Stories about Peshawar

My patient refuses to undergo treatment for cancer

Patient’s Name: Pakistan Chief Complaint: Pains, high fevers, insecurity, depression and weight loss. History:  Pakistan is a 68-year-old patient, well known to our oncology service, here to see me in clinic again for an acute flare of the above-mentioned symptoms. Briefly, the patient has been plagued with cancer for the last many years. It has lost over 50,000 of its cells to tumour growths all over its outside body, mostly concentrated in the head and neck area. Over a year ago, the patient visited one of my colleagues with a huge tumour that had revealed itself in its Peshawar territory. The tumour engulfed 144 healthy, vibrant cells. And now, the ...

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Why did the doctors of Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital refuse to treat a transgender patient?

Recently, in Peshawar’s Lady Reading Hospital, a victim of a gunshot wound was left unattended for three hours. The patient was critically injured and the doctors refused to administer treatment. Moreover, the hospital staff was callous and impertinent. The victim’s name was Adnan. The whole incident sounds unreasonable, doesn’t it? Why would the doctors refuse to touch a patient? Why would the hospital staff point and laugh at a dying person? Well, Adnan is a transgender person. The entire transgender community in Pakistan has had to endure repeated verbal, physical and sexual abuse. I felt particularly sorry when I learned my medical peers were involved in an act ...

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When the media gets off the wrong side of the bed

The media takes a lot of flak across the world when it gets something wrong. In the fast paced world, with the events and happenings toppling over each other due to speed, mistakes do happen. These mistakes sometimes evoke guffaws and get stacked into the category of bloopers, but at other times, they evoke horror and outrage that is difficult to live down. When the media was restricted to print, it was easy to cover tracks by printing a corrigendum. Sometimes it was self-generated, at others due to protests lodged by the offended party or the mistake being pointed out ...

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Pakistan’s soldiers, Pakistan’s army fathers, you carry my name

The delicious bread – Peshawari naan – was longer than I was tall. Seven-years-old, in a sundress and an oversized sunhat, I was a very British child in Peshawar. Hairpin roads, every pothole palpable in our Ford Transit, we lurched into 1975 Pakistan through the Khyber Pass. Descending the Hindu Kush, we finally entered the dusty, garrison town. At the end of the 7,000 miles drive from England, my Pakistani parents, younger then than I am as I write this now, navigated toward our final destination. From my window, I struggled to pronounce the English signposts – for a long time “Pesh-ware” was ...

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I still wonder what my brother Shayan last prayed for on the day of the APS attack

Shahab, my sister, tells me that I look like him. Whenever our father sees my face, he sees Shayan. I avoid him a little at home, because I know how much it pains him to see Shayan’s smile on my face, his gait in my walk and his sparkle in my eyes. On December 16, 2014, the lives of my family members changed forever. We were a happy family of four brothers and two sisters. And now, we are a family with an empty chair at the dining table, an empty bed with an extra pillow and a dry toothbrush that ...

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She stopped the Taliban from shutting down her school by offering them tea

Suppose the Taliban barge into your house or place of work, and threaten you. You would be acutely aware of the fact that your life is in danger. They could put a bullet in you before you would be able to scream. You would know what the odds of your survival are, and you’d be completely cognisant of the fact that there is no way to escape the situation. You would be tempted to do one of two things: 1. Cower under the table or lock yourself in the bathroom and pray to God you don’t die today. 2. Or, stand your ...

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Is your bakra a terrorist?

A week ago or so you were perhaps meandering in the bakra mandi; looking for the perfect specimen to take home. You inspected 20 plus bakras, clutched each animal’s jaw to find out if your bakra-to-be has two or four teeth and sturdy horns – sharp enough to butcher other bakras in the mandi. You inquired about the weight of half a dozen cows, and went to check out that one camel in the neighbourhood also. After loitering around, you finally got down to business, put on your crafty airs and negotiated a deal. You walked out of the mandi with a strong looking, cinnamon dusted bakra. As you ...

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Pakistan Super League: The right people for the right job at the right time

By now everyone knows that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning on conducting its first ever international tournament in UAE, the T20 Pakistan Super League (PSL), which will be played from February 4 to 24,  2016. The logo launching ceremony was held on September 20, 2015 and a star studded dinner announcing the commencement of PSL was held in Lahore last week, suggesting that PSL activities are in full swing already. Plenty of renowned international stars have signed up for the tournament, including the hard-hitting batsman and ‘Man of the Series’ of World T20 2010, Kevin Pietersen, who announced his arrival through a video message on social ...

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Lifting the veil on the TTP in light of Badaber

Where the attack at Badaber Air Force base in Peshawar and the loss of lives is a national tragedy, it is also a forceful message to those out to undermine the strength of Pakistan to back off. Although the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack, it is imperative to analyse the incident in a much wider context. Just as our friends in India promptly hold Pakistan responsible for every little brawl or bang that occurs in their country, our public/media too should move to the forefront in assuming that these same ‘friends’ could very well have been party in some capacity ...

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Women’s Excellence Month: The shushing and shaming ends now

No matter how much the world wants to, it cannot sweep women under the carpet, dust off its hands and pretend it never happened. Gender equality is still an issue. But the misogynists would have you believe otherwise. Even though the world has advanced in various fields, human rights seem to be the point where evolution screeches to a halt. I have had my fair share of confrontations with patriarchy. There were times when my strength surprised me. And there were times when I hung my head in resignation. Every woman knows that when she stands in a ring against ...

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