Stories published in July, 2012

Changing tides: Pakistan’s ‘brain drain’ in reverse

Pakistanis all over the world have an interest – if not an obligation – in their homeland to do what they can towards its success as a nation. Around 7 million Pakistani’s live abroad, and in 2012 sent home approximately $13 billion in remittances.  While this revenue is vital to the country’s foreign exchange reserves, it’s the expertise of these expatriates that is needed, just as much as their money. The absence of highly qualified doctors, engineers and scientists is playing havoc with the long-term economic growth of the country. A Gallup survey in 2000 confirmed the widely-held view that there has ...

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Why should minorities suffer in Ramazan?

The holy month of  Ramazan is here once again in all its glory and our hypocrisy. Yes, you read me right. Come Ramazan and all of us put our pious cloaks on just like all the female anchors adorn dupattas on their heads in Ramazan, sidelining all the Bollywood numbers they shook their rears to, in their morning shows with na-mehram (men who do not have an Islamic legal relationship with the woman) guests. Haw. The hypocrisy isn’t just evident on the television shows during the holy month; it is also further propagated by laws like Ehtram-e-Ramazan that makes eating, smoking, and drinking ...

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Kristen Stewart: Once a cheater always a cheater?

THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID! Let’s forgive Kristen Stewart, shall we? Cheating is not my favourite subject. Like many women, I’ve been cheated on— not once, but twice. I absolutely despise cheating. More than anything else, I loathe the cheater; that emotionally vapid, cowardly and incredibly stupid rat! How dare he assume that I won’t find out?! I may drive a stake through my future boyfriend’s heart if he so much as makes eye contact with a member of the opposite sex. But in the wake Kristen Stewart’s infidelity, I can’t help but find myself empathising with the cheater. Before you judge me ...

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From Sudan: Thank you Pakistan!

This blog is not just based on my interest and respect for Pakistan. It is a personal thank you from a Sudanese person living in the United Arab Emirates for all the things Pakistan has done for my nation. The two countries share a very strong, special bond that I wish would strengthen further over the years to come. For 13 years I have lived in the UAE; a home to over 130 different nationalities, working and living together striving for a better life for themselves and their families back home. South Asians constitute 42 per cent of the population. Of them, ...

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Let’s not make the ‘gora’ our benchmark

Growing up, I was taught that goras could do no wrong. Whether this was preached in talk shows on our TV channels; in the columns in leading newspapers; in the examples given by professors in educational institutions; one is bound to notice an increasing defeatist mentality gripping the minds of opinion makers regarding their very own nation. Any problem is presented and our society is automatically compared to the Western society; the former is depicted as the worst nation ever to exist on planet earth and the latter is presented as the pinnacle of human dignity, professional excellence and moral height. I was deputed on a ...

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Roger Federer: Still going strong

Wimbledon championships exude the kind of decorum, class and tradition that is existent to a far lesser degree at tennis’s three other major tournaments. For precisely this reason the third grand slam event on the tennis calendar is arguably the most prestigious. The 2012 championships were no different, on the grass courts at SW19; some of the most eye catching tennis drama unfolded. From the ouster of Rafael Nadal in a shocking second round upset, to a troublesome back that almost floored Federer, it was edge-of-the-seat stuff. Yet for the many fans of Roger Federer, the final moments of a two ...

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Facebook: Think before you ‘like’

Back in 2010, when Facebook first introduced a ‘like’ button as a way for people to ‘give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about on Facebook, it forever changed the meaning of the word; or at least, for its 850 million or so active users. Ten years ago, who would have thought regular people like you and I would exist so publicly online? We use our real names on social networks to share our lives with loved ones, openly show political support, voice our opinions without a second thought, upload pictures of the most important occasions of ...

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Dr Abdus Salam: He found God in a hopeless place

They ripped his name out of books with scissors dipped in venom so our children wouldn’t be poisoned with a heretic’s intellect. They scraped his person from his gravestone, because those in the underworld would also object to his being Muslim. They bomb his places of worship, they don’t like them being called mosques, as if their own belligerence was a superior form of prayer; Our flag’s white rectangle, the so-called symbol of the few, flaps tattered and stained with the blood of peripheral pariahs like him. They banished a man from the annals of history for a sin so heinous to be exiled by its own seven sisters. It’s called genius. While their bodies simmered with the disgust ...

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Summer TV at its very best

A few good hours of TV is all you need to get through a rough day but unfortunately our networks are either filled with shrewd politicians, over dramatic anchors, dramas with sobbing housewives or a very hilariously unreal local take on “Ghost Hunters”. There is just never anything worthwhile to watch even with the recent upheaval in the quality of our dramas. Thus, I compiled a list of a few must-watch TV serials that any fan of quality TV ought to watch. Revenge “Revenge” is the story of a young girl, Emily Thorne (played by Emily VanCamp), who moves to the Hamptons ...

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Happy birthday President Asif Ali Zardari!

Back in 2007 as the lawyers’ movement gained momentum, it attracted abrupt attention of a youth brought up in the ‘prosperity bubble’ of a military regime. With little sense of our history and politics, many (including me) got carried away in the sway of events that followed. More in sheer aversion for a uniformed dictator than in admiration of a principled man in robes. Putting out the fire of secessionist sentiments in Sindh after the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in the garrison city of Rawalpindi was met with utter disregard by the self righteous urban bourgeoisie and their corporate ...

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