Stories about Pakistanis

Was closing ‘Save the Children’ justified, Pakistan?

A news item published in the Express Tribune and other national dailies, dated June 11, 2015, read that Pakistan had stopped several international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) from working due to suspicious activities. This also included ‘Save the Children’, which claims to have provided employment to thousands of Pakistanis as well as relief to some hundred thousand children in one year alone but has also attracted wrong attention due to linkages with Dr Shakeel Afridi, the CIA ‘rat’ behind the raid on the Osama bin Laden compound at Abbotabad. This must have generated pressure on the government domestically and internationally that the very ...

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10 lessons Pakistan can learn from the 2015 Turkish General Elections

The 24th general elections of the Republic of Turkey were held on June 7, 2015, to elect 550 members of the Grand National Assembly. The election left many surprised as it resulted in the first hung parliament in Turkey since 1999. However, from a purely Pakistani perspective, there are many lessons to draw, some which have been mentioned here: 1) The ruling party should not be over-confident The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has governed Turkey since 2002 and won its fourth consecutive election this time. However, it lost its parliamentary majority as its total seats dropped from 311 to 258. Thus AKP, despite winning the elections failed miserably to meet President Tayyip Erdoğan’s ambitious target of getting 400 ...

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We need to stop exaggerating minority victimhood in India and Pakistan

I had written in an article on this very forum some time back that many Indians and Pakistanis validate their deep-rooted nationalist prejudices by exaggerating the problems of the religious minorities on the other side of the border. As an Indian, I have written articles informing my fellow countrymen that Pakistan has had a Christian Chief Justice, Justice Cornelius, and he remains one of their most respected judges till date, and the tiny Zoroastrian community in Pakistan, like its Indian counterpart, has produced many remarkable personalities, including prominent judges. These include Justice Dorab Patel, who has also served as chief justice, and Justice Rustam S Sidhwa who ...

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From Lahore to London – From Karachi to Kensington

London held a host of activities highlighting Pakistan and the cultural vibrancy it has to offer to the world. This weekend saw the launch of Suzali, a platform showcasing Pakistan’s most well-renowned designers which included Mehreen Noorani, Nida Azwer, Naureen Arbab, Lalarukh, Shirin Hassan, and Sarah Anees.  Although these designers are well-established in Pakistan and Dubai, they are not so accessible to Pakistanis living in London. Suzali aims to provide a bridge between renowned Pakistani designers and potential customers in England who have limited access to high-quality Pakistani clothes. Sana Habib, the brainchild of Suzali, was inspired to create the name using the ...

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Thank you Zimbabwe, your determination was truly heroic

It ended in a way that it should not have; with logistical problems and the unpredictable weather having the final say. But even during these anticlimactic moments, the impact of the series will not be forgotten anytime soon. After a dry spell of six years, international cricket had returned to the green land. Normally, a series between the ninth and 10th ranked sides in the world would not generate much interest amongst cricket lovers and fans, but this was no ordinary series. This series allowed our Pakistani players to play in their home ground and in front of their people, who were longing to see their heroes ...

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10 lessons Pakistan can learn from the UK general elections 2015

On May 7, 2015, the 56th general elections of the United Kingdom were held to elect 650 members to the House of Commons. Victory of ruling Conservative (Tory) Party, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, surprised many. However, from purely a Pakistani perspective, there are many lessons to draw. Ten of them are mentioned here: 1. As a party leader, if you lose, you resign This might sound alien to Pakistani ears, yet it is true. Unlike the land of the pure, ethics is a hall mark of British politics. For me, as a Pakistani, it was quite surprising that within hours of ...

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Why do I have to tell anyone if I am Shia or not?

The natural course of policies made in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always had a negative tilt towards the Shia Muslims of the world. Having the privilege of hosting Islam’s most sacred place of worship, they have monopolised the Islamic faith and exploited the concept of pilgrimage as much as possible. After years of exporting its ideology to Pakistan, and many other countries across the Middle-East, and creating fissures in society, the kingdom took it up an ante – since proxy wars may not always be feasible – they have created divisions even in the unifying act of ...

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Is the new cyber-crime bill akin to banning the internet in Pakistan?

Pakistan has had a long history of curbing internet freedom. Access to YouTube has been blocked since 2012, after violent protests broke out in the country in response to a video uploaded on the site which was deemed to be blasphemous. Despite widespread debate on the issue and fervent calls to restore access, the status quo remains firmly in place. It is also alleged that sophisticated software is used to spy on citizens, with newspapers reporting that surveillance program FinFisher has been acquired and used by someone in Pakistan since 2011. Now, a new debate is gathering steam on a set of laws, titled the “Prevention of ...

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Big congratulations to Pakistan’s bahu, Sania Mirza

Twelve years after winning the junior Wimbledon doubles title, Sania Mirza, 28, became the first Indian woman to be ranked world number one  in women’s doubles tennis. Mirza’s career highlights include one Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles title, 14 International Tennis Federation (ITF) singles titles, 26 WTA doubles titles, four ITF doubles titles and three mixed-doubles grand slams. Photo: AFP Recently, Mirza paired with Swiss legend Martina Hingis, and won the Family Circle Cup. But above all, the win marked the fulfilment of a childhood dream for Mirza. From a talented junior tennis player to the world’s top ranked doubles player, the journey has ...

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My experience as a blogger for The Express Tribune’s blogs page

Today is The Express Tribune’s five year anniversary and while it is a jubilant moment for the whole publication, it is one that is also tinged with reflection.  The publication started as the first Pakistani newspaper which, partnered with the International Herald Tribune initially and the International New York Times now, offered a mix of domestic and global news to the masses. It provided a different perspective by allowing blogs from ordinary individuals on its website, opening up a whole different field of “online” or “citizen” journalism. Additionally, Express Tribune has greatly utilised social media like Twitter and Facebook to spread the news and this ...

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