Stories published in May, 2011

In search of a tea house

Being an army officer’s daughter, I have seen many cities in Pakistan. To say that I have been exposed to various cultures however, would be wrong as the only culture I have an understanding of is that of the army. Most of my adult life however, I have been in Islamabad. Islamabad is the closest it gets to any city being my home. There’s something about the Margallas, the wide clean roads, the neatly laid shopping malls, the winter mornings and the summer afternoons in Islamabad that is so familiar, so comforting. Just recently I had a chance to live in ...

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Stop the rhetoric, tell us if we are in the dumps

As we get close to finalising an 18 per cent deficit budget for Pakistan, our institutions are busy bickering with each other rather than thinking, for a second, about how royally screwed we are with regards to our economy. For those of you who are not economists, an 18 per cent deficit is simply ridiculous; normally countries have budgets around the 7-10 per cent marker, where the shortfall of funds is generated through either issuing bonds, cutting government spending or through public borrowing. An economy goes in to panic mode when the deficit hits double digits, but for some reason ...

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Politics and poetry

I love talking about politics. It’s the easiest way to feel productive. So, in view of the political happenings in the past couple of weeks — the OBL raid, Kate and William hitch, conspiracy fairytales, etc — I have decided to dump poetry. I will, for once, give you what you really, really want from a real commentator, an analyst who understands the world, who can, in a matter of 600 words, decode and crack the world open with his razor sharp insight. I will give you a stump of knowledge so hard, so firm that you could use it to whack ...

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Accountability? Don’t make me laugh!

It was recently reported in the media that Hosni Mubarak, former president of Egypt, will stand trial for his role in the deadly shootings of protesters during the uprising that resulted in his ouster. It is alleged that Mubarak and his two sons conspired to kill protesters in order to intimidate them when the movement was gaining unprecedented momentum. The prosecutor-general also outlined charges against the 83-year-old leader and his two sons, related to amassing wealth through abuse of power, enriching associates and accepting bribes. Mubarak has also been accused of defrauding the Egyptian government of millions of dollars when he conspired ...

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Let’s talk about sex – II

Sex education has always been a point of conflict between public educators and conservative religious groups. In my last post, the purpose of highlighting the hypocrisy, double  standards and bigotry in our country by focusing our attention to red light area and vulgar stage shows was not directed towards a connection between this and sex education. The only thing which I want us to ask ourselves is: Why are we hushing something that is important for our well being and confusing it with religion, morality and vague notions? It seems that misconstrued ‘religious’ rhetoric has proved to be an effective tool in ...

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Taliban and the need for ‘evil USA, Zionists and India’

Terrorists armed with rockets and grenades attacked the headquarters of Pakistan’s naval air force in Karachi on May 22, triggering gun battles that killed at least 13 personnel – three weeks after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Once again, the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the incident, in retaliation to Pakistan’s alliance with the West in the war on terror and to the killing Bin Laden. According to TTP’s ideology, attacks against Pakistan Army are justified since it is ostensibly assisting America against al Qaeda. However, despite TTP’s open confessions of alliance with al Qaeda, a conspiracy theory exists in ...

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Vacation 101: Plan your trip

Hey folks, it’s that time of the year when the temperatures turn to all time highs, hair turns frizzy, moods decline before 9am and you feel that your face and the inner thoughts you are masking underneath, will be awash with a tidal wave of perspiration. With schools shutting down for the annual break and the office conversation turning to “so where are you headed off this year?” it is time to plan your escape to a brief sojourn in to a land unknown! Sounds exotic and exciting but most of us are guilty of having our holidays on repeat – ...

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Grad schools: Expensive education

‘Profit-making machines! That’s what these educational institutions have become’, I keep shouting out, sometimes to my friends, at times in my head. I just can’t stop cursing our top grad schools; they are so unaffordable, especially for the average income families. My frustration arises from the fact that our educational institutions have transformed into these lucrative profit-seeking businesses that leave ‘consumers’ (as they would call the ‘students’ in their business jargon) drained of their earnings and savings. I finished my undergrad programme almost a year back and now I’m hunting for grad schools in Pakistan. After having made my parents go ...

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Male feminist: The day I learnt the meaning of ‘anti-climax’

I was hooked on to him ever since I read his profile. The ‘about me’ section proclaimed,”I am a male feminist.” That sentence blew my mind. This was the guy I had been looking for high and low, and had given up all hope of finding. It was high time I found someone. All my friends had successfully found (read: lured) wealthy, eligible and (kind of) cute bachelors. I felt like an outcast in their discussions which went on sometime like this: “What shade of lipstick should I wear with my new black suit?” “You know what? My guy gave me this imported ...

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TV coverage of PNS Mehran attack

The standoff at the naval base on Sunday night excited the electronic media so much that in a bid to give as complete and precise information to the viewers as possible our presenters forgot that the areas they were talking about were all sensitive military installations and as such classified for outsiders. Karachi’s citizens who were obviously the affected population knew full well where exactly the base is located, and did not need to know what lies inside. All that was needed was information about the casualties, the number of people affected, hostages, the intensity of the fight, and the ...

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