Stories about VIP culture

The story behind my film, Maalik – From the horse’s mouth

Maalik is in the midst of a huge controversy; all kinds of motives are being attributed to my film and, although everyone is entitled to their own views, I thought a straight narrative from the one who knows Maalik the best may help. A brief intro before going further: I was born in Quetta and proudly call Balochistan my home. I am ethnically a Punjabi and my ancestral roots may be connected to a village near Nankana sahib in the district of Sheikhupura, near Lahore. Being a common man, I have little use for title, surname and caste and I have never used my ...

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Welcome home to a Very Important Person from us mortals

Welcome home, Ali Gilani. I am sure the entire family bowed down before God in gratitude for your safe return. They should also be thankful that you bear the name ‘Gilani’, for the fact that your father is an influential person; a VIP (Very Important Person). Many mothers have lost their Alis, they are never to be found or heard of; erased from all nooks of reality except from the hearts of a few loved ones and a dust laden FIR eroding away in some record room. Many wives lost their Shahbazs, only because they did not bear a last name ...

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Spare us the crocodile tears. Please stop. Khurram Zaki is dead. Do something.

Khurram Zaki is dead. The ‘unbearable lightness’ of intimidation and murder in Pakistan has manifested once again. The eulogies are pouring in; speculations are rife about who is behind the assassination of yet another liberal social activist and on social media a familiar war of words has commenced. Despite the fact that one bright light after another is being summarily extinguished, it appears that self-righteousness is still the prime mover of the national discourse. For the legion of Google scholars and keyboard Jedis, it’s all or nothing; either faith in its entirety must be indicted or the blame must lie elsewhere. ...

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6 bizarre ways people have tried to defend Bilawal Bhutto Zardari after Bisma’s death

Mohammad Faisal Baloch said to reporters that according to the doctors, had his daughter Bisma received medical attention only 10 minutes earlier, her life could have been saved. Instead, she died because of the delay caused by the security measures taken to protect the visiting Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, at Karachi’s Civil Hospital. The tragedy has resulted in plenty of backlashes towards Bilawal and VIP culture in general. But curiously enough, there has been some backlash towards the backlash… a backlash’ception if you will. This has come not only courtesy of Bilawal’s own camp, but from PPP ...

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Dear Bisma, you will be forgotten and there will be more like you

Dear Bisma, Although there is much uproar as to how tragically you passed away yesterday, it is unfortunate that in a few days’ time, this case, like every other, will be dusted under the carpet and forgotten as a new Bisma will come into being. It never stops. I hope wherever you are, there is justice. I am glad you do not have to grow up knowing that the lives of us citizens are not as important as security protocols. I am glad that you are not subjected to the violence you may have faced like more than three-fourths of our women do, or that ...

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For how long will people like Muzaffar Ali, from GB, remain disenfranchised?

All justice is blind, but some justice is blinder than others. The blindness of justice is supposedly a powerful metaphor, alluding to its impartial and independent dispensation. Unfortunately, in our beloved country, the justice system unseeingly crushes the powerless. That’s the reality we live in today. Despite having one of the world’s most modern constitutions, saving a few articles, we never see it in effect. The influential section of society constantly eludes the law and commits transgressions. A story of a similar injustice is making rounds on social media and has been shared by thousands of people in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Ths young man's lost his job, jailed 4 ...

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In Sindh, our children’s lives are not as valuable as that of a politician’s

After the Army Public School (APS) Peshawar carnage, schools throughout the country were under constant threat. Most vulnerable were the schools of Karachi where there were a few instances of letters, coffins and even bullets thrown in schools in order to intimidate the authorities and school owners and create an environment of fear and paranoia. However, the government did not mobilise its security apparatus to secure the schools and instead relied heavily on the schools to take care of their own security. Instead of withdrawing police from VIP protocols and deputing them in sensitive areas, the provincial government displayed insensitivity by asking the schools to beef up their security by employing the services of private ...

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Aao Parhao – A school is as good as its teachers

Schools are like rivers; even when they are a thousand-years old, the water flowing through any given moment is always new. The irrefutable fact of the matter is that our experience of school, and what our education there ultimately amounts to, is defined by the personalities in our cohort, both teachers and peers, who run the course with us. The traditions and values of the institution notwithstanding, it is the values of those around us, and their immediate treatment of us as individuals, which actually counts in the end. Anyone who has ever been bullied or marginalised at a ...

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Security measures that every parent wants to see installed in Pakistani schools

The massacre at Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar changed our way of life, our approach towards educational institutes and our concern for the safety of our kids. The events of December 16, 2014 left some really ugly scars on the minds of our youth which will probably take decades to heal. Such incidents provide a new dimension in terms of planning for personal safety and providing a safe future for the newer generation. By giving the duty of ‘chaperone’ to a sizable number of law enforcement officers to placate the rich, elite and VIPs of our country, our government has ...

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Ten reasons why Pakistanis do what they do

Pakistan, ever since its inception, but even more so after the rule of Hazrat General Ziaul Haq, has been under the axe of western propagandists and bigots. The precipitous progress that the country is displaying and the threat that this presents to the developed world has them grinding their teeth. Thus they target us rather unfairly and portray to their public an image of ours which cannot be far from truth. It is to undo their nefarious designs that I, perhaps for the very first time in history, yearn to exhibit a picture of Pakistan like it really is. To this effect, a list of ...

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