Stories published in January, 2013

An open letter to Ban Ki Moon

Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General, The United Nations. January 16, 2013.   Your Excellency, I am not Hazara – my gene pool is not affiliated with the descendants of the great Mongol Genghis Khan, who now inhabit Quetta. But I am writing this to inform you of a pressing issue that has shaken the international community as protests erupt worldwide regarding Jan 10, 2013 bomb blasts on Alamdar Road. Since the past decade, over 1100 Hazaras have fallen prey to attacks of ethnic cleansing carried out by radical militants claiming to eradicate all those who do not adhere to their brand of Islam. In September 2011, ...

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A coward’s portfolio

Investing with perseverance is not easy, and very few people think otherwise. As seen during the so-called ‘crash’ of the stock market on January 15, investors are the personification of cowardice in the truest sense of the word. As the manufactured revolution of the imported cleric continued, investors kept their eyes on television sets instead of the price chart to see where the money trend went. The news of the arrest order against the premier dropped like a bomb and investors panicked, scrambling to protect their most prized possession – money. One other trait found in the majority is that they’re ...

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With tears of blood and bodies cold

With tears of blood and bodies cold, We watched you watch the night unfold, With breaths entangled in a mesh, Sat beneath your brother’s flesh. We saw it under the murderous skies, We watched you as you watched them die, We saw your tears, we heard your cries, Pleading, screaming, asking ‘Why?’, Paving the way to distorted salvation, Blind to justice, deaf to persuasion, Rummaging through from nation to nation, Is this the fate of God’s fine creation? We heard you as your mothers’ wept, As bodies of their children slept, In boxes hard, in boxes cold, Listening to the tale unfold. A story of eighty seven lives, Dreams of who did not ...

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(Manufactured) revolution mubarak

Congratulations, Pakistan! The ‘manufactured’ revolution just came to a country near you. After the stunning success of People’s Power movements, Colour Revolutions and various Springs, we bring you the Pakistani Winter. You can thank the best strategic minds in Pakistan and beyond for bringing you this stunning and beautifully coordinated production. We’ve been called paranoid, we’ve been called incurable conspiracy theorists and cynical naysayers but guess what? We were right all along. It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. But you know what? I actually find it quite sweet. It’s unfolded with the coordination of a Bolshoi ballet, the choreography of ...

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Having difficulties prolonging your cell phone battery life? Stop charging it!

How long do I have to charge my phone or laptop to prolong its battery life? This is a very pertinent question that continuously persists in boggling the mind. Charging a battery incorrectly actually reduces the life of the battery by 2-4% of their original capacity every 12 months. Here are some of my tips and tricks to help you overcome your battle against batteries and increase the battery life of your cell phone and laptops. In order to understand it fully, let us start from the things that can affect the life of a battery the most. Temperature conditions Changing the voltage at which a battery ...

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Young Fatima’s resilience

She is very young. Her laughter flows like music through the windows of my room, as she plays with other children in the backyard of the house, where she works as a maid. When the ball lands at our place, she humbly requests to throw it back so they can continue with their game. Her voice so endearing; the sound of her giggles warms my heart, but her happiness is usually short lived. In the morning, when other children are busy getting ready for school, she washes dishes, even though her chin reaches just a few inches above the washbasin. She ...

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Catalysing the change

Since the Arab Spring revolution kicked off, Pakistanis also seem to be advocating some kind of “change” for betterment. However, a question often disturbs me; things in the political and social realm appear to have gone from bad to worse, but we keep on expecting change. So, where is the change? Why hasn’t it come yet? Have you ever pondered why? I believe we, as a society, focus only on words and are not careful about doing what we preach or believe. I, for one, love to talk about standing united like people in Arab world did − but I doubt I’d ...

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10 reasons sex education has nothing to do with vulgarity

While it is truly comforting that Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif — among many others — is taking such lively interests in our students’ moral upbringing, he may have mistaken ‘sex education’ for ‘vulgarity’. Here’s what he may be missing. 1) Sex education does not encourage illicit activities Does having an airbag in your car make you feel like driving your Honda off a bridge? Is my plane more likely to crash if the cabin crew shows me a flight safety instructions video before take-off? An examination of 73 studies on the subject has revealed that comprehensive sexual education does not make students more sexually active than they already ...

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The bomb blast that shattered my life

“Bhai jaan, there’s been a blast here!” These were the words uttered by my injured little brother as he managed to call me for a brief moment, before the line dropped. What followed were perhaps some of the darkest moments in my life, characterised by feelings of intense hurt, hatred, helplessness and a river of tears, so overwhelming that it took me more than three years to muster the strength and courage to put those memories down on paper. For the past 40 years my family (a mixture of Shias and Sunnis – if you must use those titles) has been gathering on the ...

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Yes, we need Misbah!

Not surprisingly, Misbah’s bad form with the bat in past three ODIs against India has yet again given a chance to his critics to call for his head. For example, this blog, published in The Express Tribune, harshly criticises Misbahul Haq, and suggests dropping him from ODI team. The criticism in this the aforementioned blog, however, appears to be superficial, because the author has not presented any concrete facts, statistics and figures and merely takes into account the series against India to evaluate Misbah’s spot in the middle order. Surely, a player should not be dropped based on his performance in the last three matches ...

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