Farooq Tirmizi

The author is an investment analyst. He tweets as @FarooqTirmizi (twitter.com/FarooqTirmizi)

If you can’t handle me eating before sunset, don’t fast

If you are one of the spineless, weak-willed people who cannot handle seeing other people eating and drinking while you fast, you should probably not be fasting. The infirmity of your faith is not my problem, nor anybody else’s, and does not deserve to be protected by the law. Under the Ihtaram Ramazan Ordinance of 1981, two men were arrested in Sargodha on charges of eating in public. Yes, you read that correctly: eating in public – for the month of Ramazan at least – is a crime in Pakistan. To those that support this law, I would like to pose the ...

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Attention: Sindh is up for grabs

With all the national attention focused on the political battle over Punjab, it is worth pointing out that parties across the political spectrum would do well to realise that Sindh is not as safely in the Pakistan Peoples Party’s column as might appear at first glance. Ever since the party was first launched in the late 1960s, Sindh has firmly stayed loyal to the Bhutto clan and one of the fundamental assumptions in Pakistani politics is that rural Sindh will always vote, by and large, for the PPP. In the 1980s, the MQM was able to peel away the urban ...

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It’s the economy, stupid

James Carville’s immortal words stand as true today to describe the core problem with Pakistan as when he used them to define the contours of the 1992 presidential election in the United States: The main issue that matters to the lives of the millions of ordinary citizens is, and will forever remain, the economy. Everything else is a sideshow. This is why, even as bombs go off across the country and thousands of our compatriots die at the hands of savage beasts parading as human beings, every opinion poll ever conducted about what Pakistani people think shows that economic concerns ...

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Zardari’s political masterstroke gone wrong?

In all the noise that followed the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the nation seems to have lost track of the blood sport that is politics in Pakistan. For us political junkies, however, the game is still being played and several developments, some that have not gotten quite as much attention as they should have, are still taking place. The PPP’s formal alliance with the PML-Q was being interpreted by many as a masterstroke that managed to isolate the PML-N and cripple any chances they may have had of even calling, let alone winning a general election ...

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Japan: Where are our manners?

While Pakistan’s business and political leaders have been lining up at the Japanese embassy in Islamabad to sign the condolence book in the wake of the massive earthquake and tsunami that has affected that country, nobody seems to be willing to back up their words with a cheque or two. This seems rather impolite, especially when one considers the fact that Japan is one of the largest donors to Pakistan. Direct financial assistance from Japan to Pakistan is relatively minimal, but considering how much Japan donates to Pakistan through multilateral agencies, total financial flows from Tokyo to Islamabad are estimated ...

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Can we please rename Gaddafi Stadium now?

It is difficult for a Karachiite to admit, but there is no more iconic a cricket ground in Pakistan than a certain large, red-brick stadium in Lahore. Gaddafi Stadium is the home of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the site of the final of the 1996 World Cup for a reason: it is simply the best that Pakistan cricket has to offer. So why is it named after a brutal Arab dictator? It was not always so. When the stadium first opened its doors in 1959, it was simply known as Lahore Stadium, which makes sense since it is a ...

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