Stories about United Nations

Women in sports: What Lala might not know

A friend of mine shared a clip on Facebook of a journalist asking Shahid Afridi his views on the development of a girls’ cricket camp in Peshawar (something the journalist said he felt proud of) and Afridi replied that Pathan girls are best at cooking food and should stick to that. This statement did not come as a shock to me. Other than being aware of Afridi’s record of having passed ludicrous remarks about us, Indian Hindus, not being large-hearted enough, which was slammed by many rational Pakistanis, it reminded me of a scene from the Bollywood movie Chak de India starring Shahrukh Khan. It showed ...

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The right to write: Denied!

Journalism – a profession of disseminating news – has attained the status of an endangered profession globally. Incidents of violence and state sponsored prosecution attempts against journalists have become a de jure way of life for many. Prosecution and persecution to some degree, comes with the territory, if you will. This is unfortunate considering the burden that falls on a journalist’s shoulders. On January 29, 2014, there were several news stories of the Egyptian government’s decision to file charges against 20 journalists working with Al Jazeera on the pretext of risking national security. In my opinion, suppressing the voice of one journalist is akin to suppressing the ...

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Pakistani housewives and the economy: Converting rupees to dollars… for handbags

A couple of days ago I was confronted by an alarming fact. I was sitting with a group of housewives and was told that every month, 30% of those present, converted their pin money into US dollars every month. I was so surprised that I blurted, “But why do you do that?” One of the housewives replied very innocently, “Well, every year when we go on holiday, I buy myself a handbag. Recently, I realised that the value of the dollar is going up and I end up paying more PKR for a handbag each year. So now I just convert my savings into US dollars each month.” What ...

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Malala: An Israeli clone of Bush raised by RAW agents

Yesterday, social media was plastered, once again, with condemnations of Malala Yousafzai. It’s a regular thing. Every time Malala does something, be it a United Nations speech or meeting with the Queen of the UK or writing a book, she is condemned by armies of righteous Pakistanis, eager to explain why she’s getting all the attention. Photo: Facebook To combine all the ridiculous conspiracy theories: she is a clone of George W Bush who had an Israeli surrogate mother and was raised by a two RAW agents, who are men and in a gay relationship. This entire process ...

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Malala Yousafzai is not a normal teenager, why expect her to be?

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” These were the poignant words spoken with such simplicity by Malala Yousufzai at the special Youth Assembly held by the United Nations on July 12, 2013 – Malala’s 16th birthday – to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the young Pakistani girl. Malala, as we all know, is that special Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Swat, Pakistan last year on October 9, 2012. Already the world is enthusiastic to celebrate the anniversary of the fight that ...

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The US war on Afghanistan is over. Syria is the new project

“He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties….” You might be thinking that this is an excerpt from an Obama press conference citing the reasons for a strike against Bashar al Assad’s Syria. Yet, these words were spoken by George W Bush at the United Nations on 13 September 2002, and the above quote ends with…, “Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.” Some things never change. With the UN weapons inspectors pulling out of Syria with the “possible” evidence of chemical attacks, it ...

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Poverty and population growth

Sceptics may call it statistical trickery, but economic data confirms that global poverty has indeed been falling for the last three decades. According to the Poverty Reduction and Equity report of the World Bank, which was updated in April, the percentage of people living in the developing world on less than $1.25 a day (in purchasing power parity terms) was 52.2 per cent back in 1981. The figure dropped to just 20.6% in 2010. In other words, 1.2 billion people were impoverished in 2010 in the developing world as opposed to 1.9 billion in 1981. However, far more people would have ...

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Is war between Israel and Iran inevitable?

War drums are beating for Iran and once again, the drummer is Israel, joined by some occidental powers. The facade started last summer but was postponed due to the elections in the US and Israel. The burning question though remains ‘is war between Israel and Iran looming’? In an attempt to answer this question, we must look at a few different perspectives. Israel and Western points of view Israel sees Iran’s nuclear program as an existential threat that must be stopped by all means, including a military strike. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convinced that Iran will be able to produce a nuclear bomb by summer ...

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An open letter to Ban Ki Moon

Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, The United Nations. January 16, 2013.   Your Excellency, I am not Hazara – my gene pool is not affiliated with the descendants of the great Mongol Genghis Khan, who now inhabit Quetta. But I am writing this to inform you of a pressing issue that has shaken the international community as protests erupt worldwide regarding Jan 10, 2013 bomb blasts on Alamdar Road. Since the past decade, over 1100 Hazaras have fallen prey to attacks of ethnic cleansing carried out by radical militants claiming to eradicate all those who do not adhere to their brand of Islam. In September 2011, ...

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Calls for peace in Palestine but not Syria?

In December 2010, a man in Tunisia self-immolated to protest against the treatment he received from the police. The incident served as a catalyst and what followed was an extraordinary year, which saw pro-democracy rebellions erupting across the Middle East. The wave of popular unrest sweeping the Arab world came late to Syria, but since the first protests in March 2011 in the city of Deraa, at least 40,000 Syrians are thought to have been killed. It is difficult to see a clear winner emerging from the ever-bloodier civil war in Syria. After thousands of casualties, however, the question is, “Is the Arab spring still ...

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