Stories about Osama

Osama bin Laden for the West: From ‘warrior’ to ‘militant’

Have you ever wondered if the international media works for an agenda? I’m sure you have. We all do. We have come across many instances where biases in western media houses have been pronounced loud and clear, so such inferences are only natural. Media’s shifting portrayal of Osama bin Laden over the years is just one testimony of that. Being a media studies major, I have studied about the agenda-setting theory, which discusses how the media sets up particular agendas and then feeds news pertaining to that angle to its viewers. It’s all about understanding the underlying story behind a ...

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Three Muslim films Pakistanis must watch

Pakistan might not have the best movie industry in the world but Muslim countries across the world have managed to spread some truly phenomenal messages and cultural insights through their films industries. The Iranian cinema’s popularity in European film festivals and their recent Oscar win, is but one example of Muslim cinema’s increasingly transforming and often very realistic nature. In light of that, here are three thought-provoking films from different Muslim film industries that are sure to leave you pondering upon the many facets of Islamic beliefs and Muslim cultures. They will also highlight the drastic parallelism between foreign Muslim societies and ...

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A mosque named after Mumtaz Qadri? Well done, Pakistan!

I was spending a lazy afternoon lounging in the Osama bin Laden library, bemoaning the dire lack of buildings honouring our local murderers, when my Smartphone informed me of this fascinating new development. I learned of a mosque being erected in Faizabad that is to be named after the man who killed the former governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. The very idea of a mosque, a sacred house of worship, being named after a man who attained his glory by murdering another man in cold blood, may reasonably offend certain people. Certain people like, say, Sherbano Taseer, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Mehreen Zahra, who expressed ...

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What did the US accomplish from the invasion of Afghanistan?

The year 2014 has marked the start of NATO’s withdrawal of its combat troops from Afghanistan, 12 years after the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban began, in the autumn of 2001. Many explanations were given as to why the invasion of Afghanistan was vital – from the necessity of finding and punishing the perpetrators of 9/11, to liberating Afghan women and eradicating the opium trade. Time and again, politicians and the media tried to legitimise the war in the eyes of the public. We were told in the weeks following 9/11 that the invasion was an act of self-defence, by former US president George W ...

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Is Imran Khan’s visit to the UK worthy of criticism?

I find it ridiculous that some media anchors and members of the civil society have the nerve to criticise Imran Khan’s visit to the UK, especially to the royal gathering hosted by Prince Charles.  It is believed that the scheduled ‘All Parties Conference’ (APC) has been postponed due to Khan’s absence. However, this is nothing but a baseless allegation. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had made it clear much before Khan’s departure, that Khan will be travelling to the UK for his medical treatment and to meet his children. Moreover, if an APC was to even be carried out while Khan was away, PTI had nominated ...

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Paragliding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: My first (frightful) flight

Paragliding is the simplest and purest form of aviation that fulfils the oldest dream of mankind that is ‘flying’. Hunting for some adventurous sports, we (a group of office colleagues) decided to go paragliding. As paragliding looks risky to first-timers, we thought it best not to take the risk without first contacting professionals who could train us first and then lead us. After much research, we ended up at The Ultimate Adventure Club (TUAC). The reason we chose TUAC is that it is one of the largest adventure clubs in Pakistan and has CE certified equipment. They have internationally trained instructors who guide ...

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CIA, polio drives and responsibility

In April 2011 I was made part of a World Health Organisation (WHO) team to monitor effectiveness of a community vaccination drive carried in different districts of Karachi. I spent the day with my team visiting a set of clusters in the Baldia Town area of the city. At the cost of sounding alarmist, I’d regard it as my firsthand experience of observing the enormity of community vaccination in Pakistan – it almost felt undoable. I was seeing the face of Karachi I had never seen before – rural, ethnic, rugged and a whole lot more like Afghanistan on CNN. We ...

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You say OBL, I say CIE

Bin Laden found hiding in Abbotabad! School ID card found hiding behind desk. Explosions heard at PNS Mehran! Explosions heard and felt in the Chemistry practical exam. Should the ISI chief resign? Nope, the History invigilator should. CIA conspiracy theories won’t bother us, but change that A grade to an E and the riot begins. That’s the way it works around here. You can and will forgive me for waking up suddenly on this side of June to find the world crashing down around my ears. That’s because while you were busy frantically watching the news (or ignoring it in a ...

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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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Abbottabad raid commission, and other wastes of time

While the country is going through one of the most turbulent times in its history, our politicians believe that this is the perfect time to play politics. This time, the politics is of commissions. The raid to kill Osama Bin Laden was embarrassing while totally against the sovereignty of this country. This is something many firmly believe. I am not saying whether it was wrong or right;  just that it made us look bad. Now, the smart thing to do would be to launch an investigation in to the incident, to understand what happened and how we ended up in this ...

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