Uniforms in university turn adults into mere children

There isn’t nearly enough harm being done by making our students think alike; we need them to look alike as well – to iron out every last lump, wrinkle and kink of individuality in them, leaving a monochrome sheet with every thread being exactly like the other. Uniforms in schools and colleges are a vestige of a past that valued military-style automaticity as the only true form of discipline. Some people may think that it is a good idea to have every future lawyer, playwright, cardiologist and sculptor dress up in a uniform and march into the assembly ground like ...

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Shop smart, save money!

It’s time to get smart about austerity. You’ve seen the plunging rupee and headlining inflation figures on the news but more than that you will have felt the pressure on your pocket. Whether you’re a member of the Birkin brigade or a low-paid blue-collar worker, you will be aware that money simply doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. I recently came across my accounts diary from five years ago and the figures were startling. Actual prices may vary somewhat depending on where in the city you are (Defence will be significantly more expensive than Garden for example) but ...

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Voting inaccuracies in NA 256 and NA 258: We need a better system!

The May 11, 2013 elections were historic for Pakistan. The eyes of the world as well as the hopes of the country were pinned on them. These elections deserved the full attention of officials who were responsible for their execution. However, the fact that inaccurate software was used is inexcusable. All software used to decide the fate of a country should be state-of–the-art and the best possible available, not technology that has been discarded as being inaccurate, for what is the point of even having elections if the date is not correct? On October 7, 2013, the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) ...

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Will Pakistan be able to handle possible failure at nuclear plants?

On March 11, 2011, something stirred within the earth’s surface, deep under the waters of the North Pacific Ocean. The people who were preparing for their weekend on Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island, had no idea that they were about to be hit by one of the biggest earthquakes ever to be recorded in human history. The calamity, now known as the Tohoku undersea megathrust earthquake, struck at 2:15 p.m. Japan Standard Time. Its hypocenter was 70 kilometres off-shore and it registered a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale. A few moments later, a tsunami followed the earthquake. With wave heights ...

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I like Disney movies and Katy Perry, but I am not gay!

Since I was a child, I have been bullied and called names. People have always been cruel to me and it took me a few years to understand that I should not let it get to me. Growing up, nobody wanted to hang out with me; children my age hated me and I was never picked for anything – let alone being picked last. Even the mothers of these kids despised me and adults made fun of me. All this, and only because I was a boy with effeminate traits. ‘I say ‘was’ because I like to think that I have evolved ...

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What happened to PIA’s glory days?

A rapid drop in altitude, deafening noise, sheer chaos, emergency alarms going off, doors and walls shuddering violently and people crying out loud! This is not an account of a plane crash. Rather, it’s about a whole airline company coming crashing down; an organisation which has completely lost direction. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), once soaring high in the skies of the aviation industry, has fallen into an abyss of financial and image crisis. So this is an account of our national flag carrier that used to be the nation’s pride; it is about Pakistan International Airlines. I still remember the time when PIA ...

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Imran Khan, if this is not our war, then why are our people dying?

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the State.” – Jinnah In the current scenario, the following seems more apt, “You must be fearful. You must fear to go to your temples. You must fear to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan. You must belong to the religion, caste or creed ...

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Why do some mothers want to hurt their newborns?

New motherhood is no picnic. The indignity of childbirth, stitches in unmentionable places, the physical marathon of labour, the month-long bleeding and more. It doesn’t matter how easy your pregnancy was or how much you wanted a baby, the reality of motherhood usually comes as a bit of a shock. It’s impossible to overstate the major lack of sleep and the sheer exhaustion of looking after a newborn. Struggling to feed a newborn every two hours, cleaning sticky newborn poop and worrying as they inevitably get jaundice is all part and parcel of the deal. Add major hormone fluctuations as your body ...

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I asked my Imam to condemn the Peshawar Church Blast, will you?

Like most people around me, I was shocked, disgusted and angry at the Peshawar Church Blast incident; a terrorist attack during Sunday Mass. The tragedy came at a time when people were reaching out to God, sharing  fears, worries, emotions and secrets. Just to imagine that one cannot even have this personal time with God Almighty anymore is disturbing.  The first thought that came to my mind was that a vigil should be held to pay respect to the departed. Hence I decided to initiate it. On Tuesday, a mere 40 people joined me outside the press club. We lit candles, ...

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NUST: What’s so bad about a dress-code?

Since the concept of morality is fraught with subjectivity, any public discourse over it is always going to stir up a few emotions. Add to that a society, which has no qualms in projecting ostentatious displays of disposition or for that matter their disinclination towards religion; it can then stir up more than a few emotions. By now you have probably already heard, read, tweeted or shared the infamous news story regarding the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), that it imposed fines on some of its students for a dress code violation. Even though that was really the ...

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