Stories published in August, 2010

9 reasons why I am not a Twilight fan

1. The length: One fine morning Stephanie Meyer woke up from a nightmare and told herself she could write. The product was the Twilight series. Inundated with horrible grammatical errors and overused adjectives the plot (or lack thereof) has been extended over four books. It  is excruciating. 2.Pedophilia: If it isn’t a seventeen year old falling in love with an old vampire, it is a werewolf falling for an infant. The author needs therapy for her convoluted imagination. 3. The hype: The frenzy around the books is inexplicable. What I fail to understand is how and when the human brain stooped ...

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Match-fixing: more than what meets the eye

The match fixing saga has returned yet again. One decade after the ugly Hansie Cronje and Company incident it has been reported that up to seven Pakistan players are involved in match-fixing with pacers Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif at the forefront for bowling deliberate no-balls at pre-determined times. The whole controversy centres around the arrest of an alleged match-fixer Mazhar Majeed who has reportedly been arrested from the team hotel. A story in the Sky with questions The piece of news that has shaken the cricket world was broken by News of the World (NOTW). Their website claims it is an international exclusive ...

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The democracy of detachment

Our elite have claimed democracy for themselves, and as they fashion the term in which ever way that gains them votes (“democracy is the best revenge“), they perpetuate the status-quo. The constitution seems to only apply or not apply during military rule, in those parts which prolongs their period of rule. The privileges, nay rights of the individual are forgotten by those in power, the military, bureaucrats, politicians, industrialists; as they stand on a pedestal of the down trodden. While military rule and democracy in Pakistan are framed as opposing extremes, it is perhaps more accurate to recognize them as ...

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Love, donkeys and Pakistani cricket

Following the accusations of suspected match-fixing hurled at Pakistan’s cricket team, a plethora of explanatory theories have been put forth. Some, like the Pakistan Team Manager Yawar Saeed, discount the view that the cricket team is ‘institutionally corrupt’ whilst the more diehard of enthusiasts have instantly suggested that it is merely an Indian-manufactured conspiracy. Furthermore, some – who have been disillusioned by the team’s objectionable conduct – have resorted to leading a procession of donkeys through the streets of Lahore and pelting them with shoes. Of course, there are some, like Veena Malik (Mohammad Asif’s ex-girlfriend) who have capitalized on ...

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‘Give the dog a bad name and hang him’

For those of you who didn’t see Salman Butt and Yawar Saeed get questioned by British journalists, go on YouTube and have a look. Butt looks absolutely terrified; eyes wide open with a pale face and nervous. Why shouldn’t he have been? His manager didn’t trust him enough to let him speak, in case he let the ‘wrong words’ slip out of his mouth. Since the news of the scandal hit and created pandemonium in the international community, apart from Mohammad Aamer’s childhood coach Asif Bajwa, not one official from the PCB or the government has publicly defended the players. ...

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Cricket scandal: Out or not out?

While the immediate reaction to our cricket team’s recently discovered shenanigans is of hate and shame, there are many Pakistanis who believe that it is too soon to judge. To control one’s emotions and wait for more compelling evidence is both admirable and astute. However, what this evidence will be remains to be seen. Everything that has come to light so far may be convincing, but none of it sounds like damning proof that could stick in a court of law. Phones have been confiscated. Mazhar Majeed was an agent and was well within his rights to be calling Pakistani players. In ...

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A sport for gentlemen no more…

I don’t know where to begin from. It hurts when your beloved country features in all kinds of terrible news. As if the ministers’ fake degree scandal, perennial bombings, a deadly aviation disaster, the country’s worst floods and the Sialkot lynching weren’t enough to torment us the serpent of match fixing in cricket has raised its head again. In Pakistan, cricket is the most played and followed sport. It is one way the ordinary man tries to seek happiness. But while the sport was once known as a gentleman’s game sadly, there is nothing gentlemanly about Pakistani cricket anymore. Allegations of ball tampering, and match fixing are nothing new. The last time Pakistan faced such allegations was ...

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In the commune: The Sialkot lynching

Last week two young brothers,Mughees and Muneeb were lynched by a mob in Sialkot. The incident has been condemned by all quarters. Interior Minister Rehman Malik has called it a national dilemma while the Supreme Court has taken up the issue as well. We asked Tribune bloggers and readers what the Sialkot lynching meant for justice in Pakistan: Ayesha Umar: I’ve observed and witnessed that the police force works for those who have deep pockets. If you want a police protection buy them. If you want to harass someone through police buy them. Police is at your service if you are ready pay ...

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State of the nation

I am a journalist, and I love being a Pakistani journalist. While taking pride in being Pakistani can be difficult at times, there is no denying that it’s an ideal place for reporting thanks to the myriad issues we face. We have poverty, war, fashion, controversy, tragedy, natural disasters, alliances, personalities, economic downturn and shaky governments. In short, a reporter’s paradise. If nothing else, journalists can build a really good CV in this country. I remember having a conversation with an American about the Fulbright scholarship requirement that students return to their homeland at the end of their courses. And I ...

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Are floods a reality check?

The eeriest moment is when someone tells you that the catastrophic flood is in fact a punishment sent for you. An article in the BBC discussed how a lot of people are debating just that question, that like the people of Saba who are mentioned in the Quran, a debilitating flood has been sent down to punish Pakistani people for their sins. Putting aside such religious debates, the best we can do is realise that maybe this flood could be a much-needed reality check for us and could maybe help us to throw away the ‘them and us’ approach. Them, ...

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