Stories published in September, 2011

What if Amreeka invaded Pakistan

It has happened. The Grand Old party (GOP) has attacked the GOP (Government of Pakistan) and its people. Initial threats of the US to bomb Pakistan back to the middle ages were met with huge laughter by the Pakistani masses. With dengue fever, floods, no electricity, target killings, and religious intolerance, we are already there you fools, the people laughed aloud.  It is now expected the bombing might jolt them out of the middle ages and send them forward instead.  Prior to the attack, the American government claimed it had solid proof and well written reports printed on nice pink ...

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Pakistan: Locally underrated, globally misunderstood

“Out of all the places in the world, why on earth would you want to go to Pakistan?”  A question I have heard in various forms by countless people. After six months of living in Pakistan, I imagined the questions and shock would have settled by now. However, I am still continuously asked why I am here. On many occasions, Pakistanis have been just as shocked as anyone else as to why a non-Pakistani would ever want to stay in such a country. I am not only troubled with the misconceptions and ignorance of non-Pakistanis, yet find it just as ...

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What Mathira and Paris Hilton don’t have in common

An article published in the Los Angeles Times describes notorious TV show host Mathira as “Pakistan’s Paris Hilton”. While the comparison does fit with regards to both women being sex symbols (don’t roll your eyes, Mathira’s got the oomph), to me she seems to represent so much more than that. In a country where a greater part of the population prefers to watch “family friendly” TV shows, Mathira brazenly landed up on the sets of VIBE as a host on Love Indicator, a show where she invited callers to share their relationship problems and make song requests. While many were ...

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Shoaib Akhtar: An embarrassment par excellence

Shoaib Akhtar’s autobiography is generating something of a stir, and perhaps it should. Personally, I haven’t read it yet, only the bits and pieces available across my beloved WWW. However, if these excerpts are anything to go by, I must congratulate Mr Akhtar on his glorious achievement. Bravo world’s fastest bowler! Akhtar has proven beyond a doubt that the image he created, and then tried to deny throughout his career, was indeed true. And I’m not even talking about his off-the-field antics. After all, like any poor kid who stumbles onto a bundle of money, he was bound to make stupid ...

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Is it asli? : Eating ‘Karachi’s mashoor Peshawari Ice-cream’…in Peshawar

Rather go to Lahore than trek to Nazimabad for Hardee’s? Rather wait for the rush of people to subside than wait for 50 minutes in the line outside? Not a problem — the best feeling of watching the golden star installed on the top of restaurant is that somewhere, somehow, a knock off golden star is being constructed. And there’s nothing the real Hardee’s can do about it. Welcome to the barely there-copyright land. “Hamari sirf eik branch hai” is about the best you can say to stop it. Actually, it’s about the only thing that people end up saying. It’s printed on every ...

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Alpha male, Beta female: Which one are you?

In the animal kingdom, it’s the aggressive Alpha male of the pack that entices females in heat for procreation purposes. In other words, the rest of the males just don’t get any. Among humans, however, things have become a little more complex since the Neanderthal era, despite romantic fiction convincing readers that Alpha heroes reflect women’s ideals. In recent mass-market fiction, even Alpha heroes are required to develop modern-day Beta characteristics, like heightened sensitivity and emotions, thanks to the influence of the female heroine in the novel who ‘tames’ her man. But it isn’t always the case in the real ...

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Caught between US and Haqqanis

The US has publicly said that the Haqqani network targeted their embassy in Kabul with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. This is perhaps the strongest accusation of double-dealing in the ten years since Pakistan chose to side with the US in its war on terror. The charge that Pakistan is not fully on board in this conflict is somewhat unfair. After all it is Pakistan, a relatively poor country, which has lost over 35,000 innocent citizens and security personnel in this period. The US, the world’s sole superpower, has not suffered anywhere near this number of casualties. ...

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Video Blog: No one cares about the floods

The people of Sindh have lost their homes and have been forced to live in make shift houses made out of pieces of wood and whatever clothes they could salvage from their ravaged belongings. They don’t have food to feed themselves, and clean water is a mere dream to them. Their livestock is dying because there is nothing to feed them. The floods have washed away their crops, and with that, their sole means of survival. In addition to this, these people have been beaten by their landlords for having moved to a safer place, away from the inundated lands. They ...

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Blasphemy for 8th graders

If we were wondering whether Pakistan could sink any lower as a nation where morals are concerned, I must say we definitely exceeded our expectations this past week.  All issues related to the blasphemy law and its effect on the fabric of the current mindset in Pakistan can probably take a backseat to the idiocy that raised its head this week. In a spate of vivid defence of religion against the evil world, a teacher accused a 13-year-old Christian girl of blasphemy, alleging that a misspelt word had turned from praise to curse. Of course, the initial reaction from all corners ...

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Why can’t women ride motorbikes?

It wasn’t long ago when I saw her. I remember how stunned people were as soon as they caught a glimpse of her. She was a fat woman, wearing a dark grey men’s kurta with sleeves half-rolled, riding a motorcycle. Yes, you read it right. She was a middle-aged woman, riding a Honda 70 on Karachi’s roads, with a man sitting behind her. This often makes me wonder; being a girl, why am I deprived of enjoying this convenient form of personal commutation without having a million eyes ogling at me? It saves time and is amazingly economical, if nothing ...

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