Stories about threats

Yes, thunderstorms in Toronto can take you back to Lahore

Pakistan is notorious for a lot of things. However, electricity shortage continues to stand out from the gruesome front runners that are security threats and economic disparity. These are the perfect ingredients to derail any sane mind but a Pakistanis’.  All hell may literally break loose in Pakistan, but pick any common person from a crowd and there is always room for more in the snake pit; for more morsels in their hearty appetites for despair. Maybe because they have no other choice. Maybe because they are built that way. ‘Human Play-Doh’ is what I’d like to call them. You ...

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The story of Amanda Yousufzai and Malala Todd

For the past few years, a young girl was tormented, teased and bullied by several different people. She had vile names thrown at her on the streets, received chilling phone calls and even multiple death threats. A week ago, the very same girl died. I know what you’re thinking: this writer is talking rubbish – Malala isn’t dead. This story isn’t about Malala, it’s about Amanda Todd, a 15-year old girl that hung herself in her room because of the humiliation she had faced at the hands of her classmates and stalkers on the internet. Unlike Malala, whose story has triggered ...

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At Espresso: Religion on a caffeine high

So the other day I went to pray at a local mosque, when I realised that it was time for my coffee, which I religiously consume at regular intervals throughout the day. Naturally, I asked the local Imam how I could find a deliciously hot cup of Joe in the premises, when he politely told me that I was out of luck since I was in a house of prayer, and not a coffee shop. My love for the beverage clouded my judgement, and I initially thought he was jesting. When I tried to make things easier on him by ...

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Perils of reporting in Balochistan

A senior journalist chose his words very carefully while explaining to a guest who had come to Quetta from Islamabad to compile a report on difficulties and circumstances under which journalists work in Balochistan. “The deteriorating situation is a result of war and terror that Pakistan has been fighting for the past three decades. There is lawlessness in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal regions but Balochistan is the worst affected,” he told him. His fears and calculations were understandable following the multifaceted threats journalists face on a daily basis. Journalists who received threats lodged complaints and said they could not edit the news ...

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Exposing corruption: Threats to journalists

It is a bitter fact in our country that if you expose the corruption record of any influential entity then you must be ready to face the dire consequences. During my journalistic career spanning 15 years, I too have received several threats from state and non-state actors alike. When I exposed the case of an alleged rape of a housemaid by the district Nazim of Sheikhupura in his camp office, I was threatened because the police were forced to register a case against their own Nazim. The parents of the 12-year-old girl had refused to lodge an FIR against the ...

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America loves me, America loves me not

It seems the world has moved on. While Europe is busy trying to save its drowning economies and make sure the Euro doesn’t fall, Middle Eastern states are basking in the light of Arab Spring. But almost a decade on, we are still floating in the abyss created by the war against terror. Let’s face it: Pakistan is a conundrum for the US. We are like the US’ illegitimate relationship which it cannot live with or without. Pakistan’s geopolitical value makes it a clinical yet irritable factor in this war against terror. What the US needs to understand is that it will ...

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