Stories published in February, 2012

Why Arsalan was arrested

The Pakistani media is playing a proactive role in bringing forth cases of victims who have been dealt with unjustly or ignored due their poverty or social status. I have seen various cases being brought forth by broadcast media, which highlight the plight of poor people who are suffering from health ailments that can easily be cured if they had the resources. By putting the spotlight on such issues, they have helped these individuals by giving them exposure, sometimes the needed funds and also government intervention. In other cases, they have highlighted the stark contrast in how justice is delivered ...

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Infinity and beyond: Space exploration for Pakistan

July 21, 1969 was seen by many as the culmination of man’s evolution from a cave-inhabiting savage to an astronaut. That landing on the moon owed more to the imagination overdrive of the Western civilization than the technological advancements of the time. Looking at it from a purely economic point of view, it would be safe to say that space programs around the world have introduced spin-off technologies that have actually sped up human technological evolution and had a major impact on our daily lives. Now let us descend from the lofty heights of the western civilisation’s achievements in space and have ...

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Café Forty4: An oriental taste in every bite

Café Forty4 is not just a regular cafe; it can be used as a venue for a range of events. The restaurant, a new addition to the eateries of the Clifton Block 4 neighbourhood, opened just a few months ago and is already creating a buzz in the city. Samina Bilgrami, one of the working partners, has been in the food and bakery business for over 25 years and has given personal attention to every little detail of the operation, making Café Forty4 an experience beyond dining. The contemporary, double-storey facility encapsulates many artistically designed seating areas. The ground floor has a total ...

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The fundofication of PTI

Three and a half months into the tsunami, things do not seem to be going in the direction many had hoped. What started out as a campaign to bring about positive and lasting change by bringing the youth and Pakistan’s moderate majority on board has now turned in to a lota/fundo-fest. But the believers still cling onto the words that were said on October 30, during that historic jalsa in Lahore. The idea was that Pakistan was for everyone – liberals, conservatives and moderates coming together under the banner of one party that promised to build an Islamic welfare state and ...

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Even the mighty fall

The stage is a dark, treacherous place where under the glare of the spotlight, the bait doesn’t realise when it becomes the catch. Or so happened to a military analyst who, as a moderator of discussion on electronic media, impressed upon her panellists to not attempt and be an authority on subjects they have little command over. It started all too innocently with a joke on tables being turned. On the judgment day, Marilyn Monroe was found to be in Zia’s lap. Befuddled observers were informed that this is not Zia’s reward, but Monroe’s punishment. Likewise, the moderator Ayesha Siddiqa said, the sharp ...

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Who is a true nationalist?

A bill — proposed by the MQM and recently moved in the National Assembly —  to create more provinces in the country has sparked a new discussion in Sindh. Already, many have decried it as a conspiracy to break up the province. The politics of allegations and counter-allegation on the issue has once again started compelling leaders of every political party to act as if they are big ‘defenders’ and ‘nationalists’ and will guard the borders of the province. PPP leaders are of the view that they are the ‘sons of the soil’ and will ‘cut the hands’ and ‘smash ...

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Whitney Houston: Tunes for a lifetime

Long before YouTube gave us instant access to all of our favourite music, my older sister and I would wait for the videos of our preferred artists to appear on televised music countdowns and record them on a videocassette so we could watch them over and over again. We would replay the tunes on the family room VCR and, along with our younger sister, often try to mimic the notes and dance moves of our most-loved musicians. When I learned of Whitney Houston’s death, my mind almost instantly turned to that videotape because there was a song of hers that we ...

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The miseries of a Pakistani graduate

So what runs in the mind of an average middle class Pakistani when investing a large proportion of its income into their child’s education? An educated person can add value to society, take mature decisions, know the difference between right and wrong and use his skills to bring prosperity and well-being in general. Sadly, all these factors are secondary; the only primary focus in the mind of most families is the monetary return that education can bring. From an early age, children are told that if they study hard they will become a ‘bara aadmi’ one day. So how exactly is ...

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Overconfidence cost Pakistan

” Before you attempt to beat the odds, be sure you could survive the odds beating you. “ Pakistan were clearly overconfident when the ODI series between England and Pakistan started but forgot that overconfidence precedes carelessness. Perhaps they underestimated the English side as did everyone else, they lead the four match series 2-0. Who would have thought things will turn around within a week? For Pakistan the problem lies with the team selection and poor planning. England didn’t bring drastic changes to their team for the ODI’s and just included specialists Ravi ...

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Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu: Not everyone has to fall in love

If there’s one film that will immediately launch a heated debate between boys and girls, it is Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu. Imran Khan plays the role of Rahul, a 25-year-old nice guy who has recently lost his job as an architect in Las Vegas and whose only real ambition in life is to please his parents. The parents, played by supremely-talented actors Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak-Shah, are a business couple who love their only son and have provided him a luxurious life. They are, however, perfectly comfortable with imposing their ...

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