Stories about peace

Malala Yousafzai is not a normal teenager, why expect her to be?

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” These were the poignant words spoken with such simplicity by Malala Yousufzai at the special Youth Assembly held by the United Nations on July 12, 2013 – Malala’s 16th birthday – to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the young Pakistani girl. Malala, as we all know, is that special Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Swat, Pakistan last year on October 9, 2012. Already the world is enthusiastic to celebrate the anniversary of the fight that ...

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Indian elections: Give peace a chance, don’t vote for Modi

“Mr Prime Minister, the country wants to know – what is your priority? Is it national pride and respecting the blood of martyrs or is it to show eagerness to talk to Pakistan under pressure from other countries?”  This is how Narendra Modi addressed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a rather patriotic (or jingoistic) bid demanding to know his priorities. With such pressure from the opposition, Manmohan Singh has quite clearly shown reservations in resuming talks with Pakistan. Modi went on to state, “I want to ask you one question, when our soldiers and innocent citizens are being killed day and ...

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Imran Khan, if this is not our war, then why are our people dying?

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” – Jinnah In the current scenario, the following seems more apt, “You must be fearful. You must fear to go to your temples. You must fear to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You must belong to the religion, caste or creed ...

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The war within and the war outside

It is early morning, The sky is still dark outside, The house is silent. I take my cup of tea And turn on the computer, Scanning different news sites, From around the world. My eyes run over the headlines, In that hope of finding, Some evidence of humanity, Somewhere.   But there is none.   The advanced technology, That brings the world to my fingertips, By encasing it on the keyboard, Has yet to find solutions, Or resolutions, For the dreary, never-ending disputes, Between nations and its people.   The weary world continues to be at war.   I turn off the computer, And walk to the television, Hope a little sparked, That it might bring me, Better news, From some corner of the world. A sliver, a hint of harmony, amity, ...

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Kenya mall attack, and how our leaders let us down in Peshawar

A mother and her two children lay hidden under the cold meat counter of the supermarket, terrified of being discovered by the militants that had just taken over the premises. The mother had been shot in the leg and needed medical attention immediately, but her first priority was ensuring the safety of the children. So when the terrorists made an announcement that if there any children alive in the supermarket, they would be allowed to leave, she made the decision to stand up and announce their presence, even though it could mean certain death for her. Her four-year-old son Eliot’s protective instincts ...

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Pakistani blood is cheap, but negotiations with the Taliban is an outrageous idea

A dead major general is nothing to be ashamed of. There are countries in our neighbourhood who have lost their presidents and prime ministers to the violence of dissenters. We ourselves lost a former prime minister and popular leader to bullets. For a country that gave away 50,000 lives, a dead major general and a dead ex-premier are nothing less than souvenirs. Their blood is the symbol of the country’s determination and steadfastness towards the right cause. This is the sad stance that most of us have taken so far. However, now, with attempts to reach a settlement with the Taliban, it can rightfully be ...

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Is there a solution to the Kashmir dispute?

The news from the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir is not good. Five Indian soldiers have reportedly been kidnapped and murdered by terrorists wearing Pakistan Army uniforms. However, the Pakistan Army denies any part in this. I believe that this action, like similar actions in the past, has most likely been carried out by the Jihadi groups who like to derail any process of rapprochement between India and Pakistan. Nevertheless, this has caused tempers to flare across the border and the Indian establishment has sounded off against Pakistan and its support for terrorists. On the Pakistan side, the reaction has ...

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This Independence Day I long for peace with India

“Panchee, nadiya, pawan kay jhokay, Koi sarhad na inhay rokay, Sarhad insaanon kay liye hai, Socho tum nay aur mainay kya paya insan hokay ” – Javed Akhtar (Birds, streams, the flowing breeze No border can stop them Borders were made for mankind Just think,  what did you and I get for being human?) Monday, 5:45am, December 7, 2012: I am at the India-Pakistan bus terminal in Lahore. It’s bitterly cold and yet the throng of well-wishers outside the gate is ever growing. Some are waving goodbye to their relatives about to embark on the bus for Delhi. Others are crying into their shawls or trying to put on a stoic face ...

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Ramazan diaries – From Makkah and Medinah

Sitting in a lounge for the privileged, waiting to board a flight to Dubai and then another from there to Jeddah, I find myself texting away. I have a million things on my mind. I have a life. Four hours later… I’m at the Dubai airport, about to board a flight to Jeddah; the only words on my lips are: Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik (I am here, my Allah (SWT). I am present.) Prior to my flight, concerned friends had been warning me about a viral infection that is widespread in Makkah, and the unbelievable rush in Ramazan especially due to the underway expansion of the Masjid-ul-Haram. “You should not ...

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White: celebrating unity and more

Dull, meaningless and unnecessary is how the colour white is generally described. Some even go as far as to negate its status as a colour. Opinions about the colour are each individual’s personal choice, but the importance of white is so immense that it can hardly be dismissed as a waste of space. Contrary to popular belief, white is not the absence of colour; rather it is the amalgamation of all the colours and theirs hues that we come across in a lifetime. Perhaps, it is the result of rote learning prevalent in our system of education, but we seem to ...

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