National Public Radio’s The GT Road Blog
In an area of Pakistan that has become synonymous with Islamist militants, a mural on a wall speaks of the other side of ethnic Pashtun culture: “Welcome to the Northwest Frontier Province, the home of hospitality.”
The mural is out of date — the province was just renamed Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa. And while the snarl of traffic at the entrance of Peshawar gives the impression of life humming normally, this thousand-year-old city is under siege.
It is the capital of the restive province and gateway to Pakistan’s lawless tribal belt. Suicide bombers have attacked the city nearly 40 times in the past 14 months. The famous market of the Old City is a favorite target — and is considered too dangerous to visit. Continue reading
By ADAM B. ELLICK (NYT story yesterday)
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Even the threat of death cannot deter one 30-year-old entrepreneur here from his appointed rounds supplying the Pakistani elite with expensive contraband Scotch.
The bootlegger employs an elaborate scheme to conceal his business, renting a private house that doubles as a secret warehouse and hiring teenage motorbike drivers to deliver his supplies. Such inventiveness is a requirement in this line of business: to hide from the police, who want his money; the Taliban, who want his head; and his family, who would disown him.
Alcohol products have been illegal in Pakistan since the 1970s, when religious groups reacting to a spike in consumption persuaded Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to institute a ban.
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bhutto silenced the moralists and softened the prohibition when, addressing a crowd of constituents, was asked if he drank. He responded by saying, “Yes, I do drink wine, but at least I don’t drink the blood of the people.” Continue reading
Adnan Rehmat writes in The News
Taking a close look at a city is like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it. Take a close look at Islamabad in all its pompous perplexity and clinical contradictions and not much popular ownership is apparent. Not that it prevents it from boasting a large number of peculiar characteristics even though these never show up in tourist brochures. It is, for instance, the ‘newest’ proper city in the country, the ‘newest’ city of Pakistan with a population of a million or more (the eighth in the country now) and even the ‘newest’ city in Asia that is also the capital of a country. Cynics could also emphasise Islamabad is the newest capital of Pakistan! (Karachi was the last, remember, anyone?) And, in this fact, emerges a side to the city that is debated little. Continue reading
By Mohammad Taqi
چناں قحط سالے شد اندر دمشق
کہ یاراں فراموش کردند عشق
( سعدی شیرازی )
Saadi of Shiraz wrote with great dismay that “the famine in Damascus is so bad that friends have forgotten how to love”.
Something much worse has befallen our city, Peshawar. It is difficult, if not impossible, to talk about music, art, films or love when the terror reigns supreme and war has ravished the city and its citizens alike.
Filed under Afghanistan, Art, Cinema, culture, drama, Heritage, History, India, Media, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Peshawar, Photos
By Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau | NEWSWEEK 05 Oct 2009
During wars and after them, the real voice of the enemy is rarely heard. Propaganda is plentiful, as are prideful boasts—and the Taliban have certainly been quick studies at the modern art of information warfare. But the fears and ambitions of ordinary fighters are too often buried under statistics and theories propounded from thousands of miles away. That’s been even more true in Iraq and Afghanistan, where reporters who might accurately convey the other side’s perspective are at risk of being kidnapped or killed for their efforts. Continue reading
By Taimur Sikander
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Sports Pir Aftab Shah Jillani presenting Maria Toor with a cash award as her family looks on during a ceremony to reward top players on the national circuit in Islamabad. -Photo by APP
KARACHI: Top Pakistani squash players Aamir Atlas Khan and Maria Toor have been nominated for Professional Squash Association Young Player of the Year and Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) Young Player of the Year, respectively, by the World Squash Federation.
“Kala May Perzo Shay Pa Bamono Pekhawara”
Rahimullah Yusufzai The News
Peshawar, or Pekhawar as it is called by Pakhtuns and Pishor by its old Hindko-speaking residents, has always been a city under attack. Past invaders coming from Central Asia, Persia, Afghanistan, India, and beyond have raided and plundered the place. Aryans, Greeks, Persians, Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and the British occupied and lost Peshawar during their various campaigns of colonial conquest. And then there are the Pakhtun tribes living so close to the city in the Khyber and Mohmand tribal regions and the frontier regions of Darra Adamkhel and Hasankhel and threatening it whenever they are attacked. Continue reading