Stories published in September, 2012

Is there room for secularism in Pakistan?

Each time China is mentioned in Pakistani media, the notion ‘all weather friend’ comes up. We look to China with respect, their economic growth and political might with awe, and their investments with huge gratitude. However, we still refuse to implement the system of governance which has secured it its strength. When the current Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf recently paid a visit to Saudi Arabia, he repeated the old mantra that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are two countries but one nation. His predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani said that Turkey was a guiding star for Pakistan when his counterpart Recep ...

Read Full Post

What it means to be human

With God’s choice, you’re matched with a life, A simple lottery number, you are born into the very rich, The very poor, The simple middle.   You ask questions, But the answers are endless. Tiny prayer offered before a scarce meal, Gluttony at it’s finest and greed sky high.   Our world becomes demoralised, By the second we hope. I pray, She withers away,   He needs a casket, But who can afford one? One human race, Divided into many useless groups.   Who do you follow? Your mosque, Your solitude. Your mosque, my fear.   We are simply animals, No better than mere animals. Why bark, When we can think?   An explosive made, You’re a martyr. A gun shining, In the rays of the sun.   What will you prove, To your god today? Minutes, hours, Days ...

Read Full Post

My American experience

Before going to the US, I thought that US citizens hate Muslims and Pakistanis and, therefore, considered all of us terrorists. Consequently, I prepared my mind for all the security nightmares that I might have to endure on US soil. However, at the immigration counter of the Washington DC airport, I was amazed when the officer there asked me where I was from and for what purpose I had come to the US. I told him that I was a journalist from Pakistan and was attending a fellowship. “Oh really, you are from Pakistan, Good luck!” he said, while requesting me ...

Read Full Post

T20 order: Crazy, inconsistent but spot on!

Introducing our current playing XI (not in order), Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal. People may criticise Pakistan for being way too inconsistent, but it’s about time we embraced our moments of madness. Here’s what our top, middle, lower and bowling orders are, my critique and what I think could work better for us. Top order: Pakistan has four openers in the playing XI which could be a blessing in disguise. Losing early wickets is our habit so it wouldn’t hurt to have Nasir Jamshed coming in ...

Read Full Post

If you don’t convert, I can’t work with you

 September 18, 2012 The past three months had been quite busy for me since I was working day and night researching a business venture. Being a new concept within the market, the prospects for the project were pretty high provided that it was carried out properly. However, I was short on the amount of funds required for the project. Eager and motivated to step into the world of business,  I contacted a friend who introduced me to his uncle who, in turn, showed interest in my project. His uncle was a retired senior government official and had sufficient experience of heading ...

Read Full Post

Is democracy for us?

It is a popular opinion these days that democracy is the best form of government available to the countries of the world. Perpetuated (and forcibly implemented in some cases) by the west, the system of democracy seems to be the preferred system in the minds of the people of the world; more so after the events of the Arab Spring. My main contention against democracy is this: is it the best mode of governing a country for every country of the world? It seems to work great for the west and developed countries but does it necessarily work for developing ...

Read Full Post

Welcoming Putin to Pakistan

Vladimir Putin, a former spymaster, known for his political struggle and his contribution to the uplift of his country after its disintegration in 1991, has been the president of Russia since May 7, 2012. Previously, Putin served as president from 2000 to 2008 and as prime minister from 1999 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2012. The Russian president is scheduled to visit Pakistan in the first week of October and this is a welcome shift in our country’s foreign policy. It is high time Pakistan develops cordial relations with other countries of the world to overcome its multiple challenges. While ...

Read Full Post

Discrimination is not funny

This past year has been a year of travelling. I have been to three countries in Europe, two in the Middle East and two in Asia. The hardest part about travelling? It is not getting accustomed to different kinds of foods or customs that are so alien to my own. In fact, it has nothing to do with getting to know other cultures. The hardest part about travelling is seeing how people view my own race, culture and nationality. I am sure many Pakistanis can relate to this. In fact, on all my trips this year, I travelled with Pakistani friends. ...

Read Full Post

9 reasons why I hate being a motorist in Pakistan

Here’s a hate-list I was compelled to make as a motorist in Pakistan: 1. Driving in the rain: In some nations, driving in the rain is a serene and beautiful experience, which is likely to fill you with relaxation as you appreciate your surroundings, and take in the earthy scent of rainfall. In Pakistan, if it rains for more than fifteen minutes, everyone and their mothers scramble for home in a mad rush, as they try to escape the lakes that begin to form over their streets. To make matters worse, since the down-sloping side of any road in Pakistan gathers ...

Read Full Post

Media ethics and rape: Have a heart!

Every other day our crime reporter says, “Aray, yahan rape hua hai.” (Hey, there’s been a rape at this place.) or, “Ek aurat ka Saddar mein murder hua hai, story chahiye?” (A woman’s been murdered in Saddar. Want a story on that?) We don’t even stop and think twice before asking, “Nahi, is mein naya kya hai? Mazay ka murder tha?Koi weird detail pata chali?” (No, what’s new in that? Was there something cool about the murder? Did you find out any weird details?) The more gruesome details he can get his hands on, the better. I know it sounds horrible but it spices up the story. For example, there was a case a couple of months ago ...

Read Full Post