Stories published in November, 2010

Pakistan needs to take entrepreneurs seriously

Our governing mentality has mostly been about ‘providing’ jobs and not ‘creating’ them. There is a very big difference between the two approaches that also reflect different governing philosophies. When you hear stories about inefficiency and corruption in government run institutions (like the Pakistan Railways), it is due to the first approach. Governments find it expedient to hand out jobs to people to improve employment figures even when state owned companies do not need any more people. Jobs are also given to party workers to find a way to keep them satisfied. Alas, our political culture is as such! This ...

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Be nice to comedians and maybe they’ll stay

The other day a friend of mine spotted a local standup comedian at the supermarket at the cashier next to us and did, what she thought, was the nonchalant head tilt in his direction and the excited whisper to me. I told her she should go say hi but I guess she was shy or something. Or that no one did that sort of thing unless the said person was a high paid celebrity wearing dark glasses and surrounded by security guards and paparazzi. This guy was wearing thick framed glasses and paying his grocery bill, alone. I told her ...

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Obscenity in the ‘Land of the Pure’

“I saw some people whispering after seeing something on a mobile phone. One of them showed me the video on the phone in which she was fully nude and committing objectionable acts. She not only made a film of those acts but also widely circulated it via mobile phone, thus hurting the young generation and the morals of society,” said an irate complainant. The man, Chaudhry Muhammad Khan, registered an FIR against a female lawyer under Sections 292 and 294 of the Pakistan Penal Code. The two sections deal with the punishable offences of the sale, distribution, public exhibition, production ...

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Prado power: Licence to abuse

My friend’s brother, Saad, was driving back home from work on Shahrae Faisal when a car behind him honked frantically to get ahead.  Even though Saad was in the fast lane, he was apparently not fast enough for the Prado on his tail. He took a little time to slow down and moved into the next lane to give the impatient driver some room. Instead of just driving by, or perhaps offering a subtle note of gratitude, which we rarely witness on the road, the Prado sped ahead and swerved sharply in front of him. Four boys, maybe in their late teens ...

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Why bother learning when you can just study?

Choosing teaching has nothing to do with the ‘holy task’ of imparting knowledge to the students, especially if you are asked to teach intermediate classes. Besides the useless syllabus of the English course which fails to create even the tiniest bit of interest in the students, the standardised exam eliminates the possibility of incorporating some extra activities to help students develop an interest in the subject. Every time the results of matriculation and intermediate exams are announced over television and newspapers we see students getting more and more marks every year with insanely high percentages. Now, the question we really ...

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Diving needs to be a straight red card offense

Nani might just have good reason to celebrate his chances en-route to the throne of the biggest diver in world football given his recent displays, but he’ll have big shoes to fill if he manages a successful swipe of the crown; as I hear Ronaldo’s boot size is a 13.5. While I usually shy away from picking on individual players when it comes to certain aspects of the game of football, one of the few aberrations to the rule happens to be the issue of diving. A little history before I start taking names though. Diving (also conveniently referred to ...

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Imran Khan and the MQM: Similar yet distant

Imran Khan is well known for his work in the development sector. He is also a national sports hero and hopes to bring reforms that will change the status quo and bring progress and prosperity in Pakistan by doing away with the corrupt and feudal controlled system. Khan leads a pro-democracy center-right political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf or “Pakistan’s Movement for Justice”  – justice, which is said to be the main agenda for reform. He offers an ideology which is very similar to the center-left political parties, but he appears more interested in educated professionals, who are self-made and renowned international figures ...

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Darra Adam Khel, the ghost town

My first experience out of Punjab as a journalist was to Dera Ismail Khan where I had gone to witness the destruction caused by the floods. Travelling on the Indus Highway, I stopped over at Darra Adam Khel and the experience has left a lasting impression. Accompanying me on this trip was one of Pakistan’s leading frontier reporters from Peshawar. During the car ride, he told me countless stories ranging from the Taliban occupation in the area to the military operation code-named Eagle Swoop. Darra Adam Khel is merely 25 kilometres away from the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa capital, Peshawar. On both sides of ...

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You know you are a nerd when…

Forever depressed, suppressed, and oppressed, the nerd inside me finally woke up one fine day and decided enough was enough! It was about time I raised a voice for my kind. Who are we? Walking through a mall, you find us staring at the latest gadgets rather than the really cute girl passing nearby. We have watched all the latest Hollywood movies and take out time to write a review for each and every one of them at imdb.com. If you lend us as much as a type-writer, you will see our blog the very next day on the website of The ...

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Social Network: Share, recommend and poke this

Recently, I had the good fortune of being able to catch the latest cinematic venture by American filmmaker David Fincher. He is the genius mind behind films such as Seven, Fight Club, the Zodiac and the multi Oscar nominated film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for which he even received an Oscar nomination. His latest venture, “The Social Network” brings to the silver screen the story of Mark Zuckerburg and the founding of Facebook, a social networking website which in a matter of years would forever change the world that we live in. The film tells begins from the sites ...

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