Zeba Ansari

Zeba Ansari

A graduate of Bolan Medical College, Zeba has been researching and writing for various organizations and websites. She writes from the perspective of the common man and tweets as @zebansari

President Obama’s speech and the continuation of drone strikes

President Obama delivered his much anticipated speech on counter-terrorism at the National Defense University, at Fort McNair in Washington, on Thursday. In the days before the address the focus was mainly expected to be policies governing drone attacks. According to White House officials, the speech would particularly give procedural details explaining the process leading up to decisions to use drones in counter-terrorism. It was also said that the remarks would outline, in detail, this administration’s counter-terrorism policies. Pakistan has had a long and violent relationship with American drones since 2004, the fifth year under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. According to ...

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The return of Musharraf

General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is all set to return to Pakistan by March 24. Listening to the numerous interviews being broadcast on Pakistani channels, one gets the impression that he fervently believes he will don his shining armour, mount his white steed and ride into the country to save it. However, does he ever once pause in his righteous declarations to ask the question: does Pakistan want him back? When Musharraf left Pakistan, it was considered a win for the democratic forces in the country, a country stunned and reeling from his draconian measures. The NRO and the suspension of the chief ...

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Rest in peace Hugo Chávez

Hugo Chávez, the revolutionary, charismatic, socialist leader of Venezuela succumbed to cancer on Tuesday, March 5. He was 58-years-old. As a skinny-twelve-year-old, with big feet, played with his siblings in the Venezuelan border town of Sabaneta, he must have had hopes and dreams for his future. But who would have had the foresight to imagine that this ambitious boy would grow up to be one of the most electrifying presidents the region had seen? Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was born on July 28, 1954. He was raised by his grandmother after he and an older brother were placed with her following ...

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Democracy is nothing but a politician’s catch phrase

Our world today seems to be in a constant state of revolution. Somehow, revolution brings a romanticised solution to all that is wrong with a corrupt bureaucracy.  Whoever promises the most drastic changes, the most extreme improvements, the most cacophonous, clamorous, and deafening rhetoric, is guaranteed a captive audience and an avid following. One thing that these masters of spin can count on is the common man’s desperate desire for a better life, their despairing hope that the world has something finer to offer – if only they can find a charismatic, catalytic leader to make change happen for them. We, ...

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My battle with Cholesterol

Three years ago, I went in for what was supposed to be a routine yearly physical. I walked into the doctor’s office full of confidence waiting for full marks on my blood test results. Instead, he gave me the grim news that my cholesterol numbers were elevated. I couldn’t believe this. How could this happen to me, a doctor? I felt that my body had betrayed me. I had no symptoms, no pain, no signs. “I feel fine,” I insisted. He looked at me and said, “You know, that is why it is called the ‘silent killer’”. He said that the only way to discover high cholesterol ...

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President Obama for another 4 years: Let the rhetoric continue!

On November 6, Barack Obama made it into the history books one more time. He has been re-elected as president of the United States for a second term despite high unemployment numbers, at a time when the majority of Americans are very uncertain about their futures. The last time re-election in the face of such dismal unemployment rates was accomplished in 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt took the presidency for the second time. America is increasingly becoming multicultural and ethnically diverse. In 2008, Hispanics, African-Americans and other minorities turned the tide for democrats in most states, showing overwhelming support for the first ...

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What sandy did to us

Throughout our lives as Muslims of Pakistani heritage, we have been told that guests are a cause for great celebration and blessing. However, Sandy was one guest that everyone, especially those living on the eastern coast of the United States, wishes had stayed away. A few days before Eid, my editor emailed me and asked me to write a blog about the upcoming elections in the United States. A simple enough task to do, I thought, as our family is just shy of being officially qualified as political junkies. We wait impatiently for the debates and then discuss the implications ...

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Let overseas Pakistanis vote!

In a grand gesture, the Election Commission of Pakistan granted 3.7 million foreign-dwelling Pakistani nationals permission to vote in elections. Huh? I had never realised that this was a privilege, rather than a right. As with all shows of benevolence, however, there is always a catch. Excluded from this group are just as many Pakistanis who hold dual nationalities; in order to be eligible to stand for office or to be allowed to vote in Pakistan, they must surrender their non-Pakistani citizenship. Being in this particular boat, I’m inclined to ask: what, exactly, gives you the right to take away my rights? By definition, a ...

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My hell on earth

Dust and heat scrubbed this sky of all colour. Disfigured roads and dismal buildings littered the earth beneath it; a desolate land in shades of dirt. He looked upon the building below him. The veneer of smog and heat created the impression of a mirage, giving the factory an almost dream-like quality. “Death trap,” he whispered to himself. Day after day, he was sent to observe, not knowing why. He never questioned, much like the people he would see filling into this building in just a few moments. One door ─ they entered through one door every morning; they left through the same door every evening. There was ...

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The problem lies not in our blasphemy law, but in ourselves

The blasphemy laws of the Pakistani Penal Code have been a subject of fierce debate ever since they were formed, under the regime of Ziaul Haq. Pakistan was born in the name of Islam and by its constitution, the Islamic way of life is to be propagated and protected. Pakistan was also born out of the dire need for religious freedom of the Muslims of the subcontinent. This message was displayed on the Pakistani flag, where a white band proudly streamed next to a wider green band, declaring to the world that while Pakistan was a Muslim state, the rights of all ...

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