Dinner in the war zone

  “My husband didn’t want our children to come to Pakistan because it’s dangerous.” I looked at her and suppressed a smile. We were at a restaurant in Islamabad, at a dinner hosted in honour of a relative visiting Pakistan from the US of A. She had been asked why her children hadn’t come along. And she explained that her husband and in-laws felt that…

pakistani young men smoking

The Unemployed Mind: Pakistan’s Unemployment Problem Explained

  To give the country credit, Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world not to obey Okun’s Law which posits a ~2 percent decrease in GDP for every percentage increase in unemployment. Pakistan is an irreverent case. Our problems of unemployment are the same right across the board from youth to adult unemployment and are far too diverse for us to address…

international women's day in pakistan

Celebrating women or the day?

So, I have to write something for the International Women’s Day (IWD). I think, and then I think some more. I go look at the IWD website for inspiration. It says the theme this year is “Connecting girls, Inspiring futures”. I also find out that the UN theme is different: “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty.” So, every country and organisation has a…

police man in bunker

From the Mouth of a Babe

“Why is police uncle looking at us?” I follow the tiny finger and see a clad-for-war policeman pointing his gun at us. Sitting hunched inside his fortlet, the policeman changes the position of his gun in his usual sweep of the roadside. I turn to see my nephew’s eyes still focused on the huge gun and wonder how you explain terrorism, security and world peace…

Of taxis and travelling alone in Islamabad

  “You do realize how dangerous it is to travel alone in a taxi?” “Oh come on! Lots of girls travel alone.” “Yes, and lots of girls become daily news in your paper too.” On my way to the Dateline that day, I remembered all those times dad warned me against travelling alone in taxis. And boy was I scared. There was something strange about…

And We all Flow Down – A Look at Pakistan’s Water Crisis

Pakistan has long been a country recognized for its agriculture-based economy – whether after primary, secondary or tertiary processing is beside the point. Our exports-based economy really is based on agricultural produce – ranging from wheat and processed cotton to rice. Honestly speaking, this fact is stressed upon us so forcefully during high school that anyone having completed this level of education can tell you…