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)

For creative spirits like Fayaz, Pakistan is where innovation crashes before it takes off

“Has it ever been done before?” “What do you think of yourself? Some genius that planet Earth has never seen? You’re too self-obsessed, dude!” “Had it been so simple, somebody would have done it already!” If you list the most destructive lines to kill innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, I am quite confident the aforementioned sentences would make it to the top 10. Regardless of time and place, people who come up with ideas that challenge the status quo in any field are initially ridiculed, and then face collective disapproval and extreme discouragement. It boils down to the stage when the one who ...

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Christchurch terrorist attack vs PUBG: Are video games to blame for increasing violence?

A friend of mine narrated a story to me after the Christchurch terrorist attack. He shares his apartment with a couple of friends, and on the tragic day of the shooting, my friend saw the video of the attack on his phone and then played it for his roommate, asking him what he thought it was. His roommate responded casually, stating he thought it looked like a first-person shooting game snippet. Upon hearing this, my friend broke the real news and shared the shock the whole world was experiencing. This begs the question: what has violence in video games made ...

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How can you expect international tourists to visit Pakistan when even the locals avoid it?

Pakistan is beautiful; there are no second thoughts about it. It is common to see videos making rounds on social media and the internet that show breathtaking landscapes of Pakistan. The purpose for most of them is to appeal to viewers to visit these places and witness the wonders of nature. We see people tagging their family and friends on such posts, making plans about their next trip. However, in most cases, the decision to take a trip isn’t based solely on how beautiful the place is rather the means, resources, security and facilities available there are taken into account. Recently, ...

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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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