Stories published in June, 2012

He had a gun, she had nothing

She stared at him; this woman whom he had never seen before in his life. She stared at him. Her face was disconcerting; a paradox of expressions. Her eyes, deep azure stones set upon her countenance worried him. They beckoned him closer. The rest of her, dark and furrowed, pushed him away. Who was she? She sat cross-legged in the corner of the hut with her back against the wall, the wrinkles in her shawl mirroring the folds across her face. A baby’s head reared from beneath the cloth, its upper lip still wet with her milk. Confined, the two ...

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Its not time to “move on”, Mr Panetta. Not yet

The US government continues to remain predictable  and resort to its usual clichés. Yesterday, the Pakistani state was asked to  “move on”. No, Defence Secretary Panetta, we were not asking for closure after a cheerless  breakup, rather, demanding some much needed accountability for the killing of our armed forces which was reasonably against all precepts of international law. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, has  nonetheless, predictably but unacceptably, all but ruled out an apology over an air strike last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and badly set back efforts to improve US-Pakistani ties. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) airstrike that ...

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Trolling — the twisted hobby of some

Plato mentioned a parable from the fourth century, about a shepherd named Gyges who stumbled upon a ring that could render its wearer completely invisible. An invisible man like himself, of course, could not be held accountable. So, he seduced and plundered, proving that invisibility or anonymity can turn the most just of men into behaving rather unjustly. And that the ‘moral’ high ground is ridden mostly by those who are closely monitored, thereby proving that if one was to be left to their own devices, it would only result in complete anarchy. The wise Plato had somehow foreseen the digital ...

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Drones are NOT our friends

When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them that I work for a local charity representing civilian victims of drone attacks in Waziristan. When I tell them this, the reaction, even amidst fairly educated people, convinces me that there is a lot still to be explained about US-led drone strikes in Pakistan. There have been more than 342 drone attacks that have claimed over 3,000 lives in Pakistan. While missiles still fall from the sky and many are in favour of them, 3,000 is a huge number. In this post I would like to respond to Pirzada Hasaan ...

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The good, the bad and the ugly of Coke Studio episode 3

For our music industry, “Coke Studio” is like a gemstone that is emitting rays of hope for music lovers all over Pakistan. Overall, it would be completely fair to suggest that “Coke Studio” is innovative music to everyone’s ears.  However, season five has received a lot of criticism; according to listeners and viewers, this time “Coke Studio” has failed to cater to their music appetite and this outcome might well be considered a musical faux pas. Let us go through the comments and reviews of our music experts and fans regarding a recent episode of “Coke Studio” to decide whether this statement holds any truth ...

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Imran Khan’s strategy: End corruption

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf  leader Imran Khan has pledged in his political manifesto to eliminate major corruption in Pakistan within his first 90 days as prime minister. This is a tall order and was being derided by Nawaz Sharif yesterday as impractical and naive. Despite his tenure in office, Sharif has failed to understand the different modes and echelons of corruption in Pakistan. Khan intends to target specific government level corruption which is most damaging in a series of enforceable reforms based on forceful transparency and assertive accountability. Imran Khan is right to see the fight against corruption as a priority and instead of criticism ...

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CJ Chaudhry and Zardari are here to stay

The Supreme Court’s disqualification of Yousaf Raza Gilani as Prime Minister of Pakistan has brought us to an unprecedented state of affairs in Pakistan’s history. The court has, without a doubt, played its part in dislodging prime ministers before, but in the past it was acting, almost without exception, at the behalf of someone else – usually the army. However, this time the court is acting independently, without any coordination with the so-called establishments. This is evident from the very facts at hand; the court has effectively brought the constitutional machinery of this country to a standstil. But neither the Army ...

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How not to lose your kid

As any parent will tell you, leaving the house to go for, say, buying bread, is not as simple as you may think. Normal people will grab their wallet and their keys and run out. For parents, it involves a long litany such as taking the kids to the bathroom, getting them ready (which has a litany of its own), packing a bag of toys, snacks and spare clothes, and by the time you are finally ready, a kid will need the bathroom again.  So when it’s in the news, that yet again, someone has forgotten their child somewhere, such ...

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It’s not all Sami’s fault

Pakistan’s stunning defeat in the final match of the One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka has seen harsh criticism come ’s way and perhaps, rightly so. The fast-bowler managed to do, with some help from our fielders, what our batsmen have been guilty of doing quite regularly of late — snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. As much as the blame for the defeat may lie with Sami, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. In the recent past, more often than not, it has been the performance of our bowlers that has bailed ...

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Fauzia Wahab: A trailblazer for Pakistani women

Pakistan has lost a very special person. A woman who stood up for what she wanted, who spoke out in spite of criticism, who spread smiles with her wit and played a major part in empowering Pakistani women. The demise of Fauzia Wahab is an irrecoverable loss. She was an absolutely admirable woman and the mother of the nation. May Allah bless her soul and give our bereaved nation the courage to cope with this tragedy. Wahab fought for democracy, human rights and women’s empowerment. Through sheer hard work, dauntlessness and sincerity, she became the face of the country’s largest political party, ...

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