Stories about security

PSL Final: What was more important, the game or where it is held?

When Najam Sethi initially announced the Pakistan Cricket Board’s intentions to host the final of the second Pakistan Super League (PSL), it received critical acclaim. Everybody, fans and the administration, realised the need to eventually bring the league back home, but nothing has ever come easily to Pakistan and, similarly, the idea, though appealing seems difficult to execute. Many things have changed since the intentions were first disclosed including an alarming shift in Pakistan’s security situation resulting from series of unpleasant acts of terrorism. Most recently, it was confirmed that the final would still be held in Lahore, with or without foreign players. ...

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Pakistan’s inhumanity is robbing our children of their innocence

The other day, my son wrote a story about a king and a prisoner who wanted to kill the king. The prisoner made an extraordinary gun and wanted to shoot the king to avenge his imprisonment. After two attempts the captive was successful in murdering the king. When my son finished reading his story out to me, I was literally in a state of panic. I asked him to stop writing stories that mention guns or killings and warned him against sharing them at school. He innocently informed me that he had already shown it to his teacher and that she ...

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My niece is the apple of my eye, but I fear for her

I was reading the paper while having toasted bread with a cup of coffee, and my eyes fell upon a story that sent shivers down my spine – two brothers had raped a 14-year-old girl. I placed the cup back on the table since my hands were trembling and all of a sudden, I was a broken little girl again. I was transported back into the past, the same past that had affected not only my childhood, but my soul – a past where I was loved and was the apple of someone’s eye. But sometimes, love isn’t enough because I still remember. ...

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My journey as a Pakistani-Hindu

When I went to the United States for a semester abroad, I was frequently asked a rather bothersome question, “How are you treated, being a minority in your country?” My answer has always been very simply, I am treated just like anyone else; one of their own. But if one were to believe the media, then we are victims of discrimination, brutal killings and part of the largest migration in human history. For the last four years, I have been living with a Muslim family as a paying guest and I have never felt discriminated on the basis of my religion, or any other basis for that matter, ...

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We have not forgotten APS and we will not forget Badaber

The mosque in Badaber was the first mosque I ever prayed at. Eighteen years ago. It is now covered in blood. My father, Air Marshal Riazuddin Shaikh, was Air Commodore at the time. We lived in Badaber for a year and a half. That was when I decided that I wanted to be a pilot. An Air Force fighter pilot, like my father. But it wasn’t very long ago before I realised that I was just not cut from the same cloth these remarkable men and women are made of. Badaber, since the time I have known, has been a ...

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Why just stop at teachers and students? We all need guns

I am sick of dominating women. Nobody ever talks about the real victims of patriarchy and misogyny – the men. Men have set such an impossible standard of chauvinism that it is impossible to match up. There is so much pressure on men to force women to do things just so that they stay socially relevant. Think back to school, how many times did you laugh at a poor kid being bullied only because you did not want to be the one being laughed at? All men in the world are that kid! I see movies like Revolver Rani, and all I ...

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The death penalty is justified today

Two recent terrorist attacks have proven to be a watershed in our history.  First, the unfortunate siege at the Karachi airport which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and thereby, creating a proverbial consensus among many Pakistanis in support of a military operation. Since then, there have been debates on what a successful military operation entails. The commentators have regularly suggested that a military solution must accompany certain policy changes such as terminating the distinction between good Taliban and bad Taliban, reversal in our Afghan policy and developing a counter-terrorism strategy.  However, it failed to mark any seismic shift in our policies. The second is Tuesday’s massacre ...

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Pakistan’s fear of a local security check-post

Last month, Sajid, an engineering student from the University of Engineering and Technology, was shot in the head by a Frontier Constabulary (FC) constable. Different sources obviously claim different versions of the story. The security officials, however, have stated that Sajid refused to stop at the security check post after being flagged down repeatedly. The real story will only be revealed when an impartial investigation into the incident is conducted. Putting the validity of the versions aside, what concerns me today is the important ‘issue’, a daily ritual might I add, of passing through security check posts in the country. ...

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Bringing FATA into the mainstream

The much talked about and supported military operation, Zarb-e-Azb, has been initiated in North Waziristan with the objective of clearing the region from local and foreign Taliban sanctuaries. The military strategy has already displaced thousands from the war-torn region at a time when the internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected from previous conflicts and disasters haven’t returned to their homes yet. Up to 30,000 soldiers are involved in the current operation, while more than 800,000 people have fled the area over security and an uncertain future. The operation was launched after the failed attempt at peace talks and demands from the ...

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Eidul Fitr: It’s not ‘Choti’ Eid at all!

I wonder why it’s called Choti Eid. It’s so much cooler than Bari Eid, or any other festival for that matter. Writers’ folklore says that the five elements that comprise a popular story are: religion, mystery, relationships, money and sex. Amazingly, Choti Eid brings all of them to the table. Religion – celebrating a month of abstinence, giving and worship Choti Eid is the culmination of a full month of religiously obligated prayer, restraint and abstinence. It’s been a month that people have been praying more regularly (including taraweeh prayers!), using less abusive language, giving more in charity and generally trying to be better human beings. Some people would argue that driving home in Karachi 30 minutes ...

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