Slim is weak and healthy is fat? Are women a flock of sheep?

Submerged in a conversation with my friend a few days ago, she suddenly looked at me and quipped, “Oh, I wish I was as thin as you.” As per ritual, I started blabbering about how healthy she was, how her weight suited her and that she should embrace and flaunt it rather than complain about it. A few seconds later, I joined her and started complaining about how extremely petite I was and how I wish I was slightly athletic looking. We spent almost fifteen minutes cursing, complaining, then patting each other on the back and consoling each other. The conversation went on and my ...

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KGS admission blues and the pursuit of (academic) happiness

Saturday, March 16, 2013 was probably one of the few very anticipated days in the academic calendar. For many, it was undoubtedly a defining moment for their kids. Yes, it was the day when one of the most prestigious schools in Karachi held its admission test for entry into class three. Success would mean victory, triumph and a sense of academic achievement par excellence. Failure would spell doom, despair, depression and a social stigma – in other words – for some nothing short of a calamity. The so called pursuit of academic excellence, if that is what we are after, comes with ...

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April 21, 2013
 Arsalan Faruqi
TOPICS

A SWOT analysis of Pakistan’s political parties

The following is an analysis of our political parties gauged on their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT): Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Strengths: PML-N has a strong following in Punjab – the largest and most powerful province in Pakistan. Furthermore, it has a great alignment with right wing groups and religious circles. Major cities of Punjab have seen tremendous development during the last five years. Weaknesses: PML-N has not been able to carry out any substantial development in remote areas and far off villages of Punjab. It has teamed up with same old faces that previously supported and strengthened a dictator’s government. Opportunities: The poor performance ...

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Vote for PPP or PML-N: New parties can’t help Pakistan

I am not subscribing to a Marxist analysis but it is evident that our society has two distinct classes. The first is the rich and educated minority of Pakistan that makes up the ruling and influential group; the second is the deprived and backward masses who are ruled. In this context, democracy appears to be the best system of governance for the country. However, Pakistan has seen so many military interventions that the evolution of political institutions has been stunted. Many political parties are family-run organisations where leadership remains within the circle of wife, husband, and children. When such descriptions are discussed, the ...

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Justice Ebrahim, when will you tell us if overseas Pakistanis can vote or not?

This is a sincere request to our Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Justice Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, to take emergency notice of the matter regarding voting rights of overseas Pakistanis. Officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have buried the issue by saying that bureaucratic hurdles are making it impossible to grant voting facilities to expats. Currently, there are around 7.5 million Pakistanis abroad, and our economy is primarily running on remittances sent by them. Pakistan was ranked number ten for remittances in 2012, which totalled around $13 billion that year. Due to meagre employment opportunities, many leave the country in search of a better livelihood so that ...

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Rape: It’s not about sex; it’s about power, anger and violence

Public debate about ‘rape’ is always an emotional affair. I place ‘rape’ in commas as it is an out-dated word carrying incorrect perceptions about sexual violence; perceptions that blur the true picture and inhibit effective solutions. The first and most distracting misconception is that sexual assault is about sex. Sexual assault is no more about sex than assault with a weapon is about the weapon. Experts, such as Stephen Homes, Larry Seigal and Gene Ragula, are among a range who have published writing clearly stating that sexual assault/abuse is not about sex. It’s about power, anger and violence. Legal systems across ...

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Does your child deserve a lower grade because he is an introvert?

Our society consists of an extrovert-dominated culture and students usually realise this when they enter an education system. However, it is not until after their university life that they are able to grasp the true magnitude of this trend. Teachers endorse a societal prejudice against introverts by valuing and praising students who are more expressive, communicative and vocal. The general perception amongst teachers is that introversion is something that needs to be overcome. The attitude of students is no better; introverts are looked down upon and treated as if there is something wrong with them or that they are somehow inferior to others. I ...

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It’s about more than just a ‘fake’ degree

It is almost refreshing to see the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) scrutinise politicians with fake degrees, unpaid bills and bank loans. While I am fairly certain that some of this scrutiny comes with a pinch of biased resentment, it is neither unwarranted nor undeserved. Those who lie, cheat and steal while entrusted with the future of the country lack the fundamental premise for being awarded political candidacy: character. Justice cannot and should not operate with the childish notion of “but he/she did the same”, the fact that a selected few have been let off the hook does not absolve the ...

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Pakistan needs a leader like Margaret Thatcher

“If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and would achieve nothing.” Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Hilda Thatcher embodied these words. To some she was an icon of assertiveness and conviction, to others, she was just a bossy old lady. Perhaps no other prime minister in the history of Britain has been loved and reviled at the same time as she has been, but that is who Margaret Thatcher was. To judge her on her political and economic beliefs solely would be to overlook her love for her country and her superhuman steadfastness ...

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Article 62 and 63: You don’t have to be too holy to be an MPA

They say that the world is all about numbers, and for Pakistan today, the numbers 62 and 63 are the talk of town. Citizens of the country are watching election candidates being questioned over their eligibility on the basis of the much talked about Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution. Candidates are being scrutinised regarding their utility bill payments, bank loan payments, their ideological views on Pakistan and most interestingly, their Islamic knowledge. Regarding Islam, returning officers performing the scrutiny of nomination papers have a set of interesting questions which they pose to the candidates. Some are being asked to recite ...

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