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Asad Zia

Peshawar, Pakistan
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About Asad
I'm Asad Zia, a freelance journalist based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. With a master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, I have honed my skills and knowledge in the field of media.

With over 13 years of experience, I have had the privilege of working on various journalistic endeavors. Currently, I am contributing to Express Tribune T-Magazine as a freelance journalist, where I bring my expertise and dedication to every assignment.

Throughout my career, I have covered a diverse range of topics and issues. During my time at Express Tribune, I worked as a reporter, delving into important subjects such as health, education, militancy, internally displaced persons (IDPs) issues, and the challenges faced by Afghan migrants. My goal has always been to shed light on these matters and give a voice to the voiceless.

In addition to my work with Express Tribune, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed media organizations. I was a part of BBC Pashto Service, where I showcased my reporting and storytelling abilities. I also made significant contributions to Afghanistan Today, a German-funded MICT website, playing a crucial role in promoting transparency and disseminating accurate information.
English Pashto Urdu
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Hair for the money

29 Oct 2023  |  tribune.com.pk
In Peshawar, Pakistan, a unique trade of buying women's hair is thriving, with Zeeshan Khan and his team purchasing hair by the kilo for resale to merchants. Pakistan is a significant exporter of human hair, with Peshawar being a central hub. The hair, once processed, is sold to Chinese buyers for use in wigs and makeup brushes. Despite challenges from police and religious opposition, stakeholders like Jabir Khan and Taimur Khan see this as a profitable business that could benefit the economy if officially supported. Some local women have started selling their hair, seeing it as a source of income.

No rest for the dearly departed

09 Mar 2022  |  The Express Tribune
The article discusses the challenges faced by the Sikh community in the KP region due to the absence of Shamshan Gaths, which are cremation grounds. As a result, members of the Sikh community are compelled to undertake long journeys to Attock for cremation purposes. This situation highlights the difficulties in practicing religious rites for minority communities in certain regions and the need for appropriate facilities to cater to their customs.

Transgender and uninsured

20 Feb 2022  |  tribune.com.pk
Transgender individuals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa face significant challenges in accessing healthcare due to a lack of National Identity Cards, which are required for the Sehat Card Plus program. The program provides free treatment for various diseases but excludes many transgender people who are not registered with NADRA. The TransAction Alliance and other organizations advocate for the rights of transgender people, who are often marginalized and disowned by their families. The article highlights the story of Divya, a transgender woman with HIV, and the societal and bureaucratic hurdles that prevent her and others from receiving necessary healthcare.

APS massacre: Trauma one cannot move past

03 Sep 2021  |  tribune.com.pk
Families affected by the Army Public School massacre in Peshawar and other terrorist attacks in the region continue to suffer from PTSD and mental trauma years after the incidents. The government's promises of psychological assistance have largely been unfulfilled, leaving many to cope with their grief and stress without adequate support. The Directorate of Health Services Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has initiated a Mental Health Programme to provide counseling and support to affected families, but many are still reluctant to seek help. Despite challenges, the program has reached out to several families and is expanding its services.

Beyond headlines: Truth of children opting for public schools in K-P

21 Jan 2019  |  tribune.com.pk
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, a significant number of children have been moved from private to public schools, attributed to both government improvements in education and rising private school fees. The PTI provincial government invested Rs73.01 billion over five years to enhance school facilities, resulting in 17,064 schools now fully equipped. Despite these improvements, some educators argue that rural schools still lack basic amenities. The All Primary Teachers Association suggests that the high cost of private education is the primary reason for the shift to public schools.

Mahira says will help educate refugee children

09 Sep 2018  |  The Express Tribune
Pakistani actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Mahira Khan visited an Afghan refugee camp in Nowshera, expressing her desire to help educate the children there. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi thanked Pakistan for hosting refugees and highlighted the need for more support in education and health. He also mentioned the ongoing repatriation of Afghan refugees and the unstable security situation in Afghanistan. Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has shown interest in addressing the issues faced by Afghan refugees.

UAP official who pointed gun at student suspended

29 Aug 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
A University of Agricultural Peshawar official, Abid Anwar, was suspended after a video of him physically abusing a student and pointing a gun at the student's face went viral. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Caretaker Governor Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani ordered an investigation into the incident. The university formed a high-level committee led by Natural Sciences Dean Prof Dr Siad Wahab to probe the altercation involving a BBA student. The university assured that the incident would be thoroughly investigated and appropriate action would be taken if the officer is found guilty.

PTI names Mushtaq Ghani for speaker, Mehmood Jan deputy speaker in K-P Assembly

13 Aug 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has nominated Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani for the speaker and Mehmood Jan for the deputy speaker positions in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. Ghani won the PK-39 Abbottabad–IV seat with 28,424 votes, while Jan was elected from PK-66 Peshawar-I with 19,096 votes. The Awami National Party (ANP) nominated Laiq Mohammad Khan for the leader of the opposition in the K-P Assembly. PTI currently holds 83 seats in the provincial assembly, surpassing the 82 seats needed for a two-thirds majority.

Atif, Tarakai cool rumours

28 Jul 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, speculation about the next chief minister intensifies as PTI secures enough seats to form a government. Atif Khan and Shahram Khan Tarakai, considered front-runners, state that the party leadership will make the decision in due time. The party is currently prioritizing forming governments in the centre and Punjab. Party sources deny rumors of Asad Qaiser being chosen as chief minister, emphasizing the need for strong positions in the national assembly. Atif criticizes premature claims of chief ministership by party members, while Tarakai focuses on implementing the PTI manifesto. Several senior PTI leaders are in contention for the chief minister position.

Community school students perform better than schools

23 Jul 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
Community schools in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, established by the Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation to enroll out-of-school children, have outperformed government-run schools. An assessment by the K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Department showed better results in Mathematics, English, and Urdu among students from these schools, attributed to more dedicated teachers. The province plans to expand education facilities through the New School Initiative, targeting districts like Battagram, Torghar, and Shangla.

Over 250 detained as University of Peshawar ‘cleans out’ hostels

11 Jul 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
The University of Peshawar, in collaboration with the district administration, conducted a raid on student hostels to evict illegal occupants, resulting in the detention of around 250 individuals. The operation uncovered liquor bottles, batons, and loudspeakers in the hostels. The university had been subsidizing electricity and gas for these hostels, costing Rs10 million, despite the illegal use of facilities such as air conditioning by the occupants.

Six teenagers apprehended for robbery at UoP

10 Jun 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
Six teenagers were arrested by University of Peshawar campus police for robbery and other illegal activities. A 15-year-old was caught attempting to enter a professor's residence, leading to the arrest of five others, who are children of university officials. Deputy Director of Administration Gohar Rehman Gaddon stated that the teenagers will be expelled and no leniency will be shown to children of university officials despite pressure from influential people.

PTI government failed to reopen nearly 350 closed schools

07 Jun 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
A government report revealed that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government, under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, failed to reopen 346 schools across the province over five years, despite doubling the education budget and hiring thousands of teachers. The closed schools included a mix of boys, girls, and co-education institutions, with Kohistan having the highest number of closures. Issues such as land disputes were cited as reasons for the inability to reopen these schools. The K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Director, Farid Khattak, defended the government's efforts, stating that education reforms are ongoing and not confined to a single government's tenure.

Equal opportunity: 37,000 differently abled 'students' out-of-school

ICU faculty handed administrative position

24 May 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
Islamia College University (ICU) Peshawar has appointed several faculty members to key administrative positions, contravening the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act which mandates that such positions be filled by administrative officers. This has occurred despite directives from the provincial higher education department to adhere to the act. The appointments are said to be temporary and voluntary, but concerns have been raised about the impact on teaching quality and the university's reputation.

Senate ‘vote-selling': Five PTI lawmakers serve legal notices to Imran Khan

21 May 2018  |  The Express Tribune
Five expelled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers served legal notices to party chief Imran Khan, demanding retractions of vote-selling allegations from Senate elections, public apologies, and Rs5 billion in compensation. The legal action follows the party's expulsion of 12 Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly members on May 10 for not responding to show-cause notices regarding the allegations.

Middle way out? School fees to be based on facilities

15 May 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Private Schools Regularity Authority (K-PPSRA) is considering a policy where private schools in the province will set their fees based on the facilities they offer. This decision comes after a backlash from private schools and a two-day strike organized by the Private Schools Owners Association (PSOA). The K-PPSRA held a meeting to discuss categorizing and ranking schools based on their infrastructure and facilities before finalizing the fee structure. The managing director, Syed Zafar Shah, emphasized the importance of stakeholder consultation and adherence to the Private School Regularity Authority Act (PSRAA) 2018 and orders from the Peshawar High Court (PHC). Representatives from various private schools and parents attended the meeting.

Every fourth girl in K-P not in school

14 May 2018  |  The Express Tribune
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), Pakistan, every fourth girl is out of school, with twice as many girls as boys not attending school. A government survey for 2016-17 revealed that 1.188 million girls are not in education. The survey, costing Rs227 million, covered over four million households and was conducted by 40,000 primary schoolteachers. It found that 23% of children aged 5-17 years are out of school, with 64% never enrolled and 36% having dropped out. The main reasons for non-enrollment include parental disinterest and poverty. The government requires additional schools and teachers to address the gap. K-PESED Director Farid Khattak emphasized the importance of accurate data for improving the situation, and the government has launched biannual enrolment campaigns, enrolling 0.8 million children so far.

SBP asked to seal accounts of 22 schools

08 May 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Private School Regularity Authority (K-PPSRA) has requested the State Bank of Pakistan to seal the accounts of 22 private schools for non-compliance with the law and a high court judgment. The Peshawar High Court had previously ordered the freezing of accounts for schools that failed to follow court directives or implement K-PPSRA Regulations 2018. The schools affected include notable institutions such as Forward Model School System and Beaconhouse School System. K-PPSRA Managing Director Syed Zafar Ali Shah confirmed the action and noted ongoing investigations in other districts.

After two days: Private schools reopen in K-P

26 Apr 2018  |  The Express Tribune
Private schools in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa reopened after a two-day strike protesting against the Private Schools Regulatory Authority's directives to charge only one month's fee during the two-month summer vacation and provide a 50% fee reduction for parents with multiple children enrolled. The Private Schools Owners and Association, facing the Peshawar High Court's order to seize accounts of striking schools, plans to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court.

Retract allegations or face action, 'expelled' PTI lawmakers warn Imran Khan

23 Apr 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
Expelled PTI lawmakers have given party chief Imran Khan a 15-day ultimatum to retract election rigging allegations or face legal action. The disgruntled members, including MPA Qurban Ali Khan, accused Imran of staging a 'drama' during the Senate polls in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and criticized his support for the Senate chairman. MPA Abdul Haq announced his resignation from an advisory panel, while MPA Yasin Khalil accused the leadership of corruption and selling party tickets. They threatened to approach the Supreme Court and urged Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice.

K-P government hesitant to enforce madrassa registration

09 Apr 2018  |  tribune.com.pk
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government is facing uncertainty in formulating a policy to register religious seminaries, with 1,138 out of 3,792 seminaries in the province remaining unregistered. Despite the PTI provincial government's decision for the K-PESED to monitor and regulate seminaries, no concrete steps have been taken. The PSRA, which is expected to handle registration, is not fully functional yet. Seminaries have shown resistance to registration, and the Wafaqul Madaris Al Arabia has criticized the government for lack of consultation.

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