Stories published in October, 2011

Who is Pakistan’s Luther?

There are only two possible outcomes in a theocracy: 1) Peaceful co-existence 2) Tyranny The current situation of the authorities in Pakistan are a testimony to what becomes of a theocracy unsure of itself. One needs to look at history to see just how much man does not learn from his own past. Whether one likes it or not, Christianity and Islam are one and the same when it comes to their historical successes – and mistakes. Allow me to elaborate. For a few years after the death of Jesus Christ, there were no written accounts by any of the apostles, just orally memorised accounts ...

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Power marred by tragedy: Kennedys, Gandhis and Bhuttos

Fairy tales will always be just that, fairy tales! Happily ever after can never reach the extraordinary heights reached by its antagonist, tragedy. And when tragedy strikes real people, it hits where it affects the most and becomes history. Perhaps the biggest ambassadors of misfortune are the three cursed, first families that we loved, believed in and mourned over the years. The Kennedys, Gandhis and Bhuttos sow a similar fate and carved the same destiny for themselves. The intertwined dynasties of these families were given the same screen play, with different settings and dialogues. John F Kennedy the 35th president of the United States ...

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Ashton Kutcher is no Charlie Sheen

Two and a half men, a situation comedy (sitcom) ranking amongst the top 20 shows since the time it was aired, is about to die. The rating is waning and the viewer ship has gone down. And it is all due to Sheen being replaced. Ashton Kutcher is a good actor but he is no Charlie Sheen.  The original show was based around the life of this hedonistic bachelor jingle writer, Charlie Harper – a constant drunk and a compulsive womanizer. The other two important characters are Alan, the divorced brother who is homeless ...

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What America can do in Afghanistan

This week, again, the US has accused Pakistan of not only providing sanctuaries to the Taliban, it has also suggested that the attacks from across the border are so sophisticated that it seems that the attackers are using expertise that only a state actor can provide. Of course, not too long ago, then US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen publicly said that the Haqqani network was “acting as a veritable arm” of the ISI. So, one may ask why is America doing all this? The answer can be found in the humiliation that it must have faced in the Raymond Davis case, ...

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De(bt)ocracy is the best revenge

In a cosmetic democracy like Pakistan, the quest for securing or preserving political power is doomed to end in failure without a nod from the establishment which is the power behind the throne. Whether the regime is military or civilian, the establishment needs to have a political constituency. This explains why every military government in Pakistan cultivates relations with some political forces and tries to cobble together a political arrangement to further its interest. In my opinion, democracy in Pakistan is “off” the people, “far” the people “buy” the people! Talking of democracy reminds me of Bilawal Bhutto when, on ...

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What do Pakistani atheists mean for Pakistan?

“How does one begin to write a blog about atheism in Pakistan?” This rather tricky question was posed to me by a web sub-editor  after the discovery that not only are there atheists and agnostics alive and well in Pakistan, they are in fact running their own website and using social media to stay in touch and multiply. I call the above question tricky for a number of reasons. For anyone who is not aware, the most dangerous minority to be in Pakistan is not (contrary to popular belief) an Ahmadi, but an atheist, a disbeliever in any form of God(s); ...

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Are Qaddafi’s killers better than him?

I had a long day at work and was so tired that I hit the bed as soon as I reached home, missing all the updates on Qaddafi’s death that were aired whilst I slumbered. And as I came to work this morning, my colleague showed me some pictures of his body coming in from wire services. I was shell-shocked. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I saw his mutilated face, the small tunnel he was hiding in and people celebrating his death on the roads. It was depressing. Although I was never his supporter and condemned his dictatorship, what ...

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Qaddafi: From hero to devil

The late Moamer Qaddafi was regarded a hero in Libya till the uprising started against his regime in February this year. People respected him as one of their spiritual and even revolutionary leaders. Nobody in Libya thought even in their wildest dreams that one day Qaddafi would not only be removed from power, but also killed ruthlessly and that too at the hands of Libyans themselves. Early on Thursday, Qaddafi was killed when new regime forces launched a final assault on his home town Sirte. The former dictator was wounded as he tried to flee the scene, with injuries to his head and legs. Video footage showed his bloodied body ...

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An insider at Karachi – The Musical rehearsals

Inspired by the boxing fever that has engulfed Karachi’s district of Lyari, ‘Karachi– Haar na Mano’ is Pakistan’s first musical with an original score and script.  “The inspiration comes simply from watching a television report on boxing in Lyari,” said Nida Butt, the director, choreographer and co-producer. “I was quiet surprised to find that we have such a rich boxing history and that boxing is a sport that Pakistan has forgotten, but Lyari hasn’t forgotten.” The story follows the aspirations of a young wannabe boxer traveling from Multan in search of Pakistan’s best coach. His search leads him to Karachi troubled district of ...

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Twitter loves Afridi, and so do we

It’s been a while since the Pakistani people received a dose of our brown-eyed, glossy haired cricket hero. The last time I got an Afridi high was when I saw that soft drink commercial promoting cricket selections. It was about time the man sprinkled some of his star-dust on us again. After the appointment of the new PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf by President Asif Ali Zardari last week, Afridi declared that he was once again available to play for his country. Afridi had resigned saying he wouldn’t play under the then PCB chairman ...

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