Stories about The Express Tribune

Ethnic rift rocks G-B government

Corruption is contagious – this is what Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah proved when he and other members of his government were accused of violating the principle of merit in terms of appointments, postings and transfers, along with the arbitrary suspension of employees in different departments. Despite the ban on appointments in G-B, a large number of people, PPP activists in particular, have been appointed in different positions seemingly through the backdoor. In a recent incident, the provincial Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar was manhandled by the adviser to the CM, Muhammad Musa, and was warned by Education Minister Ali Madad ...

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India’s barefoot ghazal

I have received from Pathankot in India a volume of eloquent Urdu poetry. A ghazal poet of the new generation is how Perveen Kumar Ashk introduces himself. Let me add that his father, the late Kalvant Roy Kanwal Hoshiarpuri, too, was a poet. He taught his son Urdu and so well that he has ventured into poetry and sprung a surprise in the name of ghazal. As I read the volume, Dua Zameen, I cannot help admiring the poet for besting even those who came up with anti-ghazal. When Maulana Hali dismissed the entire ghazal tradition, including his own work, as nightingale-and-the-rose poetry, ...

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Where is Ayman Al-Zawahiri?

When I woke up this morning, I was taken aback by the front page of The Express Tribune, with shining white letters reading “Deliverance” which announced that the revolution had succeeded at last. When I think of Egypt, images of the 2007 drone attack that struck a seminary and killed 80, mostly minors, come to my mind. The prime target of that attack was Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the long lost al Qaeda leader who hails from Egypt and was reported to be in Pakistan. Zawahiri has sent out audio or video messages regarding almost everything that Qaeda has ever considered as ...

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Do birds have it better?

John Elijah envies a sparrow’s life. Guess why? Because, he points out, sparrows do not read newspapers. This far, I agree. Sparrows are really fortunate in that they do not read newspapers. But unfortunately they do not get to read John Elijah’s essays either where they are mentioned along with Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Alpharabius, Firdousi, Saadi and Hafiz. I have had to read the essays and am not saying for now whether this counts for a boon or a bane. Imtiaz Ahmed has compiled this selection of John Elijah’s essays published by Bahauddin Zakariya University’s Department of Urdu. The Elijah that comes through ...

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Water: Going retro

Remember behishti, the water carrier? I had believed the man from paradise had reverted to the paradise along with his water skin. When I saw the thirsty pursuing one in a TV programme, therefore, I was quite incredulous. Lord, can this be real! But yes, there it was; in fact, there were several of them. So the water carrier is back – the Karachiites’ prayers have been answered. That was what the programme was about: unable to ensure dependable water supply by any other means the people of Karachi have been forced to recall the water carriers. As for the water ...

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The colourful world of comments

“Don’t you have anything better to write about?” is the response you get when you do a story that does not cover pressing issues or one that would be ‘making a difference’. If you do get a story on topics along the lines of corruption, rape or violence, the reaction you get is, “Stop maligning the name of the country! What will others think when they read this?” Working for The Express Tribune Web Desk, I have come across a very diverse group of comments – everyone seems to have something to say, whether you like it or not. There are the ‘something ...

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Qayyum Nazar: Giving myself a break

After a lifetime of looking for the newspaper first thing in the morning I have realised that this is not a happy habit. Almost every day the papers feature some story or the other that counts for a bad omen. Reports of suicide bombings and terrorist strikes are, of course, a routine. To recover from the bitterness, I thought, I needed to read a book. The book I happened to pick at random had sketches of Qayyum Nazar, Prof Syed Waqar Azeem, Dr Nazir Ahmed, Dr Muhammad Ajmal and Dr Syed Abdullah. In the foreword, the writer, Sabir Lodhi, asserted that ...

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Burqa, bombs and intolerance

A look through the timeline of bomb blasts and terrorist attacks indicate that a majority of attacks in Pakistan are carried out by young men – some wearing vests, others using cars laden with explosives. I believe this spells out a legitimate case to ban young men, vests and cars from public places. After all, in a country like ours which is always on high alert for terrorist attacks, we can’t allow such security risks to roam about freely, can we? If you find my logic ludicrous, you might want to take a look at the recent debate on banning ...

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Living in Denialistan

This blog is in response to an article, The liberal lynch mob written by Mahreen Aziz Khan published recently in The Express Tribune. It will not only focus on this article itself but will mostly critically analyze the mindset behind such viewpoints and briefly look at the message in other such related articles for example Get another passport written by the famous Flotilla Hulk. Recently a horrifying video of a crowd watching a mob brutally killing two brothers in Sialkot has sparked mass demonstrations in Pakistan. The video, widely broadcasted on Pakistani TV channels, shows a lynch mob taking turns ...

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Reader, beware of us

We are a very busy bunch these days. What with the floods, the target killings, the shenanigans of our president, and not to forget, the supposed betrayal by our cricketers, who we have loved selflessly over the years, we have a lot to talk and write about. Now this is prime-time business for the media. I say this not out of conjecture or mischief, but will give you some recent examples: The gentleman with long hair called us, not a people, but human cockroaches; the Harvard-educated columnist used terms such as ‘western, liberal columnists’ in her rebuttal and senior editors threw in mind-boggling ...

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