Stories about terrorism in Pakistan

A single cowhide can fetch around $50 in the open market, but where does that money go?

Eidul Azha is finally here. Just the mere thought of it fills my mind with vivid images of beef and lamb stews, korma and pulao. But let’s not forget Eidul Azha also means rejoicing with our family and friends and understanding the concept of sacrifice. Though let’s be honest, that is secondary in the face of the scrumptious food we get to enjoy. Growing up in Pakistan, Eidul Azha also meant spending time at the bakra mandi (cattle market), picking out the best sacrificial animal. It also involved spending Eid morning with the butcher in the yard as he slaughtered, skinned and ...

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The problem with Imran Khan’s CNN interview is his hypocrisy that is too palpable to ignore

In an era of hyper-nationalism bordering on fascist tendencies, a strongly crafted statement works wonders for your public image.  This is exactly what we witnessed recently. America’s recent tragedy, otherwise also known as President Donald Trump, was found to be ruffling some spiteful feathers yet again. But Trump said what all American leaders have already said about Pakistan (we’ve been compared to cancer and called an international migraine, for starters). He also threatened Pakistan with the stoppage of American aid if we don’t “do more”. Been there, heard that. In came Imran Khan to rescue Pakistan from this shared sense of shame. In ...

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US-Pakistan-Afghanistan: The gloves are now off

Like millions of Americans, I watched President Donald Trump’s speech from my living room on August 21, 2017. It is the third time an American president has addressed our nation on Afghanistan, now the longest war in American history. To those of us familiar with the region, the speech was business as usual, with a few notable changes. But for those Americans with loved ones in Pakistan, the president’s speech was a plainspoken warning – fall in line Pakistan, or face the consequences. Taking the speech to its furthest extrapolation, without change, Pakistan will soon face US sanctions. Certainly for Pakistan, clouds are gathering. The Trump administration ...

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Wait for me… till then, the heart of Lahore will keep you safe

*Breaking news flashes* Nine people killed in Lahore. *Five minutes later* Fifteen people killed in Lahore. *Five minutes later* Twenty-two people killed in Lahore. *Five minutes later* Twenty-six people killed in Lahore. Twenty-six lives. 26 innocent lives. 26 families. 26 sets of dreams. 26 sets of memories. 26 sets of wishes. All gone, just gone. Washed away with a hose, left to dry and soaked by the heart of Lahore. Lahore, the city of bright colours, hungrily feeds on the blood of the dead, fearing the precious minutes to be over before this blood becomes food for the heartless. When the domino effect starts and these 26 set of dreams just become a mere number, ...

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The slain officers of the Lahore blast deserve a better brand of respect than the medal of martyrdom we pin on them

Inspector o inspector, why is your uniform red? Are these wounds of servitude? Have they finally bled? Your gun lies unarmed by you… But the enemy has fled, Inspector o inspector, we know you toiled hard, In pouring rain and scorching sun, Over us you stood guard….. Alas today you shall rest in your grave, But today you shall hear some lad some praise, Some words like honour…others like grace, For after someone has passed, only then are we dazed… Rest now o weary inspector, you have done your deed, But those who let you down are we, And those who we chose to lead…. Neither was the hour late nor the police. Rather, they were ...

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India’s problem is not Pakistan; India’s problem is India

A self-confessed Indian spy was caught in Pakistan to be sentenced to death, so some people in Mumbai went to an apparel outlet and stomped on clothes that were made in Pakistan. Sometimes, facts can be more absurd than fiction. The store, the ever popular Zara, that carries clothes made in multiple countries, was accosted by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Hindu hardliners and Indian nationalists all in one, the party is known to take extreme stances on multiple issues concerning Muslims, cows, Pakistan, etcetera. The violence that the party usually propagates is interestingly in direct contrast with the glossy image India reflects to the world; the land of breakthrough ...

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One month later, sifting through the sands of Sehwan

“May the curse of God be on the enemies of Qalandar. May the enemies of Ahle Bait (the family of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) be always cursed”. It is 5am. After paying my respects at the shrine of Bodla Bahar, the disciple of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, as per tradition, I head to the shrine of his murshid (spiritual master). The vehement tabarra (cursing) mentioned above is the first thing I witness as I stand outside the closed gates of Qalandar’s shrine. A malang attired in black beats his fists into his chest as he mourns the blast that happened on February 16, 2017, one month ago, at ...

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Pakistan, the pistachio to my kulfi

And so my friend, my point was – what is so awesome about Pakistan? I’m a bloke who thrives on chaos but answering this question before buggering off on a new adventure would have resulted in a droopy, “I don’t know mate, cricket?” Personally, I can’t bear a game of ball and sticks any more than a warm drink on a hot summer’s day. What a contrast Pakistan is, and here’s why. The terrorists will kill me By all the unglamorous artworks the armchair experts of the world were painting of Pakistan, I was in line for a beheading, a bombing or a ...

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Is Pakistan ready for mock drills in malls and hospitals?

Imagine you are a cardiac patient lying on a hospital bed, waiting for a specialist to decide whether you are fit enough to undergo triple bypass surgery. All of a sudden there’s commotion and you see people running around and someone shouts, “Bomb, bomb! Run outside!” There is pandemonium everywhere. You see patients being taken away by hospital attendants, and you almost have a heart attack, waiting for someone to carry you to safety. You pass out and when you come back to your senses, you find out it was just a mock drill, carried out by “experts” to find out how the hospital ...

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In Pakistan, tolerant Islamic voices are being silenced

Last week, only three days after a suicide bomb went off in Lahore, an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) supporter struck a crowd of Sufi dancers celebrating in the great Pakistani shrine of Sehwan Sharif. The attack, which killed almost 90, showed the ability of radical Islamists to silence moderate and tolerant voices in the Islamic world. The attack also alarmingly demonstrated the ever-wider reach of the ISIS and the ease with which it can now strike within Pakistan. ISIS now appears to equal the Taliban as a serious threat to this nuclear-armed country. The suicide bombing of the ...

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