Stories about police

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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Blasphemy: Intolerance prevails from Russia to Pakistan

For the majority of us tolerance is not something we are born with. Intolerance, on the other hand, seems to come to us naturally, like aggression or desire, and manifests against that which is different or against our vested interests. To Pakistan, the story of intolerance is not new – we persecute any one whose beliefs are differentness from the mainstream ones. However, recently I stumbled upon a story from Russia, which reminded me starkly of my own country, Pakistan. Russia, hardly a bastion for modern western democracy, is currently facing its own challenges in dealing with intolerance in the shape of a ...

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A plea from a young doctor

Dear people, I do not receive any pay, perks or privileges for my job. I have to work 28 days a month with only two Sundays off. Every week, I have to perform emergency duties at least once for 12 continuous hours, apart from ward duties that extend up to 30 consecutive hours. Who am I? You guessed it – I am a young doctor working in a public sector hospital in Pakistan. This hospital is in Punjab and I’ve been working here for some time now. There are three main departments in any hospital namely the emergency department, the indoor department and the outdoor ...

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Kidnapping culture: They show no remorse

Just like all the other crimes, this one is a part and parcel of life in Karachi. Hearing about a case of abduction did not really give me goose bumps before. However, all this changed the day one of my own kin got kidnapped. Being a professor at a medical college, lecturer of another and a doctor,  Reza* possessed all the qualities of being the perfect ‘victim.’ He was kidnapped on the outskirts of Karachi, on his way to the university along with the driver of the university car. His family did not know for hours and only tried to contact ...

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Ugly realities: Protestors have no rights

Protests are a legitimate mode for citizens to convey their rightful demands to those sitting in the corridors of power. By using a combination of tact and skill the civil and police administrations can help avoid any embarrassment by discharging their basic duties. But time and again we hear of demonstrators facing mistreatment as the administration turns to brute force in quelling the protests. The other day, the Punjab civil secretariat observed an ugly episode when protesters of the Population Welfare Department entered the premises to protest. They misbehaved and as a result, official paraphernalia was damaged. Fortunately, Chief Secretary ...

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Hail Farkhand Iqbal, the King of Islamabad

Expect a court battle soon over whose daddy owns this city. Earlier this week, CDA chief Farkhand Iqbal’s son, no doubt proud of his dad’s great list of accomplishments including stealing and unsealing the Bhoja Air black box and making ludicrous comments about other agencies to deflect blame for his own failures, decided to establish his father’s stranglehold on the city for all to see. After a mother and son made the mistake of driving their car into the path of his daddy’s car on his daddy’s road near Kohsar Market, causing an accident that was in no way the younger ...

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Why I will never leave Pakistan

I have been robbed twice at gun point. On an almost daily basis I witness the gross negligence or ignorance towards the concept of civic sense. Traffic cops more often than not are more interested in lining up their pockets with ‘chai paisa’ (money for tea) rather than implementing the traffic laws and regulations. The festive season in this country sees a surge in prices rather than a celebration of the occasion. Our current government doesn’t carry the best of reputations and is widely thought of as corrupt. The remaining political options consist of an idealistic autocrat, a tried and tested party from ...

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Want rescue? Please hold indefinitely

I was standing in the kitchen with my mother when we heard a vehicle come to a screeching halt on the main road we live across. As I peered out of the window, I saw the red car slam into what looked like a pick-up truck. There was a loud bang and then both the vehicles turned upside down on impact. Immediately I grabbed the phone and dialled 15.  The recorded voice of a woman asked me to hold and I did. This went on for around five precious minutes before the operator picked up. “Hello Madam, Rescue 15.” “Hello. There has ...

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