Stories about politicians

Lincoln: Steven Spielberg’s new oscar-contending masterpiece

To get right to the point Lincoln was a great movie. What made it so? Well therein lays the romp. Time and Memorial writers have vainly tried to measure the chalice of greatness from comparisons to Greek mythology to the use of words that are rarely entertained by the common man’s diction. My belief is that the explanation lies in simplicity. What is it that garners tones of reverence and sparks the flame of excitement when an audience sees the “directed by Steven Spielberg” credit flash on a screen? It is his uncanny ability to tell a story. The bedrock of his success ...

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Pakistan’s leaders can learn from David Petraeus’ resignation

Aristotle, a Greek genius, penned down the elements of a tragedy and a tragic hero, two thousand years ago in his famous treatise “Poetics”. He said that a tragic hero suffered a fall from grace due to the committal of a fatal mistake, whose consequences he was unable to foretell beforehand; and that the spectacle of his fall aroused pity and fear in the audience- pity was kindled from undeserved misfortune and fear from the realisation that misfortune could strike an ordinary mortal. Recently, the world witnessed the fall of David Petraeus with unblinking wonderment. Petraeus, a former military officer ...

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Dual nationality: Loyalty doesn’t exist with polygamy!

“It’s almost required with major artists that there’s some duality. And I’ve got duality everywhere.” ─ George Michael. Politicians are indeed no more different than any paid actor in this world. They set the stage like a chequerboard ─ sharp and clever. The recent conundrum of dual nationality holders as government representatives, has spurred the political actors to present their acts in the best way possible. From MQM leader Altaf Hussain to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, even party representatives from ANP aren’t a step behind when it comes to proposing their ideals for dual nationality cases, in the Supreme Court. Pakistan has always been ...

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Do you realise how damaging protesting is to the economy?

Another Friday, another protest. This week, much like last, Aabpara remained empty, except for the few adventurous shoppers who were willing to risk the excitement of walking amid religiously-inspired protesters, the same kind of protesters who did so much damage to other Muslims’ lives and property last week. After last week’s disaster, the peaceful lawyers’ march to the embassy to present a resolution of condemnation was a welcome change, although I still think burning flags accomplished nothing. Peaceful or not, protests, or even rumours, have seemingly become enough to instil fear in the hearts of small business owners in areas favoured ...

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The ‘firebrand press conference’ phenomenon

It all started out with Zulfiqar Mirza, and the trend has spread like fire through the upper echelons of our political elite: what I like to refer to as the ‘firebrand press conference’ phenomenon. Every couple of weeks (or so it appears) a member of one political party or another calls an ever-hungry media to an event which promises to reveal the ‘shocking’ corrupt practices our political leaders indulge in. Karachi was thrown into an uproar in 2011 when Mirza, the former Sindh home minister, furiously waved around an important-looking sheaf of papers claiming to have evidence against Muttahida Qaumi ...

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Corruption is middle-class morality

While millions of Pakistanis expressed their astonishment and dissatisfaction with the election of Raja Pervez Ashraf as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan on June 22, the news didn’t come to me as a shock at all. Raja Pervez Ashraf has been widely criticised; the new prime minister has been labelled in the media as “Raja Rental” because of the kickbacks he is alleged to have taken being the water and power minister. An investigation to which, by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is still in progress against him. History is riddled with examples of corrupt politicians being rehabilitated. Ayub Khan disqualified politicians who were later placed in ministerial offices. ...

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Why we Khan’t

A few days back, a family friend of mine narrated an incident about how he escaped paying taxes, or at least didn’t have to pay the full amount that was due. To cut a long story short, he bribed his way around the system by giving a very expensive mobile phone to the daughter of a tax official. This is a story that, I am sure, we have all experienced and witnessed in different forms and shapes in our everyday life. Now, I would like to point out a few things, which, I feel, are essential to the argument that ...

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How to make it big in Pakistan

There are many mysteries surrounding the rich and elite in Pakistan. These mysteries  have haunted us since time immemorial; how do they do it? How did that man make it so big, so fast being, so young? Where does he work? How can he be so rich without a job? These questions haunted me during the day and gave me nightmares at night, and all I could keep thinking to myself was ‘but how?’ I am pleased to tell you all that I have finally cracked the code; I have all the answers now! Reading newspapers, court orders, precedents and online research ...

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The corruption rat race

Viewers often consider anchorpersons as a panacea for evil in Pakistani society because they make efforts to malign corrupt politicians and their notorious designs under the umbrella of ‘best interest of the masses’. However, the fiasco of Dr Arsalan Iftikhar has allegedly exposed some senior journalists and anchorpersons as paid persons of property tycoon, Malik Riaz. Now, the question which a common person ponders over is how dirty are journalists? Following the surfacing of the list with their names as beneficiaries of Malik Riaz’s charity, most journalists are making efforts to arrange talk shows with the investor to clear their records. ...

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10 things I hate about TV talk shows

There was a golden time during my father’s childhood when the only available channel was Pakistan Television (PTV). This showcased enjoyable shows that were informative at the same time. Sadly, this time is long gone.   Today, even though television offers many channels, all I find when I flick the TV on is annoying talk shows. These talk shows give rise to other talk shows that are later talked about on other shows… and the cycle goes on and on. To depict my distaste for these shows, I have come up with a list of 10 things that I cannot stand about talk ...

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