse with them in Urdu but truth be told, it doesn’t come naturally. As first-time parents, we did get the infamous lecture that we should only speak to our children in Urdu or else they will never be able to speak the language. People would say, “Don’t worry, they will learn English at school but you must speak to them in Urdu.” The common fear is that our children will drift away from their cultural heritage. Most people believe that language is what will keep our ...

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Why do Pakistan and India always have their daggers drawn?

Pakistan and India are locked in the conviction that each one wants the other’s destruction. Repeating the incantation is patriotic, questioning it, borderline seditious. Each country believes that its violence is only a defensive response to the other’s malevolent initiative. Both nations have separate historical markers to support their points of view and risk engaging in what each believes would be a just war. This smouldering fire is kept alight by the capability theory of judging intent by capability assessment. US General Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded the 1990 First Iraq War coalition, believes that, “… You … judge your enemy based upon capabilities, not intent, you have to look at ...

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Lessons from Nelson Mandela

“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” This historic roadmap  refers to the most celebrated statesman and visionary leader of the preceding century – Nelson Mandela. He is recognised both nationally and globally as an archetype of the utmost endurance and a man who showed unprecedented ...

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How I survived four and a half years in captivity

August 26, 2011, an ordinary day. I was driving to work on the same road in Lahore that I took every day, and my mind was busy with the mundane. A car blocked the road, but I didn’t give it much thought. Then five masked men put a gun to my head, pulled me out of the car and my world spun horribly out of control. Right now, I can’t tell all of the details of my capture or my release for security reasons. Someday I hope to be able to recount the full story. But I can say for ...

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What implications would celebrating a murderer have on our national heritage narrative?

Now that Islamabad is back to some degree of normalcy after a frenetic four or so days, let’s emphasise on a particular aspect of the protests which we might have overlooked. When the protesters managed to work out a sense of coherence within, they put forth a set of 10 demands. These demands, unlike the 10 commandments revealed to Moses, are ominous of a much darker reality. It’s not clear whether the government paid heed to all or some of the 10 demands, but a particular demand, which asked for the recognition of Salman Taseer’s murderer’s prison cell as a ...

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He was 12-years-old and wanted to liberate slaves in Pakistan. He is dead now

On April 16, 1995, a 12-year-old boy named Iqbal Masih was shot and killed while he was riding his bicycle with his friends in Muritke, near Lahore. He was punished for raising his voice against child labour. While he was in the US, he was asked why he wanted to return to Pakistan when he knew of the danger to his life. To that, he courageously responded saying his mission was more important than his life. And it was with his life that he paid the price for standing up for his beliefs. He was just 12-years-old. Masih said, “I want to do what Abraham Lincoln did.” He wanted to ...

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Dear Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Reham Bhabi and Ayyan Ali – Hi!

Open letters are the new ‘in’ thing. Everyone, while not busy taking selfies or engaging in internet wars, is writing them. Unlike personal letters that are addressed to and only read by the person intended, these have a universal appeal. Hence, I decided to write a few of my own, a series of them in fact. Here is the first one: To Hamza Ali Abbasi from an Online Jihadi. Hazrat Hamza Ali Abbasi Sahib, My heart sank when I saw the trailer of your upcoming movie, Jawani Phir Nahin Ani. And it sank even further to the bottom of the very pool you were seen ...

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Remembering the legacy of Nelson Mandela on his 98th birthday

As the world burns along the shores of the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa and from the valleys of Tigris and Jordan Rivers to the Dnieper River in Ukraine, one wonders how Nelson Mandela would be celebrated on his birthday on July 18th this year. Madiba (as he was called by the proud South Africans) held his ‘Long walk to Freedom’ covering six decades of struggle to rid the Black Africans of the ruthless Apartheid rule and give them a sense of dignity. The tall Xhosa and his simple soul were too strong for the white apartheid regimes of Southern Africa. His strong resolve ...

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