Stories published in February, 2012

Does the American Muslim vote count in 2012?

During President Obama’s State of the Union Address, he was hopeful and positive; his speech, like most of his speeches, ignited a fire amongst those watching. One felt a sense of pride and hope as he spoke about the state of the country and his future plans. And while he addressed all areas he could, he may have missed out on a group. President Obama mentioned the Hispanic/Latino population in the country and the African American population; he also extended strengthened support to the United State’s biggest ally in the Middle East, Israel. And while I understand that the president cannot ...

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Agneepath: Why remakes are worth it

They say you shouldn’t redo a role that Amitabh Bachchan has done before. And if the role is the character of Vijay Deenanath Chauhan in Agneepath, then the only thing you should be redoing is mulling over your decision to replay it. Hrithik Roshan went through that process of thinking and then rethinking some more, and as a Bollywood fan, I am grateful that he decided to take up the challenge. He did justice to the character of an angry young man whose sole purpose in life is to avenge the death of ...

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Who trashed my comment?

Earlier this week we asked our readers what they wanted to know about policy, coverage and reporting at The Express Tribune. A lot of you wanted to know why certain reader comments never make it online. On our Facebook page Rabia Kashan wrote: “U publish comments which only support ur argument or not condradictory with themn thats very much TRUE” Ahsan Ullah wrote: “I never saw my comments on any post. Why is that?” Nur Momand asked: “The policy of comments moderation is murky. Sometimes very harsh comments get published but many a time even relatively milder critique gets censored. Is it because of the the person ...

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Battles at the Premier League

This mid-week in Premier League saw some interesting battles being fought at the top half of the table as well as between the relegation bound teams. It was also one of the rare occasions when the match day’s late kick-off (7:45 pm) nearly collided with the Transfer Day deadline that ended at 11:00 pm. All this made for an exciting day.  Let’s start from football itself from the top half. Manchester City, fuelled by the Arab Oil-gazillions, started the week right at the top of the table and determined to tighten it grasp on the No.1 spot after being dumped out of the ...

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One dozen provinces, please

Recently, the voices calling for the division of Punjab have been getting louder and louder. But do we really need to? What will the consequences be? What are the advantages? My personal view is that many people are demanding division for their petty agendas, but the step is not in the larger interest of Pakistan. Keeping personal interests aside and treating the matter without bias we have come to the conclusion that: Pakistan has certainly developed but not uniformly, many smaller cities have been overlooked (not only in Punjab but in all provinces) Facilities are not provided equally to people of all regions A ...

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LUMUN: Students learn the truth in a language they can’t debate in

What’s the point of debating if the person opposite you can’t understand a word you’re saying? In my previous piece, how at model United Nations (MUN) some kids were shaken by the sheer scale of competitiveness – a rampant obsession with coming first across the country. This is why events like these, which bring together such a diverse group of people from across the country, are so useful. You can glean so much from the way people interact, or in this case, don’t. I’m going to talk about the Lahore University of Management Sciences model United National (LUMUN) again, because this ...

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Welcome to the war in Balochistan

In 2007, those of us journalists working on news desks could see from the daily reports pouring in from Swat and Fata that the situation had turned dire; that there was a war upon us that we, the media, could see, but which the general population would not wake up to, at least not until it reached their doorstep. Due to Pakistan’s overt involvement in the US war on terror, the lid on that battleground blew open fairly soon, but even back in 2007 we could see that there was another deadly war front opening – the war in Balochistan. ...

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Saving Face at the Oscars

In the midst of all the negativity that seems to be coming out of our country, every now and then a bright spark emerges. Sometimes it’s a win against the best Test team in the world of cricket. Sometimes it’s something a little more enduring – like Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. This remarkable woman’s documentary “Saving Face” has been nominated for an Oscar. Yes – you read it right – a Pakistani is going to the Oscars on the basis of a project which highlights “acid violence”. Instead of showcasing the negative, the documentary shows the resilience of its Pakistani victims. ...

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The Pakistan-Iran pipedream

For a government often accused of indecision and weakness, Islamabad has been strikingly defiant about its determination to pursue a natural gas pipeline deal with Iran. Pakistan’s strident tone has not changed in light of Washington’s heightened sanctions regime vis-à-vis Iran, which bans countries from having commercial transactions with Tehran. The foreign ministry has declared that the sanctions do not affect the pipeline project. Other Pakistanis, however, fear that the sanctions may well present problems. One prominent lawyer has suggested Islamabad go so far as to lobby the UN to ensure the ...

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Let your children blossom

It’s funny that creativity is such a sought-after trait in today’s world but when we have it in our hands, playing in our backyards digging up the entire garden, getting Cs in math but making exquisite art pieces, or creating magical stories about old trees, we have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Worst yet, we fail to recognise it, nurture this difference, celebrate the genius. By reprimanding it, questioning it, assimilating it into the ordinary — we do the ultimate injustice — we steal someone’s talent or gift and intentionally kill it. What I’m talking about is ...

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