Stories published in July, 2012

Greece wishes it used the Pakistani rupee!

Moody’s, one of the three biggest ratings agencies in the US, recently sent Pakistan’s credit rating one grade lower into ‘junk’ territory. That is the lowest rating ever bestowed on Pakistan’s sovereign debt. For a relative comparison, Moody’s ranks India’s government-issued debt six spots above Pakistan’s, while Bangladesh’s debt is three spots higher than ours. However, I’d like to make a bow to the optimistic people in our country who insist that we have what it takes to be ‘self-sufficient’ and say that our credit rating is still above that of Greece’s. That’s right. The eurozone’s bane of existence was ...

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Is there really no ‘gent’ with you?

It could be the heat or a genetic mutation that has turned me into a rabid zombie, but I’m willing to bet it’s simply everybody else. I am seething. I, a 26-year-old female, went to the Islamabad Traffic Police office to get my driver’s license renewed one morning. You know that feeling when you walk into a room and you are the only one wearing gold lame tights (I totally started wearing those before they were hip. Awkward.)? Yes, that’s what it feels like; a young female trying to get something done in a sea of gaping men, shocked to find that ...

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Batman’s Greek tragedy

Christopher Nolan has directed films that have come to define Hollywood’s cinematic culture – the cool, chic and cerebral thriller, Inception, was brilliant. But his brooding and dark Batman series, which draws to an end with The Dark Knight Rises, are all films that pose big questions (though if you ask Batman purists who’ve read the comics, Nolan was really just translating the mood on the big screen).  Inception was all about the metaphysical; philosophy posing questions about ‘’dream-worlds’’ and our consciousness whilst Batman to many pundits is really a commentary on the American culture. That’s ...

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Don’t play God with the lives of innocent children

As the rest of the world rockets forward, we in Pakistan seem to be heading backwards. Neighbouring countries like India and Bangladesh having grappled with the issue of polio, are now on the path of enjoying a polio free ride. On the other hand, Pakistan is one of the three nations, along with Nigeria and Afghanistan, which still remains ridden with the polio endemic. Unfortunately, even struggling for complete eradication may not be possible under the current circumstances prevailing in the country. Recently, North Waziristan imposed a polio ban in the area as a protest against drone strikes. Apart from this, hundreds ...

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Why Rajesh Khanna was Bollywood’s first superstar

Superstars have a persona so larger than life that we seem to forget that they are but mortals and they too will depart from the world like every other human being. It is the end of an era. On Wednesday, Bollywood’s original superstar Rajesh Khanna died at the age of 69 in his Mumbai residence after prolonged illness. As the world grieved his loss, the phrase “Bollywood’s first superstar” became the buzzword for all the obituaries in local, Indian and foreign media. “I understand that he was a big, big star but how is he the first superstar?” asked a Bollywood aficionado friend of mine. “What about ...

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Social media is lying to you about Burma’s Muslim ‘cleansing’

Social networking sites are abuzz with news about Muslims being killed in Burma.You can see the sporadic posting of pictures by different people with captions like ‘Muslims killing in Burma’, ‘Muslims slaughtered by Buddhists in Burma’ and so on. Thus, I took on the mission to sort the truth out for myself once and for all and researched some pictures that I felt were dubious. Below are a few pictures and their original copies. You can evidently see the gross difference between them and how they are thrown out of context. This was a picture shared on Facebook.   I have found the original version which reads differently to ...

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The feminism behind gender bias

Regardless of whether you believe in the word ‘feminism’ or not, it is important to understand the context of it. Feminism has been associated with highly negative connotations such as ‘a career-obsessed women’, an ‘un-Islamic’ woman and the woman who loathes men. Gender is a socially constructed dogma, that is deeply rooted in most cultures and societies around the world; it has the power of shaping our identities from cradle to grave. Sady Doyle noted in her article “Don’t worry, be unhappy” that, “The basic point of the movement has always been that women and men are more similar than they are ...

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What to do with your child in the summer

Summer brings with it the pleasant news of no school. This is surely a relief to many parents as there is no more waking up early in the morning, getting  children ready for school, dropping them off and picking them up. However, is this really a time to give your wallet and yourself a break? It’s hard to keep a toddler entertained and I have learned that the school routine gives mothers a chance to think beyond their typical household work and provides a much-needed break from monotonous chores. So what do you do in the summer? Cue summer camps! Even before the ...

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India vs Pakistan: Replace diplomacy with Cricket

After four years of constant refusal to resume bilateral cricketing relations and giving Pakistan cricket the cold shoulder, the ice has finally started to melt. The Board of Control for Cricket  in India (BCCI) finally decided to restart the most intense cricket rivalry in the world, having invited Pakistan to play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s in India later this year. With bilateral cricket ties with India on hold ever since the 2008 Mumbai attacks, followed by the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009, not to mention the 2010 spot-fixing saga and Pakistan being stripped off ...

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Democracy in Egypt

Prior to Mohammed Morsi’s win, the Egyptian Army staged many coups. The dissolution of the Egyptian parliament, consisting of elected leaders, who had come to power after an extensive voting process spanning three months, was by far the most effective one yet. One might ask why this brash manipulation of the electoral process occurred on the military’s part. The answer to this lies in analysing the post-run-off situation in Egypt in terms of power, as perceived by the military. President Morsi’s inauguration, perhaps, will mean disaster for the old elite; the old guard, the Edmund Burkes of Egypt and the military ...

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