Monthly Archives: September 2010

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls

Subjects like honor killing (locally known as Karo Kari), is not new for people belong to countries like Pakistan, where it now became a part of everyday life to some. September 9, 2008 THREE TEENAGE girls have been buried alive by their tribe in a remote part of Pakistan to punish them for attempting to choose their own husbands, in an “honour” killing case. After news of the deaths emerged, male politicians from their province Balochistan defended the killings in parliament, claiming the practice was part of “our tribal custom”.This is just one recent story, there are many like this. According to sources, In 2002 alone, over 382 people, about 245 women and 137 men, became victims of honor killings in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Over the course of six years, over 4,000 women have fallen victim to this practice in Pakistan from 1999 to 2004. More recently (in 2005), the average annual number of honor killings for the whole nation ran up to more than 10,000 per year.

Concept of women as property and honor is so deeply entrenched in the social, political and economic fabric of Pakistan that the government, ignores the daily occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families. Frequently, women murdered in “honour” killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents. [ Yasmeen Hassan, The Haven Becomes Hell: A Study of Domestic Violence in Pakistan, “The Fate of Pakistani Women”, 1995 August ].

A conference held in May 2005 in Zia Pakistan, addressing the karo-karo issue, and whether Pakistani law, governments and international agencies were having any positive impact in reducing these honor killings in Pakistan. On a positrive side they found, that more cases of honor killings are being reported and more women are having the courage to come forward, but but also found a severe dearth of proper implementation of laws and assurances that men who commit honor killings are not given lighter sentences. The conference found fault with Pakistan’s Zina [extramarital sex] laws that put women in an unfair disadvantage and inferior position, often at the mercy of men to prove her iinnocence.

Just a quick glance over Zina Law in Pakistan: The Zina Ordinance (also referred to as the zina laws) is part of the Hadood Ordinances, promulgated in 1979 by General Zia-ul-Haq, President of Pakistan as a first step towards Islamization. With the adoption of zina laws, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, fornication became a crime against the state and along with adultery, made non-compoundable , non-bailable and punishable by death (HRW 1992:34). Moreover, the legal definition of zina blurs the line between adultery, fornication and rape. For the purpose of the ordinance, zina is defined as “sexual intercourse without being validly married.” Zina-bil-jabr, rape, is defined as “sexual intercourse without being validly married” when it occurs without consent. Legally this means that if it cannot be proved that sex occurred without consent (rape), the sex itself becomes a crime against the state. Although to date no woman convicted under these laws has been stoned to death in Pakistan, zina laws allow for greater control of women within state sanctioned interpretations of the sacred books of Islam.

Obviously, Honour killings are not honourable and – they stem not from religion but practices that discriminate against women because of male superiority. Honour killings are one of the most backward and barbaric things practised in the name of Islam and only makes it an insult to Islam and what it stands for.

Considering the subject not only in Pakistan, but globally it has been part of many writings and films, in the hope to bring some awareness. Writings like “Murder in the name of Hounor” by Rana Husseini, “In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame” by Unni Wikan, and “Price of Honor” by Jane Goodwin are many on the subject.

Neither the Veil Nor the Four Walls – is an upcoming film, hoping to tell stories which not only entertain but challenge the status quo in societies. The film is written and directed by Filmmaker-scientist-activist Afia Nathaniel Afia’s short films have garnered critical acclaim at various international and Asian-American festivals including Rotterdam, ReelWorld-Toronto, and Montreal. Her directorial debut Nadah, was nominated for the Golden Reel Award in Los Angeles together with her screenwriting debut of Butterfly. Afia is in development with three film projects.

The film tell the Story of a young mother Allah Rakhi is married to a much older man Daulat Khan, with whom she has an eight-year-old daughter, Zainab. Daulat Khan is summoned by a local warlord who forces him to agree to an alliance between them by taking Zainab as his bride. On the eve of Zainab’s wedding day, Allah Rakhi pulls off a daring escape with her daughter, and begins the journey to Lahore. Dodging the far-reaching influence of the warlord, and befriending an adventurous truck driver, Sohail, mother and daughter embark on an epic journey through the sweeping landscape of Pakistan, where the search for freedom comes at a price.

More about the film and the team can be seen at

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In the Name of Honour: [Lovebirds and murder] 

Issue 112: Pakistan (Granta: The Magazine of New Writing) by John Freeman

Filled with almost 200 million people speaking nearly sixty languages, brought into nationhood under the auspices of a single religion, but wracked with deep separatist fissures and the destabilizing forces of ongoing conflicts in Iran, Afghanistan and Kashmir, Pakistan is one of the most dynamic places in the world today.

Whether its news or fictions, when it comes to nation like Pakistan, for authors its very subjective and fictional, and for readers like me, it’s no less then a thriller. It is this thrill factor that I love the most when reading fiction evolved from socities like one we have in Pakistan. The Economist claims that,

“LIFE in the modern West is thin gruel for writers. Rich, comfortable countries provide too little jeopardy to drive a decent plot. The 19th century produced the West’s best fiction; today, readers must look to the developing world. “.

I found this article in a recent weekend’s issue, and thought to be worth sharing. The article specifically talks about John Freeman’s Gantra, The Magazine of New Writing. From the writers who are living outside the country – Kamila Shamsie and Nadeem Aslam – to those going back – Mohsin Hamid and Mohammed Hanif – to those who are living there and writing in Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi and English, there is a startling opportunity to draw together an exciting collection of voices at the forefront of a literary renaissance. Other contributors include Fatima Bhutto and Basharat Peer.

Considering forign authors, it was Louise Brown’s The Dancing Girls of Lahore which caught my attention first, and brought me into this dark writing culture. Brown renders an intimate portrait of one family there that is compelling in its strangeness and its humanity. Shuttling for months at a time between Heera Mandi and her middle-class world of Birmingham, England, Brown details the goings-on of Maha, her five children, and the people and places in their tiny universe.

Dancing Girls of Lahore by Louise T. Brown

Anyway coming to the Economist, and Gantra, “Granta: Pakistan” is a delight, starting with its cover, by one of the artists who decorates the jewel-coloured trucks that teeter along the country’s hot, smoggy roads covered in visions of alpine springs and blushing maidens. The surreal cheerfulness of the snow-covered peaks and scarlet lovebirds contrasts brilliantly with the darkness of the pages within. The stories are mostly about violence, much of it against women. In Nadeem Aslam’s “Leila in the Wilderness”, a child bride’s husband, wanting a son, kills the girls she produces. Trapped, she grows wings (an echo of the magical realism born of the dark times in 1970s Latin America). The story seems to take place in some distant past, until a mobile phone rings. “The Sins of the Mother”, a story by Jamil Ahmad, a 79-year-old whose first novel is shortly to be published, tells of a Baluch couple who elope and are given sanctuary by soldiers until their tribe comes after them. They kill themselves. Their kinsmen leave their son wandering in a sandstorm.

Mohsin Hamid’s “A Beheading” ends with the event, and imagines the moments leading up to it, from the victim’s point of view. Mohammed Hanif’s “Butt and Bhatti”, a story of a gangster who loves a nurse, describes the mad randomness of Pakistan’s violence. The nurse rejects him. In his fury, he shoots into the street and hits a driver who ploughs into some schoolchildren, setting off three days of riots in which many are killed. The gangster disappears into the crowd. The nurse dreams of him.

Torn between the modern and medieval worlds, Pakistan is a painful place. The violence in these stories speaks of a new country struggling to be born. When it emerges, it may not be a pretty sight.

Source: The Economist [16th Sept 2010]: Lovebirds and murder

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Assigning ASC-II Characters in MATLAB

Recently I have been working to replicate the cockpit of Piper PAS 28 aircraft in MATLAB. Although the things went pretty well, but I was having serious trouble to define interface such that the user can control the instruments from keyboard. After some lengthy search and experiments with the programme I managed to assign my instruments with keyboard commands. I thought it is now a best idea to share this with others who are trying something along the same lines. It worked well for me, so I hope it will work with you too.

The graphic model includes the commands defining the user interface, allowing user to control the simulator from keyboard. The user interface model incorporates two files, first file ‘GETKEY’, waits for a key press and returns the ASCII code. Accepts all ASC-II characters, including backspace (8), space (32), and enter (13), etc, that can be typed on the keyboard. Non-ASC-II keys (ctrl, alt, ..) return a NaN. The example of GETKEY function is illustrated below:

function ch = GETKEY(m)
global Display
fprintf(‘\nPress any key: ‘) ;
ch = getkey ;
fprintf(‘%c\n’,ch) ;
fprintf(‘\nPress the Ctrl-key: ‘) ;
if strcmp(getkey(‘non-ascii’),’control’),
fprintf(‘OK\n’) ;
fprintf(‘ … wrong key …\n’) ;

In order to assign the keys to variables and appropriate figure, Display structures and MATLAB graphics library as discussed earlier are extensively used. The graphic handles assigned in sub-modules of graphic library are used to allocate the key commands. This is best illustrated by the following example:

% Determine the callback string to use
if nargin == 1,
if strcmp(lower(m),’non-ascii’),
callstr = [‘set(gcbf,”Userdata”,get(gcbf,”Currentkey”)) ;
uiresume ‘] ;
error(‘Argument should be the string ”non-ascii”’) ;
callstr = [‘set(gcbf,”Userdata”,double(get(gcbf,”Currentcharacter”))) ; uiresume ‘] ;

% Set up the figure
fh = figure(‘keypressfcn’,callstr, … % using Handle defined
‘position’,[0 0 1 1],…
Name’,’GETKEY’, …
‘userdata’,’timeout’) ;

% Wait for something to happen
uiwait ;
ch = get(fh,’Userdata’) ;
if isempty(ch),
ch = NaN ;
catch% error return to empty matrix.
ch = [] ;

Hope you guys got the idea. Happy Programming and please do not hesitate to add or comment about the article

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Make Files under linux (C and Fortran)

Hello People,

Just to extend our discussion on C code compilation under, I would briefly go through the make file procedure in Linux. In software development, make is a utility that automatically builds executable programs and libraries from source code by reading files called Makefiles which specify how to derive the target program. Though its primary use is as described above, make is not restricted to just creating executable programs from source files. Any process that involves transforming a dependency file to a target result (by executing some number of arbitrary commands) is applicable to make.

GNU make is frequently used in conjunction with the GNU build system. Its departures from traditional make are most noticeable in pattern-matching in dependency graphs and build targets, as well as a number of functions which may be invoked to have the make utility do things like collect a list of all files in the current directory.

Using the same code we developed earlier, HelloWorld.c, We will now run the code, using the MakeFile in terminal. The nature of these files depends on the program structure and what is required of it, I will however, briefly go through the simple and basic Make File routine to compile and run the C code called ‘HelloWorld.c’, The above file has the following ‘MakeFile’ (spaces are TABS to not spaces, so don’t copy and paste)

all: HelloWorld

HelloWorld: HelloWorld.o

HelloWorld.o: HelloWorld.c

rm -f HelloWorld HelloWorld.o

.PHONY: clean

Use $make –help to see the help options in terminal, Once written, run the following command to obtain the executable:

$ make -f MakeFile

If the Make file is written in a proper way, it should work. Hope that brief intro about make files was useful, as it took me a lot of time to understand and get the basics of Make File 🙂 I will go through the detail of the Make File modeling for both C and Fortran later. To wrap up things:

make – GNU make utility to maintain groups of programs
make [ -f makefile ] [ option ] … target …

This man page is an extract of the documentation of GNU make . It is updated only occasionally, because the GNU project does not use nroff. For complete, current documentation, refer to the Info file which is made from the Texinfo source file make.texinfo.

Normally you should call your makefile either makefile or Makefile. The first name checked, GNUmakefile, is not recommended for most makefiles. You should use this name if you have a makefile that is specific to GNU make, and will not be understood by other versions of make. If makefile is `-’, the standard input is read.

make updates a target if it depends on prerequisite files that have been modified since the target was last modified, or if the target does not exist.

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Delights at Oval

Delight, delight and more delight. Despite England driving the game at Oval, Pakistan seemed to get some enegry in middle of the innigings despite the low total in a perfect batting environment. However, there are three 3 names which I would like to priase here, first is the partnership between Fawad and Shafiq, and third Pakistan crowd, Finally after a long time stadium was full transmitting some positive energy, and Razzaq’s return offcourse was welcomed

Despite the team’s overall performance in this England tour, and in limelight of spot fixing, I would like to write about somethings different and positive, we should look forward at this stage. It was 8-2 and 33-3 when, new boy at the camp, Asad Shafiq seems to take charge of the innings. Previously, Shafiq has proved himself to be a part of middle order with some aggressive batting, however, things were little different today. The level of maturity, by Fawad and Shafiq was inspiring, I was particularly pleased with the way Shafiq was going. Being youngest in the team in terms of experience, taking the responsibility and playing a very different innings was excellent.

Some players may have been over-looked or even omitted on purpose, given their age or poor performances in the recent past. Pakistan’s U19 cricket has been doing on international level, but very few members are able to break into the national squad. What is required now is to give some potential players, a central contract such, to give them a secure life. Besides what has been seen today, there are many player deserve to get attention, and can provide the national squad as a good replacement, looking down to the domestic cricket and England tour so far (includes Tests). Such names include, Asad Shafiq (offcourse), Wicket-KeepersZulqarnain Haider and Zulfiqar Babar (Slow left-arm). Some players have only been notably mentioned but that does not mean that they are any less deserving.

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Reviving Tennis in Pakistan

Governor Punjab Salman Taseer awarded a gold medal and half a million rupees to Pakistan’s top tennis player Aisamul Haq Qureshi on Thursday. Aisam received the award from Taseer at the Governors House at a reception held in his honor for reaching the finals at the US Open.

Aisam’s success in US Open Final 2010, might give country come awareness of a sport, other than cricket. Recently, Punjab’s CM Shahbaz Sharif has directed the sports secretary to join with the Tennis star (Aisam) to promote tennis in Punjab (for some unfortunate reason, word Pakistan was omitted).

I now sincerely hope that positive steps are taken to lift off Tennis spirit in Pakistan, on institutional level particularly, especially for upcoming Davis Cup in 2011. Pakistan’s best Davis Cup performance came in 2005, when it reached the World Group play-offs. It was also one step away from qualifying for the World Group when losing the 1984 Eastern Zone Final against Japan. Pakistan’s Aqeel Khan was involved in the longest-known Davis Cup tiebreak against Korea’s Young-Jun Kim in 2003 – the first set breaker lasted 36 points.

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Pakistan In Need

It can be difficult to imagine individual stories of need when presented with such huge numbers, to see oneself in another’s shoes when their overall predicament seems so vast and dire. These pictures were published In The Bigger Pictures, under the banner of Pakistan in Need. Individual stories are hard to tell, but these pictures can convey the stories of those who suffered. It is necessary for all us to realise, the circumstances the people and the nation is going through. Pakistan is in need, May GOD give power and will to the victims of this catastrophic disaster!

Please note that the work is not mine, but infact shared from [The Bigger Pictures]

A US rescue helicopter carrying Pakistani flood affected victims flies above Kallam, a town of Swat Valley, on September 2, 2010. (A. MAJEED/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy stands by a water level mark that shows how the water has gone down to 4 ft (1.2 m) from being previously 12 ft (3.6 m) high in Ulra Jahangir Village September 1, 2010. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain) #

Amira, 2, a flood victim suffering from skin and stomach problems, cries at a hospital in Sukkur, in Pakistan's Sindh province September 1, 2010. Victims of Pakistan's floods queued at hospitals where scant resources were available to treat a rising number of patients. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani workers are reflected on furniture as they rebuild homes in the flood-affected town of Sanawa, Punjab province, Pakistan on Thursday Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An Afghan refugee whose house was demolished by heavy flooding, washes himself amidst the rubble in Azakhel near Peshawar, Pakistan Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010. Thousands of Afghan refugees here are struggling to recover from a double tragedy, seeing their homes across the border engulfed by war and then their refugee camps here demolished by floods. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A technician stands in an operating theater in a Pakistani hospital with equipment ruined by floodwaters (note high-water mark on the walls) in Nowshera, Pakistan on August 27, 2010. When water gushed through the walls of Nowshera hospital last month it filled operating rooms and wards and left them clogged with stinking mud, abandoning hundreds of patients to their fate. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Trucks transporting relief goods are blocked on the road by Pakistani farmers demanding that the government irrigate their lands in Shikarpur on September 3, 2010. Fresh floods in southern Pakistan are snaring at least a million people displaced by earlier flooding, adding to the huge problems faced by the underfunded relief effort, UN aid agencies warned. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Displaced flood survivors receive relief at a roadside in Nowshera, Pakistan on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A flood victim left without receiving aid for three days climbs a truck to reach for food handouts donated by a group calling themselves Muslim brothers in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A Turkish doctor gives treatment to a Pakistani woman displaced by floods at a makeshift field medical camp in Thatta district on September 2, 2010. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images) #

Mohammad Ramzan, a flood victim, places his hand on the door that was left after his house was washed away by flood in the Mehmood Kot village in Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province September 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

A flood-affected Pakistani man watches the flood waters rushing over the ruined road from Shahdad Kot to Garhi Khairo, as he and others wait for boats to transport them home on September 3, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy who is a victim of the flood rests on his bed at a relief camp in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani flood survivors wait for relief, as they return to their home after flood waters receded on the outskirts of Thatta town, Sindh province, southern Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 3, 2010. The waters are still swamping rich agricultural land in the southern provinces of Sindh and Punjab. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) #

Internally displaced Pakistani women queue for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Flood victims look through the gates of a warehouse hoping to get some aid in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

An aerial view shows a flooded mosque in a village in Sujawal, about 150 km (93 mi) from Karachi in Pakistan's Sindh province, August 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

Flood victims who had received no aid for three days run after a truck to reach for food donated by a group calling themselves Muslim brothers in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A man who returned to his village affected by recent floods fishes behind a decomposing remains of a dog in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani men affected by floods ride on a boat strapped to a truck as they travel in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan on Friday Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An internally displaced Pakistani man (center, in cap) fights with a policeman (right, white shirt) as they wait for relief goods in Larkana on September 3, 2010. Flood victims say they have received little government help, and most assistance has come to them from private charities. The International Committee of the Red Cross warned Thursday that survivors' anger was beginning to hamper those aid efforts. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Pakistani girl reacts after she loses her juice packs, during a scramble for relief goods at a camp for people displaced by floods in the village of Chowk Ghulam Ali Wala, Punjab province, Pakistan on Friday Sept. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An aerial view shows the mudflow surrounding a house as floodwaters recede in some parts of the Rajanpur district of Punjab province, Pakistan on Sunday Sept. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

Men return to their village destroyed by recent floods in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province September 3, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A flood victim collects bricks from abandoned buildings where her family found shelter in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Ali Asghar, a flood victim, tunes his radio to listen for news while taking refuge on an embankment with his family in Sujawal, in Pakistan's Sindh province on August 29, 2010. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

A Pakistani woman displaced by floods holds her child as she waits for relief goods at a Pakistani Navy distribution point in a makeshift camp in Thatta district on September 2, 2010. (RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images) #

A flood victim uses part of a damaged railway track to cross floodwaters as he makes his way to a village in Sultan Kot, about 51 km (31 mi) from Sukkur on August 31, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Asia, 15, whose wedding was canceled after she lost her home, clothes and jewelery in recent floods passes the time in a family shelter in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

A severely malnourished baby is taken to the hospital by her brother in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Pakistani children who survived heavy flooding lie covered with flies as they are forced to live in miserable conditions on a roadside in Nowshera near Pesharwar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

An aerial photo shows Rajan Pur, partly submerged in floodwaters near Multan, Pakistan on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer) #

Pakistani villagers who survived heavy flooding, work to remove mud from their house on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A man holds his daughter as he and other flood victims find shelter from a storm in an abandoned building in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on September 4, 2010. (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj) #

Survivors wade through floodwater to return their home in Sujawat, Sindh province, Southern Pakistan, Sept 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) #

A Pakistani girl carrying her belongings on her head wades through flood waters in Punjab province's Basira on September 4, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Pakistani volunteer rescues a child as they travel on a vehicle provided by United Arab Emirates (UAE) as they evacuate the flood-hit Sujawal in southern Sindh province, on August 30, 2010. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Pakistan army soldiers in a boat search for flood survivors in Khairpur Nathan Shah on September 5, 2010. (ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Flood victims queue for aid provided by Sitara Chemical Industries Ltd in Sanawan, Punjab province Pakistan, on September 5, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy helps his father rebuild their flood-damaged house in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan on Tuesday Aug. 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

A young flood victim looks on at a relief camp in Nowshera in northwestern Pakistan on September 3, 2010. Pakistan's northwest, the first region to be hit by the floods and the most devastated, now has roads lined with tents and tens of thousands of displaced waiting to go home. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl) #

I have tried to give credit, to those who deserved, but If I have missed something please do update me. The aim here is to convey the message from those who are suffering, I sincerely hope that the message is conveyed. Thanks for the read guys.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Current Affairs, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan Floods, Pakistan Photography