Abdullah Ansari

Abdullah Ansari

An electrical engineer by profession, Abdullah works in the oil and gas industry. His interests include international relations, global politics and debating. He tweets @ChangingTrendz (twitter.com/ChangingTrendz)

The unheard plight of subcontractors in Pakistan

You might have noticed how the security guard at your company’s gate isn’t directly employed by your organisation; there is a third-party agreement that ensures there is no liability of that security guard on your company. Try to find out how much he earns a month and compare it to how much your company is actually paying for him; I guarantee you will find a stark difference in both amounts. Till a few years ago, this situation was limited to support staff, including pantry boys, the sanitation department, security guards, and so on. However, things have changed over the ...

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Should Saudi Arabia be a part of CPEC?

From the word go, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has been under a heavy burden of expectations from all sides. As a result, they are trying to satisfy every front as quickly as they can. However, it seems that this is proving to be too much for them and they are creating all sorts of confusion. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one such project where this confusion is still brewing. Recently, news has been circulating that Saudi Arabia will be joining CPEC. It is still unclear what role they would play, whether they will be a strategic partner, an investor ...

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“It’s raining”: Do Pakistanis know how to use Facebook?

“You know what? You can travel to any place in the world without updating your status on Facebook!” “What’s the point of sharing your pictures on social media? What do you want to prove?” “What are people supposed to do with what you are having for dinner at XYZ restaurant?” To start off, I am not a big fan of changing my display picture every week or putting my selfies on social media; it doesn’t interest me. I never share where, what and with whom I am eating. I have never posted about how many pounds I lost or gained in the ...

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The dam charity: Sorry, I can’t do more

As Pakistanis, we generally make headlines for all the wrong reasons these days, but there is one thing we can still be proud of. Despite having a shattered economy and prevalent poverty, we are one of the most charitable nations in the world. No one could have expected that this fact would one day work against the nation as well. Recently, the age-old issue of the construction of dams took the limelight once again, as Pakistan ranked third among countries facing water shortage. This alarming situation put every state institution on high alert, including the Supreme Court. Fed up with the ...

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An open letter to CJP Saqib Nisar: If a prime minister can be put behind bars, why not Rao Anwar?

Respected Mr Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Supreme Court, During the last few years, the Supreme Court has sprouted as the only ray of hope for the people of Pakistan. The dismal state of daily affairs has been going unnoticed for decades but the current Supreme Court’s swift responses have truly won people over and given all of us hope. Suo moto action taken in cases that were not heading anywhere or taken when something truly important happened is an indication of our justice system improving. There are a number of instances that are truly worth mentioning and deserve massive ...

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Dear filmmakers, stuttering is a disorder, not a joke for you to cash on

Some days ago, I received a clip on Whatsapp of a scene from a Pakistani movie titled Lahore Se Aagay. The lead character, played by Yasir Hussain, tries to make the dialogue ‘funny’ by mocking the speech related disorder generally known as stuttering or stammering. Upon further inquiry, I discovered Hussain has played the role of a guy who stutters several times in his career. In another movie, Karachi Se Lahore, which is the prequel to Lahore Se Aagay, Hussain tries to seem hilarious by stammering to the character’s advantage. Though he believes his portrayal is empowering for those who stutter, ...

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Are medicine and engineering the only two feasible options for Pakistani students?

Till a couple of decades ago, engineering and medicine were considered the most sought-after fields for students to pursue professionally. Parents at home and teachers at school would shape the youngsters in order to make them able to qualify for the top-notch medical and engineering schools. The most common statement to hear as a child, whenever questioned about future plans in front of our parents, would be, “Mera bacha bara ho key doctor ya engineer banay ga.” (My child will grow up to be a doctor or an engineer.) Young people never even get the chance to come to this realisation on ...

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Bullying is not limited to kids like Keaton Jones; it happens to adults as well

If you are a parent, a trend follower, or simply someone who is connected to social media, then by now you must have seen the video of Keaton Jones, an 11-year-old American boy from Tennessee, who is seen tearfully addressing his bullies. The video, filmed by his mother, took the internet by storm, with celebrities like Justin Bieber and Chris Evans coming forward in support of Keaton and taking a stand against bullying. Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to ...

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Our bets on CPEC may not necessarily pay off

In Pakistan, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been trending for a few months. Like ‘Brexit’, CPEC is also a big step. Hence, any news related to CPEC spreads like fire. If you are attending an intellectual gathering, be up-to-date with the project. I’ve observed that CPEC is a hot topic at these get-togethers. There’s no doubt that CPEC is important for Pakistan and it plays a pivotal role in regional politics, but it has been blown out of proportion thanks to print and electronic media. It seems that clock manufacturers in Switzerland are more concerned about CPEC than the precision of their clocks. And drug ...

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What makes the Cybercrime bill atrocious is the intent behind it

I was quite concerned when the Protection of Pakistan Act (POPA) was implemented a few years ago; I felt this may lead to Pakistan converting into a police state. That being said, with the recent implementation of the cybercrime bill, I’ve realised that I wasn’t wrong – my concern is now inching closer towards reality. Am I against laws which may control cybercrime? Of course not. Countries worldwide are trying various techniques in order to counter the ever increasing threat of cybercrime by implementing new laws and devising novel penal codes. However, what makes the cybercrime bill in Pakistan atrocious is the intent behind the ...

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