Sabahat Zakariya

  • TLush green lawns, majestic colonial buildings, gleaming race horses, a state-of-the-art amphitheatre, a big, deserted library, a sprawling residential colony, picturesque cricket pavilions, squash courts, basketball courts, swimming pools and tennis courts, and handsome young boys dressed in ...

    Read More
  • TAn MA in English Literature might make you unemployable, but the one thing it does, if you’re lucky, is give you the ability to skirt the black and white of ideological opinion, and grapple for the complicated ‘truth’—rarely an idea as unequivocal as we tend to believe. One ...

    Read More
  • TWhen the establishment is backing a movement, it seems it is still possible even in today’s Pakistan to protest, sing and dance on the streets without fear of harassment or violence. If old pictures of fashionable Pakistanis are proof that Pakistan was a liberal paradise before ...

    Read More
  • TThe past is another country, they say. In Pakistan this is a literal truth. With threats to people’s lives and livelihood steadily escalating from decade to decade since the country’s creation, its citizens have learned to take refuge in the glories of the past – imagined or real ...

    Read More
  • TOne of the most potent methods of destroying a body is to turn its own components against it. The mechanism cancer employs; the procedure colonialists perfected; the method the TTP is adept at. It is also how, historically, women have been divided and subjugated for the collective benefit of ...

    Read More
  • TOn Sunday, John Oliver, America’s newest late-night comedy sensation warned his viewers about the US’s march toward a two-tiered internet that could alter the face of the medium. Under this system, certain companies with deep pockets could buy their way to faster consumer access – ...

    Read More
  • TIn the immediate aftermath of September 11th, 2001 as anger and patriotism washed over the US, its already jingoistic and sentimental tendencies were given free – and what seemed at that time – justified reign. In Pakistan, people of the ‘serves them right’ variety far ...

    Read More
  • TMubashar Lucman is a former student of Aitchison College, Lahore; Pakistan’s premier boys school that posh parents around the city are currently flogging their sons to get into at all costs. While the prime purpose of education as an exercise in opening minds, lowering prejudices and creating ...

    Read More
  • TAt a time when Matric/FSc. students mattered I remember reading interviews of top achievers splashed prominently in newspapers following the announcement of results. A common refrain in these interviews was that Pakistani syllabi are outdated, needing urgent attention to bring them up to speed with ...

    Read More
  • TThe third space is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace.”They are meant to be spaces where members of a community can come together to discuss, share, collaborate and build ...

    Read More
  • TRecently, a well-written column appeared in a local newspaper advocating the teaching of Punjabi in schools across the province. This was followed by a news item stating that the provincial higher education department has sought comments from Principals of all colleges in the province regarding the ...

    Read More
  • TRarely does one come across a person who doesn’t wholeheartedly endorse the cause of education in the country. Apart from, it seems, the lunatic Taliban fringe who shoot at girls and blow up schools to further their agenda, almost anyone you meet, with or without much insight into the affairs ...

    Read More
  • TIf you stand at one corner of Lahore’s M M Alam Road and squint a little it is possible to delude yourself into thinking you live in a normal country. This high-end road in a city that has remained largely untouched by militant activity since 2010, thanks to an alleged Faustian pact between ...

    Read More
  • TLast week a video went viral in which Shahid Afridi suggested (with churlish seriousness) that Pakistani women ought to cook instead of playing sports. Another young Pakistani man related to cricket only in so far as being Imran Khan’s nephew, hurled the term ‘faggot’ at Bilawal ...

    Read More
  • TAt my school the identical writing we were all taught was a matter of deadly seriousness. The nuns could compromise on anything (though they didn’t on most things), but handwriting was a non-negotiable. As a result I spent whole summers neatly copying out page after page of idioms with ...

    Read More
  • TJust as faithfully as Westerners rely on the weather as a conversational crutch, for most urban Punjabi families a good bashing of the PPP is the go-to conversation filler during family dinners, assuring that everyone will be animated and on the same page for the next hour or so. The eruption of ...

    Read More
  • TThe singular thread that runs through every genre of creativity in today’s Pakistan is derivation. Coke Studio and Nescafe Basement are the epitome of this culture of derivative creativity. Repackage an old song with a saxophone solo here, a taan there – and voila, you have something ...

    Read More
  • TThe other night while watching Amy Poehler and Tina Fey conduct the Golden Globe Awards ceremony, I sat in my living room in flannel pyjamas nursing a cold, yet tittering with barely containable schadenfreude at the way single men in Hollywood were played for laughs by two strong, middle-aged ...

    Read More