Originally published by The Guardian After Peshawar, Pakistan must not turn a blind eye to the connection between its ghost schools and the growth of radicalism in its most neglected regions Eight years ago, I briefly held what was perhaps the best job in Pakistan. I was the documenter of good news. You see, good news … Continue reading Building schools to combat extremism in Pakistan
Originally published by The Express Tribune, Pakistan on December 28, 2014 On December 18th, when news first broke that Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a top leader of the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and accused mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks, was going to be released on bail, frenzy ensued. The Indian media exploded, and was quick to compare … Continue reading Holding the Government and Army Accountable
This essay was originally published by the Papercuts Magazine in October, 2014 Seven years ago, I left the city of my birth for good. Ostensibly, my leaving was tied to the most common reason young Pakistani women emigrate: marriage. It’s taken some years of introspection to see that my decision to marry when I did was … Continue reading Leaving the Metropolis
Written for Ali on his third birthday Dear Ali, Today, you turned three. I have tried to write you a letter every now and then since the day you were born, mostly describing how I feel about being your mother, about you landing in my life and helping me find my feet. I have hoped … Continue reading You are three.
October, 2011 What is it that makes women so susceptible to the smallest slight once they've scoured practically the highest mountain for human endurance: giving birth to a child. One would think that successfully delivering a living, breathing person would open gates for some kind of new, thriving confidence that would make them a seamless … Continue reading In My Motherhood
March, 2010 A few days ago, the chief minister of the Punjab province came into the limelight, for a strange, ill-advised commentary on the Taliban's recent attacks in Lahore (see Dawn's unusually strong-worded editorial about it here). Sharif was also chief minister, Pubjab in 1999 when his brother, then PM Nawaz Sharif, was ousted by … Continue reading Really, Shahbaz Sharif?
This essay was originally published by the Kolachi magazine/The News International in July, 2007 A recent cartoon in a local daily depicted a man's family drenched in unspeakable gloom because he had just been posted to the city of Karachi. Very funny, you'd say, if you didn't yourself happen to be a resident of "the … Continue reading In the Blood