Stories published in July, 2010

Victims need action not rhetoric

According to the government, around 800 people have died in floods that have struck Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Around 270,000 people have been affected by floods in Balochistan, more than 15,000 houses have been destroyed and 25,000 families in Naseerabad are homeless. While we sit in the comfort of our homes up to 300,000 people remain without food and shelter, struggling to get to higher ground with what little is left of their belongings. I can only wonder what we are to do for our brothers and sisters who no longer have homes to go back to, who are without food and ...

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‘Look beta, that’s where the plane crashed’

As the clouds finally gave way to the sun, dozens of families from the twin cities decided to make a day out of it and rushed to Daman-e-Koh, to look at the debris of fallen flight ED 202. I didn’t exactly hear what these mothers were telling their children, but from their expressions and their hard-contained excitement I’m pretty sure it was something along these lines. ‘Look beta, that’s where the plane crashed,’ ‘Dekho, dekho, not many people get to see air crash sites in their lifetime!’ Sensing the mob’s interest, a lone entrepreneur hooked up his binoculars and started charging Rs10  for ...

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Ramazan inflation: what we can do

The Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) reported that the increase in the prices of perishable food items rose by 20.76%, that is right after the increase of 16.36% in the prices of electricity and fuel over the last year (period: July – June 2010).  The average inflation in food prices is 14.48% and inflation in non-perishable items lies at 13.64%. The figures mentioned above are a reflection of the yearly increase in prices but let us see how prices are indicating that the holy month of Ramazan is coming. A week ago a national business newspaper conducted an on field survey ...

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Being a mentor

I never realised teaching could be so much fun and provide so much satisfaction until the day I got in touch with one of my old students. In fact, I would rather call myself a ‘mentor’ because as soon as you hear the word ‘teacher’ you cannot help but imagine an old woman whose face is half hidden behind spectacles, screaming at the students. I wanted to remove this picture from the students’ mind and wanted to give them an experience of not being bogged down with homework and class work. But things can turn the other way round too, ...

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What not to do when disaster strikes

Pakistan is mourning the loss of 152 people in one of the deadliest and tragic air crashes in the country’s aviation history. Such accidents always leave a trail of distressing tales behind. The front pages of newspapers carried poignant stories about the lives and plans of victims. It was saddening to read however, that like every other unexpected tragedy in Pakistan this one shocked the authorities and the nation alike. Interior minister Rahman Malik also acted in a highly unprofessional manner by raising the hopes of people, especially the families of the passengers who were anxiously waiting to hear word ...

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Meera has a website!

‘Super star’ Meera’s website is up, and I’ve seen it and I think it’s quite awesome. I’d rather you visit the website yourself, but if you are too lazy to sit and analyse each point like someone who has nothing else to do, you can always take a look at my humble collection of observations. The biography page I loved this page. It provides the viewer with all the information one could ask for. For instance, we don’t have to make any guesses at the film star’s age anymore because the site is kind enough to inform us that ‘the dashing beauty’ ...

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‘I am not your man’

I have never supported Shahid Afridi. Is it because I never bought into the whole boom boom mania? Yes, partly. Actually, for me it was more to do with the waste of his talent then the lack of it. Let’s face it, we all know he has never lacked talent or flamboyance for that matter, but the way he has gone about things in his career in the past are well to say the least, a bit daft. He’s been thrilling all of us since he arrived in the Pakistan team but the hope to ever see him blossom into something ...

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Stop blaming the media

Look people, I know you’re upset about the Airblue plane crash – it was devastating – but that does not mean you should make this tragedy into a ‘hate the media’ game. The Geo graphic of the plane crash was crass, okay, accepted. And the fact that TV channels broadcast that there were 40 survivors was a huge mistake and it was terrible to see how quickly each channel just copied the news off each other without verification. But (and this is the important point) you have to let the media do its job! What would you prefer? A media which is free ...

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ED 202: For a few more soundbytes

A lot of what is being written and said in the media based on reports by correspondents, columnists and by public comments on who or what was responsible for the Airblue crash makes sense. One or more of the causes being pointed to may be the actual cause of the accident. However, no one but those with full access to complete information and data should be commenting at this stage – no one else. We all make the mistake of speculating based on our own experience, knowledge and sense. But we must realise that this is the time where vested interests profit. Many times a ...

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The trouble with free information

Wikileaks makes over 90,000 classified US military documents public. An aspiring activist posts offensive content on Facebook. Iranians oppose broadcast of their election protests over the internet through Twitter, fuelling international outrage at the regime. What do these events have in common? These events all represent the changing face of war. For a modern state now more than ever, insecurity is going to be measured by how secure its information systems and databases are, and not just by how many troops it deploys along its borders. This new threat that governments fear is well illustrated by Julian Assange’s attack on US strategy ...

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