Stories about parachinar

70 years of independence for Pakistan while FATA continues to be haunted by its colonial past

The government of Pakistan has finally decided to replace the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) with the Riwaj Act – a newly promulgated piece of legislation that will put an end to the century-old status quo in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). This is a very bold and highly commendable move by the government of Pakistan, which will surely go a long way in bringing FATA at par with the rest of the country. Before highlighting the significance of this landmark decision, which will hopefully introduce much-needed reforms in FATA, let me present a historical snapshot regarding FCR to offer a clearer picture of ...

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2017 proved that the ‘war’ on terror has been misdirected towards the wrong enemy all along

As we step over the threshold of one pandemonium of a year, it is evident that the global perspective is shifting, with many ‘rites of passage’ that were once the norm for transitioning from one year to the next with an outlook of optimism and hope, being replaced instead by realistic concerns over security and the need to secure borders.    Today, questions asked in hindsight and disconcerted glances exchanged in retrospect, all entail a fresh meaning. This is because as the year dissolves into its waning stretch, it is hard to ignore the events that made it, in many ...

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Be it Parachinar or Quetta, when blood starts flowing like rain water down our drains, it is time to reflect

He could smell burning flesh. He looked down in horror to see deep lacerations on his legs. Ears ringing, he struggled to get up. The piercing pain in his legs made him scream and he slipped back onto the pavement. There was chaos all around him. He looked around scouting for a familiar face but the air was thick with smoke. He tried shouting for help but nothing came out. He felt something cold trickling down his side. Surprised, he looked down at his abdomen. With the warm gushes of blood, there flowed a steady stream of green chutney, leaking from the ...

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O’ Parachinar, your loyalty is not enough for Pakistan

Addey, my grandmother, would reminisce about memories of her father with pride in her eyes and say, “I was a little girl of seven and the memory of him sitting in a room and sewing green coloured clothes and the flag of Pakistan with his own hands before the Partition is still afresh in my eyes. He used to write letters to Mohammad Ali Jinnah on behalf of the people of Parachinar to express his willingness to join Pakistan. He received directions by him in return for the Pakistan Movement in this tribal region. He travelled on horses along with other companions from Parachinar to Delhi to meet Jinnah ...

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Here’s Pakistan, raw and real, through the lens of a smartphone

Three months, Rs250,000, and a backpack, what does that get you? Memories for a lifetime. From Gwadar to Khunjerab Pass – I made it to over a hundred sites travelling solo, hitchhiking and using public transport. What started out as a desire to get away from the day-to-day ordinariness of life, turned into a journey encompassing cities, towns, plains, forests, deserts, mountains and beaches. I managed to explore all four provinces and territories, all the while meeting some of the most wonderful people from all walks of life. I was hosted by old friends in certain places and places where I had no ...

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#ShiaGenocide is a reality, not just a ‘fab’ Twitter trend

Another sectarian attack in Parachinar. The infamous hashtag Shia Genocide, however, only lasts momentarily on Twitter before being taken over by more worthy trends like #replaceMovieNameWithSharamnak. A thoughtless comment by a random person inspired this post. “Why isn’t it called #SunniGenocide when people die in Parachinar?” Firstly, let me explain that genocide isn’t claimed by the Shias because it’s the fab trend these days, just in case someone was confused between gadget hype and reality. Second, genocide isn’t an award or laureate we’d all like to place in a glass showcase. It is the epitome of inhumanity which rages on caused by the efficient inaction ...

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When the Presidential election is more important than the Parachinar blast

Pakistan is a rather strange place. If you are unable to fast because you are unwell, you can end up with a black eye and maybe a few broken ribs. This is courtesy of our informal, yet thorough and self proclaimed moral police marching down the streets 365 days of the year; they are the ‘righteous’. However, if you want to join in the Ramazan festivities beware that shopping for iftar in a local market or going to a mosque may become a gamble on life.  The twin blasts in Parachinar yesterday, left at least 50 dead and around a 122 severely injured. ...

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Man dead for falling in love: Parachinar is taking us back to the stone ages

A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post which delved into the rich prospects of the jirga system, its history and advantage to those who don’t have quick and easy access to the legal system in Pakistan. A couple of weeks ago, it made me ponder over my inflexibility towards accepting it as a system of justice – today I hold a strong stance against it. Having practiced in the courts of Pakistan, I understand first-hand the issues that the common man would face in his quest for legal justice; acute delays, unending legal costs and corruption within the ...

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Feeling regret in the markets of Parachinar

I cautiously embarked upon my journey through the tribal area in FATA, this was my first visit to the Kurram Agency. I stayed in Parachinar for six days, an area that had succumbed to sectarian violence, and was now trying to recuperate. Although the community has inflicted much of this violence upon itself, I was impressed by what they had learnt from their trials and how they were shaping their lives now. Having heard so much about the violence that prevailed in Parachinar, I assumed a guarded pose upon reaching the disputed area. To my surprise, the Kohat-Parachinar road, once ...

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Parachinar: Heaven turned to hell

On a beautiful overcast evening, while I was travelling from Islamabad to the historic city of Taxila I began to reminisce about my childhood in Parachinar in the 1990s – a place where fairies came down from heaven , a valley of tall, lush trees filled with sweet smelling flowers and delicious fruit. Children sang songs of liberty without knowing that this vale of roses would be stained with the blood of their neighbours and we would be receiving mutilated bodies of our beloveds.  Who knew that the ferocious Taliban would attack us from all sides just because we wouldn’t agree with ...

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