To mark the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people condemning Israel’s war on Gaza, protests were held on Wednesday across the globe, from Tokyo to Manila, Tehran and Beirut, Stockholm and London, and in Harare, Johannesburg, Quezon City, and Milan.
After months of warding off appeals from his employers to get vaccinated for the COVID-19 disease, Mohammad Yusuf, 24, working as a live-in domestic worker in Karachi’s Clifton area, finally relented and got his first shot.
“Professionally, I am still where I was 23 years ago when I started working as a lady health worker (LHW),” said a disgruntled Yasmin Siddiq, 47, from Karachi. “I will probably retire in the same capacity, as a Grade 5 government servant, without any hope for upward mobility.”
“Listen to your body, and if there is anything strange happening, do not ignore it,” is the advice of 57-year-old Afshan Bhurgri, a cancer survivor.
The first thing you notice about eight-month-old Manahil Zeeshan is how tiny she looks on the adult-size hospital bed at the government-run Sindh Institute of Child Health and Neonatology (SICHN) in Korangi, a neighbourhood in Karachi.
The announcement by Lucas film’s president, Kathleen Kennedy, about the upcoming three new live-action Star Wars films was enough for lawyer Maliha Zia to get euphoric.
“If I return to Afghanistan, the Taliban will kill me; I’m prepared to stay in a prison in Karachi than face those ruthless people,” said 24-year-old Afghan refugee, Sabrina Zalmai*, referring to the recent crackdown on hundreds of Afghans residing without proper documents in the metropolis, who are being arrested and then deported back to Afghanistan.
Terming the recent international donors’ conference held in Geneva a “success” after Pakistan was able to secure 10 billion US dollars, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has promised “every penny” of the pledges will be used towards rehabilitation of flood-hit people.
The rise in militancy in Swat still haunts many locals with flashbacks of what they went through 15 years ago.
Last week, for at least six days, hundreds of flood-affected villagers from around the outskirts of Pangrio, a sleepy town in the Sindh province, blocked the main artery – the Thar Coal Road – connecting Badin to neighbouring district of Tharparkar – not allowing any traffic to pass.
The heavy and incessant monsoon downpours across Pakistan in the last two months have triggered floods wreaking havoc across the country, submerging entire villages and vast tracts of land and entrapping people. Anything coming in the way of the relentless water is being destroyed, including roads, bridges, and standing crops.
“It was like a heavy burden had been lifted, and I could breathe easier,” said Irum Khan, a polio worker, recalling the cloudy, gloomy, winter morning of January 28, 2022, when her supervisor announced Pakistan had not reported a single case of a child afflicted with polio since January 27, 2021, when the last time a polio case was reported from the province of Balochistan.
Two years after Michelle, 15, was kidnapped, sold, forced to convert to Islam and married to a stranger, relatives still ostracise her.
Mukhtiar’s heart sank when he saw the grisly incident of lynching of a man in the industrial city of Sialkot, in Punjab province.
Balance is the absolute key, says Alia Chughtai, a journalist who started a catering service with filmmaker Akhlaque Mahesar, by the name of Aur Chaawal (And Rice), two years ago.
Twenty-three-year-old Sarah Tajammal felt a sense of “impending doom” as she fought high fever, nausea, bouts of vomiting and extreme fatigue after being diagnosed with dengue two weeks back.
The mauling, groping and tossing of a young woman by a crowd of between 300 and 400 men in a park in the eastern city of Lahore, in the Punjab province, may have caused a wave of country-wide disgust, but speaks volumes of how unsafe public spaces are for Pakistani women.
“If I fall into the hands of the Taliban, not only me but my family will be killed,” said AB, 23*, who worked as a broadcast journalist for the past seven years and is a well-known face on the television screen.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has been making sure that all foreign dignitaries visiting the country get their hands dirty. With a shovel and a watering can, they are invited to plant a tree for one of the largest reforestation initiatives in the world — the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme or TBTTP.
October 13 began like any other day at the Lal house as Raja Lal and his wife Rita Raja left for work at 7:30 am.
"I made the usual breakfast of anda paratha (egg and flat bread) and told my eldest to lock the door from inside," Raja, who works as an ayah in a school, told IPS. Their 13-year old daughter, the youngest of their four children, did not go to school that day as her school shoes no longer fit and her parents hadn’t bought her a new pair yet.
Little did they know that that day was the beginning of a nightmare for the Lal household. Their daughter would then allegedly be "abducted, forcefully converted and married in just one day”, Lal, a Christian, told IPS.