Stories about Pakistanis

When did Eidul Azha turn into a vicious spending competition?

Every year, Muslims all over the world observe the festival of Eidul Azha to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) submission to the will of Allah (swt). By obeying His order to sacrifice his only son, Hazrat Ismail (AS), he proved that he was a true servant of Allah, and it is this spirit of sacrifice that is to be observed by Muslims every year. Unfortunately, instead of realising that they have to be ready to sacrifice every precious possession in the way of Allah, Eidul Azha is now observed only as a ritual. And with the exception of a few, most Muslims do ...

Read Full Post

The untold story of what made ‘Among the Believers’ an Emmy-worthy documentary

In the summer of 2014, I was living in New York when I met Hemal Trivedi. She told me she was making a film about Pakistan and wanted me to join her and the other director, Mohammed Ali Naqvi, to help them craft the narrative authentically. I had seen dozens of films about Pakistan that were made by foreign filmmakers and honestly, most of them were horribly inaccurate. I felt it was a story worth telling which is why I decided to take the job. The first step of editing any documentary is to familiarise oneself with the raw footage by ...

Read Full Post

Dear Amir Khan, publicising your divorce on social media only shows your indecency

During my recent trip to Pakistan, I often found myself flicking through TV channels. Even though I am still uncertain about what exactly I was searching for, I do remember seeing a menagerie of prominent faces flash on the TV screen from time to time. Some celebrities like Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan and Shahid Afridi appeared regularly. This was wholly expected given that the scale of their stardom has transcended Pakistan’s borders. But I also recall seeing Amir Khan, a British-born boxer, with similar frequency. He was promoting an energy drink in a commercial that showed him running through the streets of Lahore while ...

Read Full Post

Brace your wallets, Ramazan is coming

I first heard the story many years ago, and every year I hear it at least once.  Most Pakistanis are probably familiar with it, but it bears repeating, for those who’ve never heard it. It goes like this: In the early years of Islam, a preacher from a town sent his assistant to tell the people of a distant village in the mountains about Ramazan. He told them how they would have to get up before daybreak, eat food and drink water, then go without water and food until sunset, beginning with the appearance of the new moon and ending with the appearance of the ...

Read Full Post

Why Mussarat Ahmad Zeb and Pakistanis still find it difficult to accept Malala Yousafzai

The attack on Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai was staged, read a tweet last week. This wasn’t a social media troll or veteran conspiracy theorist. This was a Member of the National Assembly (MNA), Mussarat Ahmad Zeb, who also hails from the royal family of Swat, the region where Malala was shot in the head by Taliban militants. Malala could never read or write the time she supposedly wrote Gul Makai story 4 #BBC 🤔 https://t.co/ykYeVYghUI — mussarat ahmadzeb (@MussartAhmadzeb) May 19, 2017 No forensic expert was in #Swat saw all drama https://t.co/W6He2gWTxM — mussarat ahmadzeb (@MussartAhmadzeb) May 19, 2017 Spilling the beans have had enough of ...

Read Full Post

If Jinnah never asked Ruttie to change her name to Maryam, why did you, Pakistan?

Those of us who were born before Partition know that Muhammad Ali Jinnah could not speak Urdu, except perhaps a few broken sentences. His speeches were always in English, sometimes with a translator to make the crowds understand what he was saying. But sometime in the 1980s, the government dubbed all his speeches in Urdu, apparently under pressure from those who thought a highly westernised Jinnah would make today’s youth doubt that he wanted an Islamic state. One result of this is that an entire generation of Pakistanis have grown up believing that Jinnah was fluent in Urdu, and always dressed ...

Read Full Post

We will spread the colours of Basant thousands of miles away from home

It may not be a national holiday in South Asia, but the advent of Basant (spring) is certainly celebrated there in all its yellow glory, whether it is in Pakistan, Bangladesh or India. The colour yellow can be associated with the blooming fields of mustard which paint the plains from Punjab all the way to Bengal. One of the many passions that this season excites is kite flying. Even if one cannot differentiate between a patang, guddi or tukkal (types of kites) kite, it is okay because Basant is all about enjoying yourself. It also passes any religious and ethnic lines in the region, making it the perfect blend of spirit and fun. ...

Read Full Post

Why Pakistanis are happier than Indians

The World Happiness Report, released by the United Nations on March 20, 2017 – to coincide with International Happiness day – has ranked India at the bottom of the pyramid, in terms of happiness of its citizens. India has been ranked 122 out of 145 countries, even below Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. These findings are based on evaluating the responses to a structured questionnaire sent to around 3,000 respondents who were asked to rate their happiness on a scale of zero to 10, where zero represents the worst possible life and 10 the best. The questionnaire covers six key variables like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), life ...

Read Full Post

Reflecting on Raza Rumi’s Identity, Faith, and Conflict

I arrived in the United States a few weeks ago and the first public event I attended was a bit too familiar. In 2013, I went to the launch of Raza Rumi’s book ‘Delhi by Heart’ at the Khayal Festival in Lahore. Four years later, I was in Queens Museum, New York where Rumi’s new book titled ‘Identity, Faith and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and beyond’ was released. The book is a collection of essays that Rumi has authored over the past few years. It was strange to see that the introduction described Rumi as an “international scholar in residence at Ithaca ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s Blind cricket team broke its own record and is on a roll!

The Pakistan Blind cricket team can hardly put the wrong foot forward in the on-going World Cup T20 in India as they stay well and truly on course to lift the elusive trophy in the backyard of their arch rivals. The openers dominated the West Indies bowlers right from the outset and set up a solid platform with an opening stand of 198 runs.Photo: Twitter. Pakistan’s flawless track of run form in the tournament has now seen them win eight matches in a row with the side moving from strength to strength with every passing match. In their latest outing, the men ...

Read Full Post