Here’s what’s happening across the border: Why this Islamabad deputy commissioner got polio drops, and Sindhi singer’s captivating ‘Ko Ko Korina’ spoof.
Bilawal Bhutto slams govt response on SP’s murder
Opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto, the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), has criticised the Imran Khan government over its handling of the investigation into the abduction and murder of superintendent of police Tahir Dawar in Afghanistan, reports The Nation.
Dawar, who was abducted from outside his Islamabad home on 26 October, was found dead in Afghanistan on 13 November.
“It is shocking that one of our top police officials was kidnapped from Islamabad and shifted to Afghanistan without being noticed,” he said, “The way this government has dealt with the entire matter is unconvincing and a lot remains to be answered.”
Bilawal demanded that the government raise the murder with Afghanistan’s authorities instead of blaming “the safe-city project and CCTV cameras”. He was referring to reports that the National Accountability Bureau will investigate claims about 600 of the 1,800 CCTV camerasinstalled in Islamabad for residents’ safety were not functional.
“The government should find out exactly why Dawar’s kidnapping was not made a top priority issue,” Bilawal added.
How bureaucrat convinced a man to get his children polio drops
Seeking to address the widespread distrust around polio vaccination in Pakistan, the deputy commissioner for Islamabad hit upon a novel solution earlier this week.
At a vaccination camp, Hamza Shafqaat asked a volunteer to administer the polio drops to him, all in order to convince a man reluctant to get his children immunised, The Express Tribune reported.
Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world – apart from Nigeria and Afghanistan – where polio remains endemic. Efforts to eliminate it have met great resistance from people in light of rumours that the polio vaccination drive was an undercover US spying operation and that it may sterilise the children.
Sindhi singer’s spoof ‘better than Coke Studio’s Ko Ko Korina’
A Sindhi singer has launched a spoof series called ‘Goth Studio’ to take a jab at Coke Studio, the famous platform for alternative music, on account of its much-reviled take on the Pakistani classic Ko Ko Korina, reports The Express Tribune.
A recent cover of the peppy number by singer Momina Mustehsan and debutant Ahad Raza Mir had triggered a wave of criticism across the country for the performers as well as Coke Studio.
Jigar Jalal starts the video, reportedly the first of the series, by saying, “Agar Ahad aur Momina Ko Ko Korina gaa sakte hain toh Jigar Jalalkyun nahi? “If Ahad and Momina can sing Ko Ko Korina, why can’t Jigar Jalal?)”
The report-cum-analysis piece in The Express Tribune notes that while Jalal may have intended to make people laugh, “the result is a fresh cover which, at the very least, is fun to listen to”.
Iconic Karachi market gets a facelift
The authorities in Karachi have reportedly razed over 1,000 illegal shops and encroachments to restore the iconic Empress Market, built between 1884 and 1890 and named after Queen Alexandrina Victoria, to its original glory, The News reports.
A report in Daily Times described the chaos around the British-era building: Local street vendors had taken over the pavements, and people parked their vehicles in a haphazard fashion despite the dedicated parking space constructed by the City District Government of Karachi (CDGK) in 2010 at a cost of Rs 650 million.
Song breaks stereotypes by celebrating ‘female anger’
A new music video is making waves in Pakistan by challenging the “demure and submissive” image of local women to project them as angry goddesses who hit back when they are harassed or discriminated against.
The video is for a song titled Maa behen ka danda by Garam Anday, a duo comprising Areeb Kishwar Usmani and Anam Abbas.
This video shows women lashing out at various injustices – be it men teasing women on the streets, or mothers favouring their sons over daughters.
It begins with four women gasping for air as their heads are dipped into water, before showing them take on an aggressive avatar: They smash a TV, “gouge out” the eyes of an eve-teaser, and stand up in the face of parental bias.
A report in The Dawn says the song is an “unapologetic celebration of female anger”.
“There is a liberation that comes with the expression of anger and this is why comedy is equally important in the song, lyrically and visually…” said Abbas. “I think we take power away from the other by approaching these (issues) so irreverently because when you come into your power the ‘threat’ loses its power.”