Women’s cross-border solidarity

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.35.04 AMWrote a¬†short piece last night for the Women’s Regional Network, published on their original content blog.¬†Honoured to be in the company of women like Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal in India, Najla Ayoubi in Afghanistan and others Pakistan¬†taking on issues like how¬†Street Harrassment is Hurting Afghanistan’s Democracy and Development,¬†¬†Young Pakistani Women Recognized for their Achievements,¬†The Rise of Online Trolls in India,¬†Countering Violent Extremism and more.¬†My brief contribution¬†Borderless Issues: Mothers in Conflict¬†also¬†copied below:¬† Continue reading

Owning Mashal Khan: Pakistan‚Äôs road to redemption

MashalLike many, I feel shattered and heartbroken by the brutal murder of the university student Mashal Khan. In this op-ed published in The News, April 19, 2017, I try to contextualise the tragedy, share my observations about changes underway and suggest a way forward. Copied below with additional links and visuals. Please also sign and share this online petition: Pakistan Against Extremism: Minimum Common Agenda. Continue reading

RIP Mashal Khan – University Student, Latest Victim of Pakistan‚Äôs ‚ÄėBlasphemy‚Äô Vigilantism

Here’s the story¬†I wrote for The Wire about journalism¬†student¬†Mashal Khan¬†and his barbaric murder on campus yesterday – a tragedy I felt quite gutted by and felt compelled to write about (text below). For a short, sharp analysis of the phenomenon that led to the brutality, read Raza Rumi’s piece in The Daily Times, ‘Blasphemer Hunting must Stop’.

Mashal Khan-poem

Facebook post by Mashal Khan with an Urdu couplet (roughly translated): Along the way sometimes I feel / As if those hidden eyes are watching me.

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Don’t snuff out the lights

The horrific murder of a journalism student lynched on a university campus in Mardan on April 13 after being accused of ‘blasphemy’, 2017 has revived the urgency of¬†coming together on a joint platform with a minimum common agenda to uphold¬†humanitarian values. Nothing will bring back Mashal Khan, a poet, self-declared humanist and “voice of the voiceless”, but we can at least try to ensure that¬†no other mother loses her Mashal (light) to such barbaric ignorance and orchestrated violence.

We drafted this statement a few months after the massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar, signed by over a hundred activists, teachers, lawyers and other professionals as well as students in March 2015: Pakistanis against terrorism: Minimum common agenda against violence in the name of religion Рbelow. Does it need to be amended or updated?  Continue reading

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