Stories published in September, 2012

Political aims of the public: Know your civic responsibilities first

For most of us, politics is a dirty game of false promises on the part of the leadership. It is used to routinely obscure laws that protect the corrupt and shows the extreme ignorance of politicians. We have certain parameters set in our minds – so and so will be voted for, so and so will be ousted but the same faces will return again. Henceforth, and sadly enough, ‘us’ as a nation and ‘we’ the public, limit our ‘political’ responsibility to casting a vote and critically examining events for the next five (or ten) years, depending on who ascends the ...

Read Full Post

Kahlil Jibran meets Rumi

I am Kahlil Jibran, a poet, born in Bsharri, Lebanon and buried in my beloved homeland. Despite lacking physical existence, my bonds with the earth have not been severed. Being a spirit, I can fly across space and glide around luminous stars; but, my spatial sojourns have not diminished my love for the beautiful earth, covered with gossamer clouds. Often, I zoom down to the earth and silently visit spiritual sites, immersing myself in the divine radiance. On a balmy spring afternoon, as I was daydreaming on crisp, cotton clouds, floating over Taurus Mountains, the sight of Mevlana Rumi’s cylindrical turquoise ...

Read Full Post

Love thy neighbour (India), it’s economically viable!

Pakistan and India have shared decades of a love-hate relationship under different regimes. The present government is leaning more towards love than hate and took the bold decision of granting most favoured nation (MFN) status to India, in order to open up trade between the two countries. Some critics hope that trade with India may dispel the impression that Pakistan is a land of fear ruled by the Taliban. The question is whether an enhanced trade relationship between the two countries will bring these two rivals closer. In recent talks held in Islamabad, India offered to set up a 2,000MW power ...

Read Full Post

Of cricket and Slims in the US

On September 30, Pakistan will play against India in a cricket match. As in any other life defining event such that this will be, I will spend my Sunday glued firmly to the television and dressed as if everything green and white in my cupboard threw up on me. I shall fight over the bowl of popcorn or chips passed along the row of friends as we alternate between offering shukranay ki namaaz every time Pakistan hits a six, and yelling slurs at the Indian team, everything from their hair to how they bat. Except for the fact that I’m not actually in ...

Read Full Post

Banning YouTube: Why doesn’t the PTA need to justify its actions?

The advent of the internet has been one of the feats of modern civilisation, and its ubiquity, a defining feature of the 21st century. The war on terror, the European debt crisis, and our current prime minister may in time become footnotes in history, but the internet can only become more central to the fabric of human society. It has already sparked globalisation’s second great unbundling – cheap communications allowing firms to become truly multinational. Today, it is not just producers and consumers who can be geographically distant; production itself has fragmented across transnational supply chains, so that businesses can put ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan versus South Africa from a spectator’s perspective

As soon as you land at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, you will not miss the celebratory environment set all around you.  You can see immediately that the nation is celebrating the T20 World Cup. The posters, banners, advertisements, leaflets, and everyone you meet will all convey the same message; the games are on! The famous Ranbir Kapoor advertisement on the T20 runs on national television approximately 1,000 times a day with a tag line being adopted by most cricket fans that goes like this, “Yeh T20 cricket hai, na tameez se kheli jaati hai, na tameez se dekhi jaati hai!” (This the ...

Read Full Post

11 advantages of drinking water

Despite the fact that water is something that has no taste, we still love it! Who doesn’t relish the feeling of a cool drink of water on a sweltering hot day? Approximately 70% of our body’s mass is made of water and according to a number of doctors, drinking a total of eight glasses of water a day fulfils the necessary requirement of this liquid our body demands. For a long time now, I have been searching regarding the benefits associated with water. Finally, after reviewing countless websites, I  have compiled a list, highlighting the advantages of drinking water that can surely help ...

Read Full Post

Shireen Mazari’s resignation: Is PTI wavering from its ideals?

As observers of politics, most of us make one mistake; we confuse party leaders with party ideals. It’s an easy mistake to make because we expect leaders to personify party ideologies. However, it’s important to note that leaders, too, are human, and subject to fallibility. It is also integral that we understand that parties are not monochromatic ─ they are composed of diverse individuals, and those individuals may have disagreements. What unites this diverse group of individuals, though, is the party cause, mantra or ideology. When there is consistency in the vision, party individuals form a collective party. In the early ...

Read Full Post

I am not scared of ghosts because I believe in science

We were driving on a lonely road in Islamabad at 1:00am. We weren’t entirely sure of our location, though I was certain we were somewhere in the first twenty pages of an RL Stine novel. The ominous nature of our surroundings prompted my friends to begin a discussion on supernatural occurrences.  As a known skeptic, my eyes reflexively roll at such references. If you ask me what my zodiac sign is, I would tell you it’s I-don’t-give-a-damn-itarius. When they talk about somebody being under a spell, I ask them to call the ministry of magic for a counter-curse at 1-800-nuclear-facepalm. Each ...

Read Full Post

Zia ruined us, make no mistake

‘Democracy’ is a Greek word made up of two parts; ‘Demos’ meaning ‘common people’ and ‘Kratos’ meaning ‘rule/strength’. Democracy, by definition, is a system of governance in which the power rests in the common people and their elected representatives. One of the finest definitions of democracy was provided by Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, when he said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. According to political scientists, democracy and the rule of law are primary prerequisites for a prospering country and its society. Almost all the countries considered to be ‘developed ...

Read Full Post