Stories published in October, 2011

Cricket board doesn’t have much to hope for

Even a city as politically-minded as Islamabad can occasionally bring itself to think about something, like the vexing question of who, if anyone, will be the next chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Since the most likely nominee, according to many in the city, combines political clout with corruption cases and absolutely no background in cricket, his impending appointment created more chatter than even the all parties conference. After years of pleas by cricket fans across the country, it seems like President Asif Ali Zardari will finally replace the much-maligned Ijaz Butt with the even more controversial Ali Raza. Raza ...

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Let Mumtaz Qadri live

I consider what Mumtaz Qadri did to be a heinous crime and one of the most serious – murder, and that too motivated by ideological reasons.  The victim was the governor of Punjab who in furtherance of his public duty had met a woman convicted under the state’s discriminatory blasphemy laws. Nevertheless, Qadri should not be executed as the death penalty must be opposed on all accounts. There should be a special onus on us to resist the temptation to punish someone for their ideology, however repugnant we may find that ideology. People must unequivocally reject the death penalty, especially as applied in Pakistan.  Liberals who say they are against the penalty, ...

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Who is @NaveenNaqvi ?

Naveen Naqvi is the Executive Director of Gawaahi, a Pakistan-based non-government organisation. Prior to this, she was the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Gawaahi.com, a completed, self-sustaining project of Gawaahi. As a broadcast, online and print journalist, Naveen has been a senior news anchor for DawnNews, producer at NBC News and written for Huffington Post, The Express Tribune, Dawn and The Friday Times. She has traveled from Kazakhstan to Germany and Brazil for her work as a journalist and now as a social media activist. Before this, Naveen was a television actor, model and music show host. When did you first join Twitter and why? I ...

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Heroes die, legends live forever: RIP Steve Jobs

They say that till your deathbed, you will remember the exact moment you learned of a significant global event. I remember all of mine, so far. I recall, as a child, I was listening to the radio with my parents in Saudi Arabia, when Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait. I recollect celebrating in my cousin’s home in Riyadh, when Imran Khan lifted the cricket world cup. During the fateful hour on September 11th, I was listening to the Howard Stern radio show, who was broadcasting live from New York near the twin towers. And just a few hours ago, on ...

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Help! I’m a shopaholic

Dear Miss Informed, I am a shopaholic. I can’t stop myself from buying things regardless of whether I need them or not.  Even if it is a good day, and I am not blue, I just have to get out of my house and buy something, be it shampoo or a handbag. My condition is so severe that my arms ache when I’m not holding shopping bags. If the malls are closed, I press my nose to shop windows and try to smell the clothes I would have bought if I could get in. My fingers itch, and I feel the irrepressible urge to ...

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Teahouse conversations

One of the perils of working for a newspaper is that whoever you meet, feels entitled to discuss the state of affairs with you. They must tell you that these are the worst of times, that the current government is the most corrupt ever (citing some ballpark figures and rupee-dollar conversion rate as irrefutable evidence), that there are maps of a dismembered Pakistan circulating on the internet, and that the Chief Justice was an “epic fail” because he ran back to Islamabad instead of delivering a verdict on the Karachi suo motu case. They would then heave a deep sigh, condemn ...

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World Teachers’ Day and Pakistan’s education crisis

Nations all over the world are celebrating  World’s Teachers’ Day. I too, took part in the celebrations, and sent wishes to some of my most inspiring teachers on this very special day. However, I began by first mailing a motivating token of appreciation to… myself.   And why shouldn’t I? I remember October 1 2003 vividly when a fresh, barely out-of-college young girl stood in a class of 40 ninth-graders. I was clueless, to put it mildly. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, prey to all sorts of student pranks and innocent to the naughtiness of children. I discovered that I had to teach ...

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Has Dhoni lost the Midas touch?

The same captain who inspired India to a World Cup win not long ago followed by the IPL trophy for his franchise. He was the captain magnificent, leading from the front and was always calm in the face of the storm, thwarting it to achieve sometimes improbable wins.  However, those days seems to be long gone. Six months after what were surely the best moments of his life, his world has come apart. Once the euphoria of the trophies wore off and Dhoni and his team came up against test champions England, they were crushed! Dhoni’s own form with the gloves and ...

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Abida Hussain sat next to a man

Yesterday I was at the ceremony that launched the first Women Political Empowerment Program, funded by USAID at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad. I never thought that I would attend this event, however, I was persuaded by members of my US Alumni chapter who emailed me, sent me multiple text messages and and called me several times – how could I say no to such perseverance? As I entered the event, I spotted Fauzia Kasuri, the President of the Women’s Wing of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf. I had met her only once before at the US State Department in Washington DC, during the Goldman ...

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Video blog: Are you afraid of dengue?

The dengue virus scare has taken top become priority for many across Punjab. With constant warnings to take precautions  across the media there has been widespread panic and people – even those with a mild fever believe they have contracted the dreaded dengue fever. This video features interviews with doctors, patients and pharmacists to get a few facts on the virus. In the video an expert describes dengue as a Flvivirus, which has six antigens. He states that currently, there are 4 antigens in Pakistan, and  a vaccination is not present yet as this virus has too many types.  He goes on ...

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