Stories published in January, 2011

South Africa vs India: Battle for supremacy

If India had won, lost or even drawn the series there would have been no change in the ICC Test Ranking. It would remain on top and South Africa would be number two. However, since India has never won a series in Australia, England or South Africa, the team could not truly call itself the ‘best Test side’ in the world. Hence, this series in South Africa was the unofficial Test Championship for the best test side. The series lived up to the expectations with some exhilarating cricket being played by both sides. It will be remembered for Sachin Tendulkar scoring ...

Read Full Post

The language of education

The debate surrounding language has long dominated the Pakistani education system. Since the creation of Pakistan, the issue of language has been shaping politics. In fact, the dismemberment of our country can trace its roots back to this problem. There have always been voices calling to teach curriculums in local languages, but the issue is of a more complex nature than it seems given the fact that Pakistan is a multilingual society where at least 69 languages are spoken. Of these around 30 are spoken just in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. If we look at the current situation of basic education in our country, ...

Read Full Post

Sympathy for the dictator: How Musharraf lost a fan

Let’s face it. Media fraternities hate ex-President General Pervez Musharraf. Yes, they do and for obvious reasons actually. Ironic really as General Musharraf did sow the magic beans of ‘free media’ that later grew to become a monstrous self-defeating beanstalk. It shouldn’t come across as a revelation when I say that supporting General Sahab is considered somewhat taboo in the media community – it is pretty much like venturing on a cross-country road-trip in Vietnam holding an enormous American flag. But me? Being a staunch enthusiast of his rule, I refused to let one crazy-speech and a bunch of my colleague’s prickly ...

Read Full Post

I’m a media man, shackle me please

The time for change has come. Please just arrest me if necessary PPP, but do something! Make an example of someone, anyone! Show us that you stand by the values you preach and make the citizens of this country accountable for their actions. If you do not have the guts to round up, arrest and make a public example of every one of those hooligans who danced on the streets, posing for photo-ops with burning effigies of late Governor Salmaan Taseer, then at least arrest me and my ilk; throw away the key if one of us so much as ...

Read Full Post

Your university next door

A rare and happy confluence, the seeker and the sought in mutual hot pursuit. While the growing body of students is chasing higher degrees and diplomas, education itself, as it were, is hunting for talents to groom. Man closes one door, God opens another. Choosy public schools and colleges have now few applicants begging for entrance as newspapers are full of new institutions with an open arms policy for anyone who has the resources for bettering his or her future. Bernard Shaw, who said “what we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit ...

Read Full Post

Salmaan Taseer: An act to be remembered

The first time I was truly scarred was when screenwriters killed off Bambi’s mother in the 1942 Disney animated movie. It was a potent lesson for a child and one that has continued to manifest from the beginning of time throughout history and society.  A bitter testimony to what becomes of nobility in our world – remember, it was the hunter that shot Bambi’s mother as she tried to protect her child. The late Salmaan Taseer is not Bambi’s mother and perhaps he is no deer either, but he gave his life for something and one must pay tribute ...

Read Full Post

Two party system and ethnic politics

It is often debated why the political process is so weak in a country as old as Pakistan. Yes, the direct and indirect military intervention is one of the primary reasons, but the poor performance of political parties must share the blame as well. The country is bitterly divided on ethnic and, arguably in some cases, religious lines. This division impacts political parties to a great extent, as they are in essence a reflection of the sentiments and views of the general populace. Ethnic politics Sadly, right after its inception, the founding political party, the Muslim League was divided and subdivided into ...

Read Full Post

A burger to blow your taste buds away

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Mr Anonymous, the first person to actually think of putting a meat patty and a compendium of assortments (cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions being the most common) in between a bun. Genius! Little did he know that, what he had created would, end up being a global fast-food phenomenon. Beef or vegetarian, tofu or chicken – the options are endless. Here’s a time-tested recipe that will make you forget all about the famous Big Mac you get at McDonalds. Unlike the aforementioned burger, this patty has a rich flavor served with a sauce ...

Read Full Post

Lessons from a soap box factory

Here in Pakistan, there is a famous fable about a soap factory. Several stores in a wealthy country complained that they had ordered soap but had only received empty boxes. Recognising that they had a problem in their factory, the management thought long and hard to find a solution. In the end, the company purchased a machine worth a million dollars, and hired an employee to observe the boxing process. Problem solved. Soon after, a Pakistani company ran into the same issue.  The management thought long and hard to find a solution.  In the end, the company purchased a big fan and placed it ...

Read Full Post

When swords and pens collide

Pakistan is the deadliest place in South Asia to pursue the profession of journalism. When one thinks of journalism as a profession, deadly is rarely the first word that comes to mind. Sadly, for 12 of our colleagues, that is exactly what 2010 proved to be. Suicide bombings, grenade attacks and indiscriminate fire by terrorists and anti-social elements took their lives, but there is a much more scary side to the story – one that every Pakistani needs to take note of. Two members of the fraternity were kidnapped and tortured, not by al Qaeda or the Taliban, but reportedly by ...

Read Full Post