Stories about Peshawar

#PakVsIre or the #LahoreChurchBlast – which caught your attention?

One wonders if the National Action Plan (NAP) was actually implemented beyond the Punjab police’s wide arrests of clerics who tried using loudspeakers. After all, Maulana Abdul Aziz and his devotedly-radical wife Umm-e-Hassan still use a state-recognised mosque to propagate a narrative that insists the actions of groups like ISIS or the Afghan Taliban are all justified – commendable even. Add this to the fact that the most high-profile raid to happen in mainstream news recently was not a madrassah sending jihadists to Kashmir or a mosque being operated by the rabidly anti-Shia Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) (which still holds ...

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Pakistan, not a home for the children of war?

Having worked in newsrooms for nearly three years, I find it increasingly difficult to ignore a certain self-congratulatory attitude among Pakistani journalists. Every now and then, a chief justice takes notice of a rape story and our inboxes are flooded with emails of colleagues congratulating the hard working reporter who broke the story. Once, we even did a feature on how our story helped a rape victim get justice. It was so smug, it set off a round of emails critiquing such editorial decisions and such a feature thankfully never appeared again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s crucial that good journalism be recognised, for ...

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They came, they saw, they terrorised, and we are doing nothing about it

The screeches of the motorcycles were loud enough to announce their blustering arrival; the cadres jumped from their vehicles, blocked the PIDC Bridge and parked their wheelers in the middle of the road. The traffic was halted; bystanders ran away from the spot, local food vendors hurriedly shut their stalls. It was pretty much evident; a sudden panic had conquered the street, which just a minute ago was running normal. Irrespective of the diverse ethnicities present in the area, an unexplainable fear was shared by all. This took place on February 5th, 2015, in the metropolis of Karachi. Interestingly, the group which organised the rally was declared ...

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Gay man thrown off a building: ISIS and TTP, our Frankensteins

I must warn you – there is nothing new to read here. There is nothing here that spells ‘recipe for changing the world’. There are no prescriptions or solutions to the horrors we are witnessing today or have witnessed yesterday. From our birth to our death, we are in a constant struggle to defeat our own monsters and demons on a daily basis, with silent victories and failures in self-improvement, relationships with family and friends, spiritual and economic prosperity, and learning and taking care of health. The awareness of how well prepared we are in terms of dealing with the monsters ...

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Is #UreinGe the right way to pay tribute to the Peshawar attack?

Since the day it was rumoured that Ali Zafar was set out to pay a tribute to the Peshawar victims, there was a murmur on social networking sites on whether this tribute was needed. I saw people mixing religion into this discussion and saying that it isn’t the right way to express our condolences. For some time, I agreed with those comments, praying was after all the only way to help them. While I agree that saying a little prayer for the victims would have been good, the unity and enthusiasm that I witnessed online, a week before the launch of Ali’s song, Urein ...

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Pakistan cannot afford to kick its Afghan refugees out

Pakistan’s recent policy of repatriating illegal Afghan refugees from its soil, as a reaction to the Army Public School (APS) attack in Peshawar, is being appreciated in many circles around the country. Many believe that this step would lead to a decrease in the wave of militancy that is currently gripping Pakistan. These circles believe that Afghan refugees have injected the so-called “Kalashnikov culture” in Pakistani society; that they have introduced heroin and other drugs in Pakistan, which has destroyed millions of young lives. To these people, the root cause of every crime in Pakistan is these refugees. To them, ...

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The well-remembered Gandhi, but the oft-forgotten Bacha Khan

When we look back at our history, almost every country in the world has experienced some form of foreign occupation, colonisation, massive violence and bloodshed simply based on either regional, religious, ethnic, or racial conflict. And while most of the leaders, who’ve led such warfare and occupations, have been violent and tyrannical, there have also been a few, very few, leaders who have gone against the status quo, and only believed in and promoted non-violence. These exceptional leaders have hailed from all over the world, of which some prominent examples include Baha’u’llah from Persia, Martin Luther King Jr from America, the Dalai Lama from Tibet, Nelson Mandela from ...

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Maybe you can learn a lesson or two from the APS embarrassment, Imran Khan

You know you have done something very, very wrong when distraught, infuriated parents who have lost their children can still find the strength to tell you they don’t appreciate your show of solidarity. That was exactly the public embarrassment that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan had to face when he bothered to show up at the reopened Army Public School, Peshawar – the scene of a heinous attack that killed over 130 children and shocked the nation last month. I hope that Imran Sahib and the PTI leadership uses this as a wake-up call that they have kept this nation, their own voters, waiting for ...

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APS parents give Imran Khan a kick in the right direction

One must feel some level of joy when people finally start seeing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the hypocritical party it is, and start seeing Imran Khan as the megalomaniac he always was, but that feeling of joy soon evolves into disgust instantaneously after one is reminded of what happened outside the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar today. If you haven’t been following the news or your social media feeds, parents of the martyred APS students protested outside APS today, and delayed Imran’s arrival at the school. He was accompanied by his wife, Reham Khan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister, ...

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There is nothing wrong in wishing someone a Merry Christmas

Pakistan saw its darkest hour when innocent kids were brutally massacred in Peshawar by terrorists last week. As every single Pakistani was in mourning, the whole world beyond borders and beliefs stood by us. Thousands of miles away here in Canada, Peel District School Board lowered its flag to half-mast for a whole week. In India, every school observed two minutes silence and Twitter trended #IndiaWithPakistan. The Christian community in Karachi sang prayers for the children of Peshawar. I hear now that the Christian community in Pakistan has decided not to celebrate Christmas this year. When I heard about this, it took me down memory lane, ...

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