Muhammad Irfan

As Fata merges with KP, Parachinar’s Shias tell Sunnis it is time to come home

It was a sweet, awkward moment. The brigadier held out the keys. The Sunni tribesman stood there, surrounded by a nervous yet puffed-up crowd. “Take the key, take the key!” someone prompted him. He hesitated for a moment, unsure and aware of too many people around him. It had taken several rounds of talks and…

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Don’t stop the music, says this Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mela

When a Khattak tells you that he can live without food and water but not Attan and music, you know it is a matter of life and death. Perhaps the Taliban knew this too. This is why Karak went into collective shock when the militants said it had to stop. “Music and dance is in…

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Shangla’s boat taxis weather terror’s storm

As soon as the sun hits the mountains of Thakot and Dandai, villagers from Shangla and Battagram dash to the banks of the mighty Indus River to get on with the unfinished business of the day. Half a dozen passenger boats anchored to boulders bob in the chilled, swirling waters. Women with sacks of maize…

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Dera Ismail Khan ‘buries’ Hindu, Christian, Muslim differences

When you walk into Cha Syed Munawar Shah graveyard in Dera Ismail Khan you are met with an unusual sight: a Peepal tree and an olive tree. The Peepal tree was planted here as the Hindus believe that the goddess Lakshmi comes to dwell in it each week. The olive tree came because it is…

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The dead poets society of Lakki Marwat

Not all jirgas make decisions, some have post-militancy poems On a lonely highway that takes you from Dera Ismail Khan to Karak is a place called Paharkhel where men used to gather to read their verse out aloud. It is a wide open space where these street poets would spar, or inspire each other with…

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Inspector Inayat, Pakistan’s lion-hearted bomb hunter

Mohammad Irfan Inspector Inayat aka Tiger is a living legend of Pakistani police. The brave hero has destroyed over 4,000kgs of explosives despite being injured six times. He heads the bomb disposal squad in DI Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. His right foot was blown off when he was defusing a bomb in 2014. Watch this report:

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