Wait, what about Zarb-e-Azb?

This August has been defining and shaping a lot of things for us Pakistani’s, nationally and globally. I, for one, am neither a supporter of Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri, nor am I a non-supporter. I am just a Pakistani who wants betterment for my country; I don’t care who brings it, but I seek progress. With the long march that has been initiated by Imran Khan, and has resulted in Tahirul Qadri bringing on his own revolution, I feel that there are certain things that need to be analysed carefully. On Saturday, August 16th, 2014, Qadri announced a 48-hour deadline for his 10-point ...

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Depression is not an ‘abnormality’

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society changed my life forever. Before the movie, I had no idea what I wanted do with my life. Some days I wanted to be a doctor, on others I’d aspire for whichever career was my elder sister’s favourite at the time. But as the credits rolled in at the end of the film; I knew I wanted to be ‘Mr Keating’ and connect with people the way Williams’ character had. I wanted to teach and perhaps be able to influence my students’ lives the way Williams had done in the movie. Without realising it, across oceans and ...

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Rallying behind Imran Khan

I believe we can all agree that Pakistan needs, above all else, strong state institutions and the rule of law. These are the only way in which a proper modern country can function. They are necessary to ensure the social stability necessary for a functioning democracy and a prosperous market economy. But when powerful individuals can sway the institutions of the state to serve themselves, when they can bend the rule of law and use the mechanisms of the state for private gain, then that can no longer be called a modern state. When there are individuals, business leaders or politicians ...

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Did PPP really handle the assorted marches ‘better’ than PML-N?

There is no doubt that, on the face of it, the Zardari administration has handled the political crisis of Imran Khan’s and Tahirul Qadri’s previous marches much better than the Nawaz administration has so far. However, the constant comparisons that political pundits have made between the two situations are not only unfair but also erroneous. The reason that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government was able to handle the situation ‘calmly’ was not because Zardari is some sort of a political mastermind. Contrary to what we would like to believe, the PPP’s response was not part of some strong commitment to a ...

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Pakistan – In search of the missing patriot

In the latest political upheaval to rock the country, all those involved may appear to be at complete odds but retain one salient feature that unites them all. The government, by the virtue of their status, espouse patriotism which is reflected in an unflinching dedication to democracy on the part of the Sharif brothers; the opposition under the tutelage of Imran Khan continues its elongated quest to reform the electoral process through a long march to the capital under the camouflage of patriotism; and the Canadian chameleon Tahirul Qadri (TuQ) invokes patriotism in his fiery rhetoric to establish the true force of democracy in Pakistan. They ...

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A sham democracy is not democracy at all, PML-N

In light of recent events, the government has said that it has a firm resolve to ‘safeguard’ democracy at any cost. I am not entirely sure what the government thinks democracy really is. So far, whatever steps they have taken to ‘safeguard’ it, have been in direct opposition to basic human rights – the same rights that democracy is supposed to protect. I can’t help but find the government’s ‘defence strategy’ heavily laden with panic and idiocy. Their response reminds me of a story I once read in which a man was entrusted with the duty to protect food reserves for a ...

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Saudi Arabia: No country for Pakistani brides

The untoward behaviour from the Saudi government of reportedly laying off 30,000 illegal Pakistani workers hit yet another ebb when Saudi men were recently banned from bringing brides from four nationalities including Pakistan that is amongst the relegated list. Other countries languishing in this ill-famed category are Bangladesh, Burma and Chad. A cursory glance at the names of aforementioned countries makes me wonder how insignificant Pakistan has become in the greater scheme of things. It reduces Information Minister Pervez Rasheed’s recent claim, during a conference held to discuss Gaza, about Pakistan being the world’s sixth largest force to reckon with to a mere ...

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Can evidence against PML-N ever be found?

First, a few observations on the new narrative being constructed about rigging; specifically the ‘election tribunals’ argument made famous by who appears to be Fakhruddin Ibrahim’s son. While many went gaga over it yesterday, this ‘view’ has been here for a month now. I first read it in a Dawn column at the start of last month, and in the Five Rupees blog the next day. Since then it has been furiously parroted by at least one PML-N guy on TV; the new Punjab law minister. The argument basically is that the election tribunals are working fine, with 78% of the petitions disposed off already. ‘Already’ and ‘fine’ here are obviously ...

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Has Imran Khan brought about any ‘tabdeeli’ in K-P?

The 2013 general elections were perhaps the most important elections in the history of this country. They brought forward a positive change in political outlook. They were able to mobilise the masses to leave their houses and become an active part of the political process by voting. And they were a lethal blow to the venal aristocratic oligarchy; they brought a party to power that did not stand on aristocracy or family politics – the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). However, cynics now mock the PTI for not living up to the hype it created to bring out a complete metamorphosis or ‘tsunami’ in ...

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Landlords in Punjab: “Off with the boy’s arms!”

It’s a small village in Punjab. Two men begin fighting over a few thousand rupees and what seems to be an electricity wire. One of the men has a 10-year-old son who does the unthinkable – he goes to take a bath in the enemy’s tube well. The landlord/owner cannot stand this injustice. He beats the boy and pours hot water on him. The little boy runs and hides in the fields but the landlord seeks him out again. This time, he ties him up with a rope and cuts his arms off with a thresher. Did I just narrate ...

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