10 Reasons Why It Is NOT Awesome Being a Woman in Pakistan

Someone thought it would be a good idea to write a post about how awesome it is to be a woman in Pakistan. I started reading it, highly expecting it to be sarcastic. It wasn’t. So here’s my take. 1. People Always Compliment You. They will always refer to you as khoobsurat, sexy, kya kamar hai and many other endering terms. They also go the…

When Influence is The Only Law

  The “free media” continues to present a lopsided view of incidents; the police continue to ignore the facts; and the wives of feudal lords – like the niece of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister, Hina Gilani – continue to forcefully employ child laborers and then even kill them for “daring” to try to drink juice from their pitcher. Here’s the whole story: Javed aged 9…

virtual outrage

We Are Outraged

The outrage! The outrage! “Oh how could they do this!” “This is beyond belief.” “I’m so mad all of you better stay away from me today.” “What is wrong with all of you?” We’re good at expressing outrage as we go about our daily lives. It helps us push back the depressing feeling of helplessness and ignore the nagging of our subconscious. Of course, we…

state of rain in islamabad

What’s a Capital Without the Capital?

“I was stranded on the IJP road and then later at the I-8 for hours on end with the roads all practically flooded. We were literally two people driving the car: one mistimed gear shift and we would have been stranded in the rain on the road for the next 6 hours.” This was Shaukat’s – then a private chauffeur in a local household – story…

The Silence of the Digital Sheep

  Pakistan is a country that has lagged behind the developed world in information and technology for as long as we Pakistanis can remember. Yes, we’ve even lagged behind the United States, which has some of the slowest internet connections in the entire ‘Western World’ and still sports Dial-Up internet – something even we Pakistanis look down on. Yet Pakistani is quickly becoming a very active nation…

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…