Stories published in June, 2011

10 reasons why Ijaz Butt should quit

Many have come and gone trying to present reasons for him to be sacked, but to no avail. I would also like to enter and ebb in the endless list of those who believe Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ijaz Butt should resign or be sacked. Below are 10 reasons that I believe are enough for Mr Butt to vacate his post: 1. At 73, it’s time Mr Butt heads the PVCB (Pakistan Veterans’ Cricket Board) instead of the PCB. The manager of the PVC team can still be his long time friend from Hoshiarpur, Intikhab Alam who himself is 70 ...

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I read so you don’t have to: A week of small pleasures

Here’s how not to lose heart when reading and writing about Pakistan week after week: you can either quit your job and stay at home wiping Cheetos’ dust off your shirt or you can laugh at everything you read. When the military gets too overbearing, just poke fun at its head. Sick to death of political intrigue in parliament? Just create some of your own intrigue among the journalist community. Here, then, is the week where everything just got too much and it was the little things that irked and delighted. (June 17 – June 23) Best of the week 1. Issam Ahmed- One ...

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Towards a relatively peaceful existence

Theoretically speaking, a civil war is a situation whereby two or more groups of a country’s population are engaged in an armed conflict to amass central power. Bearing the definition in mind, there remains no doubt that we seem to be heading towards one. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 explain the nature of a civil war in Article 3, as a situation whereby: “insurgent civil authority exercises de facto authority over the population within a determinate portion of the national territory.” Different groups and factions in Karachi are known to have strongholds in different areas of the city. Residents of these areas ...

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Saving lives should not be this hard

I was enjoying a wonderful meal at the new food street on the pier with my family last week when I heard people gasp as two men carried another young man to the green sidewalk. They dropped him and disappeared. My first thought was this man had fallen into the water – but I was wrong. I rushed to assess the casualty. Eager spectators had gathered around the young man – some of them instructing others to perform maneuvers which were extremely contraindicated in the given situation. I pushed through the crowd only to find the young man hyperventilating, followed ...

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Gutsy Marvi steps down…goes solo?

I won’t lie – I’ve often made fun of Marvi Memon’s overzealous emotional style, her long winded breathless sentences without full stops and the almost audible exclamation mark at the end of her sound bytes. At times, I have used her high pitched quotes to add a bit of life to an otherwise dull TV report. More often than not, when I have seen her protesting on the streets I have wondered why a parliamentarian who claims to care so much for the masses, would associate herself with a party whose manifesto seems to focus on regaining power. On Wednesday, as ...

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For summer interns, a crash course in becoming a daakter saab

‘You have many career options. They all end in medicine.’ This is a joke from a viral Facebook group called Desitips, which as the name suggests imparts advice to ‘Desis’.  The joke is not far off the mark: the ‘Daakter’ [doctor] is a goal coveted by many ambitious parents, borne by their unsuspecting children. The Daakter is also my medical student of a cousin, who once visited straight from university to throw a bone at me. “It’s called the Humerus bone!” she yelled excitedly, while I searched for disinfectant. No one lives and breathes medical science more than her. Then ...

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Animal cruelty does not make for good entertainment

It’s quite the norm in Pakistan to come across monkey-trainers putting on a show or hearing about a rooster fight taking place in a certain village, or even going to the beach and witnessing people paying to watch a snake and a mongoose fight it out – all in the name of harmless fun. It is quite disturbing, however, to see the media take this form of entertainment – if you can call it that – to the next level. Channel surfing one morning, I chanced upon a TV show where a trainer tried to coax his goat to stand on ...

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Sorry to annoy you but it’s my right

After a recent poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation stated that Pakistan is the world’s third most dangerous country for women, many men moaned. What else do you women want, they say, looking at their women colleagues who earn as much as them and get the same perks and privileges. Here is what we want: a realistic view of the acute problem of discrimination against women in our society. Even if we do not talk about sexual and domestic violence that Pakistani women are routinely subjected to, there is still a long way to go to address the chauvinistic attitudes that remain ...

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Dear IBA, your policy-makers need a heart

I am a student of Institute of Business Administration (IBA). For four years  I had been grateful towards the institute but now, when I needed it most, IBA bailed on me. During the last few days of my Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) programme, my father fell extremely ill and passed away with an unfulfilled wish – to see me graduate. Coincidentally, my father’s illness and my second set of midterms clashed. I missed three exams because he lay unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). I needed to talk to the doctors; to do a crash course in medicine to understand my father’s ...

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For the love of books: One woman’s battle

We are not always the monstrous creatures depicted in newspapers. There are people around us who are working for the betterment of society. These are people who keep hope alive when everything around us is falling apart and crumbling into disorder. The idea was simple: to help. While most of us were fixated on how the last game of Manchester United turned out or busy posting videos of a pleading man being mercilessly shot dead by the law itself I felt hope because of a young woman I have never met. She is one person who is bent on changing the lives of ...

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