Stories published in October, 2010

Chhote Ustad: Make love not war

I was flipping through channels on TV the other day and came across the season finale of Chhote Ustaad, a show that was recently filmed in India. For those of you who are not aware, it was a singing competition for children. That’s not it; the different thing about this show was that each team comprised a Pakistani contestant paired up with an Indian one. Before the winners were announced, the final few contestants were given the opportunity to speak into the microphone. One of them, a Pakistani child merely ten years of age, took this opportunity to say something ...

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KESC misdeeds and the abuse of power

It was 6 pm and I had just entered my home after a long, hectic day at the office, when the bell rang and a very efficient looking KESC team for the Defence area came in, claiming that according to Section 20 of the Electric Act 1910, they were required to carry out an inspection of the electricity metre. As per the rules, our meter is installed outside the house, where I took the team so that they could carry out the inspection. As one of them inspected the electricity metre thoroughly, he found no fault in its operation. Then ...

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A 25 year plan for… failure?

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has issued a statement asking the nation’s politicians, judiciary and the military to create a 25-year plan, which he called the Charter of Pakistan. The plan, he said, should be produced “with consensus” to pull Pakistan “out of its problems.” Our politicians are just discovering what statesmen in other nations take for granted. Better late than never. There is no reason to doubt Mr. Sharif’s sincerity in floating this idea. But he should also ponder with an open mind what many skeptical Pakistanis will say about it. Seen from another context, this noble idea can easily turn ...

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I’m sexy, sweet and want world peace

There was a battle in Sanya, China today. 115 pretty, young contestants were competing against each other and in the end, Miss USA, Alexandria Mills won the title of Miss World 2010. She is, or so the organizers of the pageant tell us,  the most beautiful miss in the world. What a thing to be told! But what about the remaining ladies? Weren’t they left behind feeling ugly?  They must have felt hopeless and rejected. Pageants have often been criticized for being demeaning and accused of making  women feel bad about themselves. Also, many feel that these are beyond just being contests of beauty. Remember ...

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Asma Jahangir, mother of Pakistan

Few Pakistanis have shown inspiring courage and perseverance to serve as role models. Abdul Sattar Edhi is one such individual, a world renowned humanitarian and philanthropist, and now, the first female president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Asma Jahangir also deserves this distinction for her tenacious struggle for human rights and her resolute stance on women’s rights. For her entire adult life, Asma has been an advocate of gender equality and minority rights in a highly patriarchal society. She is also the Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), and the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations ...

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“Using a bazooka to kill a fly”: anti-Islam measures in Europe

When an assignment deadline is just round the corner, a reposeful Saturday morning transforms into a feverish study routine. On one such morning, I was heading towards the bus stop to catch the 9:00 am double-decker to my university, when the eerie sound of a vuvuzela stopped me dead in my tracks. A large group of English Defence League ‘hooligans’ were marching forth in my direction and it was not the annoying vuvuzelas which scared the hell out of me, it was the repugnant message on their placards, which read “All Muslims are terrorists.” As a Muslim, I could only ...

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Back in the game: Give athletes a break!

Four names in the world of sport have captivated the headlines over the last decade, with respect to their decisions to return to their chosen fields: Micheal Jordan, Zinedine Zidane, Micheal Schumacher and Justine Henin. While each has got a mixed response and some comebacks have already ended in what might be considered tragic circumstances, I think most sports fans think too selfishly of themselves, instead of putting themselves in the shoes of the legends that choose to return. For many of these demi-gods of sport who return, there can be no doubt that they have one thing in common: they ...

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Health is only for those who can afford to pay up

Yesterday, I challenged myself to be brave. Well, I am brave. Or at least I like to think I am. I have been through situations that could give you a high-blood-pressure-induced stroke, if there is such a thing. I guess that covers the mental bravery bit. For the first time in 24 years, I went for a blood test-all on my own. The last time I went for one, which was three weeks ago, the rather curious audience at the AKU laboratory witnessed a fat twenty-something pink-faced girl freaking out at the sight of a needle. I gave them half a show. ...

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Chasing a moving target: Where is Osama?

Nine years after 9/11, speculation is still rife about the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden and his aides. A recent statement by an unnamed Nato official puts his presence in the area between Afghan and Pakistani border, close to the Kurram Valley. Is this a big surprise? The denial by the Pakistani government was swift, as usual, and the Interior Minister categorically put the burden on Nato to provide the credibility of the claim. Now, Mr Malik may be an interior minister, but he is not a wise one. In the past, we have seen the usual denials on other allegations ...

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What’s so special about Blake Lively?

I was flipping through an issue of Vogue-I think it was the September issue-while getting my hair done, when I came across an editorial on Blake Lively in Paris. Her trip consisted of a private tour of Coco’s apartment, macaroons which were even better than those from Hermé or Ladurée (I have to look up the names of these caterers), Vespa rides with Louboutin, dinners at the Ritz with Lagerfeld and Galliano. And as if that wasn’t enough, she was shown a sneak preview of a pair of red-soled heels, by Louboutin himself, which she gushed over, resulting in him carving ...

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