zarrar.khuhro

Zarrar Khuhro

The editor of The Express Tribune weekly magazine.

Brazil, Baldia and the importance of empathy

The nightclub fire in Brazil that claimed close to 250 lives inevitably brought back memories of the garment factory fire in Baldia. The sheer horror of it, the pain of the weeping families and the apparent negligence and mismanagement by the nightclub owners all brought back to mind the tragedy that occurred in Karachi on September 11, 2012. As with the factory inferno, fire codes had been ignored, emergency exits had been blocked and, in essence, the terrible catastrophe could easily have been avoided in Brazil as in Baldia. Then the similarities ended. Brazilian President Dilma was on a state visit to Chile and ...

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For Tahirul Qadri, it’s a win

The revolution is over. Democracy is saved. Islamabad the green will become even greener, thanks to all the fertiliser. The ‘padri’ is now very much a player. The ‘former’ government is now a coalition partner, the ‘yazeedis’ are now buddies and Karbala, it seems, came with a conference-ready container. Bad jokes and highly inappropriate references aside (hey, they started it), we can breathe a collective sigh of relief that it all ended without violence because, for a while there, it all looked very touch and go. I’m also glad that the army kept its boots off, and didn’t tip the balance ...

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(Manufactured) revolution mubarak

Congratulations, Pakistan! The ‘manufactured’ revolution just came to a country near you. After the stunning success of People’s Power movements, Colour Revolutions and various Springs, we bring you the Pakistani Winter. You can thank the best strategic minds in Pakistan and beyond for bringing you this stunning and beautifully coordinated production. We’ve been called paranoid, we’ve been called incurable conspiracy theorists and cynical naysayers but guess what? We were right all along. It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. But you know what? I actually find it quite sweet. It’s unfolded with the coordination of a Bolshoi ballet, the choreography of ...

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Out with the cellphone, in with the ban(daids)

The cellphone service ban is a great idea. After just a few minutes of Googling I came across tons of articles about how cellphones are used by terrorists, not just for coordination but also as remote detonators. This is all clear evidence that cellphones are in fact the tools of terror. Google says so and Google knows all. After all there’s even a church of Google, for crying out loud. After field testing the cellular service ban on Chaand Raat, the government was so impressed by its efficacy that it’s now been permanently inducted into the arsenal of counter-terrorism. Just ...

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Of bathtub tsunamis and Jamia Hafsa fashion weeks

Pakistan is at a crossroads, a critical juncture, staring into an abyss that is winking back at us and making inappropriate kissy noises. This is because the ship of state has hit an iceberg, because the deep state cannot dig itself out again, because we have counted our chickens before they were hatched, haven’t sheared our sheep before they were culled, have changed horses in midstream too many times and have run with the hounds and hunted with the hares too many times. Or was that the other way around? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have to choose ─ choose between light and ...

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And now a word from our (masters) sponsors

After the success of our thook pay chalnay waali gari “Aik Akh-Thoo say 100 KM” (copyright @zaalimsingh), Munafiq enterprises PVT Unlimited is proud to present our new line of stuff you know you need but didn’t think anyone was insane enough to invent. The Laydes Oh sure the women think they have a rough time driving in Pakistan, what with all the eve-teasers, motorcycle machos and roadside romeos … not to mention all those annoying coloured lights at the intersections (what the heck are they for anyway?) But we know the truth: there is no greater sin than…DRIVING WHILE MALE! Try ...

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Splitting atoms: Can your nukes save you?

Pakistan’s nuclear program, much like Pakistan itself, is always a headline grabber. And like Pakistan, it’s usually for all the wrong reasons. Certainly, there are all the perfect ingredients for a pot-boiler present –the potential death of millions, espionage, conspiracy, the threat of pilferage and/or outright takeover and so on. Also predictably, very few of us really see eye to eye on the usefulness of this programme. Those to the left of the political spectrum see it as a wasteful, dangerous and unnecessary tool, while the rightists amongst us see it as an indispensable asset and a laudable achievement. There ...

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November 23, 2011
TOPICS

Welcome to the hot seat Sherry Rehman

Just when you think the government is on the proverbial ropes, it pulls a rabbit out of its equally proverbial hat.  In this case the appointment of PPP’s Sherry Rehman as the ambassador to the US. At one stroke, not only have the speculations that the deep state will force the appointment of someone more pliable been put to rest, but a somewhat sidelined member of the old PPP guard has also been promoted and (presumably) assuaged. Sherry, with her immaculate record and outspoken nature, is the one person who can not only go toe to toe with the notoriously cranky ...

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August 12, 2011
TOPICS

Death sentence for Rangers, freedom for terrorists?

Rejoice all ye faithful, for justice has been served. Seven terrorists who spread fear among the good people of Pakistan have been tried and sentenced. These weren’t any slap-on-the-wrist sentences either: one got a death sentence and the others got life. This was justice on steroids, with the ATC disposing of the case in a record two months. They were terrorists after all, and got what they deserved. So pardon me for asking why Malik Ishaq could not be faced with the same kind of justice, or why Ajmal Pahari – accused of dozens if not hundreds of murders  – ...

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Conspiracy Bin Laden: Is he really dead?

Osama is dead. (Or is he alive?) The US killed him in a special forces operation. (Or did they only get his look-alike?). He was America’s bitterest foe. (Or was he was an American agent?) Laden’s body was spirited away and buried at sea to avoid his burial place becoming a militant shrine (Or is he actually in captivity and the entire exercise is a psychological warfare ruse designed to confuse Al-Qaeda while the US interrogates him?) No, the truth must be that Osama died many years ago and the latest reports are only meant to put Pakistan in a tight ...

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