Stories published in November, 2010

Can the PCB be trusted?

Among the many voices that have been consistently critical of the authorities running cricket in Pakistan is that of legendary captain and all-rounder Imran Khan. His denigration of the Board of Cricket Control in Pakistan (BCCP) went well beyond the usual player-management friction one may expect in sport. In the 1992 version of his autobiography, All Round View, Imran has accused the board of incompetence, nepotism, and outright corruption. The chapter discussing this topic is full of quotable incidents and insights into the visibly bungling authority that is the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). From tales of small-minded board officials trying ...

Read Full Post

Losing logic: Political pardons in Lahore

You have got to love politicians. It’s ‘adorable’ how they seem to have been invented from the same mould. The Punjab chief minister directed authorities last Sunday that all cases registered against clerics “who raised a voice against the anti-Islamic steps and barbarities of Musharraf” be withdrawn. According to Sharif, the clerics deserved credit for upholding the truth during the dictator’s regime.  But the authorities concerned, the home and public prosecution departments, are now in a conundrum, disagreeing over what the CM meant. The former believes that the order only extends to the cases registered against religious leaders who held ...

Read Full Post

A case for elitism: We make the world a better place

A few days ago I read an opinion piece written by Sadaf Khan about the desi-elite bubble that she so eloquently was trying to burst. Sorry to say, but the effort was in vain because it made my foreign degree holding, excessive partying ‘elite’ bubble harder to burst and left me itching to voice my opinion. I do respect the fact that her blog had an opinion, which by reading most of the comments I noticed, was appreciated by several like-minded individuals. Since she already knows how we elitists have an opinion on each and every thing, it is only ...

Read Full Post

Does Forbes support dictatorship in Pakistan?

I found this year’s Forbes list of the most powerful people illuminating. Most revealing was the inclusion of General Kayani on the list. The military has always played a role in Pakistan’s politics. Be it the overt martial law regimes or the democratically chosen politicians, it is the army that has the power. We, of course, remain happy in the illusion that we have the power of choice. But the Forbes list is a rapier of piercing light that shreds the magician’s cloth of delusion, shining on the single most important fact for Pakistan – the military is and has always ...

Read Full Post

US unhappy with political game of Obama’s Asia tour

I want to write about Obama’s Asian tour, but I keep realising that I’m stupefied by the complexity and the pageantry of it all. From America’s view, South Asia is a diplomatic cesspool, confounded by the fact that much of this uncertainty stems from our own past and present policies. When Obama returns to the White House, he will have visited five countries—Japan, Singapore, South Korea, China and Indonesia. But, barring the G20 Summit, the bulk of press coverage will focus on two of those countries—Indonesia, because of Obama’s personal connection, and India—as well as another country not on the ...

Read Full Post

Why being hot really sucks

Are good looks a blessing or a curse? Studies have shown that good looking people succeed faster professionally – if two people have the exact same experience and qualifications, everything but different looks (average looking vs beautiful) – more often than not, the better looking one is selected. In all professional recruitment training, we are taught to dress formally and professionally for interviews. Appearance matters, looks matter even more. Good looking people succeed faster. Better looking girls are always sought after for marriage. Everywhere, there seems to be a certain bias in favour of good looks. The eye of the beholder It all ...

Read Full Post

Cricket, a gentleman’s game no more

Cricket is not a gentleman’s game anymore. Though this statement has been vindicated in the past, it is currently being promoted in an explosive manner in the form of the ongoing fiasco concerning Pakistani wicket keeper, Zulqarnain Haider. Just when Pakistan cricket and its fans could ill-afford another trauma in this cursed year of 2010, here came the bewildering news of Zulqarnain Haider going missing just hours before the final match of a classic One Day International (ODI) series against South Africa which Pakistan eventually lost. Anyone who follows and comprehends cricket, should know by the history and dynamics of ...

Read Full Post

The horrors of life in Clifton

What is with elitist schools and colleges? Some like Karachi Grammar School (my alma mater and where my son now studies), get all the flak for not being good neighbours, for being elitist (the school’s fees are generally lower than most of its more recent upstart-ish ‘competitors’) and for bringing forth a whole new generation of brats (these people have obviously never met students or alums of L’ecole or Bayview). Now, to the point, for which this is being written. I happen to live close to a venerated Karachi education institution – the Convent of Jesus and Mary. In fact, ...

Read Full Post

What brand are you?

If you fell off the face of the earth tomorrow what would people around you say about you – once they got over the fact that you were gone? Would they remember any particular aspect of you? Would you be remembered as the guy that kept people entertained at the office? Would you be remembered as the girl who wouldn’t quit talking? How about the guy that kept taking too many pictures with his cell phone? Or just an annoying brat that asked too many questions? Or the guy that immediately adds you on Facebook after a brief meeting somewhere? Like ...

Read Full Post

In the commune: Militancy in Karachi

Karachi saw terror once again on Thursday night when a suicide bomber struck an area referred to as the highest security zone in the city, meters away from the Sindh Chief Minister House.The attack on the Sindh police’s main investigation agency, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) building, near PIDC killed at least 16 people and injured more than 140. Incidents of terrorism have become a frequent occurrence in Karachi as the menace of militancy continues to spread. We asked Tribune bloggers about their views on rising militancy in the city in the context of the recent attack. Ayesha Umar One can’t help wondering ...

Read Full Post