Stories about globalisation

Dictators like Rodrigo Duterte need to be careful when they “joke” about using rape as a weapon

The world works in strange ways and the more things change, the more they stay the same. After decades, nay centuries of conflict, it seems the world had finally turned the corner in the 90s. Yes, there was a lot still to be done, but we seemed to be moving in the right direction. The cold war had ended, the European Union (EU) took concrete shape, and globalisation was taking root all over. Free trade and the communication revolution were turning the world into a global village. Perhaps for the first time in human history, democracy and human rights were regarded as supreme and inviolable in ...

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Do we need to bribe our way out of Pakistan and Kazakhstan?

A recent article was brought to my attention about Kazakhstan airport officials refusing to accept the existence of New Zealand, instead insisting that it was in fact a state in Australia and thus detaining one of their nationals overnight. Map of Australia and New Zealand. Photo: Google Maps   The story has the sort of happy ending that all Pakistanis are used to: “Yaar, bas mein ne usey haath milaney key bahaney 1000 ka note pakra diya, aur us ney mujhey janey diya.” (I shook his hand as an excuse to hand him a 1000 rupee note and he let me go.) Of ...

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What globalisation?

Although globalism itself remains safe from doomsayers, they have started congregating at the gates of globalisation. Take the bogged down Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) designed to remove 98% of trade tariffs between Canada and the European Union (EU). It was stuck there by the dissenting voices of three of Belgium’s French-speaking regions. Consequently, Belgium had to withhold assent, thus preventing EU unanimity, a prerequisite for ratification. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council tweeted: Together with PM @JustinTrudeau, we think Thursday's summit still possible. We encourage all parties to find a solution. There's yet time. — Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) ...

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Why is it unacceptable for an American seventh grader to learn about Islam?

I can sit at my computer and read the news about what is happening in a remote shipping village in Australia, or find out about the latest political gaffe in Brazil or discover the new ‘Pineapple Pen’ phenomenon sweeping Japan, all at the convenient click of a button.  Globalisation and the overreaching powers of the internet have made all this possible and stuffed us with information overload. The ability to learn about new cultures, inventions and policies is boundless and never-ending. However, the ability to soak all this knowledge must be matched by a desire to learn. If ignorance, hatred ...

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This Independence Day, it is time to let go of Quaid’s 14 points

In 1929, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave the Muslims of India his 14 points, in response to the Nehru Report which was published in 1928 as a memorandum outlining a proposed new dominion status constitution for India. These 14 points became the cornerstone of all our SSC and HSC Pakistan Studies examinations in post-independence Pakistan and every youngster to date has read and memorised these points. However, I have always wondered why learning these points were so imperative. Are they still valid today? Surely not. They were a rebuttal to the Nehru Report, outlining what Muslims of India demanded from ...

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Brexit’s stunning coup

The decision of British voters in Thursday’s referendum to leave the European Union will have vast consequences for Britain, for Europe and for the world. For a day, the British people were the government, and by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, they took the decision to go. I was a British prime minister who believed completely that Britain’s future lay in Europe. I was the prime minister responsible for legislating substantial self-rule in Scotland so that it would remain part of the United Kingdom. I negotiated the Good Friday Agreement so that Northern Ireland could be at peace within ...

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Why are we banning Saif Ali Khan’s movies but not his commercials?

Over the past few years, Pakistan has witnessed a boom in its film and drama industry. This has come as a blessing for most young and struggling actors. Previously, our industry had a handful of skilled actors, the same faces, and barely any room for new talent, which proved to be quite mundane for the audience. Due to the mass awareness and globalisation, we’ve witnessed the mushrooming of numerous sitcoms starring new and fresh faces, such as Mawra Hocane, Osman Khalid Butt, Hareem Farooq, Adeel Hussain and the list goes on. It’s rather refreshing to see that directors and producers have taken it upon themselves to cast ...

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“How much do you earn? What car do you drive?” – Money has never talked this loud

In earlier times, women, generally, did not take to working nine to five and were happy to employ their talents at home. Maintaining the house, taking care of the children and cooking meals pretty much occupied their time and yes, it was not an eight-hour workload. Living with the in-laws, in extended family setups called a joint family, had its fair share of responsibilities but the arrangement also came with some liberties. Then evolutionary forces introduced the concept of independent lifestyles. This helped subside the usual ‘saas bahu’ rifts and the distances helped reduce the tension in this relationship. However, it was the children ...

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Istanbul: A glimpse into what can be accomplished

On a recent assignment, I had a few hours layover in Istanbul, en route to Pakistan. The human landscape at Ataturk Airport was thought-provoking. Over the past decade, Istanbul has been making rapid progress towards affirming its position as a modern-day international crossroads. A great place to witness this is at the city’s main airport, where you can spot people from all parts of the world and many different backgrounds. One pleasing aspect of this is that this melting pot is to be found in a country with a majority Muslim population. At the airport, Hajis in traditional white robes ...

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I found a little bit of Pakistan in Hong Kong!

I have been an expat for three years now and I still can’t get over it. My husband assimilates much better than I do. He is able to adjust to change in a way that is silent and not at all messy. He talks about the new place, adjusts to his new time zone and continues to talk about surroundings in a happy-go-lucky sort of a way. His wife writes angry blogs and rants to fellow neighbours about the lack of dhaniya (coriander) and goes off in search of curry leaves to a place where no woman has gone before. Okay, that ...

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