Stories about USA

Welcoming Putin to Pakistan

Vladimir Putin, a former spymaster, known for his political struggle and his contribution to the uplift of his country after its disintegration in 1991, has been the president of Russia since May 7, 2012. Previously, Putin served as president from 2000 to 2008 and as prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012. The Russian president is scheduled to visit Pakistan in the first week of October and this is a welcome shift in our country’s foreign policy. It is high time Pakistan develops cordial relations with other countries of the world to overcome its multiple challenges. While ...

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Can democracy still be unfair if everyone votes?

Mirza is a very good friend of mine but sometimes he just talks utter nonsense. Yesterday evening I was extremely blunt when he told me that he didn’t understand democracy. “Are you in your senses, Mirza?” I was shocked. “Absolutely,” he was calm. “Think again, Mirza,” I couldn’t believe what he had said, “Democracy, which is the best political system in the world; the system that offers solutions to all our problems; the system due to which common people like you reach the corridors of power; the system–” “Yes,” he interrupted me, “I don’t understand it.” My voice rising, I said, “So what do you want, dictatorship? ...

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The problem with owning large media corporations

When talking about journalists, some may describe a journalist as always having news in his/her blood. However, when describing a media mogul like Rupert Murdoch, one may say owning news was always in his blood. Inheriting a media company from his father, Murdoch went one step further and sought to build himself an empire quickly. Buying the News of the World, The Sun, The Times, etc, Murdoch then decided to create News Corporation,  News Corp, which is the second largest media corporation in the world today, located in New York. News Corp was established as a holding company - a company that does not have a direct ...

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‘Bin Laden is not dead’ and other conspiracy theories

During a discussion with some fellow medical students, I was astounded to observe that they thought 9/11 was a Jewish conspiracy and that al Qaeda is just a figment of some people’s imagination. I found it surprising how most of them did not know the origins and genesis of al Qaeda, one of the largest terrorist organizations in the world. The aim of writing this post is not to launch a tirade against the conspiracy theory culture prevalent in our society. It is to discuss a couple of popular controversies and try to provide some answers to the much debated ...

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The phone call I wish I had never received

I don’t know whether this is the right time to write this blog or not, but I do hope that when people read it, it will help them make the right choice when faced with a situation similar to mine. Exactly 16 months ago, I was standing in line with other confused Pakistanis – the lot who ask themselves the same question day and night: should we move abroad to greener pastures? I am not trying to vindicate my actions by writing this; the truth is that it was a difficult decision for me. On the one hand, you think of your ...

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Afghan shooting rampage: When the solution became the problem

When it comes to international relations, it is usually wise to step forward with the right foot. If you have someone representing you in another country, you want to ensure that that person represents you in the best possible way and shows your culture, values, and traditions in the most positive light. This is how people come to learn, appreciate, and admire the ones who hail from other countries. So when it comes to the armed forces, are the criteria different? Must a soldier have a history of aggression to become a better soldier? Does a soldier have to be ...

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Why America won’t help with Kashmir

Media commentator Aakar Patel, who also co-owns a publishing and content outsource company in Mumbai, recently wrote for The Express Tribune about the Kashmir freedom struggle and how India gets away despite its reign of oppression and coercion in the valley. For a change, Aakar is one of the voices from the Indian mainstream who infuses fresh life into the waning secular Indianess. However, his skewed proclamations where he raises questions like “What does azadi mean? It means freedom, of course. But freedom from what? (sic)”, which are not new to the Kashmir discourse, stink of ignorance and self-righteousness, and ...

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Pakistan’s trouble can never be India’s gain

We don’t see Pakistan speaking in one voice very often; different stakeholders react differently to a given situation depending upon their interest and political leaning. However, the killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers at the hands of Nato a few weeks ago united the Pakistani population in their collective grief. People sick and tired of the western design demanded in one voice a complete overhaul of the relationship with the US. But this development has elicited varied reactions in India. Some vocal sections have reacted with glee at the discomfort of its western neighbour. Below is an excerpt from a blog published ...

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The CIA recruits came to campus

Two members of America’s spy nest, the National Clandestine Service (NCS) of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) visited the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh today to attract potential recruits into the spy agency. The NCS, formerly known as the Directorate of Operations (DO), is where agency trains spies in secret trade-craft for clandestine activities. The briefing lasted a little over an hour, followed by questions about the application process. The two presenters themselves were career spies. The male speaker was a Russian expert with extensive experience in the Middle East. He had military experience prior ...

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Mango mania in the US

Mangoes, the love of Mirza Ghalib’s life, the king of fruit, and the object of many a Pakistanis’ desire, finally landed for the first time in Chicago. After a quick trip to the facility for chemical treatment, the mangoes, boxed up in cartons bearing the US and Pakistan flags, were wheeled into the ballroom of the Hilton, where the Pakistan Embassy held an inaugural event to “introduce the mangoes to the United States”. The event started off trying to be a less classy version of a J&S event and ended up being a wedding. Women from the Pakistani community, clad in their ...

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