Here’s what’s happening across the border: Students are scared of going to school Malala built, and social media finds Australian ball-tampering scandal funny.
Unity is in fashion in Pakistan, literally. A fashion show in Karachi, ‘Hum Showcase 2018’, made waves on 29 March when one of the participating brands brought out a collection celebrating secularism. Pink Tree Company’s ‘Colour Me Secular’ included a collection of accessories inspired by Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism – the six major religions of Pakistan and South Asia. “In the spirit of fashion being a political derivative and reflective of its times, we at The PinkTree present ‘Colour Me Secular’, a collection that represents Secularism,” the label’s owners wrote in the invitation.
They weren’t alone. Designers Deepak and Fahad presented a line of clothes and accessories named ‘Beyond Borders’, showcasing a range of vibrant and funky prints that explored the multicultural elements of the east as well as India.
‘Donkeys and dunkers’
More and more Pakistanis, especially from Punjab, are risking their lives to flee to Europe in “search of a better life”, feeding a thriving human trafficking racket, The Express Tribune reports. According to the report, “The journey entails braving unforgiving weather, unfriendly terrain, chance of torture and the very real possibility of death.” The indignities they suffer along the way, from Pakistan through Iran and Turkey, have earned such migrants the label ‘donkey’, while the traffickers have come to be called ‘dunkers’.
Why people are afraid to go to Malala’s school
The parents of students studying at Khpal Kor Model School are scared. The school, a three-storey building with a computer lab, playground and library, in the deeply conservative Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was built by local girl Malala Yousafzai with her Nobel peace prize money. Malala, an ardent crusader for girls’ education rights since her childhood, became a household name after her activism got her shot by the Taliban at the age of 15. The school, which began operations just over two weeks ago, is aimed at facilitating education for local girls, a prospect frowned upon by militants. Therefore, the Dawn reported, young girls as well as their parents are afraid of going to the school, especially in light of her visit to the area this week. They fear the ensuing publicity will “incite militants”. “We don’t want this school to be publicised because, if it happens, militants will target it,” a parent claimed.
A viral dig at disgraced Australian cricketers
Social media is having a field day over Australia’s ball-tampering disgrace. A meme doing the rounds in Pakistan shows legendary pacemen Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis smiling — with a caption that accuses the Australians of being “amateurs” vis-a-vis the reverse swing. Former Pakistan fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz — widely regarded as a pioneer of reverse swing — said he refused to accept the skill required ball-tampering. “This is ridiculous to say reverse swing is cheating. You can achieve reverse swing without tampering with the ball,” he said.