Stories about terrorism

What if your child was abducted by the ISIS?

I read recently that ISIS has been abducting children and training them to become soldiers in its cause. I read the news story in horror, as it went on to say that the children were instructed to go back to their homes and kill their parents. I began to imagine what that scenario must look and feel like,  She got on all fours and started crawling. She was careful to make no sound, just as she was taught. She winced slightly as her knees touched the cold floor. Steadily, she kept inching on for a few more minutes until she ...

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My patient refuses to undergo treatment for cancer

Patient’s Name: Pakistan Chief Complaint: Pains, high fevers, insecurity, depression and weight loss. History:  Pakistan is a 68-year-old patient, well known to our oncology service, here to see me in clinic again for an acute flare of the above-mentioned symptoms. Briefly, the patient has been plagued with cancer for the last many years. It has lost over 50,000 of its cells to tumour growths all over its outside body, mostly concentrated in the head and neck area. Over a year ago, the patient visited one of my colleagues with a huge tumour that had revealed itself in its Peshawar territory. The tumour engulfed 144 healthy, vibrant cells. And now, the ...

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An Army Public School massacre game? Really Punjab IT board?

Someone decided to make a first person shooting game about the Army Public School (APS) massacre. No, no, I’m not joking. I swear, it’s true. It’s no longer available on Google Play store (Gosh! I wonder why?) but people have seen it, played it, reviewed it and are all asking the same question, what were you thinking Punjab IT Board? The answer is, probably nothing. A video game of APS school attack? WTF is the Punjab IT Board smoking? Are they out of their freaking minds? — Sahrish Iftikhar (@shadesofsunrise) January 18, 2016 Some great premises for the Punjab IT Board to mine for ...

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Saudi Arabia and Iran need to show the same level of political maturity as Pakistan

Saudi Arabia’s decision to severe its diplomatic ties with Iran were ill timed, especially because the world is witnessing a growing escalation of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Instead of working closely on solving the crisis in the Middle East, they have only managed to strengthen the hands of all those forces that don’t want to see peace in the region. Furthermore, this will embolden terror outfits such as ISIS, who will readily take advantage in the already febrile region. With the recent detente between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran could have grabbed the opportunity ...

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Why isn’t the #OregonStandoff being called terrorism? Because it’s not

Last year, when I wrote about the Chapel Hill murders of three Muslims for The Express Tribune Blogs, I revisited the definition of terrorism because the term is oft misused. Use of corrupted words relates to poor journalism and exhibit one is how the coverage of domestic controversy in the United States lacks rigid examination of facts, a fair analysis of both sides and proper context. This is not only unique to underground blogs, but endemic in mainstream media as well, where the focus excessively becomes about the race and religion of those involved. While identity is important, it’s as important to adhere to a standard of objectivity ...

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Stories from 2015 that could only have made headlines in Pakistan

It is the first day of January of 2016. Yes, the New Year has begun. We are all a bit older, wiser, and sadly, a little closer to death. Naturally, this is the perfect time to look back at some of the news stories that made headlines in Pakistan and across the world. Girls at Dhabas: For Pakistanis worn down by the taxing life of the big city, nothing quite reignites the brain cells like a good cup of doodh pati (tea). Sold at dhabas (roadside restaurants), these delicious cups of hot tea brewed in milk are consumed by the ...

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How I deal with Islamophobia in the US

Mass shootings in the United States have become a frequent occurrence. Every time I find a breaking news story flashing on my cell phone that mentions a mass shooting, my heart skips a few beats. My first concern is not the number of casualties or the setting of the tragic event, but the name and religion of the shooter. Unfortunately, in this part of the world, those factors define how the news media provides coverage of the event. It was a nightmare come true when I found out that in the recent shootings in California that claimed 14 lives, the shooters ...

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To defeat the ISIS, America needs to get Saudi Arabia on board

In the aftermath of the Paris tragedy, people are asking whether ISIS’s attempt to strike at public places is part of their deliberate strategy to attack liberal western values. The argument gains credence especially when one finds ISIS chose soft targets like a concert hall, a sports stadium and restaurants in Paris, a city which they described as a “den of prostitution and vice”, to instil fear in the minds of the people. Samuel Huntington, a well-known political scientist, wrote in his insightful and classic book “The Clash of Civilisations and Remaking of the World Order”, “… the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and ...

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Bara dushman bana phirtha hai jo bacchon se darta hai

December 16, 2014, is a day that will remain forever etched in the memory of every Pakistani who lived through it. The loss of 147 innocent lives to extremism shook not just the nation but the world with its inhumanity. Pakistan military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), has aimed to play its part through two hauntingly beautiful and heart-warming musical tributes that have the power to reduce the listener to tears. The first video was released by ISPR around a month after the horrific attacks and was broadcasted on various television channels. It depicts various students wearing the Army Public School (APS) uniform. It is a ...

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From the diary of a mother who grieves

I love pink flowers. They look so majestic yet delicate. My son helped me plant those. He would be so happy to see them bloom. I stare at them blankly while sitting in our garden. I’m so tired of grieving, so tired of people looking at me with pity. I will forever be an entity of human desolation. A rubbish bin for human guilt.  “Oh look at her! Her plight makes me grateful for everything I have!” I can see the empty empathy in their eyes. The press and ‘celebrities’ all left when they had their fair share of photos and videos for inflating their egos, and ...

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