The Taliban must not be painted as violent savages

“You have no option but to take direct military action.” This was the advice given by John F Kennedy’s top military aide at the height of the Cuban missile crisis which brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war. The future of the world hinged on Kennedy’s acquiescence. After the Second World War, global politics were dominated by the political, ideological and power clash between the Americans and the Soviets. Communists were painted as violent savages to the Americans who were made to fear communism. However, the idea of communism gained ground in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union grew as a global superpower. Following ...

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If you are reading this, you are part of the 0.1% elect few

Greetings! If you are reading this blog, you are a part of the ‘elect’, the fortunate ones in this great country of un-equals. Let me tell you something more about yourself. You are able to read in English and hold a conversation in the language and this very ability makes you one of the privileged ones: out of a population of nearly 200 million, only six million Pakistanis are able to afford a daily newspaper and out of this tiny number, a further 60,000 happen to read the English ones. A strong correlative factor determining your present status is that you went to a good private school ...

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I left the US because of their hatred towards Muslims… this is my story

I was born in 1982, in the beautiful American city of San Jose, California. A proud patriotic Muslim American, my dad would decorate our house with lights every Fourth of July. Fast forward to the year 2001, when I got admitted to one of America’s top medical schools – the Harvard Medical School in Boston. Moving from San Jose was hard. I stayed in the dorm. Every morning, when I went to take a shower, I saw a sticker on one of the bathroom mirrors on my floor that said, ‘Whoever is a friend of the Muslims is a traitor of Christianity and ...

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Here is why breastfeeding your child is important

Hooray! The Balochistan Assembly finally enacted the Balochistan Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Bill 2014 on January 18, 2014. This is truly a progressive step towards a healthier province and a healthier Pakistan. However, the real test for the provincial government will be to effectively implement this bill, in letter and in spirit. I say this because, even though the Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Ordinance 2002 is very much present on the statute books since its approval, its implementation  continues to remain a distant dream. As most of us know, Pakistan is not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal ...

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Pride and prejudice: The case of Abdus Salam

Pakistan’s collective diary has had quite a few pages ruthlessly torn out of it. The chapter of Abdus Salam is also one of those classic tragedies that are symptomatic of deeper ills pervading our society. The story of his rapid descent from the position of an honourable presidential advisor to that of a heretic in exile speaks volumes about a number of issues – the value we place on education and science, the heroes we pick and choose, and the treatment meted out to minorities in this country – each one of these being as relevant on his 88th birth anniversary today ...

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I stand with Hanif: Jinnah is not a ‘hero’

No sooner had I finished reading Mohammad Hanif’s full interview with The News, that I dragged a carton of canned food into my basement and braced myself for a storm of nationalism that I knew would inevitably follow. And when, pray tell, have I ever been wrong? A blog appeared recently, as scathing as one would expect it to be, blasting Hanif’s audacity to think that Jinnah really isn’t anyone’s hero. Mr Waqas bluntly implies that freedom of speech is limited to those who speak favourably of Quaid-e-Azam and the other heroes we have been assigned. Indeed, if you have nothing nice to say ...

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January 27, 2014
 Asim Shuaib
TOPICS

Should we be concerned about the almighty dollar game?

As someone who works in the finance industry, I am frequently asked, at social events, about where I think the dollar is headed. Although I’m not sure if people are genuinely showing interest in our economy or just trying to count their dollars their loved ones sent them from abroad. Regardless of their reasons, I value their intrigue nonetheless. The greenback affects our lives whether we like it or not. Pakistan looks to the US for just about everything – aid, trade, political arm twisting, you name it. So it’s important to understand how our economy reacts to the dollar game. But whether ...

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Jinnah may not be a hero to you, Mr Hanif, but he is to me and to many other Pakistanis!

Every sane individual enjoys the birth right of maintaining a private worldview. Democratisation of the world has granted unbounded and everlasting socio-religious and political freedom to the individual and society. The state’s dictatorial control has sunken into the past. No one can, therefore, force one’s opinion on other fellowmen in this democratic world of our times. However, there is a limit for the expression of opinions, especially when it comes to the collective interests and issues concerning the people. You cannot, for instance, speak positively about Hitler and negatively about the Holocaust across the United States and European continent. You cannot call ...

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Pakistan needs the death penalty

“Let justice be done, even if the heavens are to fall.”  This maxim is the brief, yet true, motto of a free and independent system for the administration of justice. Former President Asif Ali Zardari issued a presidential moratorium suspending the death penalty and executions indefinitely in 2008. Hence, there have been no executions of convicts or condemned prisoners in Pakistan’s jails from 2008 to date. However, I for one, support the death penalty and believe that it works and should be used for the worst kind of offenders and convicts who have committed crimes of a heinous nature without any remorse. It is a fact that ...

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Dear elites: Your servants have rights, treat them like humans

As a result of my ancestors having achieved affluence, my early childhood years were relatively privileged – spent in an expansive house in Peshawar with my siblings, pets, pomp and delusions of grandeur. We had many servants – someone to cook the meals, someone to bring the dishes to the table, someone to drive and maintain the cars, someone to wash the clothes, someone to sweep the floors, someone to feed the dogs, someone to trim the hedges and someone to guard the gate; all of whom collectively pandered to the nauseating imperial sensibilities that dominated the lifestyle of the rich. Having the ...

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