Stories published in May, 2011

Osama’s death will not stop the dollar’s decline

The news of Osama Bin Laden’s death will open new dimensions for the US dollar but only for a short while. The reason I say this is because while global financial markets are terming the news of Bin Laden’s as good news for the currency, the dollar will continue to stay weak in 2011. Stock markets will rally in the US, Europe and Asia, but these efforts will all be short-lived and the status of the dollar will go back to its original position. Analyses of the past The bull market for the US dollar is like an invisible man. An important aspect ...

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Mending ties with neighbours

Terror attacks have become routine for Pakistanis following the Bin Laden debacle. Just recently, the DPO office in Hangu was targeted by militants. Another in the series of terror strikes in Pakistan to avenge the killing of the former al Qaeda chief. Why is it just Pakistan that repeatedly keeps coming under attack? This is a question that is being put before many experts and analysts frequently on TV. The answer is complex. But sane voices at home, and now abroad, seem to be realising that resolving the dispute between Pakistan and India might hold the key to the solution. Pakistan would ...

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The storyteller-cum-wrestler

When A Hameed first showed up at the Tea House in 1948, you could not have guessed that he was a fugitive from a wrestling arena. Everything about him spoke instead of a romantic soul that had drifted in our direction. A short story called ‘Manzil, manzil’, one of his first, had been published recently. The romantic bent and the storytelling technique had encouraged some connoisseurs to believe that he was another Krishan Chander in the making. A Hameed himself would later tell us that tradition and upbringing had required him actually to take on Keekar Singh’s son. His father, ...

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Good riddance to Osama bin Laden

Forget the future. Forget the fact that al Qaeda, the conglomerate, will continue to operate and spread terror. Forget the fact that the timing of this death is extremely suspicious given what is taking place in Afghanistan and Fata. Let go of the fear of an imminent backlash in Pakistan. This is the time to celebrate the death of a foul man, backed by a foul, twisted ideology that justified the murder of innocent people in the name of power. This is the time to say goodbye Osama Bin Laden – may I never see your face on TV again, and may ...

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After Osama: The war continues

So, almost ten years on from the September 11 attacks, the alleged mastermind of the plan, Osama Bin Laden, was finally killed in the picturesque hill town of Abbottabad. The operation that eventually lead to his assassination had been under way since August of last year and was carried out with the support of Pakistan’s intelligence services. Hordes of Americans congregated outside of the White House and the site of the twin towers to celebrate the event. The question now on most peoples’ lips is what impact this will have on the so called ‘war on terror’ and the Islamist ...

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Gojra slaughter: Keeping the faith

While the reopening of the Bhutto case has the courts frothing and fulminating and the newspaper headlines screaming, perhaps one should give thought to another case, in which, little progress has been made in bringing justice. I speak of the Gojra case of 2009, in which hundreds of people were initially charged with murder and violence in a Christian neighbourhood in the town situated in Toba Tek Singh district. Eight Christians, including four women and a child, were burnt alive when attackers set 40 houses and a church ablaze following allegations that members of a local Christian family had desecrated ...

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‘Professor sahab, please help me get in to college’

It has been a good seven months now. And I am still not done with my college applications. At first, the process seemed as simple as looking for the right university. I narrowed down my list of choices to Canada, googled a list of Master’s programmes and found myself overwhelmed with the choices. “British Columbia is too cold, you’ll freeze to death!” “Do you even know how far Vancouver is? It’s like a whole other country.” “Ontario sahi hai.” The next step was fairly straightforward. Look up the requirements for these universities and make sure you meet them. The worst part of it ...

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My days as a manual labourer

Many of my friends don’t know this but I worked as a manual labourer in my early teenage years. I used to work several hours a day for just Rs20.  There weren’t any weekly off days nor were there any extra benefits. If you got sick or were unable to come to work for some reason you couldn’t imagine getting paid those days. In fact, you would end up spending money on a visit to the doctor just so you could get back to your life of servitude. I can only describe those working hours as restless, endless stress. Sometimes, it would be so hard that ...

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