Stories about terrorists

Before pointing the terrorism finger at Pakistan, it’ll be wise for India to take a look in their violent backyard first

While in Singapore, I met an Indian Hindu from Indian Gujarat, the state where I was born, in the hotel lobby. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me, “And in which city do you live now?” When I said Karachi, he was shocked. “But that’s in Pakistan!” And then, when the truth dawned on him, he said, “You’re a Pakistani as well as a Muslim?!” He started edging away from me and I had to assure him that I wasn’t about to blow him up. Like most Indian Hindus, he had always believed that most Pakistanis cannot speak English, that they are too poor to afford vacations ...

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Roads and religion: How CPEC will pit Pakistan against itself

‘Exclusive: CPEC Master Plan Revealed’, read a headline this week in Pakistan’s daily newspaper, Dawn. Instantly, news outlets from across the world scrambled to analyse the text of the now-viral article and provided their own respective analyses of this said master plan. The two words themselves seem especially ominous, harkening to the devious plots hatched by cunning antagonists in the spy movies of old. The words, however, in many ways do justice to what was revealed. The plan includes details of leasing large tracts of land to Chinese companies for ‘demonstration projects’ in agriculture with similar concessions in land granted for the construction of ...

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What is Afghanistan’s problem?

On Monday, the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, once again blamed Pakistan for the terrorist attacks in his country. The blame stemmed from a presidential statement following the Kabul terrorist attacks when Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, called President Ghani. Despite the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff’s offer to share intelligence and cooperation with Afghanistan, in order to curb terrorism in the region, the president blamed Pakistan for the terrorism in his country claiming that the terrorists were trained in Pakistan. Afghanistan has been going through a period of transition since the United States’ (US) invasion post 9/11, when the US and its allies ousted the ...

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It is in Trump’s America that a seven-year-old Muslim boy can be bullied and bruised

I still have a hard time believing it. I say this to myself every time I see Donald Trump on television as a presidential candidate. My disbelief doubled and tripled as I watched the recent presidential debate. During one of the debates, on the issue of ‘Black Lives Matter’, Donald Trump completely subverted the issue of racism and turned it into an issue of ‘law and order’. As if that wasn’t enough, his infamous tapes of proudly harassing women have surfaced. “This guy? Seriously, America? You want to make this guy your president?” I say that to myself every time. Ironically, he ...

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“Please tell the people of Karachi that the kabaili people are not wild animals”

At the beginning of the ride, the cab driver asked me for Rs150 for a journey halfway through Peshawar – Saddar to the ends of University Road. Sounds reasonable, I thought to myself. On the way, we struck up a conversation. By the end of the ride, he refused to take a paisa. “You are from Karachi. That means you are my guest.” He declared with a smile warm enough to melt stone. When I insisted, the rebuttal brought me to tears. “Aap ne izzat di; mohabbat di. Pakhtun ko aur kuch nahin chahyay.” (You gave me love and respect: that is all ...

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Pakistan’s inhumanity is robbing our children of their innocence

The other day, my son wrote a story about a king and a prisoner who wanted to kill the king. The prisoner made an extraordinary gun and wanted to shoot the king to avenge his imprisonment. After two attempts the captive was successful in murdering the king. When my son finished reading his story out to me, I was literally in a state of panic. I asked him to stop writing stories that mention guns or killings and warned him against sharing them at school. He innocently informed me that he had already shown it to his teacher and that she ...

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Corruption is now accepted as a fact of life in Pakistan

Perhaps the greatest danger to Pakistan is corruption. We can stand up to any hostile army trying to invade our sacred land, but corruption is eating away at our foundation, like termites which ultimately cause houses to collapse. Owing to corruption, the government is not able to collect enough revenue, making it necessary to borrow from the IMF, which ultimately makes the country poorer and adversely affects our ability to defend the nation from terrorists and hostile enemies. Corruption has enabled Pakistanis to invest Rs85 billion during the past six months and Rs512 billion in the past two and a half years ...

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Are the people of Balochistan not human enough for us?

Nations can be judged in times of tragedy. How they live, how they breathe and how they react to an atmosphere of fear, fire and blood, tells a lot about them. As a nation, which has seen years of relentless bloodshed, bombings, beheadings and coffins, the Baloch, Pakhtuns and Hazaras of Balochistan are amongst the most resilient people our region’s history has witnessed. They have been cut down, mauled, killed in their own homes – yet they do not react irrationally nor do they retaliate barbarically in return. Such resilience and patience is beyond compare in modern times. However, if ...

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India has failed Kashmir, again

The Kashmir situation highlights the limit of Indian democracy and the paranoia of its leadership. It shows how blind nationalism, uninformed by historical knowledge, can damage the cause of democracy and expose the vulnerability of the Indian state. As a result, the bleeding valley exposes not only the suffering of the Kashmiri people; but also the malaise that affects the biggest democracy in South Asia. How can we explain peoples’ anger over Indian security personnel killing the Hizbul Mujahideen leader, Burhan Wani? There is no doubt that the path the young Wani chose would have culminated in a violent death. But how does one explain his popularity among ...

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Orlando shooting: I don’t just blame religious extremism – I blame the Internet

The news of the mass shooting at the gay club in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning by the lone gunman identified as Omar Mateen leaves people aghast… yet again. The bloodshed has been deemed the worst mass shooting in US history and the deadliest terrorist attack in the country since 9/11. Opening fire in the nightclub packed with over 300 people, Mateen killed 50 people and wounded 53 others. He held the rest hostage for three hours before the bar was stormed by the police and he, too, was shot and killed. The dust had barely settled after the San Bernardino shooting by the radicalised couple, Rizwan ...

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