Stories published in September, 2012

What Sri Lanka should expect is a painfully predictable Pakistan

The trend is to stick with the old, trust the tested and believe in the seen. The trend, so painfully familiar, is to impede progress, go short-term and appease the trophies. Most of the squad selected itself. For the rest, PCB has been uncharacteristically bold in some cases, while hopelessly predictable in others. It’s a team selection that is devoid of a vision. There are at least three names I can point out that are almost confirmed to be selected before anyone else’s under Hafeez’s captaincy and are bound to disturb team’s balance; these are Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq. Let’s talk about Abdul Razzaq first. A ...

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Enemies of Pakistan: Now on Facebook

The uproar over the anti-Islam ‘film’ (if it can really be called a film) has finally become a fad for Pakistan’s youth. It’s hip. Its trendy now, and I can say this with surety, because its finally all over my Facebook wall. If ever there was proof that social media is simply a tool reflecting the community that wields it, and not some glorious tool towards progressive change, that time for Pakistanis is now. First I got the seemingly harmless (although the stat cited is obviously just cooked up) viral image demanding the removal of the video from YouTube: I decided to follow the ...

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Did somebody say World T20?

The World T20 2012 is set to commence in Sri Lanka tomorrow. This will be the first time this event is being held in an Asian country. The tournament will open the day after tomorrow, with the hosts taking on Zimbabwe at Hambantota. Despite the number of domestic T20 leagues led by the IPL, the ICC World T20 is at a totally different level altogether. It will feature the highest standard of T20 cricket with the best players of the format competing on a single platform. First let’s take a look at the grouping of the 12 countries participating in this year’s tournament; it ...

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My hell on earth

Dust and heat scrubbed this sky of all colour. Disfigured roads and dismal buildings littered the earth beneath it; a desolate land in shades of dirt. He looked upon the building below him. The veneer of smog and heat created the impression of a mirage, giving the factory an almost dream-like quality. “Death trap,” he whispered to himself. Day after day, he was sent to observe, not knowing why. He never questioned, much like the people he would see filling into this building in just a few moments. One door ─ they entered through one door every morning; they left through the same door every evening. There was ...

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An easy guide to healthy living: Change your lifestyle!

After studying ‘Active Lifestyle’ as a subject in the US, reading a couple of books and several articles on health, I thought of depicting the extract of all I read as it has given me a deep insight about practicing healthy habits. It has also made me more positive than ever. Firstly, waking up early in the morning and welcoming the sun to our planet is the best way to start. The time frame between 6am and 10am is the ideal time to eat and exercise. When you eat your meal, sit in a posture where you can cross your legs, or ...

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Why I fell in love with Saudi Arabia

Moving to Saudi Arabia was such an incredible culture shock. Having been accustomed to a really open way of life in Barcelona, I just did not know what to think. I kept telling myself not to panic and that in time, I would adjust… Eventually I did. Aside from the restrictions I had many wonderful experiences. Saudis are such friendly, hospitable and generous people. I was constantly being thanked for coming to their country and educating their people. I remember one man in particular saying, “I would like to thank you on behalf of our people for coming here and educating us. We need ...

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Can democracy still be unfair if everyone votes?

Mirza is a very good friend of mine but sometimes he just talks utter nonsense. Yesterday evening I was extremely blunt when he told me that he didn’t understand democracy. “Are you in your senses, Mirza?” I was shocked. “Absolutely,” he was calm. “Think again, Mirza,” I couldn’t believe what he had said, “Democracy, which is the best political system in the world; the system that offers solutions to all our problems; the system due to which common people like you reach the corridors of power; the system–” “Yes,” he interrupted me, “I don’t understand it.” My voice rising, I said, “So what do you want, dictatorship? ...

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Water car: Preaching intellectualism in a society of illiterates

So, it’s been more than a month since a ‘messiah’ from the underprivileged led people to believe that he can cure the energy crises, not only of the nation but the entire world. Engineer Agha Waqar from Pakistan spoke of a car that runs only on water as fuel. Some called him crazy, many more called him a fame-hungry small-town engineer and noted local scientists, they labelled him a fraud. Pervez Hoodbhoy, went one step further observing how far Pakistan has fallen into the pit of ignorance and reflected on the decline in the level of public intellect. Well the whole ...

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A Bangladeshi perspective on Karachi

I had been in Karachi for six days a couple of months ago. Looking at Pakistan from the outside, we usually perceive this country through what the media portrays it to be – a gory place full of violence. Thus, I already had a picture in my mind about Pakistan – but the image I had and the image I discovered there, were remarkably different. I am a 29-years-old Bangladeshi banker, working in one of the leading Pakistani banks in Dhaka, Bangladesh. When my department head told me that I would have to go to Karachi for training purposes, I was glad because ...

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Capitalism: A blessing in disguise

The word ‘capitalism’ — or sarmaya darana nizam’ — has always had an unpleasant ring to it in Urdu language newspapers. That’s probably why one rarely finds a politician in Pakistan praising capitalism. Even our public intellectuals tend to carefully add qualifiers such as economic justice and social equity while calling for a free-market economy. However, shouldn’t the centrally planned economic system, rather than capitalism, stand discredited after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991? After all, capitalism has lifted millions of people out of poverty since its concluding triumph over socialism two decades ago. A cursory look at ...

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