Stories about Peshawar

To survive at NADRA you must (not) obey the law?

NICOP and Smart NICOP facilities were started by NADRA in an attempt to assist overseas Pakistanis who send a considerable amount of their income to Pakistan and invest in the country despite the deplorable situation here. Here is the sad story of my pursuit to get this card.  My first attempt:  On October 20, 2013, I made my first attempt to acquire the Nicop. For that, I went to the Nadra office at Deans Trade Centre in Peshawar. After having spent two hours waiting in the queue at the token counter, I was told by the officer that the Nadra Dean Centre office did not accommodate applications for the ...

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Shop smart, save money!

It’s time to get smart about austerity. You’ve seen the plunging rupee and headlining inflation figures on the news but more than that you will have felt the pressure on your pocket. Whether you’re a member of the Birkin brigade or a low-paid blue-collar worker, you will be aware that money simply doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. I recently came across my accounts diary from five years ago and the figures were startling. Actual prices may vary somewhat depending on where in the city you are (Defence will be significantly more expensive than Garden for example) but ...

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Why do we have ‘ladies parks’? Can’t trust ladies with men?

Going to work in the morning becomes interesting when you start to notice things that have changed over time in the typically conservative environment of Peshawar. One such change has been the increasing use of parks and roads in the residential areas of Peshawar, for fitness purposes. It is so encouraging to see the morning joggers and walkers including bearded men, veiled females and the youth. Out of these, the most promising sight is the increasing number of females that can be seen in the early hours of morning, wrapped in big chaddars or abayas, making an effort to ...

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I asked my Imam to condemn the Peshawar Church Blast, will you?

Like most people around me, I was shocked, disgusted and angry at the Peshawar Church Blast incident; a terrorist attack during Sunday Mass. The tragedy came at a time when people were reaching out to God, sharing  fears, worries, emotions and secrets. Just to imagine that one cannot even have this personal time with God Almighty anymore is disturbing.  The first thought that came to my mind was that a vigil should be held to pay respect to the departed. Hence I decided to initiate it. On Tuesday, a mere 40 people joined me outside the press club. We lit candles, ...

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Is it fair to blame Imran Khan for the Peshawar Church Blast?

The church blast in Peshawer took away more than 80 innocent lives. People had gone there to pray, not knowing their funeral prayers would follow soon. As always, the shock had subsided the day after the blast, but there was sadness – a constant dull ache that refused to recede. A recurring realisation existed that so many had lost their lives just because they prayed differently. Nothing seemed to help. Tweeting and facebooking allowed people to vent and rave temporarily, but frankly, social media acts as temporary anaesthesia. It numbs the pain for a bit, but the pain and anger ...

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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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They were just children. What did they do to deserve this?

The twin bombs that exploded on Sunday at All Saints Church, Peshawar, killed more than 90 people, injured nearly 150 others, and emotionally scarred thousands more. Investigations are under way while recovery and treatment has begun for the injured and their families. For some, healing will be swift while others may take small steps over months, maybe even years. Many more might never fully recover from this tragedy. The most heartbreaking of this and such tragedies is the number of young lives lost in these attacks. Since the blast took place on Sunday, the All Saints Church was packed to the ...

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Dear Imran Khan, where were you when my church was attacked?

Dear Khan Sahib, My name is Fouzia*. Other important facets of my identity are that I am a Christian school teacher, born in Peshawar and I incidentally happen to be a Pakistani. To a politician, the fact that I am Pakistani should be most the important, yet in a country ravaged by militancy, where religious extremists have usurped the limited secular space, my faith perhaps carries more weight and authenticity. After this brief introduction, Mr Imran Khan, I want to tell you my story, but I must warn you in the beginning that it is a tale of anguish and pain. ...

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A child’s broken dreams

A smile flickered on her lips as the fluttering butterfly evaded her for the umpteenth time and became a fugitive in the darkening skies. She cried out to her mother excitedly, “I nearly caught her!” To which her mother, Nargis, replied as always, “How many times have I told you not to tease such innocent souls, Ghulab Jahan? They will curse you and then you will never be able to become a doctor.” Ghulab Jahan, as pretty as her name implied, chuckled at the thought of a tongue-less creature complaining to God about her. Ghulab was an anachronism in many ways; she belonged neither to ...

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Your cowardice will not deter me, I am Christian and I am Pakistani

The night before It was a beautiful night. We had all gathered to celebrate my cousin’s birthday in Kohati. The party went on till late night and at around 12:30 am, on my way back home, I marvelled at how peaceful Kohati bazaar looked. The city was sleeping, the shutters were down and with minimum traffic on the roads, the walk back home seemed so lovely knowing that the core of Peshawar city was so beautifully serene. Not even in my wildest dreams had I anticipated that the very next morning would smell like the blood and tears of hundreds. The mass murder It was a fine ...

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