Despair is not an option. Neither is silence.

Lahore March 15 Church attack protest

March 15: Activists protest in front of the Lahore Press Club in solidarity with Pakistan’s Christian community. Photo: courtesy Sajjad Anwar Mansoori

As I posted my last update about the third monthly Global Vigil of Pakistanis united against terrorism, March 15-16, 2015, to commemorate the Peshawar APS attack of Dec 16, 2014, news came in about the suicide attacks at two churches in Lahore – yet another horrible reminder of what happens when you keep snakes in your backyard and develop a culture of impunity. See my comment on the issue in Huffington Post, right after the Peshawar APS attack. It is a sign of the brutality and rage that engulfs Pakistan that a mob lynched, killed and burnt two men suspected of being co-conspirators in the attacks. Continue reading

What Mastung blast survivors need now

Ridha and Ibtihaj

Ridha and Ibtihaj: He bravely faces his staggering loss.

My article for The News on Sunday, shared here with additional links, pix, and tweets:

By Beena Sarwar

Death, destruction, disaster are newsworthy for the mainstream media. What happens to the survivors and how they cope in the long-term are not.

Those who orchestrate bomb blasts thrive on media attention. Those affected by their dastardly acts are left to carry on as best as they can, often with inspiring courage and resilience. Continue reading

Pakistan: A Thousand Separate Worlds

constable.jpg

Constable cradles Apache, a dog she rescued while she was embedded with Marines in Fallujah, Iraq. Photo: Chris Borouncle

I wrote this book review for the Brown Alumni Magazine, Nov 2011 issue, and didn’t get around to posting it earlier. This is a slightly longer version than the one BAM published.

Playing with Fire: Pakistan at War with Itself by Pamela Constable (Random House, 2011).

When it comes to Pakistan, veteran journalist Pamela Constable certainly ‘gets it’. Her latest book, ‘Playing with Fire: Pakistan at war with itself‘ is readable, thoughtful and nuanced. A veritable ‘Pakistan 101’ with much to offer even insiders like myself. 

As Kabul bureau chief and then deputy foreign editor at the Washington Post, Constable travelled extensively around the country. Her interactions with ordinary folk and newsmakers yield empathy and human faces often missing from discussions about Pakistan. Continue reading

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