Stories published in May, 2011

Apologies, Lieutenant Yasir Abbas

I have always been a supporter of the extravagant budget spending on Pakistan’s defence. The high global ranking of our military has always served as reason for me to maintain my stance and argue in favour of the forces. In debates with friends and colleagues, I have, several times, flaunted the fact that if there is one great thing about Pakistan, it is our defence. Unfortunately, this all changed recently. Little did I know that the forces I talked so highly of would miss an ‘unknown’ number of people jumping in to one of the most valuable bases in ...

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Stop attacking our military!

On behalf of the armed forces in Pakistan, I address this article to all the civilians who think the forces are all about privileges and favours. Being a Pakistani, and a patriotic one at that, I assure you all that you people are mistaken. No doubt corruption of different scales does exist in some departments, as it does everywhere else, but only the people who’ve actually been there can understand the amount of hardships the soldiers go through before they even begin to reach the level they actually get privileges. Being a daughter of a naval officer, I’ve seen and ...

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PNS Mehran attack: Countering terrorism and conspiracies

In 2002, after the attacks on the French naval engineer’s bus, the suicide bombing on the US Consulate, and the beheading of Daniel Pearl, Karachi unfortunately received the title of ‘the Terrorism Capital of Pakistan.’ Eventually, the terror campaign moved upcountry and Karachi fell out of the limelight. Nevertheless, it remained an economic hub for terrorists who took advantage of the city’s multicultural demographics and economy for financial gains and networking. It also became a port of arrival and departure to and from the country for local and foreign militants. Karachi, therefore, remained vulnerable to terrorist violence, as was ...

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Incompetent healers, uncaring doctors

Ok, I give up. I know I said that doctors care. And they do. At least most of them do. But then there are some who are either too incompetent or too ignorant or just too damn arrogant to admit that they don’t know what the heck is really going on with their patient. I saw a patient yesterday who had seen at least five different doctors in Bahawalpur and Multan in the last two months. After months of looking for answers for his poor health, all he had for a diagnosis was Anaemia (low Haemoglobin.) Someone performed an ...

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IMF verdict: Strauss-Kahn’t

We’re living in a world where rumour and innuendo, not justice, define the rules for our survival. Instead of judges and juries, we have opinion polls to decide a person’s fate. In the case of former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, that’s exactly how the media is playing it out. When the news broke on May 15 that a maid in New York’s Sofitel hotel had accused the former IMF chief of attempted rape, reactions from all sides were split between downright shock and even doubts of entrapment. Constant updates on his position — him claiming innocence, his lawyers using ...

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NY’s reaction to Osama’s death: The other side of extremism

Growing up in Lahore, the monsoon was my favourite season – those muggy, motionless afternoons when the air suddenly exploded into a river of orange rumbling down from the sky, leaving jungles in its wake. In the Bay Area, every balmy day of the year was beautiful except for the miserable characterless spluttering they called “rain.” In Ithaca, my favourite season was Autumn – a fire dance in the sky, bold and blazing, curling flames at your feet. And, in New York, it has to be spring, the teenage of nature, blooming poetry from every stem, every lilting branch a breathtaking ballet ...

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Imran Khan’s band of merry men

These days, the latest ‘it’ crowd in Pakistan are the Immy K revolutionaries. For those of you who do not know, these are pseudo-intellectuals who think they can help Imran Khan bring about an inqilaab (revolution) which will lead to khudmukhtaari (autonomy) and freedom from the West, just by standing on a road for a few hours, or even better, by liking a page on Facebook. I hate to break it to all who belong to this crowd, but quite frankly, you all are deluded. Before I go further, I must admit that I have a huge amount of respect ...

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Coke Studio Episode 1: Less hits than misses

First things first, Komal Rizvi did a very good job in the face of unreasonably nasty opposition and judgment. I think the problem stems from the fact that people simply don’t like Komal’s pop persona and are quick to dismiss her as some hand-gesturing drama queen with little vocal talent. It’s a pity because it hides the fact that she’s a very talented singer who demonstrated amazing control over pitch and variation. Together with Akhtar Chanaal, she brought a genuine element of fun to the sometimes sombre Coke Studio sessions. Their take on “Daana Pah Daana” was fresh, upbeat and ...

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Phil Jackson: Walking away with a smile

In sports, politics or otherwise, there is nothing as disappointing as an anti-climax. As they walk away, sports legends are susceptible to a letdown since they rely more on tools that fade with age: speed, strength, reflexes, nerves and vision. Sooner or later, mentally and physically, there is always a given breaking point. Having already crossed their peaks, their last few paces to the exit often betray the impact they had over the years. It even threatens to overshadow their achievements. While it is painful to watch an over-the-hill legend struggle at the end, the embarrassment of a sudden fall is equally ...

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Naval base attack: When will we learn?

Pakistan has a habit of not learning from its mistakes. We are stubborn and arrogant, and we scoff at others when they tell us we’re wrong, and let’s not forget, we believe our armed forces are brilliant and unstoppable. In 2009, ten terrorists managed to enter the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and killed 11 soldiers and two civilians. The terrorists were dressed in army uniforms when they entered the base. Fast forward to two years later – More than ten terrorists enter PNS Mehran, the air support base of Pakistan’s Navy, and destroy two air surveillance aircrafts worth $36 million each. Once ...

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