Stories published in June, 2012

Welcome to the “Islamic awakening” in Egypt

In a bid to save Egypt from further turmoil, the results of the final runoff vote for the presidential poll were declared in favour of Mohamed Mursi Eissa al-Ayat, of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mursi won with 13,230,131 votes against Shafiq’s 12,347,380. The election, in which more than 50 million voters were eligible to cast their ballot, saw a 51.8% turnout. For quite some time there was a deadlock between the two candidates with the world media hinting towards further chaos in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters were accusing the military establishment for holding off the results in a ...

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Why are Bollywood songs in my news?

Pakistan’s political scenario took an unexpected turn when Yousaf Raza Gilani was declared ineligible by the Supreme Court. However, what we got to see on our news channels were pictures of Yousaf Raza Gilani with ‘Yeh kya hua, kese hua, kab hua?’ playing in the background, repeatedly! The public was asked to wait until Friday when the new prime minister would be elected while the former prime minister’s decisions, expenditures and budget were being questioned. Yet, what we got to view throughout Friday were pictures of candidates for the prime minister position with some more songs playing in the background. What ...

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Husband and wife: Who pays what?

Your husband earns and so do you, but do you share financial responsibility? In Pakistan, I have seen women proactively arguing for gender equality. We have heard countless rants about how they are entitled to have careers just like their spouses. So, does this also mean that when a woman is given the liberty to work, she must contribute financially along side her husband? Is it to be understood between both partners that an equal share is to be injected towards the family’s expenditure? After all, isn’t ‘equality’ what women all around the world have been fighting for? When a husband and wife both take on the role of ...

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Why I love Bilqees Kaur

The excitement and hype created by “Humsafar” still hasn’t ebbed despite the fact that the last episode aired a couple of months ago. What got us all Humsafar-ing was the beauty of the script, the flawless performances, the impeccable storyline and the mesmerising star power. Can any other Pakistani drama compete with the hype that “Humsafar” created? I think “Bilqees Kaur” is a drama serial that has the ability to match the bar set by “Humsafar”. Let’s analyse! Bilqees Kaur is actually the name of the woman played by Bushra Ansari. This drama also stars Syra Yousuf, Ahsan Khan, Sadia Imam, Saleem Sheikh ...

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Younis Khan, the real King Khan

The last time I wrote about Younis Khan was four months ago, when he had just knocked up a century against England in Dubai. It was a fantastic innings, and right after that I wrote a post titled “Why Younis Khan is king“. In that post, I wrote a comparative analysis, highlighting how Younis Khan fairs better than those batsmen who are popularly referred to as the ‘modern greats’ of the Test arena. What I didn’t happen to touch upon was the area where, in my opinion, Younis Khan really does reign ...

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Why are we allowing the Taliban an easy victory?

Call it brutality, insanity or ignorance, but what happened on June 25, 2012 will be remembered as yet another defeat in this war against terror which we are supposedly fighting. News stories day before yesterday stated that Taliban insurgents from across the border in Afghanistan – with the help of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – attacked a military patrol area in the Upper Dir district. Six soldiers were killed in gun battles and eleven went missing after the attack. Moreover, seven soldiers were reported to have been beheaded. Sickening and medieval, but so true and common in the Pakistan of today. An official of the security forces said that ...

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The curse of being a South Asian student

When an eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after suffering silently from months of cyber-bullying, journalist Josh Goodman at the The Huffington Post demanded that not only his bullies but the whole of society be put on trial for its role in the suicide. As virtually every media outlet, numerous celebrities, and even President Obama, spoke out about the tragedy, the question remained: Why would a young man just starting college, seemingly on the first page of a new chapter, change course and set sail in the direction of death instead? It is true that ...

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PTV learns on the job with Euro 2012

After realising the money in broadcasting sport events last year and in spite of still not knowing enough about the sport, the state-owned channel PTV has coveted the exclusive rights to air the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as the Euro 2012. Everything seemed to be running normally during the opening ceremony of the Euro 2012; not very sharp picture quality, but nothing one couldn’t live without. The opening match, however, was an entirely different story as it brought with it a shock that was not part of the actual match. Confused? There was no scorecard displayed on the screen ...

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Upholding the law, undermining the ballot

Pakistan has always been a tough case for those who like to see democracy as a black and white affair; either a country is a democracy or it is not. The periods in which elected governments have held power have been described as “quasi-democratic”, “sham democracy”, “civilian autocracy” and other such unpalatable terms. However, many were looking towards the completion of this particular elected government’s term as a historical first in Pakistan’s intermittent democratisation process. Would the term completion have amounted to mere symbolism and what does the judicial ouster of the Prime Minister imply for Pakistan’s political future? From a ...

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Want more controversy? Use the word ‘gate’

Nothing speaks controversy like suffixing ‘gate’ to a word. Memogate, Mehrangate, Familygate, Mediagate, Khybergate, Gategate? Sure, the last two ‘gates’ aren’t real, but the Pakistani media has seen enough gates recently to make one wonder where all these gates are coming from. The term originated in 1972 with the Watergate scandal, according to Oxford English Dictionary (OED). In an article explaining the origin of the term, the OED said: One of the most significant episodes in modern US politics, Watergate has since reshaped the language of scandal and controversy.” Within a year, the –gate suffix had been isolated from Watergate and ...

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