Stories about sialkot

A bus ride with a convict, a drug dealer and an old lady

Travelling can help an individual understand different aspects of society and it also gives one a clearer perspective about the world. Having said as much, when I left Lahore to visit my home town Sialkot, I did not have the faintest idea as to what was in store for me! I reached the terminal, just in time to board a bus leaving for Sialkot. The weather was pleasant, so I decided to travel in a non-air conditioned bus. Although I had never been in a non-air conditioned bus before, I thought that this would save me money and perhaps, I could enjoy the weather ...

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My brave friend was killed in the attack on the ISI in Sukkur

At 3:00pm on an overcast day in Sialkot, I buried a friend. He was just 33-years-old and too young to go, but God works in mysterious ways. Major Zeeshan Suddle was killed in a suicide attack carried out by five terrorists on the Sukkur office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on July 24, 2013. At least nine people were killed that day and approximately 35 remain injured. It was Iftar time and my friend Zeeshan was opening his fast with his wife when the first bomb went off. Covered in shattered glass, his wife begged him to stay put, but being the brave person that he ...

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Let’s love Pakistan: A new resolution (V)

Here are the next 15 reasons that compel me to love Pakistan… 36. Faisal Masjid: The national mosque of Pakistan isn’t just a landmark my generation and I grew up admiring for its majestic splendour; it’s also significant to Pakistan’s identity as the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest mosque in the world. 37. The intelligentsia that were our poets: Right from Allama Iqbal to Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Faraz and Parveen Shakir, Pakistan has been truly blessed when it comes to poets and philosophers that have literally inspired the nation in times of need. The aforementioned are just a few ...

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Olympic footballs: Proudly made in Sialkot

Throughout the history of football world cups and other major FIFA events, the world has seen one brand deliver the most astounding soccer balls, carved to perfection and tested in adverse conditions to exceed all FIFA standards for an ‘Official Match Ball’. Yes, we’re talking about the German brand, Adidas. But what lies behind the Adidas logo on these soccer gems is the sweat and blood of hard-working rural women, belonging to the city of Sialkot, Pakistan – an effort concealed in disguise, under a dangerous quilt of consumerism. Till the advent of the year 2000, Pakistan was making 75% of all the soccer ...

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Sialkot lynching: Hang ’em all

“An eye for an eye makes the world blind…but with so much injustice around us, perhaps blindness is preferable.” [J Haque] After a total of 401 days, the Sialkot lynching case has come to an end with an outcome that is perhaps as grisly as the event that took place – death sentences for seven of those involved, and I for one fully support the verdict. In fact, just to play judge, jury and executioner, (as is our classic Pakistan ka haal) I would also like to know why the other six involved, and particularly the policemen who stood by and ...

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Demand justice for the Sialkot brothers – Manchester did

More than six months ago, two boys in Sialkot were mercilessly beaten to death till their blood was drained from their bodies. I needed to do something about this horrific incident. So, I decided to have a protest in Manchester. This protest was against all the things that attempt to hijack our Pakistani identity. It revealed the reality about the brutal murder and it’s follow up, and raised the issue once again in a society where voices of indignation were silent. Nayyar Khan, the organiser of the protest said: Being a Pakistani means you do not just stand and watch as someone suffers ...

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Sialkot’s neglected journalists

Sialkot, the city of eagles, is proud to have produced many prominent politicians of the country. Of course, its most illustrious son was Allama Muhammad Iqbal but in recent years, it has given rise to many a prominent politician. One of them, of late, is Firdous Ashiq Awan, the current information minister. Many journalists from the city supported her during her rise to political office, in large part because she was a local politician and in part because they believed that having an information minister from their city could help in some of their own many problems as journalists. For ...

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Confessions of an addict

Over the past few days, I have started to observe things that I never used to notice. Breaching dykes, lynch mobs, people who are denied food and shelter, a trail of suicide attacks, spot-fixing allegations – the list goes on. I became determined to figure out what was going on and why. There were various explanations but I couldn’t agree less with all of them – it was all about who I am and not about why I am the way I am. Luckily , one day I tripped on something and fell. I found out that I have a short attention ...

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A victim of the Lahore attack remembers

You read stories of violence and atrocities committed on faceless Pakistanis in your local newspapers on a daily basis. You absorb the news as detached consumers. Empathy and even hints of grief might stir your heart while reading a poignant story every once in a while, but try as you might, you will never be able to relate to the victims and those directly involved – because you were never there. It didn’t happen to you or, anyone you know. And for that, you’re almost relieved. Yet guiltily so. But what would happen, if one day, you or your loved ...

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The flip side of lynching

The recent trend of Pakistanis lambasting the entire nation for the tragic events that transpired in Sialkot is getting old already. It is true that when public lynching becomes possible, even probable, a country is in a sorry state. It is also true that events such as these should inspire, outrage and force us to question who we have collectively become. Similarly, we need to keep in mind that thanks to the global trend of hating this country and everything to do with it, we are in a position where most Pakistanis have become aware that nobody can help us ...

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