Stories published in September, 2012

So, why did Putin delay his visit?

In a surprising turn of events, Russian President Vladimir Putin deferred his visit to Pakistan, scheduled on between October 2 and 3. As a result, the quadrilateral summit for the Afghan Security Situation, having Tajikistan, Russia, Pakistan and Afghanistan as participants was postponed to an undisclosed date. Although Putin’s decision may raise serious concerns, the prevailing situation behind the scenes is quite different and, dare I say, positive. According to Moazzam Khan, the foreign office spokesman, Putin has written a letter to President Zardari expressing Russia’s desire to enhance cooperation with Pakistan. With this announcement, the Pakistani media outlets started to cite ...

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T20 cricketing strategics: Some advice for Captain Hafeez

So far Pakistan has been doing well in the World T20, 2012. Having said as much, our batting has come to the rescue for the third time ─ if we add the warm-up match we played against India. My cause of concern lies in our bowling and I feel as though team Pakistan must reconsider their strategy. Over the years, especially in the T20 format, our bowling has been our main weapon, however, we have been found wanting more in all of the three matches we have played in Srilanka. I don’t mind the same eleven playing in Super 8, but for this, our ...

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Please help me; I’m all alone

When the ship sank, we swam ashore onto a beach, six of us men, and three women who quickly moved away. Conferring amongst ourselves we agreed that we should set off immediately to explore the place and see how best to return home. Even by climbing a tree and squinting into the distance we saw no sign of land or ship anywhere on the sea that surrounded us, nor any sign of life on this little island: no smoke, no huts, nothing. But there were trees all around. It was a bountiful land. Like a gigantic orange vitamin-C the sun sank into the ...

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Well-done Government of Punjab, Dengue is in check!

There is a low level outbreak of dengue fever in Lahore and its outskirts. Over the last few weeks more than a hundred patients have tested positive for the dengue virus. Every day the media gives the public an updated count of how many patients have been diagnosed with dengue fever. Sometimes the media is so dutiful in its obligation to inform, that the reports include the names of the suspected dengue patients as well! Every patient is important. Even one case of dengue fever is one too many. Having said as much, if we look at the size of the ...

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Watch out! Video games could breed our own Breiviks

Norway’s mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, in an effort to ‘desensitise’ himself before going on his shooting spree, spent a total of 130 hours playing the video game “Call of Duty”, as revealed by the judge who sentenced him. This reminds me of my own 15-year-old brother and several other people I know of, who are not just fans of this game, but play it religiously. Is there a possibility of any of them turning out to be something like Breivik? It would be a sweeping generalisation if I say yes. But the idea of these games helping in the desensitisation of someone cannot ...

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Why Heroine is a let-down

I must begin by lamenting the fact that I blew off most of the Pakistan versus Bangladesh World T20 match to go watch Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine. Yes, the emphasis is on Bhandarkar, not lady lovable Kareena Kapoor. I have been a Bhandarkar fan since Page 3 and, with Fashion, he demonstrated to an extent that he was capable of working with bigger names like Priyanka Chopra. However, the director is really just a star of multiplex cinemas and disappoints with Heroine. When you make a film with a super-duper star like Kareena Kapoor, everything else must also match the glamour and ...

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Lotacracy: Let the rolling begin

Once again, the season of ‘lotacracy’ has begun in the country, where politicians and influential people switch their loyalties from one party to another for personal gain. Though these people call themselves politicians, they violate the principle of politics and jump to sit with those enjoying power. The word ‘reconciliation’ has eased their worries; they can now justify that this is all being done under the ‘reconciliation policy’ as everything is possible in politics. The tribal chiefs, landlords and other bigwigs in Sindh were once in the PPP’s rival camp sitting with former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Now, they have formed ...

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Five guys you should not follow on Twitter!

With the advent of Twitter, getting to know people has become much easier. You don’t have to send, approve or delete friendship requests; anyone has the liberty to follow anyone. However, as tempting as it may be, here’s a list I’ve made of five kinds of guys you should either never follow on Twitter, or follow at your own risk! 1. The ‘every girl is beautiful’ guy: This guy’s bio and picture will tell you all you need to know about him. He thinks you’re beautiful. He would date you if he knew you. He has devoted his life to making women smile. ...

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My parents love me, but I can’t love them back

My parents are not divorced and no, they don’t fight all the time. They love me and I know it. I just can’t seem to love them back. So the story goes somewhat like this. I was thrown into a boarding school when I was still young. I was bullied day and night; my teachers were not too great and I was beaten up by the prefects and everyone in authority. Sure, I had spent my childhood getting beaten up by my father and my grandfather a million times, but I thought boarding school was supposed to be like Harry Potter, not The Dead ...

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Yes, I support the death penalty

While the moratorium on the death penalty has been in place since 2008, a debate on commuting it to life imprisonment has been raging for decades. Those proselytising against the concept of Biblical revenge are free to campaign for the abolition of the death penalty, but they need to remember that it is the prerogative of the victims’ heirs to demand life for life. Legislators can draft as many laws as they like; they cannot impose a piece of legislation on people unwilling to accept it, especially if it violates Quranic injunctions as enshrined in the constitution. Any attempt to erase the ...

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