Stories published in January, 2012

Obama’s unfulfilled promises

For Americans and a huge chunk of non-Americans who (sometimes unwillingly) are affected by American policy and rhetoric, the annual State of the Union (SOTU) address makes for important TV. Oh, except that one time in 2010 when that episode of Lost was nearly delayed thanks to competing airtime forcing many to directly question the President’s Office if their president was even aware of this pending catastrophe. Very kindly, the White House assured America’s citizenry that President Obama would “not pre-empt the premier of the show’s final season”. Returning to tonight’s SOTU. On January 24, 9 pm President Obama’s third address to ...

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Don’t drag Islam into every debate

A wife: Not an adversary, not a subordinate, not a superior, but a companion – an equal, with a role that may be different, but equal. A marriage: A coveted relationship based on mutual respect, companionship, love, and joy. This is how it is supposed to be; this is how Islam sees it. Is that always the case in reality? No. In a disturbing percentage of cases, it is not. Is Islam to be blamed for this, or any religion for that matter? No. Are patriarchal cultural tendencies responsible for it? Often, yes. Why is it then that in almost every article, blog, documentary, book, or piece ...

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It’s true, trash TV sells

I entered the world of television in Pakistan aiming to inform and educate people through this powerful medium of expression. I took immense pride in my job but the comfort bubble burst soon enough. Not so long ago, I realised that everyone on TV is like a salesman, trying hard to sell a product. Sometimes the salesman goes to any length to make a living out of the product being sold. When you go to buy a product, every salesman tries to get your attention and aims to convince you that his product is the best (even if that product can ...

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Let’s bring back concert culture

So what do people my age talk about when they meet? When I say my age I mean the mid-30s where almost all of us have settled down to something or someone. We don’t talk about politics like everybody younger than us (thanks to Immy K) and older than us (thanks to the rest) does. We don’t talk about cricket because frankly, we are too busy to remember all the names in this ever changing team which is divided for us into the Afridis and the Misbahs. So what do we talk  about? Music. Yes, definitely music. The one force that binds us ...

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Your fake face forward

How often have you walked passed a store window, flipped through the pages of a magazine or fashion catalogue and thought to yourself: “Why can’t I look like that model?” While the fashion industry’s role in promoting unrealistic body images of women and girls is nothing new, and appears to only worsen every year, mega fashion brand H&M, the second largest retailer in the world, has taken things to an entirely new level by using images of models so perfect that they apparently do not even exist – literally. That’s right. The models themselves do not exist. That is because last year, H&M ...

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Hypocrisy and defenders of democracy

Hypocrisy may be the tribute vice pays to virtue but Pakistanis take it too far. Those who have appointed themselves as the defenders of democracy, the protectors of our military or the guardians of an independent judiciary have entered a Bermuda Triangle of political argument, where a black hole sucks in whatever logic once existed in their brains. Let’s start with Mansoor Ijaz, or rather his critics. Here is the man who sparked off the crisis that threatens to engulf the PPP and so he is obviously an enemy of all that is decent and democratic. As a colourful businessman ...

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The end of India’s golden era

It is hard to say whether Australia have rediscovered their mojo or whether India are in a free fall. The latter seems more plausible considering that India have lost seven away Test matches on a trot with four against England. Barring the series against West Indies at home, the team that was ranked number one about six months ago has been in a continuous free fall since the start of the ill-fated tour of England last year. The major issue leading to this has been the inability of the heavyweight batting order to pull its weight. The Indian batting line-up comprises of some ...

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A dummy’s guide to corruption

Corruption is shameful. But when no one is looking it may become tempting. For those who land a government job in our beloved country with large funds at their disposal. Here is some advice on how to sell your soul: Kill your conscience: Corruption is not for the weak-hearted. You have to believe that it is not a sin but your right to survive in this competitive world. You need to keep telling yourself that if you make enough money, you will do some charity work for your fellow countrymen. Educate yourself: Don’t make the fatal mistake of choosing your designation ...

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Let’s make Pakistan polio free

With all this talk of anti-polio vaccination drives, I feel it is important to educate people about this disease. What is polio? Polio is a viral disease which can affect the spinal cord, causing muscle weakness and paralysis. The polio virus enters the body through the mouth, usually from hands contaminated with the stool of an infected person. This virus is more common in infants and young children, and occurs under conditions of poor hygiene. Paralysis is prevalent and more severe when the infection occurs in older individuals. Polio spreads when the stool of an infected person is introduced into the mouth of another ...

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China Kitchen: A fine dining experience

It is hard to believe that China Kitchen opened less then 10 days ago – it is already the talk of the town. Don’t dismiss it as just another Chinese restaurant in town; China Kitchen is truly for an oriental fine dining experience. The new eatery with a seating capacity of over 45 is almost full most nights of the week. Located in the elite neighbourhood of Clifton Block-4, I was thrilled to enter a typically Chinese courtyard complete with life size Chinese murals on the walls, along with statues, artifacts and lovely dark solid wood tables. The seating area is tastefully ...

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