Dear Malala Yousafzai, your Nobel Prize is not your ticket to Stanford

It is time for Malala Yousafzai to start considering colleges for the next phase of her education. However, here the queen of education seems to have run into a little snag. Though she has her eyes set on Stanford University in California among other institutions, Stanford has demanded that she demonstrate herself to be academically adept as per US standards for college admission. Not quite interested in her stature as the youngest Nobel Laureate, the university, which ranks number third in the world, has demanded Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores from Malala. SAT is a specialised test of academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and math required for applying to admission ...

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He raped and killed his five-year-old daughter for being too ‘flirty’ – let that sink in before you proceed

If you’ve ever wondered what the face of barbarism looks like, then look no further than this man. Photo: Daily Mail His name is Fayhan al-Ghamdi, and according to reliable sources such as Gulf News and The Independent, he is a famous preacher in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who regularly appears on local television. Photo: Gulf News To say the least, Ghamdi wasn’t happy with his daughter, Lama. He found her innocent smile as well as her other mannerisms to be flirtatious, and soon began to suspect that she wasn’t a virgin. The only problem ...

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Our blood runs thick, our blood runs green

September 6th is celebrated as Defence Day in Pakistan. It was on this day that India launched an attack on Pakistan back in 1965. Only a couple of months after launching Operation Gibraltar in Kashmir, Indian forces crossed the border in retaliation, pushing back Pakistani Rangers and advancing towards Lahore from two sides. They had driven up to Batapur from the Wagha check post during the night of September 5th and 6th before they were pushed back. While this was happening, the Indian army chief was boasting about sipping on coffee at the Lahore Gymkhana club. Despite it being a surprise attack, it was held back and fought ...

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Religion and abortions do not make a pretty mix

Abortions and the Catholic Church have always been a very contentious issue. The formal stance taken by the Catholic Church is that abortions are completely disallowed and any pregnant woman whoever undertakes one is excommunicated, which requires the pardon of a bishop for it to be lifted.  It is a very serious offence amongst followers of the Catholic Church. In 2012, an Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar living in Ireland, suffered a miscarriage and repeatedly requested an abortion, which kept getting denied. Doctors did not consider her to be in ‘medical’ danger, which is a prerequisite to obtaining a legal abortion. The lady’s foetus’s heartbeat ...

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Dear Zardari, you weren’t above the law in the 90s nor are you above it today

In his fiery and ‘courageous’ speech, followed by his ‘courageous’ exit from the country, Asif Ali Zardari seemingly tried to intimidate the country’s establishment in general and the army in particular. The speech was filled with direct and indirect attacks at, and threats to the Pakistan Army, apparently as a pre-emptive response to what followed. It was later that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) clarified that these accusations and threats were actually hurled at former army men and not ones currently in service. This was the first of many unbelievably lousy explanations put forth by PPP as part of a damage control exercise. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) ...

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Does liberalism do more harm than good?

As a philosophy, liberalism is more inward looking and hence does not try to shift blame on the outside forces. By its orientation, it also does not have an overly negative assumption about human nature and consequently is not obsessed with crime and punishment. It believes in the rationality of humans and further assumes that human intelligence is capable of creating an artifice where ethnic, linguistic, and other such ‘natural’ differences can be accommodated without creating a rift. Its emphasis and belief on human rationality rather than instinct, logically lead it to being more fluid and progressive. Conservative points of views ...

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Is it compulsory to hate India, America and Israel, in order to love Pakistan?

A few days ago, I was sitting by the Indus River in Jamshoro, singing a patriotic song. Moments later, I noticed a fisherman who burst into laughter observing me. When I asked him why he was laughing, he said, “Saeen where is this Pakistan this song speaks of? Here, I don’t have the money to send my children to school or even shop for Eid. That aside, women are continuously killed in the name of honour, children are raped and such brutalities are recorded then sold. People are murdered because they belong to different sects or religions, be it Shias, Ahmadis, Christians etcetera. There’s no tolerance in this society. Hindus ...

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For PTI, it’s either ‘yes’ to by-elections or ‘bye’ to elections

Imran Khan had sought investigation in four constituencies to ascertain whether the General Elections 2013 (GE 2013)were rigged or manipulated. Election tribunals have ruled in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inshaf (PTI) in three out of four ‘sample’ constituencies handpicked by the PTI chairman. Imran also demanded for the formation of a Judicial Commission (JC) to probe rigging in the GE 2013 on an overall basis. A JC was formed and no rigging or manipulation was proven. In its report, the JC rejected all allegations of planned rigging but pointed out grave irregularities by the Election commission of Pakistan (ECP). Of the three election tribunals that ruled in favour of PTI candidates, ...

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The real politics behind India cancelling talks with Pakistan twice in a year

There is no doubt about the fact that a well-planned policy is behind the cancellation of the India-Pakistan talks twice within one year on the same issue.  It has nothing to do with peace at the border but politics at home. Narendra Modi initiated a mandate in 2014, but within one and half years, the sheen of his governance has started coming off. There is nothing on his plate to show that during his regime, the economy would take a radical upward shift, a promise which he made to the electorate before becoming the premier. He managed to win a large chunk of the rising Indian ...

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Is Pakistan bold enough to give sex-offenders the death penalty?

A recent verdict of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has laid appropriate emphasis on the award of both criminal and civil compensation for rape victims. In the contemporary judgment of Nadeem Masood vs The State, Justice Anwarul Haq, while invoking Section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), not only sentenced the convict to 20 years of imprisonment but also ordered the offender to pay compensation of Rs0.1 million to the victim and another one million rupees to the child born out of the rape. This judgement, however, comprises part of the population of less than five per cent of Pakistan’s rape cases that actually ...

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