Stories: Pakistan

  • Meet Our Newest Fellows

    The International Reporting Project is awarding fellowships to report on different topics around the world. The following fellowships were awarded in late 2017 and early 2018.                           Religion Issues We congratulate the following journalists who were awarded fellowships in late 2017 and early 2018 to cover religion issues: Jessica Aguirre is...

  • Taking Back the Internet for Pakistani Women

    When you buy pads or tampons in Pakistan, grocery-store owners double-bag the purchases, ostensibly so people on the street can't see what lies within layers of brown-paper bags. This culture of secrecy and shame around women's lives and bodies is an apt parallel of life for women in Pakistan. Conversations about everything from sex lives to physical...

  • In Pakistan, These Schools are Putting Morality Back into the Curriculum

    In an upscale neighborhood in Karachi, Pakistan, the gates of a preschool open up to a front lawn with slides and pet cages. Each object in the garden has a piece of white paper affixed to it with its name in bold, large type, presumably so kids can expand their vocabulary at playtimes. But the cards aren't in English...

  • Pakistan’s first trans model: ‘People think we’re sex workers but we can be doctor

    "Sex,” Kami Sid declares, “is between your legs. Gender is in your head.” Sid wants to get this into everyone’s head in Pakistan. A 26-year-old transgender activist, she is currently enjoying a breakthrough turn as a model who can carry off a sari while calling out Pakistanis for transphobia. Pakistan may seem like an...

  • In Pakistan, women are driving the demand for Islamic content in relatable, meme-sized bites

    In bookshops across Pakistan, there is no shortage of religious literature – translations and interpretations of the Quran, books of Hadiths (oral traditions of Prophet Mohammed) and stories of the prophets abound. Book stores stock long, elaborate texts, replete with quotes from scripture and anecdotes from the earliest days of Islam. But over the past few years, a couple of...

  • Pakistan City’s Affluent Women Bring Islam Into Their Lives and Lifestyles

    KARACHI, Pakistan — It was a weekday afternoon in an upscale neighborhood of Karachi, but the hall was packed for the lecture on Islam and marriage. Laughter burst forth as the speaker asked how husbands change over the years. They’re terrible listeners, one woman said. Inattentive, offered another. Other women, apparently without husbands, offered more charitable attributes: They...

  • Mullah Radio: The New Leader of the Pakistani Taliban

    The Taliban commander who ordered last year’s attack on now-famous teenage schoolgirl and education advocate Malala Yousafzai has been chosen by the ruling council of the Pakistani Taliban as its new leader. Mullah Fazlullah, also known as Mullah Radio for his lengthy broadcasts across the Swat Valley during the Taliban’s rise in the area, will head...

  • ‘There Are Thousands of Malalas’: What Pakistan’s Teenage Activist Has Already Won

    When the news came that Malala Yousafzai missed out on the Nobel Prize for Peace, there were groans of disappointment across Pakistan. In the lead up to the announcement, Pakistan’s lively news channels had been running clips of her speeches, and keenly promoting the cause of education—a cause for which Malala was...

  • Pakistan’s Terror Capital: Inside Peshawar, a City Under Siege

    On Sept. 29, Naveed Qureshi was sitting in his shoe store in Peshawar’s historic Qissa Khawani market when it was shaken by a huge explosion outside. “All we could see was fire,” he says. “And there were piles of bodies, and body parts, everywhere.” A car bomb, packed with over 200 kg of explosives, phosphorus...

  • Pakistan’s Piccadilly Is No. 1 Taliban Target: The Regularity of Terror Attacks in Peshawar

    The Qissa Khawani bazaar in Peshawar’s old city is known as the “marketplace of storytellers”. Local legend has it that invading armies, merchants passing through and other visitors spilling through the Hindu Kush gathered here, in the street between two rows of tightly packed, towering shops, to sip tea and trade tales. When Sir Herbert...