Stories published in January, 2011

Australia’s top-order rattled again on rain-shortened day

Opinions and reports that the Ashes series of 2010/11 is an encounter that is heavily lopsided in favor of the visiting English team are certainly justified. But, be that as it may, the series has at least retained one of its key traits in its latest edition. From the first draw, to England’s mauling of hosts in the second test, to Australia returning the favor in the third and then to England’s crushing/ashes-retaining victory in the last test at Melbourne, the series has had more than its fair share of twists and turns. For England, the final test at the ...

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10 ways to be a better manager

People do not usually quit their jobs because they are unhappy with an organisation, but because they are unable to give input to the degree which satisfies them. Satisfaction comes from performing tasks exceptionally well. This feeling can be created through the effective management of the human resource. Here lies the role of the manager who needs to know the power of his written and spoken words, his anger and smile, his attitude and behavior. Organisations generally do not fall because of bad strategies, but because they encounter bad managers. It is important to note that bad managers are not those who ...

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2011: A new start on the dark streets

It’s hard to leave the past behind and start the new year with renewed hope when it ends on a nationwide strike and begins on dark streets that depict nothing less than fear and gloom. It’s a struggle to be happy here, even when the day demands so. I had much sympathy for myself and this country on New Year’s Eve as I tried to find my way home amid containers that had blocked the roads. The street lights had been switched off, all restaurants were closed, and every motorcyclist that passed instilled a sense of fear, as the news of ...

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Indian until proven guilty: Adnan Sami can’t buy his way out

You know him for his many marriages, including the one with Pakistani female actor Zeba Bakhtiyar. You know him for skipping Pakistan, going over to India and rocking the Indian entertainment industry with his music to the extent that an article in Times of India termed him as “the most successful; face in non—film music in India” in 2002. You also know him for his miraculous weight loss of 107kg within a year. And now, you will know him for being in legal trouble for owning eight flats and five car parking spaces in Mumbai. According to a notice issued by the ...

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Reminiscing about Faiz

I had left for Karachi eager to watch the literary festival sponsored by the British Council and the Oxford University Press. But when I wished to return there was just no way to do that. PIA’s flights were suspended. I thought of leaving the city on board the old whistle-blowing train. But the trains today are worse than a bullock cart. The latter is slow but reliable the former is not to be trusted at all. There is no telling where and when it may be stopped and for how long. Several trains have been abolished. The remaining may be ...

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Sir Alex Ferguson: The importance of longevity

The breaking of the record by Sir Alex Ferguson recently of the late Sir Matt Busby as Manchester United’s longest serving manager of all time (24 years, one month and 15 days) shows just how important it is to stick with managers rather than wield the axe at the slightest dip in form. It really is the exception rather than the norm in today’s fast-paced world of football. We see the form of a team fall and at once there are strong rumours that the board (and now in most cases owner) of the club will be changing the manager. Gone ...

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MQM vs PML-N: No one killed Tariq Mehmood!

In a recent round of allegations from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) representative Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has been accused of killing one of its own former ministers. During a live press conference a few days ago, Chaudhry Nisar stated that the MQM is infamous for killing its own party members and has even carried out the killing of former Minister for Housing and Works Syed Tariq Mehmood.  A few days after this statement, Mr Mehmood who happens to be alive, organised his own press conference conveying the truth to the public. He stated: “The other day I saw ...

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The old architecture of Gojal valley

Gojal valley is host to many historical buildings. Gulmit, Ghulkin, Morkhoon, Gircha, Sost, Misgar, Shimshal and Chipursan have a number of such structures. Among these, the Bai Nazar Maktab, an old house in Gulmit, Qarghiz Bai House in Ghulkin, an old house in Gircha and Qalandarchi Fort in Misgar are prominent. Two buildings in Gulmit, the main town and headquarter of the calamity-hit Gojal Tehsil, are noted for their beautiful wood carvings. The old house which is located near the polo ground is well known for its ornately carved door and windows. The old house has now been turned into a ...

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Pakistani teens: Partying with Chuck Bass to spite the Taliban

A strange new American phenomenon has taken hold of the Pakistani youth, particularly young women. There is no escaping it. It is everywhere. It has penetrated our very soul and become part of every aspect of our life. I am referring to, of course, teen shows. Teen shows on the whole were never watched in Pakistan as much as they are now. Very few people would remember Dawson’s Creek (personally, I couldn’t stand Katie Holmes). Shows like The OC and Gilmore Girls were the first of their kind that mapped their way into the TV viewers at large. Now, you would ...

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Uprooting the canker of corruption

According to media reports, in the last four years our politicians, bureaucrats and some top military officials have usurped an amount of Rs600 billion, which is four times the size of this fiscal year’s total development budget. The media incessantly reports instances of corruption in various institutions, publishing hundreds of stories involving government officials. This has remained a dominant trend of our print and electronic media during the last four years. In response, the government has been claiming that it will do its utmost to rid the nation of the canker of corruption. The Supreme Court also took a firm stance against ...

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