Stories about UN

Kashmir protest: Is India in denial?

The controversial hangings of two Kashmiris inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail, in less than three decades at crucial junctures of Jammu and Kashmir’s political history (1984 and 2013), may have satisfied the collective conscience of the Indian nation but has ended up further distancing and alienating a majority of Kashmiris from the idea of India. Only five years after the hanging of Mohammad Maqbool Butt, founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), in Tihar on February 11, 1984, a popular anti-India armed uprising broke out in restive Jammu and Kashmir. The second execution was of Mohammad Afzal Guru, on February 9, 2013. ...

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Held by the CIA, a fictional account

Dear World, My father went missing while on a market errand three years ago. Our wait for him was endless. The law enforcement authorities were approached to find him. Days after filing a missing person report, we were contacted by someone in the government that he was in the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and was fine. We were told that he’d return soon and was just being interrogated for something. I was just 10-years-old at the time. I hung on the hope that he’d be back in a few days. But those around me, especially my family, didn’t ...

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What happens after 1000 days?

Contagious peals of laughter dissolved the silence that my cameraman Wilson had requested in the small village hut made of clay and bush with a ceiling of dried palm leaves, as Sajida candidly described how she could feel her baby, expected to arrive in a few months, kicking inside her. She belongs to Muhammad Ali Jhokio, a village of about hundred households, approximately 15 kilometres from Thatta. There are many other villages in the 29 union councils where the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is running the Stunting Prevention Project with the Sindh Department of Health. These efforts have become part of ...

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12 and married

The small private clinic was echoing with mixed voices – those of ear-piercing shrills and loud excitement. Waiting to see my doctor, I realised the commotion in the maternity section with nurses rushing through a storm of women – aunts and grandmothers waiting on news of a baby child. Passing it on as regular routine at the clinic, I was alarmed when the doctor came out scolding the elderly woman in the group who was wailing, claiming the doctor did not do enough to save the child. The doctor told the waiting family, “The poor girl would have died in labour. She was ...

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The Goodwill Ambassadors – Shining brighter than ever

For a moment, I felt star-struck, as Alicia Keys entered the room bustling with journalists from world over. We, a varied group of journalists, had been invited by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) to report on and learn from the experience of being in the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York for the UN General Assembly and the Climate Summit 2014. All of us are fans of the many celebrities that we saw all around us in those few days. But once done with the initial gushing and surreal feeling of being in the presence of “stars”, we not ...

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No, Arnab Goswami, Pakistan is not an “untrustworthy neighbour” or “a strategic wreck”

On September 26, 2014, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in which he emphasised the urgent need to resolve the Kashmir issue “in accordance with the aspirations of the people” living in the disputed Himalayan region. “We cannot draw a veil over the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” An Indian television anchor had apprehended that Pakistan would once again raise the Kashmir issue at the UNGA to ‘internationalise’ the dispute. The anchor believed that Kashmir was neither ...

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#HeForShe will not make you any less of a man

In an era where celebrities predominantly exercise an almost magnetic influence over their fan base to promote products and virtually dictate the way the populous dresses or behaves, it becomes exceedingly rare to see an individual stand up and talk about a pertinent issue. Emma Watson, an actress known mostly for her performance in the Harry Potter series, showed how celebrity power can be used in a positive way. Speaking before a UN conference, Watson kick started her ‘HeForShe’ campaign, a movement which aims to achieve gender equality by including men in the fight against female oppression. Although as a race, we have ...

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Subjugation and Kashmir during the 100 days of the Modi Sarkaar

More than a hundred days of Modi Sarkar’s achey din are over and since then the Indian premier has visited the occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir twice. Lately, the disputed region, for a constellation of reasons, has also taken up quite a bit of space in the news. Starting from a debate over the abrogation of Article 370, which gives Kashmir special status, on paper at least, from the Constitution of India to the recent cancellation of foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, Kashmir has dominated headlines and been the subject of prime time discussions on TV in India. An in-depth analysis of these ...

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Who is to be blamed for the Gaza conflict?

Bring up Gaza in a mixed setting and you will hear a myriad of passionate responses. It is a complex and sensitive issue with a troubled history. One thing is for certain though that it is difficult to talk about it without saying a prayer for the innocents caught up in the violence and those that have passed away. The Gaza conflict has been allowed to go on for far too long, fuelled in fact by delusion from both sides and the refusal to accept facts instead of heated emotions and false rhetoric. Israel accuses Hamas of indiscriminately launching rocket attacks that has ...

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If Turkey can do it, why can’t other Muslim states?

Over the indiscriminate genocide of innocent people of Gaza, the Muslim leadership, the Arabs in particular and other Muslim states in general, have blatantly and deliberately remained silent. More than 1200 people have been killed and over 6,000 have been seriously injured in Gaza since the launch of Israel’s army offensive. Physical infrastructure is severely damaged: several houses and buildings have been demolished including mosques, schools and hospitals. There are about 57 self-governing Muslim states across the globe; some are absolute monarchies while others are sovereign democratic republics. Yet, none of them has dared to openly condemn or curb Israel’s vicious character. Leaders ...

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