Pakistan Unveiled
Pakistan is a country of contradictions - full of promise for growth, modernity and progress, yet shrouded by political, social and cultural issues that undermine its quest for identity and integrity. My bimonthly column "Pakistan Unveiled" presents stories that showcase the Pakistani struggle for freedom of expression, an end to censorship, and a more open and balanced society.
Bina Shah is a Karachi-based journalist and fiction writer and has taught writing at the university level. She is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories. She is a columnist for two major English-language newspapers in Pakistan, The Dawn and The Express Tribune, and she has contributed to international newspapers including The Independent, The Guardian, and The International Herald Tribune. She is an alumnus of the International Writers Workshop (IWP 2011).
  • Bina China
    Five Days in China

    Bina Shah writes about her recent trip to China and about the perils and uncertainties of having your work translated in a restrictive environment.

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  • love_the_prophet_protests
    Testing Boundaries

    “Is freedom of speech incompatible with the values that Muslims hold? Does art have its limits in the Muslim world?” In this week’s Pakistan Unveiled author Bina Shah focuses on The Innocence of Muslims and its effect on the Muslim world.

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  • Anti-'Satanic Verses' Demonstration – London
    On Libricide

    Writer Bina Shah recounts her experiences with blasphemy laws, from the fatwa placed on Salman Rushdie to the current persecution of Christians living in Pakistan, and her own wrestling with these policies as both a writer and Muslim.

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  • Saadat Hasan Manto
    Manto: The Literary Voice of a Nation

    In this week’s Pakistan Unveiled Bina Shah profiles Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto, who faced obscenity charges in Pakistan during his lifetime. After decades of being marginalized, Manto’s work is now recognized as “the literary voice of a nation.”

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  • Farida Afridi
    A Bright Light Goes Out in the Tribal Belt

    In this week’s Pakistan Unveiled author Bina Shah reflects on the death of Pakistani women’s rights activist Farida Afridi. The founder of SAWERA, a women-led human rights NGO in Pakistan’s tribal belt, is suspected to have been killed by Taliban militants.

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  • Footage from the execution video. Photo: youtube user AussieNews1
    Afghanistan’s Anna Karenina

    In this week’s column writer Bina Shah reflects on the public execution of Najiba, a 22 year-old Afghan woman who was killed for allegedly having an affair with a Taliban commander. Shah draws parallels between Najiba’s story and that of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

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  • A still from "Alu Anday," Beygairat Brigade's satirical music video. Photo: youtube user TheMedia180.
    On the Front Lines of Comedy

    In this week’s Pakistan Unveiled Pakistani journalist Bina Shah talks about the risks faced by satirists and comedians in Pakistan who “tread fine line between the natural freedom of the profession and the fear of censorship.”

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Fearless, Ink.