December 19, 2020

Police officer arrested for, allegedly, raping a complainant

A policeman allegedly raped a woman at his house in Sadiqabad, and has been arrested since. The rape survivor had registered a criminal case with police last month, and had been going to the police station for this purpose, according to Dawn. The woman stated, that the policeman had assured her of his assistance in […]

December 16, 2020

Art and representation: challenging the negative perception of Pashtuns one painting at a time

The portrayal of Pashtuns in mainstream media and art in Pakistan is both tinged by an undercurrent of racism, and a misunderstanding born out of disconnection from them. Pakistan’s involvement in the ‘War on Terror’ had a disproportionate impact on its Pashtun citizens, as the northern province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was used as […]

December 7, 2020

Pakistan’s alternate history: how Taxila and the Margalla Hills were named after a Serpent King

The lush green hills around Islamabad hide many ancient wonders, like the cave of Bari Imam where the sufi saint is said to have been visited by Jinns, Fairies and wild animals while he lived there for 12 years. Legend as has it that Bari Imam turned a deviant snake into a rock, which is […]

December 3, 2020

PTI calls out ‘corrupt’ journalists on its Twitter account – here’s why that’s problematic

In the latest chapter of the PTI government’s drive to muzzle all criticism of its performance it has decided to try to name and shame journalists on Twitter. Just last month, the PTI government installed a new PTV chairman who said the opposition would get no screen time on PTV. The PTI government seems to […]

December 3, 2020

Tinder may be banned but Pakistanis are swiping away on Bumble

Online dating has become a firm fixture of the Pakistani dating scene, despite some dating apps like Tinder and Grindr being banned. Far from decreasing the popularity of online dating the Pakistani government’s ban only propelled Pakistanis to migrate to other dating apps, like Bumble. In 2020, between the months of January to September, Bumble […]

December 1, 2020

Naeem Bukhari’s PTV appointment is just another instance of cronyism

Lawyer, TV personality, and PTI member Naeem Bukhari was recently appointed as head of the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV). But, Bukhari’s appointment is just another instance of cronyism in Pakistan. PTV’s new chairman Naeem Bukhari says there will be NO coverage of the opposition parties on taxpayers funded PTV — Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) […]

November 27, 2020

Here’s how a small political movement like the Student March became a mainstream player

Pakistan is set to witness its third consecutive student solidarity march today, on the 27th of November. The march is taking place across multiple major cities, and if last year’s turnout is to relied upon for prediction then thousands will be in attendance. The resurgence of student politics in the last three to five years […]

November 26, 2020

Ahmadis were vital in the creation of Pakistan yet the country still refuses to accept them

Ahmadis are reviled and persecuted in Pakistan, ironically, both for not being muslim enough or trying to be too muslim. The extent of their persecution is such that it is enshrined in the law. The state has forcefully stripped them of the right to call themselves muslim, and it has all its citizens participate in […]

November 21, 2020

Children to be tracked and Imams given an ultimatum– Is France going too far in its quest to stamp out ‘radical Islam’?

President Macron recently presented a bill to combat, what he terms as, ‘Islamist separatism’. It is a wide ranging bill, but its predominant focus is the children of the country. Under this bill, homeschooling will be banned, children will be tracked and their school attendance monitored through special identification numbers. This bill will come into […]

November 20, 2020

Chinese store labels large size women’s clothing ‘rotten’, proving the institutionalisation of body shaming

A store in China recently came under fire for labeling large size women’s clothing as rotten. In a photo posted by a netizen the sizing chart of the store had extra labels in front of different sizes. Large (L) was labelled ‘rotten’, Extra Large (XL) was ‘extra rotten’ and Extra-Extra Large (XXL) was ‘rotten to […]

November 20, 2020

Why are condolences from the highest echelons of power pouring in for a far right, radical cleric?

Khadim Rizvi, the head of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), passed away yesterday and condolences from the highest echelons of power have swiftly come pouring in. From the Prime Minister to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), it seems everyone is struck by grief, which seems odd when just a few days prior Khadim Rizvi and […]

November 19, 2020

What you need to know about Naswar — Pakistan’s ‘Sasta Nasha’

Naswar is a form of tobacco, popular in South and Central Asia, but unlike tobacco’s popular smoke producing iteration— cigarettes— Naswar is smokeless. Naswar is made by mixing together slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), juniper wood ash, indigo colouring agent and sun-dried, air-cured powdered tobacco inside a water filled and cement lined cavity. It also sometimes […]

November 18, 2020

Are deepfakes the next big weapon in the misinformation war?

If you’ve seen the video of Prime Minster Imran Khan and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif singing the 80s hit ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ then you know what deepfakes are. For everyone else, deepfakes encompass audio or video content that has been manipulated to look different but just as realistic as the original. It is […]

November 17, 2020

Banning the two-finger test is not enough, all virginity testing needs to be outlawed

The Punjab government has issued a notification banning the two-finger test for survivors of rape and sexual assault. A move that should have happened much earlier given that the test holds no medical validity whatsoever. But still, it is a step in the right direction. However, it is important to note that this notification has […]

November 13, 2020

A forgotten Pakistan: once an essential stop on the holy pilgrimage of hippies

There was a bygone era where Pakistan was a famed stop on what can be termed the holy pilgrimage of hippies. Hippies, beatniks and the occasional intrepid traveller would all frequent the Hippie Trail in the 60s and 70s. The Hippie Trail was a famous overland route that started in Europe and went through Asia, […]

November 13, 2020

A cruel and callous nation: rampant animal abuse lays bare our reality

Animal carcasses rotting away in the middle of the street are a common sight in Pakistan. Both the people who hit these animals and those passing by everyday don’t have the basic decency to at least move the poor animal out of the way. Imagine the sheer callousness required to look at death and suffering […]

November 12, 2020

On the brink of running dry: not a drop of water will be found anywhere in Pakistan soon

Water is essential for life, yet Pakistan is on the brink of running dry. Both the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) have warned that Pakistan will become absolutely water scarce by 2025, if nothing changes. We are now only five years away from this terrifying situation. […]

November 12, 2020

Shia student thrashed by classmates and jailed over sectarian disagreement

A Shia student was beaten by his classmates, before being handed over to police after a disagreement centred on the Caliphs Umar and Ali. The incident took place on Monday, at Islamabad Model College for Boys F-11/3. According to initial reports on social media the disagreement occurred after a second year Sunni lecturer stated in […]

November 11, 2020

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s worth takes a nose dive as ECP releases National Assembly member’s asset declarations

On Tuesday, the Election Commission of Pakistan released the details of the assets and liabilities of the members of the National Assembly, for the financial year 2019-2020. The assets of Prime Minister Imran Khan took a whopping 26% plunge when compared to their valuation in the previous year. Previously, the valuation was Rs. 108.236 million […]

November 11, 2020

Pfizer’s vaccine probably isn’t going to be Pakistan’s salvation

The recent announcement of Pfizer and BioNtech’s Covid-19 vaccine sent the world into a tizzy, including Pakistan. There is already talk of the pandemic coming to an end soon and life returning to normal. However, while this vaccine is good news it isn’t the magic cure-all that everyone is perceiving it to be. And, Pakistanis […]

November 10, 2020

Protestors required to relocate due to Ravi Riverfront Project threaten to set themselves on fire

Yesterday, distraught protestors threatened to set themselves on fire if forced to give up their homes for the government’s Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project. The homes of those living close to the riverfront have come under the government’s planned development zone, therefore they will be required to vacate their homes for the building process. The […]

November 10, 2020

Pakistan’s newest animated feature, Swipe, confronts the weaponisation of religion and technology

From the start Swipe is both intriguing and alarming, we see a flock of crows ravenously feeding on scraps of meet and then we hear the overly cheerful voice of a news anchor talking about a shiny new app on the market called ifatwa. The casualness with which she states ‘swipe right se wajib-ul-qatal, aur […]

November 10, 2020

Hope is in the air: anti-establishment politics takes centre stage

Hope seems to be in the air everywhere. Trump lost the election, Modi is trailing behind his opponents in the polls from the Bihar election, the Chileans did away with the unjust Pinochet era constitution, the German AfD has lost a significant amount of its support after Merkel’s adept handling of the pandemic, Nigerians have […]

November 9, 2020

Biden’s drones couldn’t have flown without Pakistan’s help

The recent discourse in Pakistan regarding the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has been one of jubilation and relief. After Trump’s defeat many with relatives settled in America have breathed a sigh of relief, while others have welcomed his departure owing to his less than warm relations with Pakistan. However, in the waning […]

November 9, 2020

What exactly is the Single National Curriculum?

Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said that a uniform education system would eradicate the current class-based education system, as all children would get equal opportunities to excel. And, the vehicle for this change is to be the Single National Curriculum (SNC). On the face of it the SNC sounds too good to be true, one […]

November 9, 2020

Should hash be legalised in Pakistan?

Even though cannabis is illegal in Pakistan, its port city, Karachi ranked second in the list of the most marijuana consuming cities in the world. On the face of it this ranking seems absurd, Pakistan is a deeply conservative islamic country where even alcohol is forbidden due to religious statutes so logically it follows that […]

November 7, 2020

One brave soul fighting the good fight, one hash legalisation petition at a time

A veritable champion of the people, Ghulam Asghar Saieen, moved the Sindh High Court, yesterday, to legalise just 10 grams of hash. The Sindh High Court in top form as the resident buzzkills however didn’t even give our champion enough time to properly plead his case. They called him in long enough to scoff at […]

November 6, 2020

To all the Qasim Ali Shah’s of the world, just stop. I’m tired.

Not a day goes by in this country when women aren’t being raped, abused, murdered, or just generally having the life stifled out of them. And still, men like Qasim Ali Shah have the audacity to preach to us about our ‘ultimate roles’ in life. Which of course, is to start out as an unpaid […]

November 6, 2020

Beating farmers isn’t going to solve the wheat crisis

The brutal police crackdown on farmers demonstrating for a fair wheat support price has led to the death of Malik Ashfaq Langrial. He was one of the farmers leading the demonstration against the government. The government was unwilling to budge on the issue, and the police under its orders relentlessly tear-gassed, water-cannoned and beat the […]

November 6, 2020

The Long Goodbye, the quintessential album for the Pakistani diaspora

Riz Ahmed, a British-Pakistani actor, is best known for his roles in Rogue One: A Star Wars story, and The Night Of. But he has also had a rather diverse music career, as Riz MC and one half of the rap duo the Swet shop Boys. His music has always had sociopolitical undertones that address […]

November 5, 2020

This U.S election is giving me serious Pakistan election deja vu

Pakistan and America are old allies with an often tumultuous relationship but never before has the Pakistani public felt so close to the Americans. The current U.S election has shaped up to be strikingly similar to a desi election. The entire cast has been mirrored near perfectly. We have the incumbent who has proven to […]

November 4, 2020

Are Roshan Digital Accounts a lucrative investment opportunity for overseas Pakistanis?

Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) are a way for overseas Pakistanis to open and use digital bank accounts in Pakistan, all whilst being abroad. These accounts are part of a strategy to attract more foreign exchange into the country in order to bolster the foreign exchange reserves. So far this opportunity is proving to be popular […]

November 4, 2020

3 shows featuring the Pakistani Diaspora that you need to watch

Pakistan and its people are, commonly, not portrayed well in Western media. Take Homeland for example, where Pakistan is depicted only as terrorist laden hellhole, and for some inexplicable reason the people speak Arabic instead of Urdu. So, it really feels like a rare treat to see deceptions of Pakistanis as more than just terrorists. […]

November 4, 2020

Are Imran Khan and Donald Trump cut from the same cloth?

Prime Minister Imran Khan, with what appeared to be thinly veiled admiration, recently shared how both he and the American President, Donald Trump, have had to get creative and do “a lot of out of the box thinking” over the course of their political careers. In an interview with Der Spiegel’s Susanne Koelbl the prime […]

October 28, 2020

13 year old christian girl forcibly converted and married to a 44 year old, video of her distressed mother sparks outrage

Today was the first hearing, in the Sindh High Court, of the case of Arzoo Masih. A 13 year old christian girl, whose parents state that she was kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam and then married against her will to 44 year old, Ali Azhar.  According to the FIR, Arzoo’s father, Raja Lal […]

October 28, 2020

Religion as a smokescreen: an age old tactic in Pakistani Politics

Yesterday, following in the footsteps of previous governments, the Pakistani Parliament in an attempt to obfuscate the real political issues of the time passed a resolution demanding that their envoy be recalled from France. Not only did this embarrass the country internationally, as Pakistan presently has no ambassador to France, but it also exposed a […]

October 28, 2020

Biscuits, Boycotts and Selective Outrage

Today, #boycottfrenchproduct is trending and Pakistan has been gripped by boycott fever once again, and this time LU biscuits have landed in the crosshairs. Ostensibly, in an effort to drive France to its knees and make it repent for its slight against the muslim community. Though how this is achieved by boycotting LU biscuits, which […]

October 27, 2020

Rallying for change: 3 possible outcomes of the PDM

The Pakistan Democratic Movement, a nexus of parties across the political spectrum, has been rallying against the sitting government and the establishment for the past month. Agitation from the political opposition, no matter who they are, is commonplace and expected however, the public support that the PDM has rapidly gained is what has made it […]

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