Stories published in October, 2010

Shahid Afridi was born to lead

There is no better man than Shahid Afridi to lead Pakistan at the World Cup next year in February. Afridi may not have the guts of Mohammad Yousuf or the honest command of Younis Khan, but he has something that neither of these men do. Afridi has the ability to unite a team, have people rally around him and lift spirits even at the worst of times. He may not do it by leading from the front with the bat or the ball, but the way he lifts the team on the field, no one can. Even when he was not ...

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My adventures on Shaadi dot com

Dear Diary, It is day one of my attempt to get married online, which as you may know is quite unconventional for a male to undertake on his own. However, I have decided to pursue this online adventure as I feel the need to settle down, and what the hell, I met my first girlfriend in an IRC chat room so I know there is a good chance this might work out. Shaadi.com tells me the odds are totally in my favour. The website claims to be the internet’s largest matrimonial service which has ‘touched over 20 million people’. They also ...

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IT woes: Pakistan’s software houses need to share

Despite their strength in numbers, many local industries have lost their competitive edge in core product offerings. Let us examine one such industry: Pakistan’s IT sector. The two biggest industry associations, PASHA (Pakistan Software Houses Association) and PSEB (Pakistan Software Export Board) represent a total of 1,800 members (400 and 1400 respectively). But these numbers do not translate into dollars when compared to other regional players. Despite the large number of PSEB members, the total size of software and IT services export from Pakistan is only slightly over a billion dollars – that is 50 times less than India’s. Although Pakistan’s IT Industry ...

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Obama’s Wars: Exposing Pakistan’s demons

Bob Woodward’s book, “Obama’s Wars” has opened a Pandora ’s box of controversy. The government’s rebuttals notwithstanding, Ambassador Hussain Haqqani’s comparison of Pakistan to a woman eager to be wooed, President Zardari’s astounding query about possible US support for the Pakistani Taliban and the portrayal of General Kayani as an international man of mystery will generate heated debate locally. Most gruesome and heartrending of all revelations however, is of course our President’s comments on civilian casualties. President Zardari is reported to have said to then Director CIA Gen Hayden: “Collateral damage worries you Americans. It does not worry me.” It is difficult to ...

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The ‘Great Game’ in Gilgit Baltistan

The latest allegation by India about the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan has sparked a new debate in the region. Some accuse India of attempting to malign Pakistan and say that it is time-tested friend China through ‘baseless’ propaganda; while others construe it as the beginning of a new “Great Game.” The term “great game” is not new to the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, as the mountain-locked area has suffered a history of invasions. The British captured Gilgit-Baltistan during the 19th century and ruled over it for years, in order to keep a check on the increasing ...

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Whose country is this anyways? (Part II)

My second blog for The Express Tribune was titled “Whose country is this anyways?” At the time, the Supreme Court was hearing a case regarding the construction of the Citizen Club. The Club was meant to be an alternative to the oversubscribed and packed Islamabad Club. Articles such as “Will there be a Citizen Club in F-9 Park” claimed that the citizens of the twin cities (those who were eligible for membership that is) were eagerly awaiting the opening of the club as it offered excellent facilities including: an auditorium having 475 seats, three conference halls, two banquet halls, one party hall, ...

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Winter style palette: bright, bold and chic

Summer is sadly over and it’s taking with it the coral lips, acid nails and glowy skin we enjoyed so much for the past three months. Winter, in comparison, can seem a little dreary and bleak – and who enjoys static-filled hair days, chapped lips and dehydrated skin? But I always love winter beauty trends. Chic and sophisticated are words that instantly come to mind when you think of winter beauty – flawless skin, dark lips and smoldering eyes. Here is a round up of the hottest looks from the runways to show you what to do with makeup this ...

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Agha Hasan Abedi: the man who dared to dream big

Agha Hasan Abedi was one of the finest minds this country has ever produced. He was an exemplary patriot and a legendary banker. In the mess that exists today, the youth of Pakistan desperately needs inspiring personalities to look up to. I cannot think of a better person to quote. He proved that politics is not the only form of service to the nation. He suffered through various scandals towards the end of his life, but no one can deny his contributions towards building a stronger Pakistan. It is a shame we let our youth forget a man like Agha Hasan ...

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‘In suicide attacks we trust’

Within hours of every terror attack that strikes the heart of a Pakistani city, you hear the holy warriors of TTP claiming responsibility for their “remarkable valour.” It is unclear why the law enforcement agencies have not yet tackled these murderers head on. These cowardly acts are marketed as a fitting response to the US drone strikes. In other words, these are God-fearing mujahideen waging a war against the ‘infidels’. The term ‘infidel’ has lost its real meaning. Any and everybody can be declared an infidel at a moment’s notice by these fighters. After that conclusive declaration, no further justification for ...

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Breast cancer myths: It’s not as rare as you think

My aunt was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. It came as quite a shock because like everyone else, we thought cancer was something that could not possibly affect us or our loved ones. Two of my friends had already lost their mothers to cancer the same year. We were worried and consultations with doctors led to a unanimous decision that she need not go far for her treatment. Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital provides the best treatment for cancer patients. That prompt decision, early diagnosis and treatment helped my aunt get better. She is now cancer-free. Could I have breast cancer? My childhood ...

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