Stories about speech

The diaspora of Naya Pakistan: The time is ripe for us to pay back to the motherland what is due

Some years ago, summer of 2012 to be precise, I hosted an informal morning tea for Maleeha Lodhi, and while discussing the upcoming 2013 elections, she said to me, “It is not the Pakistan that this diaspora may have left 20 years ago, it’s a different Pakistan. The public is more desperate, the crises are much more and the conscious awareness that every vote counts is on everyone’s mind.” Hence, to me, her statement implied that Imran Khan was going to be elected prime minister in the 2013 elections, but history tells us a different tale. Imran fell, and with ...

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Dear abuser, my truth matters, and your time is up!

Six days ago, Oprah Winfrey made history. I sat staring at my laptop screen, feeling her words personify themselves. I felt them dance around, vibrating to be heard and felt. Resonate ­­– yes, that’s what they did. That’s how real they felt to me in that moment. That is the power of the spoken word. I don’t usually watch the Golden Globes; sometimes I’ll watch a recap or two. But this time, I found myself going back to the moments both before and after Oprah’s speech. I looked into the onscreen eyes of all these actors and I saw that glimmer, ...

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Pakistan’s long distance relationship with Afghanistan will never end

Banaras Khan was eight when he came to Pakistan in 1979, shortly after the Russians arrived in Afghanistan. He was the second eldest son, who crossed the Pak-Afghan border at Mohmand by foot with only his mother. His father had two wives – and he chose to settle down with Banaras’ stepmother in Peshawar. Banaras and his mother came with nothing to a country completely foreign to them. They took refuge with an old Afghan neighbour who was already residing in a rented home in my neighbourhood. His mother borrowed some money in the hopes of starting their life again. She began to ...

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This Independence Day, it is time to let go of Quaid’s 14 points

In 1929, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave the Muslims of India his 14 points, in response to the Nehru Report which was published in 1928 as a memorandum outlining a proposed new dominion status constitution for India. These 14 points became the cornerstone of all our SSC and HSC Pakistan Studies examinations in post-independence Pakistan and every youngster to date has read and memorised these points. However, I have always wondered why learning these points were so imperative. Are they still valid today? Surely not. They were a rebuttal to the Nehru Report, outlining what Muslims of India demanded from ...

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The line between ‘expression’ and ‘hate’

Undeniably, it’s everywhere; you’ll find some Charlie Hebdos at your dinner table – some who never want to be Charlie, and then some who, like me, are stuck in the sticky web of internal debate. Since Charlie Hebdo and its counterparts made headlines, my mind has been whizzing with questions of determining where I stand on the issue. It’s clear that I appreciate the limitless power of the pen but I’m certain I also respect the sentiments of those who read my words. The question I have stopped dead at is plain: is the freedom to write whatever I want my right or a ...

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Kids will be kids: Why Bilawal Bhutto failed to deliver

The much awaited and highly publicised Bilawal Bhutto rally in Bagh-e-Jinnah, Karachi, on October 18, 2014, occurred on time but fell greatly short of the mark, considering it was the launch of Bilawal’s political career. Needless to say, it failed to deliver the punch as the grand coronation of the next Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, the son of Benazir Bhutto and the grandson of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB). Besides the tens and thousands of Pakistanis who had been squeezed out from the internal nooks and crannies of Sindh to lend credence to the ‘Bhutto power’ and the 13 containers that had been joined together to ...

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PM Nawaz at UN General Assembly: The lion is not asleep

The seed of confusion is sown in Pakistan as the sit-in at D-Chowk enters its 46th day today. The public’s chants of “Go Nawaz, Go” are proportional to the prime minister’s resistance against these elements of self-acclaimed revolution. Our nation is thrown into confusion and some are even questioning the grammatical connotation of ‘Go Nawaz Go’. In fact, the other day, I witnessed someone had chalked the words ‘Stop Nawaz Stop’ on a cemented bench. Taking grammatical meaning into consideration, this chant made more sense to me and looked less ‘awkward’. Anyways, a more surprising factor this week was our PM’s speech at the United Nation’s General Assembly. ...

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Imran Khan versus Saad Rafique: In defence of Sheru

While surfing the net I stumbled on Saad Rafique’s harangue in the Parliament, berating Imran Khan for owning a dog called Sheru.  He seemed rather upset at the animal’s domestic privileges and rebuked Imran for allowing Sheru to sit on a drawing room sofa while showering heaps of affection on him. In his tirade against his political opponent, Rafique emphasised how keeping dogs and being affectionate towards them is against our cultural/religious values. Now, I happen to be a staunch supporter of animal rights, with a special place in my heart for dogs. Hence, I do not take kindly to ...

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Do impaired individuals deserve to be made fun of?

He has had speech impairment for as long as I can remember. Each word uttered has to be a deliberate effort for him. His sentences spoken are often unclear and difficult to comprehend. Perhaps, he also faced bullying whilst growing up but that never shattered his confidence, for his career demands him to interact with large crowds and be a public speaker. Despite the lisped sentences, his statements hold clout and his opinions are always sought. People make fun of him and glances are exchanged around him, yet he only fumbles, never stumbles. He is the 14th prime minister of Pakistan, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. ...

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My life… or a poorly scripted story?

My story is one that is not worth listening to. It is poorly scripted and lacks punctuation and depth. It lingers on too long and then stops suddenly, as if looking for a new introduction to an already spoiled plot. It dies too often or does it sleep? I do not know. It becomes dormant so it could be either. Its commas occur once too often and the colons, which are otherwise latent with the charm of novelty and surprise, act as full stops. Its full stops end half-lived sentences which miserably rise and fall, full of verbs which do and die, ...

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