Green is my color, but today I bathed in red

Green is my color but today I bathed in red. Again. I thought I could get used to the blood, but can life live with death?

Green gives me hope, but today you stole it. Again. I drowned as innocent blood filled my veins.

Green gives me courage, but today you brought me to my knees. Not because I feared you, but because of my helplessness.

Green gives me peace, but today it shattered like glass, as little pieces of chaos cut through my flesh.

Green gives me faith, and even today I hold on tight.

I look ahead, beyond the lifeless bodies and the tormented cries.

I look above, through the burdening puffs of misery darkening my skies.

I have faith. And you can never steal it from me. Never.

This is dedicated to my beloved country Pakistan and to the people who died today at the Wahga Border suicide attack in Lahore. I couldn’t come up with much except desperate tears and an emotional rant.

Green and  White are the colors of my flag. Green is for Hope and White is for perseverance. Even though she bleeds now, green will bring back hope. It always does. That is something the attackers will never understand. Kill us again and again, but we will come back stronger. No matter how bloody a canvas your vicious ploys may paint, we will rise. Again and always.


National Blog Posting Month - November 2014

I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) – November 2014. This is an awesome venture of In their own words:

“Every November, thousands of bloggers commit to posting daily. But it’s about much more than getting that post up—it’s about community and connection. It’s also about honing your craft, challenging yourself, and taking your blog to the next level.”

I will write every day of November. This is my second post.

#NaBloPoMo – Day 2



Jamila Bibi , I am sorry you had to leave Canada (on deportation, honor killings and human rights)

This is not the story of a helpless woman who fled from her country, Pakistan, because of accusations of adultery and attempts on her life. It’s not about how 65-year-old Jamila Bibi could not put her trust in the legal system in Pakistan.

This is the story of how even after she escaped certain, violent, retribution for allegedly committing adultery, her narrative was lost in the complexity of laws which first protected her and then threw her back to the wolves.

Jamila Bibi sought asylum in Canada in 2007 because her life was in danger after her husband accused her of adultery. She was deported to Pakistan on Tuesday because under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Jamila was not under any “obvious” threat back home.

Mutilating women, stoning them to death, or any number of methods of honour killings are nothing new in villages or even cities in Pakistan. According to Dr Muazzam Nasrullah, a public health specialist teaching at Emory and West Virginia University, US, “As many as 500 women and girls are killed for ‘honour’ in Pakistan each year, making it one of the most dangerous countries for women.”

Even though there are direct laws against honour killings, the figure keeps increasing every year. From suspecting an affair, seeking revenge for adultery, to handling property disputes by levelling false accusations, motives behind such deaths are plenty while the truth is seldom present.

In Jamila Bibi’s case, it was said to be a land dispute which led to accusations of adultery. Imagine a 65-year-old woman living in a village committing adultery? Isn’t it a bit of a stretch?

But let’s just consider for a second the accusations were true. Does she not have the right to be tried in a court of law? Does she not have the right to a second chance? A chance Canada did give her until this Tuesday, when they sealed her fate by deporting her.

Leaving behind threats to her life, Jamila Bibi used to work in the kitchen of a small restaurant in Saskatoon, and was contributing to the Canadian economy, however meagre the amount. She was safe, at peace and there legally. There are numerous illegal immigrants residing in Canada. And many should be dealt with harshly because of their dishonest claims and antics. Surely no one will mourn their deportation.

In hindsight, this decision of the government makes little sense, especially when both the Office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and Amnesty International had appealed for further review and consideration of her case before the final deportation.

There are many critics of the Harper government in Canada, primarily for his stringent laws on immigration. This incident further breathes fire into the opposition. But, Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, continues to label the system as “fair and generous”.

Justice Marie-Josee Bedard said,

“The applicant has not presented evidence before this court that could support a finding that she will face risks if she is [relocated] to Pakistan that have not already been assessed on two occasions (by immigration officials).”

What evidence are they talking about? Did they expect Jamila Bibi to pull some strings even though they know she does not come from privilege back in her village? Or do they expect her accusers to now shower her with petals at the airport?

What makes this action of the Canadian government different from the numerous acts of brutality in Pakistan? We all nod our heads and shrug our shoulders when people like Jamila Bibi don’t get their rights in Pakistan, but what do we do when it comes to humanitarian establishments like Canada?

Is Canada to be held accountable if Jamila Bibi is killed in Pakistan, a country which has a continuing history of honour killings?

No one condones or justifies passing on the blame to a third-party. But in this case, Canada chose to get involved. Canada willingly gave Jamila Bibi refuge so now they cannot turn a deaf ear to her pleas. You can’t save a person from fire by drowning her in an ocean.

This is not a plea to let guilty people off the hook or to make undue exceptions in the law.  However, her appeals should have been given more time and consideration. Was that too much to handle for the Canadian government?

In a letter to the UN, Jamila wrote:

“I know my life would be in danger if I am sent back and I would rather have a peaceful death here than be killed for something that I did not do.”

Who is to say she does not deserve a peaceful death?



**This was published on the Express Tribune blog.Some editing has been done by the tribune team.

I am Pakistan. How does that make you feel?

I am Pakistan. How does that make you feel?

Does your heart choke with fear? Or do your lips curl with contempt? Do your eyes follow my every move?  Do you mark me off as insignificant and unworthy of your time?

I am a Pakistani boy. You call me illiterate and uncouth. You think me a thief and an addict. You call me reckless. But do you see me when I work at a car workshop by day and study in a flickering light bulb by night? You see me fighting. But do you see me fighting for my basic rights – from clothes on my back to the bread in my hand? You see me stealing. But did you see me when my father committed suicide because he couldn’t afford us. No. You never see anything worth seeing. You only see what they want you to see.

I am a Pakistani girl.  You think I am caged in a prison, waiting to be poked at or worse, raped. You think I am a helpless fly trapped in a spider web. You show me pity I don’t ask for. You give me shallow sympathy I despise.  What you don’t see is my pride. What you don’t understand is my will to survive. Some of you clip my wings, but that doesn’t stop me. I can climb mountains, I can fly. I can fight. I can sing. I can write. I can take on the world. And at the end of the day, I can smile, I can laugh. I am everything but I am not who you think I am.

I am a Pakistani man. You call me a terrorist. You call me an extremist. You cringe at the sight of my green passport. You kick me in the gut with your unfair words. I fight on the borders. I fight within the boundaries because I believe in freedom; freedom from dishonest hooligans and years of corruption. I raise my voice. I am not a murderer. I am not an animal. Some of us are but most are not.  You also have animals disguised as humans living around you. Yet you come as a spectator to watch us. Because you can’t tell the difference any more.

I am a Pakistani woman. You think I sit at home all day, living a useless life. You think I master at gluttony and nothing else. But you don’t see me when I stay awake late at night worrying about my children’s safe return. Your don’t realize how much it takes to keep my house stable and running. I now choose to come out on the streets. I choose to show my voice. You won’t catch me weak anymore. You won’t see me crying. You will only see my head held high, living each day as it comes.

I am Pakistan. How does that make you feel? You see me on the news and you shake your head. You taunt my existence. You ridicule my people. You label me a lost cause. You make plans to wipe me off the map. You think I am a disease. You think wrong. You know nothing. I have an abundance of resources and bravery. I am struggling to keep it all intact because I know my true worth. I bleed for my people. I bleed for their survival. My people  will swim in my red ocean until they find a shore. My people have finally stood up for what they believe in. They have spoken and nothing they say is to your fancy. Because you like it all twisted and muddled up. But no more. I say, no more. They say, no more. They are fighting the corrupt and refuse to give up. I salute their resilience.

My flag may be tattered, but it is still swaying to the rhythm of many heartbeats.

I know we will find a way.

Because we are all Pakistan.




*This emotional rant is dedicated to the ongoing Political crisis in my country. Forever hopeful for a better future. Though sitting far away, my words and prayers will always show solidarity with the Pakistani masses who have long been abused and misused.  God bless Pakistan.

Links for information:–201481413633431106.html

Pakistani Internet Memes gone wrong: Humor at its worst

If you are on the internet and are a prolific member of social media platforms, chances are that you spend at least one jaw-dropping moment every day on seeing an internet meme a friend or acquaintance shared with you. And the worst part is, most of that surprise and shock is out of disgust and inability to comprehend such repelling humor.  By definition, an internet meme is, “a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. A meme (rhymes with “team”) behaves like a flu or a cold virus, traveling from person to person quickly, but transmitting an idea instead of a life form.” And that, “Most modern internet memes are humor-centered“. An insufferable platoon of memes have hijacked your profile and sadly there is no going back.

Now let’s dissect the word humor. It is a relative concept and any nuance of common sense deduces that humor is, “ultimately decided by personal taste, the extent to which a person finds something humorous depends on a host of variables, including geographical location, culture, maturity, level of education, intelligence and context.” However, there is always a noticeable difference between good humor and pathetic, coarse attempts that solely rely on disgracing another individual for a mean laugh.

Humor is an important part of Pakistanis. We love a hearty laugh, and well who doesn’t? Internet memes about adorable babies and kittens bring smiles to our faces. Satirical images and comments on our country’s culture and society tend to bring awareness. Yet nowadays, our collective sense of humor has been maligned to a point where we can’t tell the difference between what’s appropriate and inappropriate. We master in the art of hitting below the belt by making a mockery of everything; from a person’s physical appearance and fashion sense to religion and education. The list is endless. But one particular area takes the lead. Political figures not only rule our miserable masses, but their internet memes haunt those of us who choose to exist on the internet.

I have religious and political beliefs and I proudly stand by them. I also have strong likes and dislikes regarding acts of certain fellow Pakistanis, specifically politicians. Due to the ongoing political drama involving PML-N, PTI and the likes, this bombardment of memes has crossed all lines of decency. Every time I see a human’s head plastered on the body of an animal or a notable man photo-shopped to look like a dancing girl, I wince with disgust. The attached comments only add to the entire nonsensical experience; As if someone hammered the final nail in the coffin of shamelessness. And let’s not even go into the realm of celebrities and how we treat them. Showing obscene images and memes of them somehow exonerates us from our own sins doesn’t it? If we aren’t working to change the system through honest, constructive work, what good will these sickening images do? Will the politicians cry themselves to sleep over a disgraceful image of them on the internet? Will the celebrities take to a life of extreme piety because they took your vindictive comments to heart?

This mean culture is not born in a day. It takes years of hammering. From our homes, to our school and offices, we live in a society that breeds on hate and mockery. We think that by taunting and laughing at another person’s flaws we are doing them a favor. One reason why we haven’t flourished as a nation is that we love digging out others’ problems like dogs dig bones, forever eager to throw dirt on the surroundings. When it comes to productive criticism and solutions, we are as useful as a Chinese interpreter in an all-Urdu conference. Spreading and creating memes of this sort reveals our true, hallow selves.  We let the world take a peek into our confused psyches when we blatantly share and laugh at such images with friends and family. We, the superior creations of God display an ocean of savagery through senseless laughter.

O’ ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor let some women laugh at others: It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong.” [Holy Quran: Sura Al-Hujraat 49:11]

At the end of the day, it’s not even about religion or tooting my self-righteousness horn. It’s about basic humanity and the quintessential set of principles that set us apart from the animal kingdom. We don’t deserve technological advancements or the world’s riches if we can’t learn to respect humanity in our daily lives.