“Go to Pakistan” has become the favourite slur of ultra-nationalists for anyone challenging the establishment view – on issues ranging from national security to terrorism, from which meat you eat to which cricket team you should play with or support, and what you write or tweet to triple talaq.
But imagine for a moment, if you indeed go to Pakistan, what will you find there? Will it merely affirm all stereotypes? Radicalism, violent Lashkars and a vile deep state are all realities in Pakistan. But it is also a large nation of 20 crore people with fascinating politics, diplomacy, economy, society, culture, cricket and fashion, and flourishing litfests. And so much intrigue!
‘Go To Pakistan’, ThePrint’s prolific new feature, will take you there, beyond the big, obvious headlines, and bring you significant happenings that no one else will. So fasten your seat belts. And Go To Pakistan.
Pak transgenders push for political representation, prepare election manifesto
Pakistan’s transgender and intersex community has released an election manifesto with 33 demands and suggestions ahead of the country’s general election due this year. At stake is their right to representation and to be a part of the policy-making process.
The ‘Transgender and Intersex Community Election Manifesto 2018’ has been drafted by an organisation called TransAction organisation along with sister outfits, in consultation with some political parties.
Pakistani entrepreneur’s solar revolution to combat nation’s power woes
Saad Ahmad, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, is trying, bit-by-bit, to help his compatriots beat the hours-long power cuts that have become a constant fixture in Pakistanis’ lives amid chronic power shortages over the past decade. Since 2016, he has helped power 1,300 homes with solar energy through his company ‘Nizam Bijli’. The company installs pay-as-you-go solar systems in homes and businesses, with users paying 2,000 Pakistani rupees (approx. INR 1,200) a month over 16 months for three bulbs, one fan and two USB slots to charge their mobile phones.
Ahmad hopes to reach a million customers by 2020, but scaling up the company is proving a challenge because he waits 16 months for each customer’s complete payment for solar kits, which limits his working capital.
Punjab assembly passes historic bill that gives Sikh marriages legal status
The Punjab assembly unanimously passed the Punjab Sikhs Anand Karaj Marriages Act 2017 Wednesday, according legal status to Sikh marriages in the province. According to the bill, ‘Anand Karaj’, the wedding ceremony, will be performed in accordance with the Sikhs’ religious practices. The bridegroom and bride will have to register their marriage through an Anand Karaj form, which will be approved by a government official. This is the first time family matters of the community, such as marriage, will be separately regulated.
Karachi nuclear power plant praised for ‘security infra’
The security arrangements at a Karachi nuclear power plant impressed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano. “Your country is an experienced user of peaceful nuclear technology. You have the knowledge; you have the pool of well-trained people to do their job. We [IAEA and Pakistan] have a fruitful two-way relationship,” the DAWN quoted him as saying.