Monthly Archives: August 2011

What’s Happening in Karachi?

I recently saw program “Aapas Ki Baat” on Youtube in which Najam Sethi discussed Karachi’s situation. Because of this program Geo News transmission was suspended by MQM in some parts of Karachi for a short while. The views by Najam Sethi depict accurate picture of Karachi killings and background workings of political parties as well as indigenous criminal gangs that have political support. It also has some bitter realities generally refuted but secretly promoted by politicians. Continue reading


Chronicles of Pakistan: The Urdu Controversy

It is a well known fact that the integrity of any nation depends upon its people and how much they associate themselves to their country. When that integrity gets fractured or the people refrain from associating themselves with the country, it’s just a matter of time before the boundaries shift.

We saw that in the case of Soviet Union when few countries broke away to become independent nations, leaving behind economically weaker Russia. Pakistan is another case where its eastern-wing broke away to become Bangladesh. Plenty of other countries have faced similar fate in recent or distant past. In recent history, only two nations were formed on the name of religion soon after World War 2; Israel for the Jews and Pakistan for the Muslims. Continue reading

The Journey to Break the Record

The blog is also published at Express Tribune and is in much better shape than original. Kudos to the ET team for editing.

When the idea to break the Guinness Book of World Record for Most People Singing National Anthem was presented to me first, I felt intrigued. With all the factors of division creating havoc in the society, it presented an excellent way to unite the Pakistanis once more and for that I joined Abid Beli and Waqas Pai to achieve this goal. Continue reading

Never Force Left-Handed Child to be Right-Handed

Update: An edited form of this article was published in October 2011 edition of Circles Magazine.

I have used my right hand to perform major activities all my life. Even though my performance has remained average in most cases like quality of handwriting, sports and sketching, I considered it normal. Some time back at a family gathering my mother discussed with someone the complexities of bringing up children and I was surprised to learn that I was born left-handed.

She said she discovered I was left-handed due to the amount of pressure I exerted on her finger with each hand when two months old. At such a tender age she made sure my left hand remained immobile most of the time (though not uncomfortably) and was forced to use right hand freely that eventually became my dominant hand. Continue reading

Terrorist Still Means Muslim to Western Media

This was originally published at Geo Blogs.

The bomb blast and killing spree in Oslo, Norway on July 22, 2011 set the western media in frenzy where within hours the blame of tragedy was laid upon Islamic extremists. It was headed by Will McCants, an expert on counter-terrorism, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and member of many counter-terrorism programs in US.

The blame was laid on Islamic extremists based on vague speculations Will McCants came across on a password protected Arabic forum ‘Shmukh’ (known for its members being vocally supportive of Global Jihad) that was thirstily gulped down by media and soon BBC, New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and others were propagating this speculation as news even before police in Norway managed to gain control of the situation. Continue reading

The Other Side of Kati-Pahari

I usually travel on car in the city ever since I was robbed on a bus back in 2007. In the past four years there have been very few instances where I had to use bus, Rickshaw or taxi for commute. July 30 was such a day when I decided to use public transport so that I don’t get bogged down in the so-called Peace Rally organized by Karachi’s political parties.

Luckily a Rickshaw just stopped to drop off my neighbor in front of our house and I bargained fare with the driver. I had to attend orientation ceremony at Regent Plaza Hotel and there was still an hour’s time to get there comfortably. Once we decided on the payment I retrieved my documents from the house and climbed in.

The driver was middle-aged Pakhtoon with reddish, well kept beard and soft speaking manner. I struck conversation with him to pass the time and he was a willing to share his views on every topic. The first time he told me he’s from Kati-Pahari area when I asked him if he can stay long enough to take me back home as well. He apologized that he can’t since he’s from the opposite end of the city and have to go back soon. I then asked him about the security situation of his area and that’s where our real conversation started.

In the next 45 minutes we touched upon several topics and talked on a few sensitive issues like ethnic conflicts, Taliban situation, target killings, Qasba Colony incident of the 80s etc. His conversation was like a story of his own life that has shaped his views, giving a glimpse to opinion at the other side of Kati-Pahari and is reconstructed below to the best of my memory. Continue reading