Stories about state

From honouring our martyrs to a mere date on the calendar – have we forgotten the importance of Defence Day?

It was August 14th a few weeks ago, and with the newly elected government, Independence Day was fervently anticipated this year. People rejoiced over Naya Pakistan and await the change that was promised. A little over three weeks later, Pakistan commemorates Defence Day ─ now just another day, for so many of us across the country. Just over two decades ago, Defence Day used to be an annual public holiday. It ceased being so, when the then government categorised September 6th as a counterproductive day off; I believe this was circa March 1997. As we speak, the only sign of the importance of ...

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The dam charity: Sorry, I can’t do more

As Pakistanis, we generally make headlines for all the wrong reasons these days, but there is one thing we can still be proud of. Despite having a shattered economy and prevalent poverty, we are one of the most charitable nations in the world. No one could have expected that this fact would one day work against the nation as well. Recently, the age-old issue of the construction of dams took the limelight once again, as Pakistan ranked third among countries facing water shortage. This alarming situation put every state institution on high alert, including the Supreme Court. Fed up with the ...

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Public execution only kills the rapist, not the problem

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has proposed an amendment in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to publicly hang convicts found guilty of kidnapping, murdering or raping children less than 14 years of age. The Criminal Law Amendment Act 2018, if passed, would amend the PPC’s Section 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of 14), which currently states, “Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person under the [age of 14] in order that such person may be murdered or subjected to grievous hurt… or to the lust of any person [sic] shall be punished with death.” If amended, the words “by hanging publicly” ...

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Why is our criminal justice system punishing a paranoid schizophrenic?

The mere mention of a crime engages our natural thought process into gauging a punishment for it. Some would just ask what punishment a specific crime entails, some of us would delve into arguing what purpose a particular punishment serves, while others would discuss whether a punishment is adequate or not. We all have our own thought processes and ideologies about what is acceptable as a punishment. However, what is important is to remember the basic idea behind it is. The purpose ranges from retributive to utilitarian to rehabilitative. All punishments must serve some purpose otherwise it would be a futile exercise to impose any form ...

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Did you ban cow-slaughter in Kashmir right before Eid to offend Muslim sensibilities?

As soon as the Indian authorities are done congratulating themselves over the arrest of the Kashmiri anti-nationalist figurehead, Asiya Andrabi, they can start explaining how they intend to win Kashmiri hearts and minds through an expanding list of despotic restrictions being imposed upon the people. The firebrand chief of the all-female separatist group, Dukhtaran-e-Millat or “Daughters of Faith”, was recently arrested from her Soura resident over a bizarre list of charges. These include the crime of waving the Pakistani national flag and singing the Pakistani national anthem, as well as slaughtering a cow in stark protest of the newly-revisited law against banning of cow ...

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Why Pakistan is ranked third in slavery, women rights and terrorism

As per the latest surveys, Pakistan is ranked as the third most dangerous country for women, third on the human slavery index and third on the global terrorism index. Although this country is enormously blessed, be it with coal reserves, ideal geographical location, warm water, or mountainous buffer zones, its foreign image is downsizing, its economy is attenuating, trade deficit is flattening and the only label due to which it is mostly known is through its brand of ‘terrorism’. The crux behind many of these issues lies in our denial – denial of evolving fascism, denial of accessing true culprits, ...

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What crime have the IDPs committed to deserve this?

As we sit and watch our televisions air press conferences after press conferences, jalsas after jalsas, war of words and the hyperactive talk show hosts attempt to bolster their ratings by getting opposing parties’ representatives launch into shouting matches and us, well we forget. We forget that Pakistan is now ranking third on the Global Terrorism Index. We forget that as of July, the UNHCR reported that 99, 2990 individuals are now internally displaced people in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; 74% of these people are women and children. We forget that, recently, three students were injured as they accidentally brought hand grenades into their school. A case ...

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You robbed him of trust, why the surprise then?

Another day. Another perfect state of affairs. Perfect in a picturesque Pakistani way. Why the surprise then? Because they say there is light at the end of the tunnel. But you just dragged that iota of light further away, reassuring us that there is no light. It is only an illusion built by psychopaths like yourself, all set to be served to naive humanoids like us. Why the surprise then? Because in the battle of good versus evil, you just slashed open the throat of good and left the body to rot in a manner even vultures would find ugly. Your nerve, the impulse ...

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Why Lahore is better than Karachi today

Karachi saw its renewed glory days under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. For the first time, the citizens felt bonded with the city and its ways. There was an air of optimism and under the ‘I own Karachi’ program, for the first time in a long time, Karachiites came forward to beautify their city and contribute towards its uplift. The two mayors, Mr Naimatullah Khan from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) followed by Mustafa Kamal from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), did wonders and set the city on the path of progress and development. I personally know a number of expatriates who relocated back to Karachi in order to ...

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In Pakistan, the #VIPCulture has to go

Commuting in metropolitan cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad often bestows upon you the unforgettable experience of being reminded how ‘ordinary’ you are. You may only use the road when it isn’t being used by a Very Important Person (VIP). When a policeman raises his hand or puts a picket to stop you, he may only be saying ‘stop and wait’ but what you actually hear is, “Wait, you ordinary, worthless citizen! Your time, life and business are of no value. Wait while the all-important VIP passes”. It is quite similar to how when kings and queens passed through markets and ...

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