Stories published in June, 2012

Stress relieving treats

The month of May brings with it mayhem and stress. Temperatures are rising, stress levels are on an all-time high, due to oncoming exams, and to top it all off, our courteous authorities keep the power supply to a minimum. So one day, after having a gruesome fight with my books, I headed to the kitchen in search for something to calm my nerves. This recipe is perfect for those who are in dire need of a sugar rush to get their minds working under stress; for me it is perfect because it requires chocolate, and who doesn’t love chocolate? This well known mood soother ...

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Pakistan, when will you accept me?

Though I was born in Pakistan, I was still a baby when my dad had to move to The Gambia in West Africa. The Gambia is a small peaceful country. Here, I remember my mother teaching me the Urdu  Qaida and telling me interesting stories about Pakistan. I could see she missed Pakistan a great deal. She would sometimes break down in tears, relating stories of the persecution she had witnessed growing up in her hometown in Sindh. My father had his own tales to tell about how his parents were victimised in Punjab and how Ahmadi homes and businesses in his ...

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Kohistan jirga: The dirty picture

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words and we all witnessed it when the Swat flogging video was released. Watching an innocent (and unidentified) woman so ruthlessly beaten by a masked Taliban made every Pakistani restless. This is not surprising given that our women are our ghairat (honour) and nobody has the right to mistreat them. News channels kept running the story over and over; cyber citizens gave it more value by posting it on blogs and all social networking websites; liberal and traditional scholars both heavily condemned the incident. Then, one fine morning, we came to know that it was a fake video. Since ...

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Game on: When Jordan flew without wings

We’ve all heard of Icarus, the man who tried to fly; he flew too high and came crashing down. This story is probably the worst I’ve ever heard. It would have taught me to not believe; that we shouldn’t push ourselves hard enough and shouldn’t dream of doing the ‘impossible’. Luckily, early in my life, I also encountered another story. A true story – one that took my breath away. This was the modern Icarus and he did not crash. I became interested in basketball at a very young age and fell in love with it after watching the premium basketball league called the NBA. ...

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Al Libi’s death: Another milestone in war against terror

The second in command of al Qaeda, Abu Yahya al Libi, was reportedly killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan on June 4. The Obama Administration has already hailed al Libi’s death as another significant milestone in the drive to root out terrorists from their safe havens in Pakistan. Meanwhile, our Foreign Office has again let the US authorities know that the drone strikes violate our country’s sovereignty. At this point, I think it would be worthwhile if we asked ourselves why the US resorted to using these Predator drones in the first place. The Americans claim that they have broken ...

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Stop the war

I dreamt of a destructed land last night, Walked around and met a wounded child, She was lying in between dead people, It was the oasis last night, she said in a pained voice, I was playing with my brother before he died, My father and mother kissed me before they were murdered beside me, I had a brother like you, but he was killed last night, Such is the case with all the girls after the oasis converted into a graveyard, I walked ahead and met a crying mother, We were sleeping last night, she said frantically, I had a son like you; he was killed by people ...

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Rehman Malik: One passport and ministry short

At some point prior to the 2009 Senate elections, Rehman Malik completed and signed a nomination form which, amongst other things, invited him to declare an oath stating, … I am not subject to any of the disqualification specified in article 63 of the Constitution… Now, article 63 of the Constitution lists 12 grounds on which disqualification of a member from the parliament may occur;  one of these is if the member ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan or acquires citizenship of a foreign state. On May 29, 2012, the UK border agency advised Mr Malik that he was now registered as ...

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Saudi official vs ASF: Who should apologise?

From minute-by-minute updates on PTI’s latest political gathering to ‘live’ score cards of the FC cup, social media brings you news and at times, before it breaks. With the millions of TV channels having spawned like bunny rabbits, each with its own version of a particular news story, its Facebook and Twitter updates that have started emerging as major opinion makers rather than the mainstream media. This symbolic transition to social media applications on smart phones and tabs provide a unique news-on-the-go and sometimes direct-from-the-horse’s-mouth experience. And that’s exactly how I caught the ‘Saudi military official beaten up at Islamabad Airport’ ...

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Dolly bigmouth: Thumbs down for vulgartainment

Last year,  Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), following the directions given by our government, blocked over 1,600 words on SMS that were unethical or against the wider interest of our nation. Later, PTA blocked Twitter over blasphemous tweets for one day. PTA took such admirable action when it came to national interest, or shall we say our beloved government’s interest. Having said as much, I believe that the quality of programs aired on TV channels nowadays is far more poisonous than these banned words. For the last couple of days whenever I switch my television on, I find myself looking at either ...

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Are journalists allowed to be pampered?

In a day designed exclusively to balance work, socialising, girl-time and me-time for the modern working woman, a cosmetics manufacturing company held a day-long pampering session to launch their new range of extensive face washes for female reporters and bloggers who write about beauty and lifestyle. From an invite in a simple yet chic wooden box laden with chocolates, one knew this was going to be a day full of delightful indulgences. Soon followed a personalised travel case replete with an entire range of beauty products. And then the actual day began with a personal pick up in a chauffeur-driven ...

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