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Blasphemy Laws, Plight of Pakistan’s Minorities

Last year Joseph Colony of Lahore, Pakistan was burnt by a muslim mob on allegations of blasphemy by a christian man, Sawan Masih. Yesterday court sentenced Sawan Masih to death on the charge of blasphemy, while victims of Joseph Colony riot yet to get any Justice. [View the story "Blasphemy Laws, plight of Pakistan's Minorities" on Storify] … Read entire article »

Filed under: minorities, violence

Speak up (Melancholy )

Speak up (Melancholy )

by Caeser Ali Khan Islamic culture holds Melancholy (Hazen) in high esteem but I consider it not an honor but illness. We Muslims are suffering from a communal pain. It is often said “If you were a good and true Muslim, you would not care so much about your worldly losses.” What a pity. I am not speaking of your personal grief but of the pain and suffering we absorb with pride as a community. I am … Read entire article »

Filed under: Islam, Islamism, Pakistan

A tale of two attacks

By Ayesha Noor On September 22, 2013 the Taliban killed 85 Christian worshippers during a well-planned suicide attack in a Peshawar Church.  On May 28, 2010, the Taliban killed nearly 86 Ahmadi worshippers in two highly organized and well-coordinated suicide attacks on two Ahmadi mosques in Lahore. The church attack took place when Christians were engaged in prayers during Sunday service. The Ahmadi mosques attack occurred when Ahmadis were engaged in Friday prayers on, well, a Friday afternoon.  Everything is common in these attacks. Despite demanding security several times, the provincial governments gave cold responses to both communities. Both attacks were done in the name of Islam i.e. to wipe infidels from the face of the Earth. And both attacks stained the white part of the Pakistani flag bright red.  However, the tale of two attacks took opposite angles once the news of the attacks spread. While reporting the Ahmadi mosques attack, media first used … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity, Islam, minorities, Peshawar, Religion, violence

Provision of Education in Slums of Lahore

Sumble Butt  Every morning Noor wakes up with nursery rhymes echoing in her ears from a charity school in Johar Town managed by a Non- Government Organization, where she and her two younger brothers study. Noor’s father is a car driver and draws a salary that can barely meet the nutritional requirements of his family. She and her three siblings live in the servant quarters of the family who employs her father, Ramzan. It became possible for Noor to join a school when Ruba Humayun opened up the charity school named, “Door of Awareness” in her neighborhood, where she and several other children like her get free education. Ms. Humayun is an activist and social worker, who was once distributing food to the poor and needy children in the khachi-abadis (slums) close … Read entire article »

Filed under: Children, Education, poverty

The Flowers’ Stalks: selling books on Lahore’s streets

The Flowers’ Stalks: selling books on Lahore’s streets

  By Behzad Taimur The Sun is mellow and the early Sunday morning birdsong comes drifting down slowing through the air, and settles softly on a small street just off of Lahore’s famous Anarkali bazaar, like dust settles down once a gust of wind has blown past. The street is littered with small stalls of old books – each stall is a sheet of paper or a clump of rags with innumerable books lying on top. This, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, culture, Education, Heritage, History, Literature

The story teller’s sacrifice

by Amal Khan Fifteen years ago, in a city fifty miles south of Lahore, a Bishop shot himself in front of the Sessions Court where a Christian had been sentenced to death for blasphemy. It was a particularly personal protest. A sixty six year old Roman Catholic priest took a pistol to his head and excluded himself from holy communion with God. An optimistic man; gentle and educated. For reasons that we might better understand today, Bishop John Joseph decided that the model of the passive Christ, one who endures and suffers with worthy but ineffectual grace, just wasn’t his cup of tea. This was his act of self awareness; important to each of us in understanding questions of powerlessness and power. Especially, How much power do I possess? This is a tricky question, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Identity, Punjab, Rights, violence

Outside in

Outside in

From whence came the rivers By Shahbaz Ali Khan Shahbaz, a former Industry relations and PR professional, has spent the past 8 years experimenting with the frontiers of professional competence by insisting on not specializing in anything but thinking, communicating and writing. He tweets at @intensedesigns     Having recently moved to this ancient city, I felt I had to share the joy it has given me since my arrival. I will tell you why I love Lahore. This is not the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Lahore, Opinion

An Open Letter to Nawaz Sharif: Lift Ban on Factory Inspection and Ensure Compliance with Core Labour

By Ismat Shahjehan: Dear Mr. Sharif, At least 23 people died after fire broke out today in a shoe factory, illegally located in the residential area of Gulshan-e-Ravi area, Lahore. The fire engulfed the factory while full shift of 45 was at work. Prior to this brutal industrial hazard in Lahore, many other hazards are on record. In February this year, of 50 employees, 30 bodies (16 of them were women and 5 were boys below 16) were recovered from the rubble of a pharmaceutical factory (Orient Labs (Pvt) Ltd.) in Lahore, which collapsed after a huge blast. The blast was caused  by the boiler of this veterinary injections making factory. The building collapsed trapping over 50 workers, most of them young women and child labor.  The factory was also illegally located in a residential … Read entire article »

Filed under: Lahore

Itinerary Ear-Cleaners

By Jürgen Wasim Frembgen: Notes on a Marginal Profession  in Urban Muslim Punjab. It was not until the 1990s, when during sojourns in larger cities of Pakistan and North India I became aware of traditional medical practitioners who wandered the streets in search of clients to remove earwax. It proved difficult to satisfy my professional curiosity through ethnographic observation and conversation as these extraordinary looking men, wearing red headgear with iron sticks tucked under it, seemed to vanish as fast as they materialized all of a sudden at a street corner. Sometimes I could only catch a glimpse of such an ear-cleaner while passing by in a speeding rickshaw. Finally, in November 1999, I had my first chance to talk to one of them who was attending to a customer in front of the Tarannum Cinema in Lahore’s infamous Hira Mandi area. This became the starting point … Read entire article »

Filed under: People's Pakistan, Uncategorized

Campus corner

Campus corner

For the love of Samosas By Zehra Dada Zehra is a student at the LUMS university in lahore and an economics and political science major. “What? Even the samosa costs Rs. 5 more now? Honestly, they should just be sued.” This and other such sentences are the only thing floating around in the conversations of the students of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) these days. The constant, heated debate has been precipitated by the dramatic rise in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

Satire: Two spies arrested in Lahore

By The Satirist Two American backpackers were arrested yesterday in Lahore on suspicion of being Indian spies. Neither the police nor the intelligence agencies have yet to confirm or deny the reports. According to a source who does not wish to be named, alarm bells were raised when one of the two men in question was heard to say “Holy cow that’s cheap” whilst dining out at a Chappal Kebab restaurant. “It was an incomprehensible error of judgment” he said, “how can you go to a kebab eatery and start extolling the sanctity of bovines. We knew from that moment that these boys were spies.” In other telling evidence both suspects were captured wearing crocodile skin shoes and in possession of wallets made from elephant hide. None of their belongings were leather products. “They … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

How Azad won in Pakistan and India! Ramchandra Guha’s imaginary history and other incidental lies.

*This is a rebuttal to Ramchandra Guha’s article “Letting Azad win” which in my view was a terrible distortion of history and facts. -YLH By Yasser Latif Hamdani Ramchandra Guha- the so called Indian Historian- is incapable of telling the truth. It never ceases to amaze me how he continues to distort the facts regarding partition. Now however he has taken desperate tactics using frivolous allegations. Consider: he thinks Lahore is Kandahar where every woman is in a burqah. Anyone who has been to Lahore knows that this is an incredible lie even by the standards of Ramchandra Guha.  Perhaps had he actually bothered to visit Lahore, he would have changed his mind but facts are not what Guha is interested in. He is more interested in weaving an India-shining myth and in … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Real estate projects in different cities of Pakistan

A guest post by William King During the last few years, all the economic parameters have shown a gradual drop in Pakistan realty market. However, 2012 brings good news that Pakistan property prices will be moderated, making it an attractive investment opportunity for realtors and investors. New projects like The Centaurus (Islamabad) and many other notable projects across the country hold much promise for the industry. Timely completion of the projects also helps them grab the attention of investors. Therefore, most of the developers may focus on execution and delivering the committed projects in 2012 rather than launching new projects to avoid reaching insurmountable inventory limit. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Opinion

THE NEPAL-INDIA-PAKISTAN SPINAL BEETLE DRIVE

The ‘Great Nepal-India-Pakistan Spinal Beetle Drive’ is a journey from Kathmandu Valley through the Indus-Ganga plain to Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, starting on 4 November and scheduled to end on 16 November 2011. The drive will take place in a 1973 model Volkswagen Beetle, which previously has supported similar fundraisings ride – to Dhaka, in 2002 and 2005. President of Nepal,H.E Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has graciously consented to flag-off the “Spinal Beetle Drive” at 8:00 am on Friday,4th November, 2011. The drive is sponsored by the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre-Nepal, which has faced a sudden need to expand its services, being required to grow from 39 to 51 beds. The Spinal Centre, based in Saanga in Banepa Valley east of Kathmandu, is run entirely on voluntary contributions. Meera Jyoti is present Chair of the Spinal Centre. For details, … Read entire article »

Filed under: India, Pakistan

Jalsa weekend Lahore

Filed under: Humor, Images, Lahore, Punjab