Stories published in December, 2010

How to end the war in Afghanistan

President Obama has reiterated his goal for the 2014 withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and at the same time has put pressure on Pakistan to “do more” in his latest review of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to the New York Times, Obama, when referring to Pakistan, stated that “progress has not come fast enough,” and the United States (US) would “insist that terrorist safe havens within their borders must be dealt with.” Analysts have argued over whether it is in Pakistan’s interest to undertake an invasion of North Waziristan. However, there is a need for us to analyse ...

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World cup preparations: Thumbs down

Wherever a world cup is organised, we see extravagant arrangements made by the host nations. In order to make such an event resplendent and magnificent, some prolific efforts and resources are required. But if we have a look at the arrangements made for the 2011 cricket World Cup to be hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the situation is far from perfect. The arrangements comprise two main aspects: 1. Ground preparation 2. Security Ground preparation India and Sri Lanka, the two largest cricketing nations, have failed to meet the deadlines given to them by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which was November 30, 2010 ...

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The conservatives and politics of fear

On Saturday, December 18, the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, that was to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States (US) as children, failed to push through the Senate. Although at the outset, the DREAM Act had strong bipartisan support, as the mood of the country towards immigration shifted, Republican (and some Democrat) senators backtracked, terming the legislation as a backdoor amnesty for lawbreakers. These so-called lawbreakers are in fact, individuals who, through no volition of their own, entered and grew up in the US. America is the only ...

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Understanding how Benazir was immortalised

On the evening of December 27, 2007, we edged along the crowded Shahrah-e-Faisal road in Karachi. A cold winter breeze drifted in from a car window that had been left open for ventilation. Air-conditioners were a redundant luxury now that the temperature had plummeted to a cold extreme. And yet, there was a strong undercurrent of political friction that constantly reminded us that we were living through an era of sweeping changes. There was a flood-tide of expectations from the forthcoming elections. Optimism was virtually a non-entity as suspicion governed thought-processes. Many judicious observers had gone to the extent of stating ...

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Book fairs in a country of book haters

“Me and books?” was the sarcasm filled reply, I often heard during my early years when I asked peers, “Which book have you read recently?”. This was my idea of making conversation,  but those around me would rather discuss the latest fast food deals in town. Hence, I spent many hours of my life reading and writing on my own, talking to books, wondering how to share the love of words. However, the situation seems to have improved. Or perhaps there are just more places for me to discover other bookworms like me now. One such venue is the Karachi International ...

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Pakistan’s mullahpoly: My way or the highway

In Pakistan, it seems as though religious clerics have acquired a copyright over Islam, and are exercising this right in its full capacity, including its publication, adaptation, distribution and interpretation. I can safely say that most of us believe that Islam is a religion for all humanity and everyone has a right to learn and practice it. However, the custodians of Islam in this country like to follow and impose their self proclaimed rule. If “Islam Incorporated” was a company than religious fanatics would be the management. The creditors (Islamic sects) loan its goods and services; shareholders (madrassah owners) invest their ...

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December 27, 2010
 Nadya V

What’s the big deal about Benazir Bhutto?

I’m watching the thousands of doting followers streaming into Naudero. I’m listening to soundbytes of Benazir devotees describing how she changed their lives forever. I’m reading all the comments flowing into this site, but I just don’t get it: what’s the big deal about Benazir Bhutto? I’d sworn off writing for The Express Tribune blogs after the negative criticism, but really, has everyone taken off their critical thinking hats today? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Ms Bhutto and the PPP fail to run Pakistan. Twice? Where is the glory in that? Okay fine – so people tell me it’s not Benazir Bhutto the ...

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Under the knife: The ethics of anatomy

I’ve been told the first two years of medical college are the hardest because of anatomy. The subject reminds me of spiders. When a cluster of spider eggs begins to hatch, that which was a single entity turns into a swarm of scurrying, formidable creatures. It becomes General Anatomy, Histology, Embryology, Cytology and the black widow queen herself, Gross Anatomy. Most students have similar complaints. They are expected to memorize so many books that it becomes a Herculean task. The ones that try to understand concepts from Keith . Moore find they can’t pass tests without memorizing Chaurasia. The bright faces of ...

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Is media truly society’s watchdog?

In present times, Pakistani media is known as a vibrant, revolutionary and overwhelmingly powerful tool in shaping society’s opinion on a host of issues and for serving as a watchdog of government actions. However, the question remains whether the media fulfils the responsibilities it claims to or does it only look after its monetary or political interest. On July 28 Airblue Flight ED-202 crashed into the Margalla Hills in Islamabad, killing all 152 passengers and crew members, as the entire nation looked on in horror. Instantly, the electronic media paid unprecedented attention towards the incident the entire day. The Prime Minster expressed ...

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Tax contribution: Show me the money

Taxation forms the backbone of state finances. The military, as an arm of the state, relies on state finances for its budgetary requirements. As I am often reminded, the Army is in a state of war, so one should support it without any criticism. However, any commentary that comes through the media or official sources, everyone agrees that the military is underfunded. A political hot potato While we are in a state of war, the RGST has become a political hot potato. The opposition has jumped on the anti-RGST bandwagon, while other parties such as the TI and JI prefer the, “taxes imposed under foreign diktat” line of argument. Whether the RGST is required or not, is a debate for another article. Why those patriotic Pakistanis that should ...

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