Two suicide bombings by educated, middle-class women have sent shockwaves across Pakistan, and mark an apparent shift in Baloch insurgents’ recruitment patterns and tactics.
Karachi’s popular culture, centered on its food, carries an incredible fusion of local flavors from across the subcontinent. But there isn’t a single place in the city that serves its indigenous coastal cuisine, which can only be found in the homes of the fisherfolk communities.
Pirs — custodians of centuries-old shrines of Sufi saints with followers in the millions — participate in Pakistani politics in different ways, either directly as politicians or as spiritual guides and advisers to politicians. They also employ their shrine networks to provide religious legitimacy and consolidate voter blocs for them.
Pakistan — the world’s fifth most populous country — is reeling from the worst economic crisis since its formation in 1947, with backbreaking inflation, a plummeting currency and precariously low foreign reserves. It has become nearly impossible for its citizens to make ends meet.
The arrest of a former prime minister is not a new phenomenon in Pakistan, but the violent and chaotic events that continue to unfold across the country after Imran Khan’s dramatic arrest earlier this week have been unprecedented.
In 2010, Asia Bibi became the first woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death under the country's controversial blasphemy laws, in a case that sparked global outrage. After eight years on death row, she escaped to Canada in 2019 following her acquittal. She tells New Lines how she has since lived a life of poverty in exile.
Since the demise of Pakistan’s former president and military dictator Pervez Musharraf, both admirers and critics have used a peculiar adjective to describe him: “liberal.” In reality, Musharraf’s actions and policies suggested otherwise, exposing a “liberal Pakistan” facade created by the political circumstances of the time.