Stories published in April, 2013

Because as I see it, democracy has already won

“Bijli nahe hay, stability nahe hay, business nahe chal sakta, security nahe hay…Hum laaton ke bhoot, baaton se nahe maanain gay. Yahan democracy nahe chal sakti. We need a stronger force, a dictator to rule us.” (There is no electricity or stability here, businesses cannot work, and there is lack of security…we can’t be talked into working, we need to be beaten to do it. Democracy cannot work here. We need a stronger force, a dictator to rule us.) “But, we are new to the process. Har cheez main time lagta hay (everything takes time); maybe if we sacrifice today, our ...

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10 reasons why I would vote for Optimus Prime

Looking at the current state-of-affairs in Pakistan, it is safe to say that Decepticon-like humans are creating havoc in the political sphere. Their weapons and actions have made peace a scarce concept. In addition, the May 11 elections are expected to bring change in Pakistan. If peace needs to prevail in the country then, in my opinion, Optimus Prime should become the president of Pakistan. My vote is for him not because he is a thirty-two feet tall robot who transforms into a truck, equipped with cool weapons. It isn’t even because he has a deep voice. I wish him to ...

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Hamza Ahmed and the urban feudalism in Karachi

Karachi gives off a palpable sense of fear which stems not just from menacing robbers, kidnappers and terrorists, but also from haphazardly driven tinted four wheelers by boys with a plethora of armed guards at their beck and call. What is this worrying trend of urban feudalism in cosmopolitan Karachi? The nexus between power, money and brutality in Pakistan is nowhere as evident as in the crass behaviour of these pampered youngsters. A friend visited a designer’s house in Defence where she was introduced to her smiling teenage sons. After leaving the place, the friend’s car was nearly pushed off the main ...

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Formula 1: Who will win the battle of supremacy in 2013?

The current season of Formula 1 seems destined to be another enthralling one given what we’ve seen thus far. This year will also mark a huge transition for F1 as the 2.4 litre V8 engines will be replaced with 1.6 litre V6 engines in 2014. As highlighted in my preseason blog, in this year’s campaign the two leading contenders for the throne are Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (defending Triple World Champion) and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The unpredictable time-sheets witnessed in preseason testing was a mere prelude to the start of the season. This season has been as unpredictable as last year; no team seems to be in a dominant position ...

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Don’t punish Shoaib for Hamza’s killing – not yet

No words can describe the pain a parent feels when they outlive their child. It is the saddest thing in the world to watch a father weep for a son who has been unjustly taken from him. I am so very sorry that Hamza Ahmed died under such horrifying circumstances. He should have been alive today, preparing for his O ‘Level exams. I am so very sorry for the loss that people who knew and loved Hamza feel right now. Having said as much, I am also sorry for Shoaib Naveed. Don’t get me wrong – if Shoaib has committed this ...

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I do not, cannot and will not accept terrorism!

They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and lastly, acceptance. We witnessed, experienced and survived all five of these stages each time we gathered our courage to dig up mass graves for promising young individuals, devoted fathers, caring mothers and innocent children. Denial We’ve grieved at our loss as a nation, regardless of our belief. We’ve sat in our homes watching the news, denying that we live amongst people who’d do such things — who’d kill people with such brutality. We fail to accept the loss of our loved ones, the loss of hundreds of promising, capable, talented individuals who’ve been ...

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Hamza Ahmed: No cause is too elite to fight for

A 16-year-old boy was shot dead due to a petty argument in the troubled city of Karachi. Like thousands of others before him and hundreds of innocents after him, he stands a good chance of being denied an impartial, fair investigation, and a thorough delivery of justice. Yet, when his family and friends protest against the murder of their loved one, it is met with scepticism as to whether the killing of this boy deserves the media attention it is getting. When his picture and story are shared on social media, they are met by comments on how he “brought it ...

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Shiver me timbers!

Drop, cover and hold on. That’s what’s taught during an earthquake drill. Most of us would have known that had we rehearsed it either at home, the workplace or at school. Instead of disaster preparation, we believe in the response phase of emergency. And what was our response to the April 16 tremors felt across Pakistan? Panic, scream, freeze or run towards the nearest exit without any strategic plan in mind. Lucky we were, but it won’t take long before Lady Luck disappoints us when we’re most vulnerable. Take the example of the 2005 killer earthquake that struck the northern regions ...

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Learn from China: Elect a leader who can see beyond his term

It was in 2001 when Beijing was awarded the right to host the 2008 summer Olympics. This put into high gear a plan that has come to be known as Project 119. This idea, vision, principle – call it whatever you want – had a very simple premise: China should finish at the top of the gold medals table at the 2008 summer games. A gap analysis was done to gauge exactly what needs to be done to reach this goal. What followed was a meticulous plan that comprised talent hunts, training, and infrastructure development. The result, as we all ...

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SAT, GMAT, GRE: Can intelligence really be ‘measured’?

Standardised testing is a system used worldwide to assess a candidate’s ability and thus forms an integral part of the college application process. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are all known examples of standardised tests. While universities often state that these tests do not form the main criteria in the decision making process, the reality is somewhat different. Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario in which a candidate has a very low SAT/GRE score but displays an above average extra-curricular record matched by an outstanding personal statement. Won’t the decision maker’s judgment being ...

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