Stories published in September, 2010

Cricket, you broke my heart

My cricketing world has broken down – update after update, word by word, every day is worse than the last. Initially I resisted the urge to write about the scandals – and lately I have found myself unable to. Unable to talk about cricket, unable to read the sports pages, unable to accept what happened and digest how we’ve all been duped for so long. Perhaps it was naïve of me to think that fixing was rare – perhaps I shouldn’t have expected others to live up to my personal standards of morality. This episode is both heartbreaking and ...

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Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

When I was at university, the one person I would have difficulty saying ‘hi’ to on campus was a junior who kept her face hidden by a thick black veil. As is the case with cursory greetings in the passing, so much is gauged with facial expressions that I could never make out her response. Then, in my last year, a close friend made the decision to start wearing the niqab and subsequently almost completely dropped off the social radar. I felt her decision was extreme and unnecessary and I felt a lot of hostility towards the piece of ...

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Election time in Afghanistan

As most of urban and a large part of rural Afghanistan prepares for elections, the Taliban have once again made it clear just how they feel about the polls. With hours to go before ballots are to be cast the Taliban have kidnapped Abdul Rahman Hayat, one of 2,500 candidates running for the parliamentary elections on September 18, 2010.  The news was confirmed when Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid sent a text message to AFP reporter stating: “We have kidnapped Hayatullah Hayat.” The Taliban have also been blamed for the kidnap of eighteen workers in Baghdis province. It is no secret that the ...

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What was Salman Khan thinking?

What possessed Salman Khan to say the things that he did about the Mumbai attacks is a bit of a mystery (do view the video first). Perhaps he is planning to enter politics. Perhaps he wanted to promote his film in Pakistan and ensure that he would make more money. Considering his film has broken more box office records in India than I can count, this clearly shows that the one muscle in his body that is perhaps not pumped up persistently is his brain. Perhaps he had a momentary lapse of judgment and thought that he was on Bill ...

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MQM assassination: Is anyone safe?

Dr Imran Farooq’s assassination is an event that is going to drastically change the dynamics of politics in Pakistan. The horrendous act committed in London, is going to have grave consequences in streets of Karachi and Hyderabad while causing tension as far as  Islamabad. Out of all that will be said about this assassination, there is one thing that will come as a shock to all; party leaders are no longer safe even if they are in exile. For years political leaders have gone into exile for fear of their lives to eventually safely return to Pakistan. The MQM itself was the ...

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Imran and Musharraf should join forces

I saw an article in The Express Tribune where Sheikh Rashid of the floundering AML (or was it ALM? Who remembers anyway?) says that PML Nawaz-log, APML Mush-log and PML-Q should all join hands, make love not war and unite under the banner of Pir Pagara (with Bilawal Bhutto as their secretary – and before I get lynched for saying that – I didn’t!). I think that’s a really cute idea – almost as cute as the time I saw President Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and the rest of the ‘democracy clan’ join hands and solemnly swear to work together just ...

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What really happened at Nasdaq?

A recent popular story concerning Pakistan’s Consul General in New York, Mr Babar Hashmi, is circulating on news channels, newspapers and internet blogs. According to the story on August 25, 2010, the Nasdaq Stock Market, an American stock exchange, offered the consul general an hour of free-of-charge use of its seven-storey tall MarketSite Tower, a massive video display in Times Square in New York, to broadcast an appeal for Pakistan’s flood victims. Given the high visibility of the display, it was expected that this would garner at least one million dollars in donations. Hashmi, allegedly squandered the opportunity by ...

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Stop the free ride for mullahs

The current floods in Pakistan have confirmed what some have suspected for years – that the underlying polity in Pakistan is irrevocably inept and dysfunctional. That the citizens of Pakistan have suffered under a broken polity. There is renewed scrutiny and critical commentary on political and social discourse in Pakistan due to the floods. However, there is one area which forever escapes this new found spirit of critical enquiry in the Pakistani media, and that is the issues of religious authority and religious institutions. Ever since the so called ‘’media revolution’’ in Pakistan, everyone from chat show hosts to columnists ...

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Welcome to the Dr Morning Glory Show

As the opening music fades out the face of an over-friendly host fills the screen. Dr. Morning Glory: Hello! Welcome to the  show. I hope all of you are doing great! Today we have a fabulous celebrity guest with us. He has been a model, painter, singer, writer and has also been working as a social activist for the past few years. *Applause* Welcome to the show! All our viewers are dying to hear more about you. So let’s start! How did you start modeling? Random Celebrity X: Actually, I was never a model. In fact… Dr. Morning Glory: Oh? Never? I thought you ...

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The sound of a million voices

This Eidul Fitr, some colleagues and I decided to spend the day at a relief camp in Makli, Thatta. Though it sounds terrible given the sufferings of millions around us, the decision to part with the delicious food, deserts, social gatherings and lastly Eidi was a tough one. Nevertheless, having kept only a few fasts during the month of Ramazan, the opportunity to redeem myself seemed too good to pass by. Upon entering the camp, the magnitude of the tragedy that had hit our nation began to sink in. The task at hand was evident and after discussing the most ...

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