Stories about VIP culture

Tahir Malik: VIP culture destroying lives, again

Tahir Malik, 23, was a BCom graduate and was planning to study further and join a lucrative job perspective in Dubai. He was shot dead by the private security guard of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son, Abdul Qadir Gilani, while Qadir was on his way to distribute sacrificial meat. The story is not news anymore in Pakistan. We have been insulated by insensitivity and have started taking such killings as mere statistics. We have all been victims of bigwig security protocols and the process of harassment occurs at many levels. We are harassed on a daily basis. The first level is psychological, when a caravan ...

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Arjumand Hussain: Brave but lucky

If you go through the video of Rehman Malik being kicked off the plane, the following lines will resonate in your mind for a while. “We have taken it for 68 years. Are we going to take it for another 68 years?” If you were a passenger on the flight in question, your answer would probably be ‘no’. If you are the employers of Arjumand Hussain, the man who shot the video, then your answer would probably be different. Or at least that is the message the common man gets once he finds out that Hussain was fired a couple of days ago. As ...

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In Pakistan, the #VIPCulture has to go

Commuting in metropolitan cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad often bestows upon you the unforgettable experience of being reminded how ‘ordinary’ you are. You may only use the road when it isn’t being used by a Very Important Person (VIP). When a policeman raises his hand or puts a picket to stop you, he may only be saying ‘stop and wait’ but what you actually hear is, “Wait, you ordinary, worthless citizen! Your time, life and business are of no value. Wait while the all-important VIP passes”. It is quite similar to how when kings and queens passed through markets and ...

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Umar Akmal: A great player but a bitter citizen?

Umar Akmal became the subject of much debate because of his recent run-in with the police. He violated traffic rules by going through a red light and when stopped by the police, he tried to bully the traffic warden by flaunting his stature of being an international sportsman. Yes, he is a talented player but in this one incident, he proved himself to be a careless and nasty citizen. As a result of his actions, Akmal has been booked under Sections 186, 279 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to police reports, the 23-year-old Akmal did not stop at a traffic signal in ...

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The Aam Aadmi Party is good news for democracy in India

Staring at the sky while lying on a wooden plank in the media section at Ram Lila ground – the venue of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s fast until death for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman – I am rapt in thinking about the fascinating revolution that is taking place in India. At a stone’s throw away, Hazare is spending the first night of his fast until death in his private chamber. It is also my first night of reporting for the Press Trust of India at the venue. It seems that the sky is also being economical in the use of light tonight for it ...

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To survive at NADRA you must (not) obey the law?

NICOP and Smart NICOP facilities were started by NADRA in an attempt to assist overseas Pakistanis who send a considerable amount of their income to Pakistan and invest in the country despite the deplorable situation here. Here is the sad story of my pursuit to get this card.  My first attempt:  On October 20, 2013, I made my first attempt to acquire the Nicop. For that, I went to the Nadra office at Deans Trade Centre in Peshawar. After having spent two hours waiting in the queue at the token counter, I was told by the officer that the Nadra Dean Centre office did not accommodate applications for the ...

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