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Beena Sarwar

The Feb 12 pledge – Beena Sarwar

Every February 12 we commemorate Pakistan Women’s Day in honour of those who gathered at Lahore’s Regal Chowk on that day in 1983, defying the military order against public gatherings, to protest Gen Zia’s ‘Law of Evidence’ that upheld the…

A Dictator Is A Dictator – Beena Sarwar

Former Pakistan army chief Pervez Musharraf ousted an elected civilian government from power, and usurped power illegally, holding on to it for over ten years, but there are those in India and in Pakistan who feel quite sympathetic towards…

Saving Kiran – Beena Sarwar

Didi, I want to live”, 16-year-old Kiran Soomro in Karachi tells her friend Nitu Jiwnani in Mumbai. “I don’t want to die.” They are talking on Skype in Sindhi as they often do, since first meeting at Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, in May 2013.…

Vigil-Auntyism – Beena Sarwar

I am fuming about the moral vigilantism of television shows in Pakistan. One in particular recently got my hackles up. Titled ‘Khufia’ (Secret) on a new channel, Abb Takk, it features thehost, one Uzma Tahir, accosting Khwaja Siras…

Chitta…kya – Beena Sarwar

I want to thank the Indian scientist-turned-filmmaker Bedabrata Pain for his powerful feature film about the 1930 uprising against the British in Chittagong in the part of Bengal that is now Bangladesh. Beautifully shot and filmed, with…

A ‘Wow’ Moment

Like many Pakistani expatriates, my old friend Yasmin Causer, a financial consultant in the Boston area feels an urgency about the need to do something for her home country. This urgency has grown over the last few years, with the situation…

Why War ?

Some days ago I got a call from my friend Samir Gupta, on his way home after picking up his son, 14-year old Kshitij, from a Delhi train station late at night. Kshitij was returning from a school trip with some 30 other students from Delhi…

People For Peace

The Indian government’s clearance of visas for 237 Pakistanis to attend a major peace convention in Allahabad from Dec 29 to Jan 1 is a welcome step, allowing the much-delayed Eighth Joint Convention of the Pakistan-India Peoples for Peace…