Stories published in October, 2010

Green militants: Saving the world through terror

What do Osama Bin Laden and some radical environmentalists have in common? They’re both terrorists and believe that America is evil. They are also not doing much to promote the cause of environmentalism. A green propaganda film called “No Pressure,” created by the green organisation 10:10, released earlier last month, provides an alarming insight into the mind of an ‘eco-fascist.’ The four-minute-long video shows a teacher casually exploding students who refuse to cut carbon emissions. Yes, explode – she presses a button and the students are ripped to pieces, and that’s putting it mildly. 10:10 withdrew the video within 24 hours ...

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Dear Nawaz Sharif, be a man!

Dear Mian Saab, I have been meaning to write you a letter for a while, hoping to ask you a few things that are annoying not only me, but the people of Pakistan; specifically, people who voted for your party. Firstly, Mian saab, where have you been? In all honesty, apart from showing up on TV every now and then for some exclusive interview, the people of Pakistan hardly hear from you in person. Whatever happened to the Mian Saab who used to sit among the people to hear their problems and grievances? Secondly sir, seriously, what the whole deal with your ...

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The real entrepreneurs of Pakistan

Shakeel operates a DVD rental shop in the building across the street from where I live. It’s nothing too fancy, just a couple of shelves in a six-by-four feet space, in a market dominated by tailors and kapra walas. He comes in at about 4 pm every day, and takes the 10 pm bus back home. All day, he rents out pirated copies of the latest Hollywood and Bollywood flicks to clients at his little shop. Shakeel’s a young guy, maybe 24, with glasses that look remarkably similar to mine. His mother doesn’t let him go to his shop if ...

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Judges can be corrupt too

Who should we look up to for justice? This is not something I came up with – it is the title of Ansar Abbasi’s column in Jang, the Urdu daily. I used it in this post because I could not think of a better line to express my feelings. I read in the newspaper that 16 judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan have accepted plots located in expensive areas of Islamabad. The chief justice, however, didn’t accept one. This wouldn’t have been a problem if some judges hadn’t accepted two plots, including Justice Khaleel-ur-Rehman Ramday and Justice Javaid Iqbal, mostly known ...

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Where Pakistan fails and South Africa succeeds

Members of the South African team will be visiting the Emirates for the first time. Jacques Kallis is the only player on the team who has already visited the UAE, back in October 1999. A lot has changed in the cricketing world in those 11 years. South Africa’s journey Soon after South Africa’s last visit to the UAE, a gentleman, fighting leader, cricketing mind and great human being received a lifetime ban over allegations of dishonesty. Hansie Cronje may have paid the price, but the effect it had on South African cricket are evident. After South Africa’s 2003 World Cup defeat, the team not only fired ...

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Imran Khan’s welfare state: Coming soon

There may actually be a practical solution to Pakistan’s runaway train of insane problems. Perhaps Pakistan should become a welfare state. “Relentless plundering by the rulers has pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy…and innocent people are being killed in return for a few dollars” -Imran Khan “By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes Economist John Maynard Keynes was a proponent of welfare states in his General Theory. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden and Canada have adopted and implemented diverse forms of ...

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Here’s to you Sherry!

Earlier this week, MNA Sherry Rehman became one of the many Pakistani politicians to face the consequences of having a brain. Yes, not only does she have a killer wardrobe, Ms Rehman is also in fact one of the few leaders in Pakistan who does more than steal, bribe or sit on talk shows all day. Ironically, it was exactly for this crime that the ruling PPP chose to penalise her and Senator Safdar Abbasi. How dare they appear on a talk show that would be broadcast on one of the county’s most popular television channels? Actually, the real question is ...

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Pakistan equals anarchy, not ‘French revolution’

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very Heaven! William Wordsworth wrote these lines in “The Prelude,” about his experiences during the French Revolution. I doubt Wordsworth would be singing these verses if he saw modern-day Pakistan. Pakistan is not France Nowadays, there seems to be new genre of opinion articles in Pakistan focused on trying to find similarities between pre-revolutionary France and contemporary Pakistan. Indeed, ‘revolution’ is a word that has been constantly used in the Pakistani media during the last month. Ever since the floods, political leaders and media personalities have suddenly stumbled upon ...

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Team Green: Consistently losing

For years Pakistani cricket fans have been asking for a bit of consistency. Well, they say to be careful what you wish for because we finally have got some!  Sadly, it’s not the kind of consistency we wanted. After Wednesday’s T20 loss to South Africa, we have now lost four consecutive T20 matches. But the true measure of our consistency comes from the details of the results. Our last four T20 match (2 against South Africa, and 2 against England) results read like this: loss by 6 wickets loss by 6 wickets loss by 6 wickets loss by 5 wickets There was a time when if ...

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A night out… with plants

It was a very pleasant night with beautiful moonlight glittering on my terrace when I decided to do all the garden jobs that had been pending for a week. Transplanting vegetable seedlings The seeds that I had sown earlier were ready to be transplanted. During the week, I had bought large containers and filled them with a good mixture of soil and manure for my vegetable plants. I spent some time marking the pots and transplanting the tomato and bell-pepper plants into the large pots. It had to be done quickly and correctly. Seedlings must have moist soil  and two sets of true leaves prior to transplantation. The roots ...

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