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The Peshawar women fighting the Taliban: ‘We cannot trust anyone’

The Guardian The work of the remarkable women known as Aware Girls to counter the extremism of the Taliban would be dangerous even if they weren’t based in Peshawar, a city that feels as if it’s under siege In a hotel room in Peshawar, in secret, Gulalai Ismail is giving a lecture to a group of men and women on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 29-year-old wears a black leather jacket, rather than the customary burqa, and uses a flipchart as she explains the Declaration’s clauses on freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial. The 30 delegates in the room have travelled here from as far afield as Chitral, South Waziristan and Afghanistan. When Ismail has finished, they take turns to talk about the human rights abuses that they’ve witnessed: acts of mob justice and lynchings, or summary executions by Islamist extremists. Four people act out the killing of a journalist by the Taliban. They also share ideas for promoting peace. One man explains how he persuaded shopkeepers to stop …

Google pays homage to the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

DAWN On what would have been his 67th birthday, the Google doodle was an illustration of the musical maestro On what would have been his 67th birthday, the Google doodle was an illustration of the musical maestro —Photo courtesy: On what would have been Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s 67th birthday, mammoth search engine Google dedicated its doodle to the legendary Sufiqawwal. The Google doodle is an illustration of Khan with the signature hand raised in the air, performing with the rest of his qawwal party in the background. When speaking about Nusrat and his crew back in the day, famous Hollywood singer, Jeff Buckley said: “These men do not play music, they are music itself.” Born in Faisalabad, hailing from a family of qawwals, Khan had his first public performance at age of 16, at his father’s chehlum. In an interview in 1996, the singer said he dreamed of his father placing his hand on his throat, awakening his voice. By 1971, he had become the leader of the family’s party. He kept up …

Institutions of restraint

ISHRAT HUSAIN The writer is dean and director at the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. The apex committees consisting of civil and military leadership represent an innovative model of governance to suit the country’s peculiar needs. This exceptional arrangement has been made because of pervasive weaknesses in the institutions of the rule of law and accountability. Criminals act with impunity because they believe they will be protected by their patrons in influential positions. It is not surprising, therefore, that the public has so heartily welcomed the recent crackdown against terrorists and corrupt elements.