Stories about west

I am sorry Mr Policeman, you deserve better…

This year, like preceding years, began with massive bloodshed. There have been targeted killings of civilians in the south, sectarian killings in the west and militants in the north of Pakistan. Amid these killings we lost a very brave policeman – Chaudhry Aslam. His death was another gloomy reminder of the continuous attack on our police force as well as our lack of empathy and recognition for their work. In January alone 26 policemen have been killed in Karachi, while in Peshawar another six have been killed and the month is not even over yet. And scores of policemen continue to be injured and killed across the country every day. Unfortunately, only one ...

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Why do Pakistani men have a roving eye?

What is up with Pakistani males and their need to objectify every female that crosses their path? I emphasise on the word Pakistani because having lived in the West, I have never come across a culture or society where men have such difficulty lowering their gaze.  It is something that has to stop! Not only does it make a woman feel uncomfortable, if not naked, it is an extremely degenerate and distasteful trait in men. Married men, who indulge in it when their wives are sitting right next to them, are particularly loathsome. It starts the minute I land at Islamabad airport right to when ...

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Skimpy clothing in Saudi Arabia? If you’re in a compound, sure!

I remember watching a movie a couple of years ago, called Kingdom, the plot of which centred around an armed assault on a Saudi Aramco housing compound. For those who are not aware of the oil and gas industry, Saudi Aramco is a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company, which has exclusive rights of oil extraction in the country. At the moment, Saudi Aramco is the biggest oil exporter in the world. The movie Kingdom was released in 2007 and that was my first exposure to the life-style followed in the housing compounds of this company. Last week I got a chance to actually visit a ...

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A chat with a 21st century Pakistani patriot

Interviewer (I): Assalamu alaykum. My name is Sanjay. Patriot (P): Sanjay? Are you Indian? I: No, I’m Pakistani. P: How come? I: Well I was born and raised here. P: However, people of your belief are born and raised in India. Sanjay Dutt is an example. I: A large number of people of my belief live in Pakistan as well. Seen the white in our flag? P: Oh. That’s Odd. I: What do you think about Pakistan? P: I love my country. It’s a great country to live in. I: What do you like about Pakistan? P: I know the funded media is trying its best to ruin Pakistan’s image, but we need ...

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Egypt: Does the West change the definition of democracy when it comes to Muslims?

While the Egyptian army is busy massacring Morsi supporters in Egypt, the west and local liberals both have turned mute and silent. Hundreds have been killed and it is feared that the violence will escalate once the Egyptian army resumes its standard operating procedure of ‘find-torture-kill’; something it has mastered for a number of years. Champions of freedom and democracy, the US and the West, have once again shown their true colours of deceit, deception and hypocrisy as they fully support the Al-Sisi led coup without once thinking of the impact this could have on a ‘democratically elected’ government; ...

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Pakistan, where humanity is dead

A few years ago, my aunt was driving with my uncle sitting next to her. They were in the service lane, and wanted to change lanes when my aunt saw the car next to her trying to make a turn too. She thought that the car was turning in another direction, and so, decided to proceed with the turn. However, things didn’t work out in her favour and the two cars collided. In the accident, the other driver walked out without a scratch while my aunt was badly injured with blood oozing down her arm. After that came the traffic fights. People crowded around the ...

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Taliban antics: Why cant we ever be ready, Pakistan?

As the streets of Pakistan begin to fade their recollection of the wreckage and hostility that came with retaliation against the anti-Islam video “Innocence of Muslims”, another catastrophe has shaken the Pakistani populace to its core. Malala Yousufzai’s attempted assassination has left everyone in the country, and abroad, outraged at the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for its blatant atrocity. Both of these events have shown the power that public outrage can have in making the government take notice of an act. While the anti-Islam video and Malala’s assassination attempt are separate occurrences, one cannot discount the idea that the Taliban’s violent resurgence ...

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Secularism is not atheism!

It is interesting to note how shifts in the political landscape are a regular source of new vocabulary. A breeze through comments on this newspaper’s website show the frequent usage of the word ‘secularism’ which was never a part of the average news reader’s vocabulary fifteen years ago. The word is now generously splashed around by commentators as they opine over news stories. Quite worryingly, secularism is often referred to as a political system which is both atheistic and un-Islamic – a misjudgement which causes one to choke with laughter and cry in despair at the same time. Painting secularism ...

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Image is nothing: Pakistan as Andre Agassi

Even before he had won anything of note, tennis player Andre Agassi became a celebrity thanks to his “Image is Everything” ads for Cannon, which capitalised on his ridiculous blonde locks and cut-off denim shorts. Although he would go on to reveal that the hair was augmented by a toupee and win a bunch of majors on his way to becoming a truly legendary player, Agassi admitted in his searing autobiography” Open” that he was never comfortable with his rockstar status, unearned that it was. The lesson is clear: image is a self-created ...

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Why America won’t help with Kashmir

Media commentator Aakar Patel, who also co-owns a publishing and content outsource company in Mumbai, recently wrote for The Express Tribune about the Kashmir freedom struggle and how India gets away despite its reign of oppression and coercion in the valley. For a change, Aakar is one of the voices from the Indian mainstream who infuses fresh life into the waning secular Indianess. However, his skewed proclamations where he raises questions like “What does azadi mean? It means freedom, of course. But freedom from what? (sic)”, which are not new to the Kashmir discourse, stink of ignorance and self-righteousness, and ...

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