Stories about suicide

The South Korean president did not ‘condemn’ the ferry accident, she apologised for it

About a month and a half ago, a group of students and teachers left their school for a field trip; hundreds of excited students were part of this trip, they were headed to a popular island resort at Jeju. However, when they returned, the group was short of 300 people, mostly students – students who had drowned at sea. Yes, I am talking about the South Korean ferry accident that took place on April 16, 2014, when a 6,825-tonne Sewol, with 476 people on board, sank near the country’s southern coast. Can you even imagine the loss the parents of those children must ...

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Are parents responsible for their children committing suicide?

“Hum maaon ko sub kuch chahiye… sub kuch.” (We mothers need everything… everything). That is how disturbing certain advertisements aired on TV today are. They show a cross-section of mothers whose sense of validation and joy is dependent on their children becoming over-achievers. Most of these advertisements are disguised with a ‘feel good’ message, the underlying message, however, is disturbing and sadly, a reflection of what our society’s parents are unwittingly morphing into – a race of achievement-hungry, hard-task masters who want their children to be their trophy to show off. The models posing as mothers stretch their necks upwards as a mark ...

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Are you doomed to disappear?

Tick… goes the wonderful sound.  Tick… there it is again. Ah, the joyous sound! Ah, the wonderful sound. Tick… Ah, the harsh sound! Ah, the destructive sound! Tick… we ignore it. Tick… we do not care for it. Tick… the weight it carries! Tick, but we do not worry. We do not care. Tick, we ignore its value, its worth. Tick… that one second, so different for everybody. In that same moment but so very different for everyone. In that one tick of the clock, a child hears he has become the number one in school… so excited! In that one tick, a man cries on hearing about his mother’s death… so sad. Same second, a man ...

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Pakistan cannot be an ‘Islamic’ republic, not if women are being raped everyday!

On March 13, 2014 a girl from Muzaffargarh set herself on fire outside the local police station when justice was not served to her. This innocent girl was allegedly gang raped by five rapists, who were granted bail by the police. People just stood there, watching her burn alive – as if she was giving a circus performance and our efficient media covered the incident from every angle possible to make sure it sold like hot-cakes on TV. The mother threw sand on her daughter in an attempt to save her. And finally one policeman, among the dozens who were watching, remembered his ...

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An old Christian lady and a suicide bomber…

“You have to make sure you press this little red button twice near your left pocket, not more than three feet away from the target. You know how much three feet is, don’t you?” This last point of the instructions came out of the so-called engineer’s mouth for the fourth time, along with bad breath and an unpleasant smell that emanated from his clothes which had specks of gun powder in several places. The boys didn’t know his real name but his reputation as ‘engineer’ was rock solid among the other members of the secret cell. No one ever questioned the logic of ...

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The story of a drug addict: Opium was my drug, my addiction, my mistake

As someone who has been dependent on drugs twice in their life so far, if I had to tell you one reason why you shouldn’t do drugs it’s this: withdrawal is a b****. There are many reasons to do drugs, but the only reason not to that really matters, is really vivid and visceral is that withdrawal is extremely rough. Having regulations won’t stop anybody anywhere, not in Pakistan, not in the US, nowhere. This took me a while to understand, but here is my story, I hope it helps you. My love affair with drugs I started out pretty much like everybody else does, socially ...

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Pervez Musharraf: Defending a patriot from cowards and liars

Many people like to ask me questions about why I support former president Pervez Musharraf. As part of the questions, they like to pepper in the misinformation that the Pakistani media has presented to the public for consumption. During one such discussion on Facebook, I was asked the following: The question cum comment “According to you, Khalid Muhammad, what were the positives and negatives of Musharraf’s tenure? People consider him to be the reason for drones, missing people (Aafia Siddiqui), Bugti murder case, Lal Masjid, all that happened to Pakistan after 9/11 (and) the current shortfall of electricity and gas. Suicide bombing took ...

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Can Vladimir Putin pull off the Winter Olympics safely?

A couple of deadly bomb blasts in Volgograd in two days killing 30, coupled with disastrous floods in Far Eastern Russia were enough for the Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his years-old ritual of addressing the nation on New Year’s Eve from the Kremlin. For us Pakistanis, such events have become so common that even a series of blasts on festivals such as Eid may hardly affect our routine – as long as we don’t suffer directly. But for Russia, these events, especially the blasts, are national tragedies. Timing of the Volgograd bombings Russia is nearly a month away from holding the much awaited Winter Olympics ...

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Borderline Personality Disorder: ‘‘Every time I get angry or sad, I cut myself with a blade’’

‘‘Every time I get angry or sad I cut myself with a blade. The pain and sight of blood helps me to calm down.’’ A 20-year-old patent told me this in a psychiatric emergency room while showing me her forearm which had multiple superficial cuts. “Every time I feel numb from stress or emotional pain, I cut or burn myself. It’s not with the intent to die but it gives me certain pleasure.” She kept explaining it to me without any emotion on her face. “Life is like walking on egg shells for me, I mess up at every level. I have severe ...

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A psychiatrist’s perspective on gay and transgender persons in Pakistan

Aab Tak, a Pakistani television station started its transmission earlier this year with a strong statement, ‘Ladies, Gentlemen and She-males’ It did not take long for the station to air a sensational TV show Khufia where the hostess, Uzma Tahir, ignored people’s right to independence and a free life as she bullied them with a television camera. Chasing people frantically on the streets of Karachi, she and her team put hands on people, manhandled them and then barged into their homes with a camera crew to ask the victims of her camera bullying, “Are you gay or transgender?” The saddest part of the show occurred ...

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