Stories published in September, 2014

No, Arnab Goswami, Pakistan is not an “untrustworthy neighbour” or “a strategic wreck”

On September 26, 2014, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in which he emphasised the urgent need to resolve the Kashmir issue “in accordance with the aspirations of the people” living in the disputed Himalayan region. “We cannot draw a veil over the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” An Indian television anchor had apprehended that Pakistan would once again raise the Kashmir issue at the UNGA to ‘internationalise’ the dispute. The anchor believed that Kashmir was neither ...

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Frank Lampard and Chelsea’s awkward yet beautiful reunion

Every once in a while in sport, something awe-inspiring happens – something that envisages the true spirit of sporting ethos. The beautiful game that is football is filled with such episodes of shear emotional brilliance that help give the sport a human face, which not only can we relate to but also idealise. It was the 78th minute in the Etihad stadium, the hosts not only trailed their rivals by a goal in a match that could have a lot of bearing in the title race, but also were a man short. It was in that moment that Manuel Pellegrini ...

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PMDC’s 50:50 quota – Playing with our lives and our future

Two hours ago, I was sitting with my family watching TV and enjoying the show. Now, two hours later, I am typing this while my eyes are red and swollen. Why? Because two hours ago, I picked up my cellphone and came across an email that had a scanned copy of a letter from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) saying that there should be a 50:50 quota for men and women in all medical colleges. And now everything is uncertain. There is no notification on the website of PMDC as I search frantically for any piece of news that I can ...

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Pakistani drivers: A nation or a mob?

It is said that the way people drive in a country tells a lot about how disciplined and orderly its citizens are. Well, I realised this on two occasions; first, when I came back to Pakistan from the United Arab Emirates and second, when I returned from Sri Lanka. On both occasions, the contrast in driving patterns was painfully evident. The impatience and desperation of Pakistani drivers and their low maturity level made me feel worried about the future of this nation. I saw people taking the wrong side of the road just to save around Rs10 worth of petrol ...

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PM Nawaz at UN General Assembly: The lion is not asleep

The seed of confusion is sown in Pakistan as the sit-in at D-Chowk enters its 46th day today. The public’s chants of “Go Nawaz, Go” are proportional to the prime minister’s resistance against these elements of self-acclaimed revolution. Our nation is thrown into confusion and some are even questioning the grammatical connotation of ‘Go Nawaz Go’. In fact, the other day, I witnessed someone had chalked the words ‘Stop Nawaz Stop’ on a cemented bench. Taking grammatical meaning into consideration, this chant made more sense to me and looked less ‘awkward’. Anyways, a more surprising factor this week was our PM’s speech at the United Nation’s General Assembly. ...

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Life without a cellphone is…normal

Life without a working smartphone in your pocket, at all times, is strange. It’s like something in missing in your life, like some tragedy befell upon you. I have gone through such a tragedy, and I’ve been the same. Five days ago, after receiving a phone call, I saw that my phone’s battery was almost dead. That’s normal, right? Well, I rummaged around my room to find the charger. My eyes remained settled on the screen as I connected my charger to the tiny slot, waiting for the light come back and see my phone grin with life again. However, that didn’t ...

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Indian-occupied Kashmir under Omar Abdullah: Six years of disaster

In Kashmir, politics has always been a game of possibilities, and it remains so even today. So long as the ‘core issue’ remains unattended, neither any change in the political leadership – in mainland India, in Pakistan or in Kashmir – nor any economic package or assistance really makes a difference. And today’s politically-motivated relief camps stand in the row. Deep inside their hearts, all political parties know the extent of their political acceptance. No politician, howsoever articulate and famous, has won an election in Kashmir unless the subtlety of his election campaign encompassed decisive elements of the freedom narrative. So the rules ...

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Pakistan’s women retain the gold

In the midst of a prolonged political catastrophe, a good part of the country on the mend post the recent flood disasters and a freshly-banned superstar bowler, Pakistan’s women cricket team has given the nation a reason to brighten up by bagging Pakistan’s first gold medal at the Asian Games 2014.   Held in Incheon, South Korea, the 2014 Asian Games have been scheduled to take place from September 19 to October 5. Members of the Pakistan women cricket team stand for the national anthem after receiving their gold medals following their win against Bangladesh at the Yeonhui Cricket Ground during the ...

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Are we safe from the Ebola disease?

While other countries are preparing for an imminent threat of spread of the deadly virus known as Ebola, one has to think what is being done on our end to ensure the safety of our people if the virus finds its way to Pakistan. However, before we ponder over that, there are a few questions that need to be answered. What is Ebola? Ebola, a Filovirus, has been around since 1976 but the largest outbreak to date has been this year and so far efforts to control it have been widely unsuccessful. It is confined to Africa at the moment with the ...

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#HeForShe will not make you any less of a man

In an era where celebrities predominantly exercise an almost magnetic influence over their fan base to promote products and virtually dictate the way the populous dresses or behaves, it becomes exceedingly rare to see an individual stand up and talk about a pertinent issue. Emma Watson, an actress known mostly for her performance in the Harry Potter series, showed how celebrity power can be used in a positive way. Speaking before a UN conference, Watson kick started her ‘HeForShe’ campaign, a movement which aims to achieve gender equality by including men in the fight against female oppression. Although as a race, we have ...

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