Stories about Peshawar

Education in Peshawar: Will free higher education for students with distinctions help?

Recently I read that the University of Peshawar will be offering free higher education to students who pass their bachelor’s degree with distinction; and this applies to not only Masters but a PhD students as well. As I scrolled down further, other news stories related to the topic materialised. One of them read “The University abolishes third division as a passing grade in order to improve the standard of education”. I was left wondering whether such a move will even be effective. Should we celebrate? Can raising educational standards be possible with as simple a step as this? It has become old ...

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Pakistan bleeds with Hazara blood, do you even care?

“My heart cries tears of blood for the Hazaras… #ShiaGenocide, when will we wake up?… What has Pakistan come to?! Oh God!!… This country does not deserve to be called “PAK-istan”…” These statements are clichés. They mean nothing. They have no purpose. They’re just uttered to make ourselves feel good about atrocities which we mostly can’t, and usually won’t do anything about. At least 46 people died yesterday. How many of us cared? 18 people died in Peshawar yesterday. How many of us bothered to find out three kids died in that attack? How many of us had the apathy to find out that the doctors ...

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Standing up against militants of K-P: How my father died for Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are in state of war. Everyone here, including the politicians, are bearing the brunt of state policies, in the makings of which they share no role. Amongst this lot of politicians was my father Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand shaheed. A member of the provincial assembly (MPA) from Shabqadar, Charsadda, he was well known to K-P and Fata. However, few in Pakistan know of his heroic story. Muhammad Ali Khan Mohmand became an MPA from Shabqadar in 2008 on a Pakistan People’s Party-Sherpao (now Qaumi Watan Party) ticket. The victory delighted all ...

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Paragliding in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: My first (frightful) flight

Paragliding is the simplest and purest form of aviation that fulfils the oldest dream of mankind that is ‘flying’. Hunting for some adventurous sports, we (a group of office colleagues) decided to go paragliding. As paragliding looks risky to first-timers, we thought it best not to take the risk without first contacting professionals who could train us first and then lead us. After much research, we ended up at The Ultimate Adventure Club (TUAC). The reason we chose TUAC is that it is one of the largest adventure clubs in Pakistan and has CE certified equipment. They have internationally trained instructors who guide ...

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Peshawar: Where donkeys are heroes

An ambulance, a rescue vehicle or any kind of a four wheeled automobile cannot enter the Aqa Hadi street of Peshawar, making it the most inaccessible area during an emergency. Aqa Hadi is a narrow, close ended and densely populated street in Peshawar. It consists of more than 80 houses of all shapes and sizes. Majority of the people living in this tapered street use cycles and motorbikes as a means of daily transportation, while a few own personal cars, which they have to park in different parking lots on link roads near the Dabgari Garden. Keeping the tradition alive, donkeys are used ...

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K-P elections 2013: A farrago of hope and fear

Pashtuns are generally the most democratic people in Pakistan. By looking at the history of elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), it is safe to say that they have voted for parties with leftist, rightist or liberal religious ideologies. Furthermore, it shows that unlike others provinces, K-P voted for all parties in the previous elections and yet no one brought tranquility and development to this region. 2013 is another election year in Pakistan and the country will brace itself to one of the most crucial elections since its birth. In K-P, every political party has an active presence and as elections draw near, political parties ...

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A day in the life of a family in Peshawar

In a dark corner somewhere in Peshawar, I sit in front of my laptop and check my mails.  My father busily searches for any news he can find on the’so called ‘issues’ seizing the country,  A renowned scholar, unusually popular in his late years, has started a “long march.” Stomping from Lahore all the way to the capital of Pakistan, he is able to leave the masses in awe and wonder. To me, it is just a regular day in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. I step outside, to purchase some fresh vegetables that my mother has asked for to cook the evening meal. Racing to the ...

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The girl in the shabby clothes

This time, it feels different. This time, the view has changed. Or maybe it’s not the view that has changed; it’s the person gazing upon it who has changed. This time, I have changed. Seven years ago when I was here, all I saw were the dirt strewn, littered streets. I saw girls getting married at a sadly young age; I saw how women were limited to indoor activities. I saw families with more children than they could afford to raise. Most troubling of all, I saw a severe lack of education. Words like ambition and individualism were foreign concepts ...

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Obama is not the only hypocrite

A few weeks ago, there was a great outrage when the killing of school children in the US state of Connecticut, USA was compared to the tragic deaths of children killed in drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. An article in the Guardian succinctly described the gloom felt all over Pakistan as children lose their lives as collateral damage. All criticism was regarded impassively by US diplomats who are rumoured to have ignored similar sentiments expressed by the NYU-Stanford report on drones. If our fury is directed towards the unfair attention and outrage felt for the loss of ...

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From BB to Bilour: Politics in the time of terrorism

“And one morning, all that was burning, One morning the bonfires leapt out of the earth, Devouring human beings, and from then on fire, Gunpowder from then on, and from then on blood.” Thus spoke Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, on the horrors and ghastliness of war. Gruesome images coming out of war stricken zones from all over the world evoke the same feeling of revulsion irrespective of colour and creed of the dead. Common people, who do not have anything to do with the supposedly bigger scheme of things, come under the axe and bear the brunt of war. A mother crying on ...

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