Stories about rishta

Sex rings, paedophilia, preying on white women – What is wrong with British-Pakistani men?

I am sick and tired of what the British Pakistani society has become – I really am. In recent news, it has been reported that the largest British gang of paedophiles, preying on young, vulnerable white girls, is of Pakistani descent. There is no need to sugar coat the fact that we clearly have an issue with women in our society. Telford, where this particular gang operated, was a town not too far from my own, in Ironbridge.  Telford was a sleepy town I happened to visit in 1999, as part of a school trip, of which I have many fond memories. Fast forward 20 ...

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Instead of trying to earn cheap gains, Careem should focus on what powered their core business – safety

There is no place in the world where women can feel as safe or have the same privileges as men. But it is especially hard in Pakistan where discrimination is an endemic, thanks to the entitled mind-set of the typical Pakistani male. Abuse ranges from violence to sexual harassment, or worse, and no classes, locations or environments are completely safe from this. Some time ago, after someone close to me faced repeated harassment at the workplace through texts and emails, which included hundreds of threats of sexual violence, I was inspired to write an article investigating how deep the problem is in Pakistani work culture. The results were shocking. You’d ...

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Are Pakistan’s “still unmarried” women the leftovers?

The best ones get taken first. The ones that are second choice get taken next. Those who are still not taken are considered ‘left overs’ – something must be lacking. No we are not talking about the kurtas on sale at a pret store, nor the shoes on the rack of an international shoe store. We are talking about women. Talented, smart, intelligent Pakistani women, each uniquely beautiful, irrespective of whether she is poised to be a home maker or a working woman. It is shameful that this is how society perceives them if they are still unmarried. Being engaged or ‘in a relationship’ ...

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The honeytrap and the (gullible) Indian Air Force

I recently heard about the honeytrap that was used to extract sensitive Intel from members of the Indian military. When I was finally able to stop laughing, I began to wonder why this hadn’t been bigger news on this side of the border because all Google searches on the subject result in Indian sources. Okay so today I learnt about the 'ISI honeytrap' Been laughing for 3 hours straight — HereBeDragons (@rageandpencils) January 6, 2016 ISI Used Fake Facebook ID To Honeytrap IAF Airman & Got Confidential Information yeh toh lol hogya…. — Junaid Shah (@junaidshah492) January 2, 2016 No guns, violence, and pigeons needed ;) #ProudPakistaniMoments #ISI https://t.co/LX5iKktDPh — ...

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9 effective packing tips for your summer vacation

Summer is just round the corner, which means almost every one of us is in their ‘vacation-planning’ mode. Summers are usually the most convenient time for people, especially families, to take a vacation – mainly because of their children’s long summer break. Whenever I plan a trip, I try to make sure I do as much sightseeing as possible during the limited time that I have. And one of the ways to do so is by travelling light – a challenge that most of fail to accomplish. Being desis, I think it adds on to the struggles of travelling light, as we have a tendency ...

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The rishta ordeal: “Quick, name all of the different kinds of pulao that exist today.”

When he first sauntered into the room, his family in tow, I was spellbound. He had these beautiful eyes, the colour of milk chocolate, and a smile that could illuminate an entire block. He had just the right height, and by the way he acknowledged my mother, I could tell that he was quite a gentleman. Instantly, I was certain that this was it, that after many exasperating months of encountering families and their obnoxious sons, I had finally met “the one”. And then he went and ruined it: He opened his mouth. He could have said anything, really. He could have said that my ...

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Feminism will never work in Pakistan

Rebecca West, a famous author, once said, “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” These are powerful words, indeed. Everyone has a different perception of what feminism entails but, universally, it espouses equality and freedom from discrimination, degradation and sexual violence. However, feminism is a concept that sits at odds with a fiercely patriarchal, deeply religious and culture-obsessed society like Pakistan. This is not to say that feminism doesn’t exist in Pakistan; it’s just not given much emphasis or is ...

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7 simple rules (or not) to impress ‘rishta aunties’

We all know for a fact that middle-aged aunties are on the lookout for prospective wives for their sons and nephews, during the wedding season. What is surprising though is that young ladies love being the centre of attention and enjoy all the looks of admiration showered on them. And let’s be honest, what better place is there to plan the conception of your own wedding than the venue of someone else’s wedding? However, there are rules that need to be taken into consideration if you wish to actively participate in the South-Asian game of ‘match-making’. Even if you intend to avoid the game ...

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Pakistan must learn from India: Dark skin doesn’t make you ugly

I recently came across an online movement called ‘Dark is Beautiful‘, a campaign that has drawn attention towards the unjust effects of skin colour discrimination in India. The campaign features famous Indian actress Nandita Das who has urged women to throw out their fairness creams and abandon the belief that dark skin is ugly.  I was quite surprised to find that Nandita is perhaps the only actress to have resolutely decided to keep her dusky skin tone, despite the demands of the ruthless entertainment industry where there is an explicit preference for light skinned actors. The same stands true about Pakistani society ...

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The rishta brigade

The show started around 10am. The room wore a very neat look with the curtains being freshly washed and couches from the adjacent room placed next to the sofas. The arrivals comprised an elderly woman and two young girls, welcomed very warmly by Ashraf and his wife, Atifa. There was a clear demarcation of positions on the either side of the table — to its left were seated the guests, and to its right, the hosts. The latter wore forced smiles which did little to hide the tense anticipation gnawing at their faces and sunk into the worn-out seats like pleading, grateful ...

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