Pakistani TV smashes taboos with its answer to ‘Glee’
Gay romance, Islamic extremism and a soundtrack of classic love songs make for Pakistan’s taboo-breaking answer to the hugely successful US television series ‘Glee’.
Like its smash hit forerunner, ‘Taan’ follows the lives and loves of a group of young people who regularly burst into song. But this time they attend a music academy in Lahore, instead of an American high school.
Taan - which is a musical note in Urdu - tackles subjects considered off limits in Pakistan’s deeply conservative Muslim society, with plotlines including love affairs between two men and between a Taliban extremist and a beautiful Christian girl. (Complete article)
A month after the attack, which sparked a global outcry, young Shazia remained fearless and optimistic.
“Islam gives equal opportunity to males and females to get an education, so we will continue our education. Education is indispensable for both men and women as it gives awareness to mankind. I will become a doctor and serve my nation,” she told The Express Tribune.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced that he would recommend the Sitara-e-Shujaat for Shazia and Kainat. (complete news)
“In 1996, Wasim was one guy who volunteered to bring Pakistan team to Sri Lanka to play in the world cup amidst the civil war in that period. It’s time for us to pay back” - Sanath Jayasuriya (via his facebook page, umalik)
Joint Military Exercise YOUYI-IV (Friendship-2011) between Pakistani Special Services Group (SSG) and their Chinese counterparts People’s Liberation Army Special Operations Forces (Zhōngguó tèzhǒng bùduì) were held in Pakistan.
Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has said that YOUYI-IV exercise will be two weeks long and it will focus on the techniques & procedures involved in Low Intensity Conflict Operations (LIC) environment to handel the ever growing threat of terrorism. (via semperannoying)
Dashing cricketer Shahid Afridi is to front efforts to eradicate polio from Pakistan, going head-to-head with militants who have banned vaccinations in an al Qaeda-linked stronghold on the Afghan border.
The charismatic former Pakistan captain was born in Khyber district, which is part of the militant-infested tribal belt, and campaigners hope his Pashto credentials can persuade parents to inoculate their children.
“It is a noble cause and I am happy to be part of smashing polio from Pakistan which has crippled many children,” Afridi told AFP.
He said the main target was remote areas of Pakistan, such as the al Qaeda and Taliban infested tribal belt on the Afghan border. (complete news)
Pakistan: Buddha Attacked by Taliban gets Facelift
JAHANABAD, Pakistan (AP) — When the Taliban blew the face off a towering, 1,500-year-old rock carving of Buddha in northwest Pakistan almost five years ago, it fell to an intrepid Italian archaeologist to come to the rescue.
Thanks to the efforts of Luca Olivieri and his partners, the 6-meter (nearly 20-foot)-tall image near the town of Jahanabad is getting a facelift, and many other archaeological treasures in the scenic Swat Valley are being excavated and preserved.
Hard-line Muslims have a history of targeting Buddhist, Hindu and other religious sites they consider heretical to Islam. Six months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban shocked the world by dynamiting a pair of 1,500-year-old Buddhist statues in central Afghanistan.
The Jahanabad Buddha, etched high on a huge rock face in the 6th or 7th century, is one of the largest such carvings in South Asia. It was attacked in the fall of 2007 when the Pakistani Taliban swarmed across the scenic Swat Valley. The army drove most of them out two years later, but foreign tourists who used to visit the region still tend to stay away.
Olivieri himself had to leave in 2008 after more than two decades of tending to the riches dating back to Alexander the Great and the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim invaders who followed. The 49-year-old head of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan returned in 2010 and is back at work.Read more