Stories published in January, 2013

Will Afghanistan see civil war after the US exits?

Recently, the two final term presidents Obama and Karzai, met at the White House to discuss the US-led NATO force withdrawal and future cooperation between the two countries. President Obama has made it clear that the Afghans will have full responsibility of their country’s security by spring and that the war will come to a responsible end by 2014. While the US certainly wants to speed up troop withdrawal, some analysts and Afghan politicians have shown apprehension at such a prospect. This is due to their fear that a sudden troop withdrawal might trigger a government collapse, which the Taliban could exploit to return ...

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Between provocative and proactive

Governments around the world have had their moments of absurd fantasies. Some realise it, most do not. Unfortunately, Delhi had its moment this month. While tensions at the border between Pakistan and India have somehow de-escalated, an advisory recently issued by the Indian civil defence officials in the Indian-occupied Kashmir recommending citizens to prepare for nuclear war by building underground shelters – stocked with food, water and candles enough for a fortnight – has certainly triggered pre-emptive contemplation on the Pakistani side. Leaving Islamabad in a fix about what the bomb shelters beyond its borders portend, India is playing its role ...

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Delhi gang rape: With great power, comes great idiocy!

Delhi’s Lieutenant (Lt) Governor Tejinder Khanna recently joined the coveted club of famous people who have made insensitive and embarrassing comments on the Delhi gang rape case. “Gun owners with licenses must roam lonely spots like bus stands each night and if they spot someone harassing a woman, they should use their weapon to stop the crime. They can at least spend an hour or so every day with their friends in public after nightfall,” Khanna said, according to the Indian Express. Several women’s rights organisations and opposition parties condemned this statement. Unfortunately, this was not the first irresponsible statement by a public figure; one who ...

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Are homemakers ‘prostitutes’?

Politically incorrect, pathologically honest and a prolific rambler – that’s author of Prozac nation Elizabeth Wurtzel, in a nutshell for you. Recently, with her 5,500-word confessional article, “My one night stand of a life” published in New York Magazine, she has sucker punched the entire publishing world with a diatribe, that is exactly like her, honest to a fault. One of the groups who have come under fire of Wurtzel’s unapologetic pen is homemakers or housewives. “I believe women who are supported by men are prostitutes, that is that”, says Wurtzel While it may seem that Wurtzel might just be talking just about gold diggers, in ...

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I thought we could share everything

It is quiet today. The usual commotion has melted away into the Friday congregation. The unpaved roads are free from footprints and the un-cemented, unpainted houses bear no signs of the usual rants. There are no half-naked children jumping into the canal and there are no over-worked women marching about – their dupattas tied to their heads like warrior bandanas. Perhaps, the only sign of life is the maulvi’s exaggerated sermon, which penetrates even the most isolated corners. As it happens so often in times of such complete devotion to the Almighty, a ‘somebody’ is not prostrating on a prayer mat. A teenage girl is walking towards ...

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Pakistan vs South Africa: Which green team will come out stronger?

The morale-boosting One-Day International (ODI) series win in India earlier this month may have given much heart to the national team and its fans, considering the fact that the side had to overcome the immense pressure of playing the world champions in front of highly partisan home crowds, not to mention the prospect of facing a batting line-up, which on reputation, was considered one of the finest in the world in limited-overs cricket.  While the fact that Pakistan were able to come out on top in the battle of nerves that comes into play every time they face India, there is little doubt that the ...

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Pay no attention to me, I am just a Pakistani citizen

I am nothing but a pawn to be thrown around in a game I do not choose to play. Nothing I own belongs to me. I have surrendered it all to the chaos I call my homeland. Consider my cell phone. I pay a considerable sum to be able to connect with the people in my life. I part with hard-earned cash every month in order to make calls and send text messages upon my will. It is my security against inconveniences and possible emergencies. Yet, I wake up every week to news that my right to communicate via cellular networks will ...

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Politicising sports needs to stop

The ICC Women’s World Cup does not usually attract the kind of attention and coverage that is given to the men’s version of the event. This time, however, there has been an upsurge in worldwide interest for the game, but not for positive reasons. As reported extensively, the recent skirmishes at the LoC had a direct impact on the gradually improving relations between Pakistan and India. Talks on bilateral trade and visa regulation lost momentum and the general feeling of goodwill was overshadowed by the resurgence of deep-rooted mistrust between both nations. The most tangible and symbolic outcome of the incident was India’s ...

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Race 2: Not as good as Race, but still enjoyable!

With Race being a mammoth success, Race 2 brought on all sorts of expectations and hype with it. However, did the film live up to all of this? In contrast to Race – which was based on a conflict between two step brothers – the sequel is aimed at getting revenge. Ranveer Singh, (Saif Ali Khan) wants to ruin the money-minded Armaan Malik (John Abraham) because he killed Ranveer’s pregnant wife, Sonia (Bipasha Basu). If you haven’t seen the movie yet, let me warn you of some spoilers ahead! The story starts with Ranveer stealing 5 hotels from Vikram Thappar (Rajesh Khattar), a ...

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Can’t get shisha in DHA? Go somewhere else!

The libertarian and the doctor in me have been at war with each other for some time, generating a tremendous deal of cognitive dissonance regarding the use of shisha. I have recently begun leaning away from the ban. Here’s why, The recent move by the Defense Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi to ban cafes from serving shisha has expectedly drawn some controversy. I’ve personally never smoked shisha in my life (Hi mom! Thanks for reading my blog!) but I still believe I’ve acquired enough information about it to make a case against the ban. The most obvious problem with the ban is that it applies only ...

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