Stories published in December, 2010

FIFA World Cup: England’s thinly veiled bigotry

The barrage of racism England emits when it comes to football is truly shocking. Less than a year ago, sceptics and fools were united in their disparagement of an African Football World Cup. When quite convincingly proved wrong by a splendidly organised tournament by the South Africans, English bloggers and Tweeple turned their irrational gripes onto vuvuzelas, as if these innocuous horns were the epitome of all that was wrong with foreigners staking their claim on the sport. On December 2, it was announced that the World Cup 2018 is to be held in Russia, and 2022 in Qatar. England, ...

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Are you a player?

Men who remain commitment-phobic for too long and have a relatively high success rate with women often continue bachelor lifestyles (whether married or not!) into their middle and even twilight years. With the right amount of energy, money, and zest for life, today’s desi‘champions can become the Hugh Hefners of tomorrow. If you think you are destined to stay forever ‘young’ while dressed in a brocade robe, answer the following questions and see where you rate on the playboy scale: 1) Exes from your younger days are now the mothers of: A  Babies B  Teenagers C  Grown men and women 2) Your pick-up line on women ...

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No prizes for guessing what happens here

As if we don’t already have Facebook, BBM, MSN chat and Math class to catch up on the latest rubbish, school handed us another unique outlet on a silver platter. They constructed an indoor gym. This was the most exciting thing to have happened in the history of our games class since the last softball practice, when the new girl whammed into the pitcher in an attempt to get to first base. (Imagine two massive lorries in a head-on collision, but I digress.) The indoor gym! The culmination of years of effort to turn a “physical training” class into a class of ...

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Criminal negligence: Needless death at Bahria Town race track

On Sunday, five people died as a speeding car lost control and crashed into a group of spectators. What is extremely unfortunate is the fact that these deaths and injuries were completely avoidable. As details emerge, attention will focus on young reckless drivers. Our roads proliferate with underage drivers who, due to a combination of parental wealth, a grotesque sense of entitlement and teenage hormones, not only break the law, but are often involved in needless accidents. They drive around locally “suped up” cars, with little or no quality control. That however is one side of the coin. This tragedy took ...

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It doesn’t matter, unless you vote

WikiLeaks has proven that the US is more involved in our domestic political affairs than we are. The hypothesis that no one can form a government in Pakistan without US support is correct. The released documents also show that the most powerful institution in Pakistan – the Pakistan Army – also seeks the approval of the US before manipulating the political scenario in the country. These ground realities, however, do not fit well with the description of democracy – a political system that PPP’s leaders claim to have brought back in Pakistan. “Democracy is the government of the people, by the ...

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The taboo against ambition

When I was eight-years-old my greatest pleasure in life was spending Saturday afternoons in my father’s office. I would be allowed to sit at his massive oak desk with mountains of papers and neaten up while he looked at files or took phone calls. I was mesmerized by the sheer amount of papers he could read, the fact that he had a computer at his desk and a secretary outside his office. As my mary-janed feet dangled from his swivel chair I would think “Daddy must be smart”. The measures by which my eight-year-old self had determined that my father was successful were ...

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Journalists need to help Swat

All reporters and journalists should join hands together to help rebuild Swat Valley and restore it to its previous glory. Known as the Switzerland of Asia, the region was, it seems, deliberately pushed into the hands of extremists who were not only financially nurtured but also backed, many say, by the powers that be. There is considerable evidence of this, especially in how Mullah Fazlullah, then head of the Swat Taliban, was allowed to air his venomous broadcasts to the people of the valley for many months. I would request all my colleagues and other patriotic reporters of my country to write ...

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Be anti-West, be Islamic

The Iranian intellectual Jalal Al-e Ahmed first coined the term ‘’Westoxification’’. Ahmed used this term in the context of a stinging critique of ‘’Western civilization’’ and ‘’Western technology’’. He vividly describes this malady of economic, cultural and social disenchantment brought about by Iranian trying to imitate Western models: ‘’I say that gharbzadegi (the Persian term used by Ahmed for Westoxification)  is like cholera (or) frostbite. But no. It’s at least as bad as sawflies in the wheat fields. Have you ever seen how they infest wheat? From within. There’s a healthy skin in places, but it’s only a skin, just ...

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Sindh Culture Day: Balancing the past and the future

While it was heartening to see jubilant celebrations of Sindh Culture Day on December 4, a single decision by the Government of Sindh dented the celebrations in an irreparable manner. One would agree with the decision to officially celebrate the day, but announcing a public holiday thereafter seemed a step too far. It is a question we should at least ask ourselves. As far as Karachi is concerned, Sindh Culture Day will undoubtedly help foster closer ties between the different ethnic groups living in this economic powerhouse of a city. I do not think anyone who lives in Karachi will ...

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We don’t need you Mustafa Kamal!

It was a bright, sunny morning and I was already late for work so I was driving a little too fast. I had to finish a few things as it was the day before the Eid holiday. When the Ayesha Manzil traffic signal turned green, I sped towards Liaquatabad when suddenly I saw two young girls wearing college uniforms, stumble while trying to cross the road. In a span of just 2-3 seconds, I saw a motorcyclist slip in an effort to prevent crashing in to the girls. I hit the brakes and managed to park my car in front ...

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