Stories about Pakistanis

Four reasons to watch the Pakistan-England Test series

Only halfway through the summer of 2016 and the average sports fan is already having the time of his life! Starting off with the much anticipated Euros, which the Portuguese won rather unconvincingly, to the green grass of Wimbledon where familiar faces triumphed again, both in the men’s and women’s category. Only if you thought this was too much to handle, wait till the Pakistanis step onto the Lord’s cricket ground after almost five long years. Yes, that’s right. In case you have forgotten, a lot of sports is still left and interestingly enough, it’s Pakistan who takes on a ...

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The Afghans are to Pakistan what the Muslims are to Trump

They have been wreaking havoc in our country since the early 80s. The spread of drugs and the Kalashnikov culture is blamed on these poor souls and rightly so. Their help in the conduct of terror plots throughout the country is widely known; the Army Public School (APS) attack in December 2014 is a case in point. With Zarb-e-Azb in its final stage, fighting internal and external threats in FATA and dealing with border skirmishes, it is safe to say Pakistan already has enough on its plate. Yet, it has been the only country gracious enough to grant three million Afghan refugees an unlimited stay. Rather than acknowledge the good will, ...

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Women, the stuff maulvi nightmares are made of

Pakistanis are extremely resourceful people. We work with what we get. When life gave us the proverbial lemons in the guise of terrorism and religious extremism, we rose to the occasion by coining the term ‘liberal extremists’ to protect our social fabric from the menace of tolerance, human rights, and other Jewish conspiracies. The ‘liberal extremist’ is the right-wing’s brilliant attempt at tapping into the powerful global constituency against violence and extremism in a post 9/11 world. Someone recently said that ‘when you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression’. In the case of Pakistan, when you have political ...

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Why are Pakistani authorities silent over Mullah Mansoor’s death?

The second amir of the Taliban, Mullah Mansoor, has been dispatched to the hereafter by a hellfire missile fired from a Reaper drone or so claim the Americans. Others can neither confirm nor deny. Our own government is going through the same old motions. Denial. Conveniently a passport has been found unscathed. It is amazing how sturdy and fantastically fire-proof the material Pakistani passports are made of. If nothing else, this shows true ingenuity. Our passport might be considered the second or third worst passport in the world, but at least it can survive a drone attack. Imagine the potential. ...

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As a citizen of Pakistan, I am to blame for the death of Khurram Zaki

I lost my friend on Saturday night. He was sipping tea at a Chaikhana (tea shop) with two colleagues when four men on bikes showed up and showered them with bullets. He received five bullets in his upper body and was shifted to a hospital in critical condition before he was finally moved to the Agha Khan hospital for treatment. Khurram Zaki – the activist, the blogger, the progressive ideologue, the wall of perseverance against the rising tide of sectarian violence, a devoted father and a good friend – was martyred before the clock struck 12 am. One never really ...

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What happens when you have no freedom of speech?

Censorship is nothing new. Journalists constantly face threats that come from many different sources – government, extremists and control of the media itself. Over the years, many have been hacked to death, brutally attacked and robbed of their right to free speech. Unfortunately, Pakistan is the 4th most dangerous country for journalists. Is this ranking fair though? For the longest time, Pakistanis have been clamouring for the abolition of their country’s biggest threats to free speech – the blasphemy law. This law has been misused on various occasions, starting from Aasia bibi to Shama and Shahzad, the Christian couple and Governor Salman ...

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Shami kebabs: Deeply satisfying and authentically Pakistani

We Pakistanis love various types of kebabs in our food; shami kebabs being one example. They are served with almost any main course on a Pakistani dinner table. Be it with daal chawal, with paratha and achaar, a shami kebab sandwich, with mattar (peas) or chicken pulao or even with our afternoon tea. In some way, directly or indirectly, shami kebabs have been an integral part of our favourite home-cooked meals. These kebabs used to be a part of the sandwich in my school lunchbox for the longest of time and were simply known as shami kebab sandwich. Now, even ...

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The long road home: A journey from Chitral to Islamabad

It’s a journey that gives perspective to your life. The endlessness of the Qaqlasht mountain meadows, the sky and the snow-capped peaks make you feel very small. The story of Qurban, an illiterate lady in the village of Booni – who runs three shops and supports the education of her nieces and nephews despite having been threatened by an acid attack, makes you realise how quotidian your own challenges are. And the cancellation of the flight to Islamabad with the prospect of being stranded in a dark, brown, tube-lit, hotel room in Chitral – beautiful though the town is ...

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To Sabeen with Love: A human platform for dreams and aspirations

In 2013, only a few people knew me other than my friends and family. Like almost every other young person, I wanted to do something for Pakistan but had no platform to do it from. So, without telling my parents, I submitted nomination papers to run for the 2013 general elections. When my parents did find out, they weren’t particularly happy or supportive. There were two reasons for this. First: I was risking a stable job at a top law firm. Also, given Karachi’s volatile and security environment in 2013, I was most likely risking my life as well. Second: Perhaps my ...

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A place to call home: An entrepreneur’s journey to bring community to Pakistan’s poor

When the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) first started to share the words of the Quran and spread Islam, he was forced to flee his home of Mecca due to persecution. He, along with the Emigrants who had left their homes behind for the sake of their faith, found refuge with the newly converted Muslims in Medinah. These Muslims — known as Ansar, or “The Helpers,” — embraced Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Emigrants as their own, providing them with food, shelter and security. It is this spirit of generosity and brotherhood that led Jawad Aslam to create Ansaar Management Company (AMC), an Acumen investee that provides affordable ...

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