An open letter to Times of India

I am married and hold hands with my husband at public places in Pakistan.

Madiha Javed September 12, 2012
In our Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a well renowned restaurant doesn’t let a couple sit next to each other. Really!

Now, let me tell you another story. I have been married for over a year now and have lived in Pakistan for almost all my life. Be it McDonald’s or any other private restaurant or even public places like Safari Park, Hill Park, Khadda Market restaurants, Zamzama, etc., my husband and I sit next to each other, holding hands and yes, we have even put our hands on each other’s shoulders. Yet, I have never come across any incident as such. Not only this, I have seen couples engage in even more public displays of affection (PDA).

Letting the world judge Pakistan by the level of PDA allowed to a blogger, is definitely negatively blown out of proportion in this incident of the cited well renowned restaurant. If The Times of IndiaThe Telegraph and The Huffington Post regularly go through blogs and pick up negative stories about Pakistan, I dare them to put my story on their accounts.

The question I have for The Times of India is: where is “Aman ki Asha” now, when on your page I read such comments as:

“Are husband and wife allowed together in the bedroom under Islamic laws in Pakistan?”

“This is the plight of married people in Pakistan. I am scared to think about people who are courting each other. Totally ridiculous. Thank God I was born in India”.

“No wonder why Pakis are so mentally destable”.

“A day will come when Pakis will make a Great Wall of China between men and women for the sake of their religion”.

“Thank you Jinnah, you saved us ... Thanks for the Partition :)”.

“This is funny ... thank God I am not in Pakistan, otherwise they will ban me to sit with my mother also”.

I would like to tell these renowned papers that today’s journalists are given your examples and asked to learn from your ethics and standards. But when you pick up stories from bloggers without doing your research, I wonder who actually sets the standards of this industry. Where are the ethics of journalism here, when a blogger’s story makes up your main pages and generates even more hatred?

Read More by Madiha here.

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Madiha Javed Former Broadcast Journalist at Express News, still a news buff, currently works as Communication and CSR Manager who blogs at http://madihaqureshi.wordpress​.com/ and tweets as @EmmJayNews (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Anoop | 11 years ago | Reply I sense desperation. The urge to be as unislamic as possible, even if the Author will not admit it. The story is true, that is not the question here. Then, what is? Saying PDA is allowed in Pakistan and happens all the time is generalizing, just like TOI saying this happens all the time. The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. To take the example of the whole of India is impossible, so I will take examples based on region. Bangalore, just take a stroll down any street, specially which is lined with trees and you will see folks holding hands and you will see love. Nobody has issues. But, you don't see that in Patna. India despite being Religious is tolerant. Is Pakistan? I don't think it is.. If an article is published in Pakistan citing the occurrence of moral policing in India, will any paper in India carry it? I don't think so..
Jawad | 11 years ago | Reply Madiha Jee, why dont we let those indians live in denial and keep displaying PDA in our own lil country and be happy with our spouse or the girlfriend :)
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