Stories about Peshawar

My heart bleeds for thee, little cherubs of Peshawar

O little cherubs of Peshawar, I am sorry for thee: thou departed from this world too soon, To thy heavenly abode. But I am content, for thou shalt at least be safe in heaven, That is bereft of earthly demons.   I am sorry for thee, thou must have gone through immense pain, And suffering at the hands of mindless beasts, Who came to thy school on a bloody feast, Inflicting gaping wounds on thy little, fragile bodies.   What was thy fault, thou must have wondered? Thou were good at studies; thou wouldst do homework on time, Thou were disciplined and punctual too, Besides being messengers of peace.   Thou were no children of a lesser ...

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Peshawar School for Peace: Making the peacemakers of tomorrow

The barbaric attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar, where innocent souls became victims to mindless horror, still resonated in my head like as if it happened yesterday. The incident left me hopeless, broken and bordering on cynicism. However, recently, that hope was rekindled. In the backdrop of security crises and bloodshed, I came across a project in this beautiful city that made me a believer again. I have been to Peshawar as a kid but as I don’t have any memory of it, I would say that this was my first trip to Peshawar. Like any other person visiting ...

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Digital Youth Summit 2015: Helping Peshawar become more tech-savvy

Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), is gearing up to host the region’s largest gathering of techies, entrepreneurs and designers – the Digital Youth Summit 2015 (DYS). First organised in 2014, it is a joint venture of Peshawar 2.0, World Bank and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board. Popularly known for its hospitality, Peshawar is one of the oldest existing cities in Asia. This tells the story of its resilience, and its ability to survive and stand tall even in the most testing of times. However, this is an age where the most likely cities to survive and remain on the global map would ...

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Zimbabwe’s visit to Pakistan: Dawn of a new era?

“Daarhion ne phir marwa diya hai” (The beards [bearded men] have gotten us into trouble again) These were the first words I heard on a dreary school morning as news of the attackon the touring Sri Lankan team made the headlines. A desolate shroud enveloped Zinda Dilan-e-Lahore as news broke that the bus carrying the touring Sri Lankan cricket team was fired at by a coterie of Kalashnikov toting ‘na maloom afraad’ in broad daylight. The nearby elite would hear of such incidents up in the agencies next to the Afghan border and seldom, the Taliban types would make it as far as Peshawar, but a gun massacre somewhere as central ...

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#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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