Stories about police

Stolen: A cop ‘car’naama

This year Iqbal Day fell on a Friday and the entire country had a day off, excluding the ever-privileged car thieves in Karachi. I went to offer Jumma prayers with my father in my old, beloved car. When I left the mosque feeling elated after the long, long prayers, little did I know what was in store for me. When I didn’t see the car where I had parked it, it occurred to me that something had probably gone very – very wrong. My car was gone! Could someone have stolen it? Who would steal a car as old as mine? Gosh! I hope ...

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I want to be part of the corruption brigade, don’t you?

As a Pakistani, I really want to be a part of the corruption brigade; after all, it is the biggest business in this country, right? Recurrent news about the level of corruption in Pakistan explains that in the past four years, people in power can easily pocket around Rs8.5 trillion!  This encourages me to focus on a single point agenda to pursue ─ how can I become corrupt? I guess majority of the Pakistani youth is also thinking along the same lines. Apparently, there is no need to think of another option because this one is the most convenient. Pursuing another career ...

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A girl and a boy out alone must mean trouble in Pakistan

Apparently the restrictions on what you can and cannot do in this country are becoming stricter and minds are gradually becoming narrower. I used to think that the ‘law’ of being caught with a member of the opposite sex had died with Ziaul Haq, and that people would gradually have become more open-minded about seeing two members of the different genders together without automatically assuming the worst. Unfortunately, I was to be proven wrong on both counts. There is a very famous poster that makes the rounds on social media. It says: “In the west, you can kiss in public, but not ...

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Blasphemy in Lahore: They vandalised my school

On October 31, a young girl Maryam, clad in a shalwar kameez and headscarf, looked down from the roof of her house located across the Farooqi Girls High School in Lahore, as protesters vandalised the school where she studied in grade three. “We won’t be going to school for sometime Ami says,” she said to me, as the mob set fire to the school, where just a day earlier she had attended classes. Located in a densely-populated area near Kareem Park, the school had been providing education to girls up to grade 10, with most of its former students now ...

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Sexually harassed in Pakistan, with or without a hijab

I have spent two years in Boston, a city that comes close to Karachi in terms of being, what is called, a metropolis. It may not be as large or chaotic as Karachi, but the comparison qualifies for the purpose of this piece. While in Boston, I often found myself walking home from college at ungodly hours because I had to put in a lot of time studying at the library. In the time I spent there, I received around six or seven emails from the Boston University Police reporting crimes at or near the campus, much of them involving ...

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The Baldia Town factory fire was not pre-meditated murder!

Is it a crime that someone in Pakistan generates Rs2 billion in annual revenues? If this said person pays taxes worth Rs20 million per year, why is he implicated under section 302, which is premeditated murder, if his factory faces an accident? Is it fair that a person providing direct employment to 1,200 workers, translating into 1,200 families, whose factory suffers from an unanticipated fire, is sent to jail along with his gatekeeper, accountant and senior staff? Who benefits from the fact that the owners are in jail today? And what happens to the 900 workers who are depending on finances from ...

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Police encounter and my brush with death

Recently something bad happened to me and this completely changed my views about preferring to live in Pakistan. I had first-hand experience on what it feels like to know that your name might soon be added to the list of “missing persons” and this confirmed just how insecure one’s life and future is living in this state. While driving to a friend’s place (I was all by myself; no driver or friend with me) a policeman astride a bike suddenly blocked my way, followed by another making a ‘forced’ entry into my car. I was ordered to pull over and ...

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Dear Mr Chief Justice, why are you allowing extrajudicial killings?

Dear Mr Chief Justice, The entire nation knows how you refused to bow down before a military dictator, and helped establish the rule of law in this country. We know how your courageous actions led to the revival of democracy in our country and the independence of the judiciary. Ever since your position was restored, you have taken suo-motu notice of many actions, and have done a commendable job at scrutinising the executive under the Supreme Court’s inherent powers of judicial review, such as the Balochistan law and order case. I thus take this opportunity, to bring to your notice, ...

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Blasphemy and minority plight: Pakistan is no different from Burma

As the rest of the country goes about its way, having just celebrated another joyous Eid, spare a thought for a little girl with special needs, languishing in a juvenile jail. She is probably all alone, and scared. With her condition, she very well might not even know the reason she is in there. But ask her neighbours, some who are frothing at the teeth to have a go at her, and they will tell you that she deserves to die. Rimsha Masih, an 11-year-old Pakistani girl of the Christian faith, who reportedly suffers from Down Syndrome, was arrested on allegations that she ...

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A week of ‘highs’, lows and highs for the cops

A mixed news week for the police ended on a relative high, which may seem unsurprising considering the week started with news that senior cops in the twin cities were making a few bucks on the side by getting citizens high. I refer of course to the news that a superintendent of the Islamabad police is believed to be supporting abootlegging operations run by the Maliks, a name familiar to any Islamabadis with an interest in famed Scottish, Russian, and Germanic products. While saddening, police connivance with bootleggers is a fact of life in every country in the world where ...

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