Stories published in July, 2013

Presidential elections: Is Mr Mamnoon Hussain the right choice?

Yay! We have a new president. Start the celebrations, the bhangras, the parties, the mithai and all the fun that we can never have enough off. It seems, however, that the news reached Dera Ismail Khan earlier than expected; they started the festivities around midnight with all the blasts and fireworks. No wait. Those were terrorists breaching the central jail confines and breaking free over 200 prisoners. The fact that they managed to accomplish this mission, just a few days after the blasts in Parachinar, is a reminder for all of us about how the government is finding it hard to deal ...

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DI Khan prison break: Is the PTI to blame?

In lieu of the Dera Ismail Khan (DI Khan) Central Prison attack, the media mounted one of its own. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came under strong criticism for its failure to initially prevent, and then contain the incident. Prominent MQM politicians, for example, took to social media to openly question the whereabouts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak as the fight between the militants and the security forces raged on. Meanwhile, PTI leader Imran Khan found his hands tied in a different issue altogether – that of Ayla Malik’s fake degree. It was disappointing to see both Imran Khan and ...

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Weight loss: How I became a big fat-loser!

If the human body is an input-output system, that is, what you put in, you shall tuck out, why is being overweight such a pervading problem in Pakistan? Countless people, myself included, yo-yo between weight loss and weight gain throughout their adolescent lives. While policymakers look to Turkey for solutions to dispose of our waste, who in the health ministry is turning to solve our growing waist problem? With the government not budging on its ‘top priorities’, the problem and its remedial measures ‘wrest’ with the individual. I have been a victim of a lack of resources and care when it comes to weight loss here at home. Luckily, ...

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Ramazan diaries – From Makkah and Medinah

Sitting in a lounge for the privileged, waiting to board a flight to Dubai and then another from there to Jeddah, I find myself texting away. I have a million things on my mind. I have a life. Four hours later… I’m at the Dubai airport, about to board a flight to Jeddah; the only words on my lips are: Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik (I am here, my Allah (SWT). I am present.) Prior to my flight, concerned friends had been warning me about a viral infection that is widespread in Makkah, and the unbelievable rush in Ramazan especially due to the underway expansion of the Masjid-ul-Haram. “You should not ...

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Jamshed Dasti: We get it, you are powerful.

I wrote my first blog for The Express Tribune about two years ago. I wrote it with high expectations, wrote it with all my heart and wrote it with the hope that the readers would feel it resonate with their daily lives. The comments surprised me to no end. How could the average man think that people in power deserve privileges that defy the norms of decency? Maybe it is just the first instinct of every reader to say, “No, you’re wrong, here’s what I think and clearly my opinion is better and your blog deserves a place in the lowest rungs of ...

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My brave friend was killed in the attack on the ISI in Sukkur

At 3:00pm on an overcast day in Sialkot, I buried a friend. He was just 33-years-old and too young to go, but God works in mysterious ways. Major Zeeshan Suddle was killed in a suicide attack carried out by five terrorists on the Sukkur office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on July 24, 2013. At least nine people were killed that day and approximately 35 remain injured. It was Iftar time and my friend Zeeshan was opening his fast with his wife when the first bomb went off. Covered in shattered glass, his wife begged him to stay put, but being the brave person that he ...

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Reza Aslan’s interview: What does Fox News have against Islam?

Lauren Green, Fox News correspondent on religious affairs and host of ‘Spirited Debates’, recently upheld Fox News’s impeccable record on focused bigotry and American essentialism, during an interview with the noted academic, Reza Aslan. The talk focused on his new book called Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Normally, any host might have started the interview by asking the author about his/her book and what subjects it deals with, but apparently Lauren Green had a different idea of how an interview should be conducted. Here’s how the interview started: Lauren Green: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you ...

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What do we owe Afghan refugees?

The Af-Pak situation is a much detested thorn in the side of American foreign policy, and understandably so. It is volatile and exceedingly complex. Foreign policy discourse is saturated with different viewpoints on how America can harness political and military potential. The ongoing debate is both crucial and relevant with the upcoming withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in 2014. What disturbs me, however, is one critical issue absent from grander schemes on how to deal with Afghanistan and Pakistan – that of refugees. There remains little analysis of how top-level decisions affect those that flee over borders by the millions ...

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DHA: The hub of ‘open-air’ prostitution in Karachi

It is said that prostitution is the oldest profession. While prostitution is itself a problem, ignorance of such taboos is a bigger problem. Since a few years, Khayaban-e-Shujaat in DHA, Phase 5, Karachi has gained a notorious reputation of being the hub of prostitution. The section of the Khayaban specific to this booming business extends between A-street and Khayaban-e-Tanzeem. Another operating area is at the intersection for the main Zamzama Boulevard. The female sex workers, their pimps, a multitude of auto rickshaws and an ever increasing clientele are a daily affair on this road. From dawn to dusk, the business is in ...

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Spot-fixing allegations: ICC, stop accusing Pakistan all the time!

Last-ball-wins in cricket are always thrilling, but when a debutante strikes a six on the last ball of the match to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for his team, the moment is exhilarating for the team and fans alike. Zulfiqar Babar’s debut innings in the Pakistan versus West Indies match that ended with a resounding six on the last ball was one such occasion that will not be forgotten anytime soon. However the thrill of seeing my national team work hard for a victory and then finally clinch it through sheer determination was marred by the infuriating Daily ...

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