Stories published in February, 2013

Reinstate Salman, Asif and Aamir

Salman Butt, former captain of the Pakistan cricket team, recently pleaded for a revival of his career, which was truncated after he was banned for spot-fixing in a Test against England in 2010. His fellow pacemen Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir were also banned by the ICC after being found guilty of deliberately contriving no-balls. So did their offence deserve such punishment? The English Premier League in Europe was recently tied to a match-fixing scandal. Liverpool’s 2009 Champions League match against Debrecen is now being deliberated as a fixed event. Europol director Rob Wainwright had announced that a Champions League match played ...

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‘Dosti’ between Pakistan and India

If Taylor Swift was a political analyst, she would be telling us right now,  “India and Pakistan are never, ever getting back together!” By cancelling concerts by Pakistani artists, not issuing visas and letting our women’s cricket team camp at a stadium during their tour, India has given us the proverbial lannat. The Pakistani government has responded with some serious passive-aggressive silent treatment much like an angry boyfriend. At times like these, hearing about the 50th anniversary of the Elysee treaty signed between France and Germany which ended an era of animosity, wars, bloodshed and bitterness between the two countries comes as a ...

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The love that never was

When the sun faded and darkness fell, The only light I found was within my heart,   Illuminating the gloomy paths at night, As I searched for you like a hopeless manic,   Like an aimless traveler on a forgotten road, Like a lost sailor on a familiar shore,   I searched for you like a rose in a desert, I searched for you like air under water,   I found you hidden behind your veil, And there was enough light to last a life time,   Emptiness of the deserts turned to fields of green, Unforgiving winds surrendered to a gentle breeze,   Months of solitude turned into days of joy, Years of desolation into a promise of love,   I ...

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A woman in FATA must not speak

It was Ramazan and my best friend, Qaiser and I were passing though the main bazaar of the Kurram Agency discussing who the opener for the Pakistani cricket team should be. Just then, a fully covered tribal lady stopped and began to argue with a van driver who was wearing a dirty white cap. The argument was so loud that it became difficult for us to just mind our own business and walk away. Within no time a flood of people gathered around to see what all the commotion was about. According to the lady, the van driver was following her around ...

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Can the US government kill American citizens?

After the uncovering of a leaked document in the United States, White House officials are facing criticism over an internal memo that was acquired by NBC News.The memo regarded drone strikes and how the US government is allowed to strike Americans with drone attacks if they are suspected or known to have any past or current ties with al Qaeda or any other wanted terrorist organisation. Naturally, the White House faced a huge backlash when the memo was discovered, but still kept their ground and insisted that they complied with US law and the Constitution, even if Americans are the targeted ...

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Abboo always on my mind, forever in my heart

Abboo passed away last week. He was in the ICU for almost five months and eventually after fighting like the resilient man we all knew, he met his Creator at the age of 73. My father was an extremely ordinary man by all accounts, but he was a superman as far as my sisters and I are concerned. I excused my mother because it is my impression that he was a normal husband however, he was an extraordinary father. I don’t want this piece to be a cliché ridden ode from a son, because I have always felt that if all fathers were good ...

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Men: a different breed

Cruelty knows no bounds and all we humans suffer. The fairer sex is mostly the one who suffers the cruel death that takes the final breath away. Be it Indian Nirbhaya or South African Reeva. Some men, like Nirbhaya’s boyfriend, are perfect examples of tragic Hamlets in our midst, while others like Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee track star, are like Shakespeare’s outright cruel Othello! Whatever the case may be, when we talk of men, we end up defining them as a different breed altogether, a breed if not confusing like the fairer sex, is at times, considered more violent and ...

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Why have we made news entertainment in Pakistan?

There was a time when televisions in Pakistan received just one, state run channel. The only news that got through to the masses was one deemed ‘fit’ for the public by the state/government. Any and all events that could prove detrimental to the government’s popularity were not allowed on TV. This was a time when democracy was suffocated; ‘free and independent’ media did not exist. Ironically, it was in a dictator’s rule that media was ‘liberated’ and channel after channel emerged on our television screens. The fact that our electronic media comprises mostly of news channels is a consequence of decades old dearth ...

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Let horse-trading stop already

An influential clan of Ghotki has left Party A for Party B. Sons of a governor have decided to join Party C. Meanwhile, the swashbuckling chief of a youth-centred party claimed last November that he only needed youngsters, not big-shot politicians, in his party. That was after he had welcomed a battalion of such politicians during the course of a few months. Welcome to election season in Pakistan! The season when major political parties auction tickets for electoral seats to the highest bidder. Individuals and heads of parties negotiate the price of the former joining the latter, in terms of the number ...

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Fragile political transition towards democracy

The last session of Parliament will mark the government’s completion of its constitutional tenure, irrespective of the fact whether the roots of true democracy have been nurtured or not. The past five years have been a highly tumultuous period with economic slowdowns, corruption and terrorism plaguing the country like never before. A look at the functioning of the legislative assembly shows the political tension between the winners of the 2008 elections and the main opposition party, with little constructive performance by the former and productive criticism by the latter. The achievements of the PPP government do not match the criterion necessary for ...

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