Blogs

Meritocracy or Kleptocracy: Kurdistan’s Political Leadership in Turmoil

By Aras Ahmed Mhamad The Kurdistan region has been suffering on multiple fronts be it an economic crisis and delays in salaries for six months to disputes over budget cuts by the central government and decline in oil prices. There’s also a presidential crisis with Masoud Barzani’s expired tenure after two terms and two years

[ Read More ]

Welcome, Zayn Malik, Could We Offer You Some Biryani?

By Layla Haider Zayn, you’re insecure, don’t know what for, you’re turning heads when you walk through the do-o-or and through all the things that the “Night Changes”, we have witnessed your journey to finding “What Makes You Beautiful” and if that entails pink hair—so be it. In opening up, singer Zayn Malik has become

[ Read More ]

Social Media and Pakistan’s Rising Intolerance

By Omar R Quraishi Social media increasingly seems to be setting the mainstream agenda these days and no more so than in Pakistan, which has around 30 million Facebook users and around 3-5 million who have accounts on Twitter. Events, especially those captured on video and then uploaded on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, quickly reach

[ Read More ]

Mystery Surrounds Shahbaz Taseer’s Captivity and Return

By Omar R Quraishi Shahbaz Taseer was a high-profile kidnapping victim in Pakistan — missing for almost five years after he was abducted a few hundred meters from his home in an affluent neighborhood in the city of Lahore on August 26, 2011. His case was major news in Pakistan because in January the same year,

[ Read More ]

In The Name of ‘Honor’

By Omar R Quraishi Film-maker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy did Pakistan proud yet again — winning her second Oscar for documentary film-making. Her first one was for Saving Face which highlighted the terrible stories of women in Pakistan whose faces have been disfigured by acid attacks. This year’s Oscar winning film, A Girl In The River: The

[ Read More ]

Mumtaz Qadri’s Execution May Just Be A Turning Point In Pakistan

By Omar R Quraishi Mumtaz Qadri was a member of an elite police detachment tasked with guarding important people in the Pakistan government. On January 4, 2011, while deployed in the security detail of then Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer he pumped 28 bullets into his body in an affluent neighborhood of the country’s capital Islamabad. He immediately

[ Read More ]

Protecting Women in Pakistan—One Step At A Time

By Omar R Quraishi One would normally think that passage of a law empowering women and protecting them from social ills like domestic violence and stalking would be seen as a good step in any society wishing to progress. Not so in the case of a law passed recently by the legislature of Pakistan’s Punjab

[ Read More ]

Is Daesh in Pakistan or Not? Confusion All Around

By Omar R Quraishi One would have thought that the answer to this important question would be clear cut— either it is there in Pakistan or it isn’t. However, if one was to go by recent statements of senior government officials, including the interior minister, then the answer becomes somewhat muddled. Of late, Daesh has

[ Read More ]

Wheels Of Fortune

By Aida Al Busaidy As a kid, I self-taught myself a lot of things … including the art of cycling. I call it an art because it’s about balance as much as it is about control; it’s also about having a sense of direction and a sense of purpose. Everyone else had a bicycle when

[ Read More ]

Saudi’s Nimr Al Nimr: A Martyr or Terrorist?

BY Hussein Shobokshi Saudi Arabia’s recent execution of 47 terrorists—45 of whom were Saudi nationals—sent a loud and clear message: that there will be absolutely zero tolerance for terrorism, extremism or sectarianism in the Kingdom. Many Saudis reaction to the news was one of relief as it brought a sense of closure to an ugly

[ Read More ]