It’s often asked jocularly, ‘Good news or bad news, which do you want first?’ The traditional reply is ‘good news’. This week Urooj scans through the major news in Pakistan and gives us her views braided with news. She begins with a good and positive news about a charity in the memory of Nazia Hassan that spells hope for street children. But, the times that we live in, the ear of violence, red in tooth and claw, show its ugly faces in most of the other news. Here’s her review of the news in Pakistan, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Newspapers continue to be the most trusted, convenient and traditional source of news. Perhaps because we have greater faith in the written words in newspapers and webzines. We do watch the news on TV, but reading the newspaper in morning with a hot cup of tea and discussing it with your friends and family has a charm of its own. This week in Pakistan Post let’s take a look on the important events that took place Pakistan last week.
Nazia Hassan Foundation: Hope for Street Children
Singer, lawyer, social activist, Nazia Hassan, well known for her throaty number, Aap jesa koi meri zindagi may aayay’ passed away at the age of 35, when she was at the top of her popularity. For the London Based Pakistani pop singer, born in Karachi, her melodious voice and charming personality endeared her to one and all, in India and Pakistan and various parts of the world. To keep her good work and memory alive, Nazia’s mother, Munzia Basir, has begun a charity. It aims to educate and improve the lives of street children in Karachi, the city of her birth. Muniza stated, “We are working towards establishing a school here in Karachi, but this is not just any other school in Pakistan. This school is specifically dedicated to the grooming and education of working children on the streets, who have been burdened with the expectation of earning for their entire families at the expense of their own education. Our school aspires to offer these children a course on whatever they are already doing as a profession, while also teaching them basic subjects such as English, mathematics, computer skills and history. The aim of this initiative is to brush up skills that would help them flourish in their profession, while also being capable of going and taking up their work in any other place and not having to worry about getting by. Nazia’s wish wasn’t [specifically] to launch her own school, but her wish was for Pakistani children to be able to earn a living, while also being able to get educated so that they don’t ever get left behind. An educational program is good for any poverty ridden country.”
[News Source: http://images.dawn.com/]
Mardan under Attack
A journalist friend once told me that the black humour in newsrooms across the world keeps them ticking. One of the adages in the newsroom is ‘Bad news is good news.’ It’s more a tongue in-cheek statement. Sadly, the media, a mirror of contemporary reality, is rife with ‘bad news.’
The nation was shocked and utterly dismayed when leading newspapers and TV Channels reported that at least 14 people were killed and 52 wounded in a suicide blast at Mardan district court. Six lawyers and two policemen lost their lives. According to DPO Mardan, the attacker hurled a hand grenade at the entrance of the court before exploding himself at the main gate of Mardan district court.
We wonder when would such sordid violence end and when shall we learn to sort our differences in a more civil manner!
British Woman Raped and Killed
Women continue to face brutal threats in our country. It seems that constant exposure to violence, rape and deaths, have made us numb.
In other news, the investigation officer in the British nationality holder Samia Shahid murder case recently revealed that she was raped before she was her murdered. Samia, who was 28, resident of Bradford, was mysteriously found dead at her husband, Shakeel Ahmed’s home, in Pandori village, near Jhelum Punjab. Abubakr Bukhsh, the D.I.G police of the region stated that after completing the investigation and going through the evidences, they have come to the conclusion that her husband and father in law are the prime suspects.
Tougher laws are required in dealing with such cases and to stop the brutality against women in the name of ‘honour’ in Pakistan. Women, no matter where they are born, must be treated with care and kindness. There are animal rights group, who are up in arms against violence to animals – rightly so – but are women worse than animals?
Hope the authorities are listening!
Actor Hamza Ali Abbasi stands by his Statement
Perhaps it’s easy to stone down celebrities. They are at a pedestal and perhaps that’s why they are more vulnerable perhaps. A case in point is Hamza Ali Abbasi, a famous Pakistani TV and film actor. He is active on Twitter. Twitter users are quite familiar with his name.
Somehow, Hamza has always been dogged by controversies. But this time his statement forced the Punjab government to slap a legal notice on him for spreading fear and rumour.
Hamza stood by his ground. His statement in the media must be seen beyond the surface paint. He rued, “So the government of Sharif Royal family has sent me a prosecution notice that I spread false rumours about 900 children being kidnapped from Lahore and spread ‘fear’ in the people.
Being a common man, I get my news and facts from news channels and newspaper articles, so following are the links (pre and post Aug 3rd) of well reputed media outlets on this matter:
“If above mentioned information is wrong, then instead of sending notices to these media outlets from which Pakistanis get their information from, they sent me a notice showing the clear intention of this dictatorial government to take down any popular voice against them. P.S: Jamhooriyat Mubarak Ho.”
More than 1200 kidnappings were reported in Punjab, in 2015. The number is still rising, in 2016.
Tailpiece: Karachi’s Mayor Enjoys B-Class Jail
Politics and power centers have been traditionally used to enjoy certain concessions. Some are more equal. Perhaps for the first time in history Karachi will be run by a Mayor, who is jailed.
Waseem Akhter, a leader of MQM was nominated as the mayor of Karachi, in December last year. On July 19, he was taken into custody in the terrorist’s facilitation case against former petroleum minister Dr. Asim Hussain. He has been lodged in a B-Class jail, according to media reports.
[News Source: http://tribune.com.pk/].
Pix sourced by author from Net.