Stories published in March, 2012

Kony 2012: What Uganda didn’t need

Sixty seven million views inside just five days is a clear indication of a video gone viral. Such is the power of social media today that Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony has now taken over not only the minds of Ugandan children, but the homepages of millions of people abroad. Chances are that you have already gone through the 30-minute long video, but if you somehow have managed to avoid those posts, memes, tweets or messages, here’s a summary – Joseph Kony is one of the World’s most wanted war criminals. – He has been accused of capturing, training and equipping thousands of ...

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Seven reasons girls can’t answer the phone

If you are in a relationship, you’ll probably agree that phones and women just don’t go together. Sure, they have their iPhones, Blackberrys or Nokia E7s. They are even connected to Facebook and Twitter on the go, but when it comes to picking up the phone when you need to talk to them, they are incognito, untraceable and off the radar. Mostly, they won’t call back or even text to let you know that they are okay – unless, of course, they have to talk to you. Having been married for over five years, I have probably heard every reason possible for not ...

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Good riddance to Imran Farhat!

When Mohammad Ilyas announced his resignation following the series between Pakistan and England, I was a content man. Not because Mohammad Ilyas wasn’t going to be part of the PCB selection committee going forward, but because his resignation signaled the end of Imran Farhat’s career. It has been cause for suspicion that Farhat’s inclusion in Pakistan’s squads has been due to dear daddy-in-law, and with him no longer selecting the team now, Farhat was likely to be dropped. This was made official when Pakistan’s new chief selector, Iqbal Qasim, announced Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup. I was doubly satisfied when not only Farhat, ...

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How America occupied Kashmir

The ‘Defy’ Pakistan rally in Islamabad last month was like a breath of fresh air, as long as you change the definition of fresh to cancerous.  A few thousand rightwingers, the type that give good, tolerant, religious people a bad name, collected at Aabpara Chowk to go on a tirade about how everyone and their uncle is out to get Pakistan, with gems such as “America wants to break Pakistan into pieces”, and “Our protest is against the possible resumption of Nato supplies, US and Indian occupation” coming from the mouth of Samiul Haq, the father of the Taliban. Now if ...

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Sexual abuse: Can we protect Amna?

Child sexual abuse is probably the least acknowledged forms of abuse in Pakistan. It is like Pandora’s Box, that no one is ready to open. Children, and even adults are not educated enough about certain incidents and their prevention. Middle East Media Research Institute reports that 2,012 cases of child sexual abuse were recorded from all over Pakistan during 2009. This means approximately 3.3 children were sexually abused per day.  Of the victims 68% were girls and 32% were boys. It is suspected that the number is much higher. Girls are more likely to be targeted by family members, acquaintances ...

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I am from Balochistan

Let me tell you a secret, I am from Balochistan –  but very frankly, I am not the stereotypical Baloch that everybody has become associated with. I don’t speak Balochi, nor am I a  member of the Balochistan Liberation Army, nor do I hate the Federation. I was born in Balochistan and have lived almost half of my life there, while my father lived most of his in the same place. Technically, that makes me a Baloch, or maybe it doesn’t – depends on the definition one will like to put out. However, the basic point of this blog ...

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10 exits to Chelsea FC downfall

Unsurprisingly, the Chelsea Football Club (CFC) has sacked yet another manager; their eighth in the ninth season by, Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich who owns the club. To many who have been following the track of results, Andre Villas-Boas’ departure comes as little surprise. Rather, many figured it was more of a question of ‘when’, than ‘if’, the young Portuguese manager was shown the door. But for the millions of Chelsea fans around the world, this is move will put forth more questions than answers. Was it his tactics, is player power really that strong in the dressing room, how do we ...

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Who’s the froyoest of them all?

Until some years ago, I reckoned ice cream to be the best thing to happen to this world. But that was of course, until the obsession with healthier alternatives took over (and yeah I grew up too!). Here is where frozen yogurt entered my universe; the healthier treat with the consistency of soft serve ice cream, but having fewer calories, fat and perhaps sugar too. And I realize how delightful an experience it is to indulge in the relatively guilt-free goodness of frozen yogurt. The dilemma, however, is that the local market is still in its nascent stage, and there ...

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Gender disparity and education for all

Each year, the United Nations announces a different theme for International Women’s Day. This year celebrations revolve around the need to ‘Empower rural women: End Hunger and Poverty’. I only wish the world body would focus on the apparently-simple, yet not-so-easy aspiration of doing away with gender disparity in education. That would be a true celebration of womanhood – to have the right to quality, universal education. If only we could celebrate no other theme but that every year, rest assured the rest of the objectives will follow almost automatically. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvWfuQ6wQXQ&feature=related] Global education has to be our most compelling need if we are to ...

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Can laptops save PML-N from Imran Khan?

Wary of the rising political capital of Imran Khan in the plains of Punjab, the provincial government led by the erstwhile Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has unleashed the most valuable weapon in its arsenal to target the urban youth who are, by far, the vanguard of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf. Carrying a price tag of three billion rupees, the laptop distribution scheme is supposed to benefit the brightest across campuses across province. The money earmarked to launch this laptop onslaught is meant for the development of the whole province, slicing it off from the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the province. The chief ...

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