Stories about Pakistani government

Will the US government establish a power-sharing government with the Afghan Taliban?

On April 19, 2016, the Taliban carried out one of its most deadly attacks in Kabul, claiming the lives of 64 innocent people. The attack, an extension of the on-going intense battle in Kunduz, came a week after the Taliban announced its own Spring Offensive called Operation Omari or OpOmari in honour of the late Mullah Omar, calling mujahideens to take forward his vision. Considering the deteriorating situation at hand, one wonders if the peace process between Pakistan and Afghanistan has come to an end. Where is Afghanistan headed? Has Pakistan lost its influence over the Taliban? Regional dynamics This land-locked, mountainous battlefield has proven to be much more ...

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20 names of places that could break Pervez Rasheed’s wuzu

Perhaps in an earnest attempt to set the Guinness World Record for longest simultaneous face palm across a single country a few days ago, politician Pervez Rasheed attacked rival Imran Khan at a press conference by saying that he couldn’t name the locality where Khan’s boys studied, for it would break his wuzu (ablution). Continuing the silly line of attack, he added, “If he believes in wuzu.” It didn’t take long for the internet to tear Rasheed to shreds over his comment. The area he refused to mention, of course, was Middlesex. Later, he tried to save face by claiming he had ...

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Chotu, not so Chota anymore

I really like these Robin Hood types of stories, not that I agree with them or condone the modus operandi or anything. Just enjoy them. Something about taking from the filthy rich fills me with ecstasy, more or less, as it would any other poor man. Anyway, if people were wondering who Chotu is, please beware – he is not Robin Hood. Chotu is (now) a wanted dacoit, just put behind bars by the Pakistan Army. Since they are cleaning house after General Raheel Sharif’s stand on accountability, one might as well expect the army to get rid of former police ...

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He named her Angel

I named her Angel and she looked the part too. After four rowdy boys, my wife and I had prayed for a girl. I was blessed, fathering four sons or at least that is what everyone told me. However, the Easter of 2011 brought with it the true tidings of joy and blessings for me, when my Angel was born. I have recorded every moment, every toothless smile, every shaky step and all first mumbles from her beautiful mouth. I have watched her sleep, memorising the details of her innocent face and I have stayed up with my wife ...

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Dear Nergis, with love, from Pakistan

Dear Nergis Darling, We are very happy to know that you have become super famous and that you were born in Karachi. In order to create a ‘usable’ past, we somehow distinctly recall that while you were growing up in Karachi, we were certain that teaching you sciences, and physics in particular, along with the rigors of the scientific method which is what we do best in the schools of Pakistan, especially, girls’ schools. Therefore, we would like to take full credit for your achievements, especially those that have made you famous. The rest we neither know nor care about. We are ...

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Sanitary napkins are not luxury items… period

Is everyone ready? Okay… all together now… let’s say the following words: Period… Menstruation… Tampons… Sanitary napkins… Sanitary towels… Menstrual pad… Maxi pad… Whew. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Every month, before reaching a certain age, a woman ovulates for a span of a day or so. Following this time, an unfertilised egg is let go in a menstrual period that lasts up to a week or more of bleeding. It can be a very uncomfortable time for most, but is more severe for some; the pain certain women suffer is crippling. Yet across the world, especially in certain cultures, women are discouraged from discussing the affects and requirements of this basic ...

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Were Qingqis banned to placate the bus mafia in Karachi?

The three-wheeler rickshaw, more commonly known as a qingqi, with its economical fares and private space, shielded the common man from a solitary walk on the tattered roads that are heaving with garbage and flies, congested buses and high fares. Qingqi rickshaws were launched by Pervez Musharraf in 1998, as a replacement of cycle rickshaws. In Sindh alone, approximately 0.3 million qingqi rickshaws were operational, out of which 65,000 qingqi owners were from Karachi. However, now the source of their livelihood has been completely eliminated. In lieu of this recent happening, the common man is back to ground zero, back to the ...

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#ShameOnLums

Eight years ago, on a November afternoon, I stood with hundreds of students at LUMS protesting against a military dictator. The students held placards, shouting slogans, and we were effectively having a stand-off with the police. Riot police with heavy armour, shields and batons was employed by the government to silence our voices. The police had warrants to arrest several students, and professors, on phony charges of ‘wall-chalking’ and vandalism. The scene was set for a direct confrontation. The impasse was broken by the direct intervention of the then Vice-chancellor of LUMS, Dr Syed Zahoor Hassan. The police retreated from entering ...

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Pakistan’s moral catastrophe – Don’t execute Shafqat Hussain

Shafqat Hussain, the youngest of seven children, came to Karachi from Kashmir in search of work in 2003. Having struggled with a learning disability, Shafqat failed in school. He was 13 years old when he dropped out, barely able to read or write. He sought refuge in a metropolis that had no space to give and was quickly relegated to the city’s fringes. He never saw his parents again. When he was 14, still four years under Pakistan’s legal age of adulthood, Shafqat was detained illegally by the police and severely beaten. The boy was held in solitary confinement, his ...

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“No one in the Pakistani government is interested in change”

So, Chaudhary Mohammad Sarwar has finally resigned as the governor of Punjab. This has not been exactly unexpected. Rumours had been circulated for many months that he was deeply unhappy with those that surrounded him at the top of Pakistan’s political power structure. I can also explain just why he has become so disillusioned. My first experience in high-level policy making taught me an invaluable lesson about Pakistani politics. Many years ago, when I was but a wide-eyed PhD researcher starting my fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School, I managed to secure a private meeting with a Pakistan cabinet minister who ...

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