Stories about punjab

The smog is here to stay and there’s nothing you are doing about it, Punjab

We have a fairytale relationship with development, mainly because it includes building wide boulevards and skyscrapers in cities as a sign of prosperity. While in reality, it is a slow process which should include both urban and rural populations. As Kamil Khan Mumtaz said during a recent conversation, “You develop something or you develop into something and we have not defined this ‘something’!” This lack of definition has resulted in a development rat race that has now started to frequently slam us in the wall of environmental issues. The recent haze that has engulfed upper and central Punjab is a case in point. ...

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Punjabi is a regional language not a form of hate speech, Beaconhouse

I studied at the Beaconhouse School system for 13 years, but I have never felt this ashamed to call myself a Beaconhouse Alumni. A few days ago, your branch in Sahiwal issued a circular banning the use of foul language in school and classifying foul language as hate speech, abuses, taunts, and Punjabi. Letter from beaconhouse. Photo: Mangobaaz The central issue is not the ignorant and outright discriminatory letter issued by your administration. It is not an isolated event or just a grammar mistake made by your branch. It goes far beyond that. The issue is that ...

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A historical walk through the forgotten Sheranwala Bagh in Gujranwala

Gujranwala is one of the cities of Punjab that have contributed to its history, especially during Ranjit Singh’s rise to power and the establishment of the Sikh empire. This is where Ranjit Singh was born to Sardar Maha Singh, who belonged to Sukerchakia misl in 1780. Sheranwala Bagh is home to the monuments of the Sikh rule in Gujranwala. I had been hearing about the charm of Sheranwala Bagh for a long time, and every time I went to visit my maternal family, I’d dream about the bagh. It wasn’t until this year that the dream finally came true. [caption id="" ...

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India: The surgical strike has damaged us more than you, Pakistan

We don’t know the truth behind the surgical operation. Pakistan denies any kind of extraordinary military intervention in its territory. On the other hand, India says it conducted an operation beyond the Line of Control (LoC). International media, however, takes a nuanced view of the whole affair, distancing itself from the passion that grips domestic media in India and Pakistan. Not long ago, in June 2015, India claimed to have conducted a surgical operation in Myanmar against the insurgent groups that allegedly killed 18 Indians soldiers in the North Eastern state of Manipur. Myanmar denied any such military strike inside ...

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Will rebranding Christians make their lives any easier in Pakistan?

“Pakistan’s Christians will now be respectably called ‘Masihi.’ National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has issued orders regarding use of Masihi for Christians instead of Esaayi, in the column for Religion.” Pakistani Christians had been seeking rebranding for quite some time. “The Urdu ‘Isai’ (derived from ‘Esa’, the Arabic word for ‘Jesus’ used in the Qur’an) now carries strong overtones (of) ‘unclean’ demeaning occupations. This use of language feeds the narrative which makes Christians feel like second-class citizens in today’s society.  On October 8, 2015 in Lahore, more than 500 Muslim students took an oath that they would not call Christians ‘Esaayi,’ but would ...

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Kinnaird College: This moment of freedom is all these girls will ever have

My first and most recent memories of Kinnaird College for women involve torrential downpours; the first week of my first semester as a freshman in the Honour’s program and then this week as I visited the college to collect my degree. This was my last piece of official business with my alma mater as a student, I took the time to tread over all my old haunts, and imprint images of the soaking grounds firmly in my mind. As its horticulture society never tires of reminding the students, Kinnaird boasts one of the most beautiful (award-winning) campuses in the country and a visit ...

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Push-ups and swag won’t impress us Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Mahar

After sitting on the throne for more than eight years as the Chief Minister of Sindh, Mr Qaim Ali Shah was finally dethroned and is now replaced by Murad Ali Shah. The new chief minister tried to inject some urgency in the Sindh government with his actions. In my view, Mr Shah has taken a step in the right direction – more than half of the current government’s term has already gone by, and Sindh has only witnessed a further deterioration in various fields such as health, sports, education and waste disposal. The newly inducted chief minister also expanded his ...

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Child abduction: In numbers

Child abduction is defined as the forceful separation of a child from his or her parents. The reasons behind this are as follows; using children in begging rackets, sexual exploitation, forced slavery, human trafficking or organ thefts. This phenomenon has become the centre point of print, electronic, and social media in the most populous province of Pakistan: Punjab, and especially within its provincial capital, Lahore. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken suo moto notice for these abductions and the Punjab government has also acknowledged the problem and are now running preventative campaigns. However, the fear is still prevalent in the once calm and peaceful ...

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My top ten memories of Pakistan

Three years is not much time in which to learn about a society as diverse, complex, and fascinating as Pakistan. However, for foreign diplomats, it is a fairly long tour. As I leave, I wanted to share with the Express Tribune readers what I hope will be an interesting and unique perspective on this great country; on some of the things that we, in the American government, have done with our Pakistani partners; and, of some of the things I have most appreciated during my time here. 1. Viewing Mughal Architecture I have lived in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan off and on ...

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Why is FATA still administered by a typical British Raj law?

After the British took over Punjab from the Sikhs, they inherited what they called the frontier problem. The Pakhtun tribes on the periphery of Punjab had a long history of resisting authority emanating elsewhere dating back to the days of Akbar the Great. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had successfully driven back the Pakhtun tribes, but even that hard fought peace was tenuous at best, exacerbated by the fact that Ranjit Singh was a non-Muslim sovereign and the tribes were entirely Muslim.  As the power in Punjab changed hands from Sikhs to the British, the tribes once again rose in open revolt. ...

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