Stories published in March, 2013

Stopped by the police?

Khalid and I got married a few months ago, and recently went on a trip to Lahore and Islamabad. We had to take the Daewoo bus from Lahore to Rawalpindi, and then a cab to our guest house. The bus reached Pindi around 11pm and we hurried into the taxi since it was extremely cold and raining cats and dogs. As our taxi approached the Islamabad check point, we were directed to pull over by the police. A tall, uniformed policeman knocked on our window and started asking the typical questions, ‘Where are you coming from? Why are you here?’ After a ...

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I visited Karachi after 10 years: Here’s what I saw!

I recently returned from a trip to Karachi, the city of my birth. It was my first visit there in ten years. I was asked many times how I’d noticed the city changed from what I remembered of it. Much could be said in response, but one observation merits particular mention- Karachi’s new (at least to me) rickshaws. Growing up, no trip to Karachi was complete without a bumpy ride in an incredibly noisy, cramped but airy rickshaw. Rickshaws then were arty, individually coloured affairs, sporting pretty geometric patterns on the sides and rear, sometimes accompanied by crafty names or ...

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Aapas Ka CM: Welcome Najam Sethi!

Much has been said on social and traditional media over Najam Sethi’s appointment as caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab. A number of people have welcomed his appointment while quite a few thought it was a bad idea – a journalist being appointed to a position of power would put a question mark on their integrity. I, for one, believe that Najam Sethi’s appointment as the caretaker chief minister Punjab is a great idea! He is a largely unbiased person who has time and time again proven his integrity as a journalist and a political analyst. He is on good terms with all political parties due ...

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If PTI is with JI, the Kaptaan will not get my vote

The biggest problem in Pakistan is not corruption; it is the growth of an intolerant and violent mindset. My expectations from my leader might not be much, but I do expect him to identify the biggest problem faced by Pakistan. Unfortunately Imran Khan is not my leader, yet. The recent electoral alliance between PTI and JI has raised many questions in the eyes of masses as to what the ideology of PTI really is. Granted it is a new party, but it needs to be extremely clear about where they stand on religious extremism. By forming an alliance with JI, the PTI will lose ...

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Jolly LLB: A ‘jolly’ good legal tale

Movies based on the judicial system and courtroom dramas have always been admired by cine-goers. It’s not because the audience loves their favourite actors and actresses in black gowns, it’s merely because most of the courtroom scenes are penned exceptionally. For instance, we have a huge list of some amazing courtroom scenes from movies like Damini, Meri Jung, Andha Kanoon, OMG Oh My God, Geraftaar, Veer-Zaara, Shaurya, Maine Gaandhi ko nahin Maara and Aitraz. Photo: Reuters Jolly LLB is also one of them. It is based on a real life case with a few amendments. Subhash Kapoor, a talented entertainer, brings Jolly LLB ...

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Legalising non-customs paid vehicles

Recently, the federal government announced the registration of smuggled vehicles from Afghanistan through special packages with the objective of legalising the non-customs paid vehicles. However, all quarters have denounced the decision, saying that duty on such vehicles is an open violation of Articles 246 and 247 of the Constitution under which the Malakand division has been exempted from taxes. It has been learnt from government sources that the imposition of taxes, of up to Rs15 billion, will generate sizeable revenues for revenue collection. The federal government is also of the opinion that the nominal announced package of payment, for the owners of ...

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The ideal Pakistan ODI cricket team includes…

Pakistan needs a new One Day International (ODI) cricket team, and it needs one now. This can’t go on. It should be a criminal offence to keep players like Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, and Asad Shafiq on the bench. Nasir played the first three ODIs, Asad played only the first, and Umar played none! Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik must go! There’s absolutely no way that Misbah or Whatmore or anyone within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and team management can justify the exclusion of the above players while Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik continue to enjoy a “no questions asked” run in ...

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Holi: Anjali, you are as Pakistani as I am!

Who says all Pakistanis don’t have tolerance? Who says all Pakistanis discriminate against minorities? Do you? Let’s see if this incident changes your mind. It was about 10 pm and I was sitting by the window in my dorm room on the third floor of the girl’s hostel at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) when suddenly the peaceful hum of the night air was broken by the chorus of a song, which I guessed was ‘huqah bar’, resonating in the air. Some 15 girls were seen running around, laughing, dancing and chanting away the name of another girl in ...

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And then they were free

There was blood everywhere. The ringing in the ears. The throbbing pain in his gut from being punched. The mini blackouts that wouldn’t stop. The screams he would hear intermittently. The mad blinding rage he felt turning cold. Shahab was doubled over at the table. The otherwise blue-coloured glass that sat on it was shaking. No. The glass wasn’t shaking. Shahab looked up. Rasheedullah was shaking it. Rasheedullah was in a mad rage. Rasheedullah’s eyes were bloodshot. His mouth was wet. His teeth were bared. He was a human bloodhound with a long serrated knife in one hand and a battered brown slipper in the ...

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Musharraf returns: Give the devil his due!

The former dictator is back, and this time, he is not wearing his uniform. I seriously do not know what our dear Commando is up to; do I hear anyone chanting “Pervez Musharraf Zindabad”? A very small number of people, gathered outside Karachi airport to welcome Musharraf upon his return and this did not portray the entirely rosy picture he had painted for himself. As expected, and rightly so, the government had cancelled the congregation that was to greet Musharraf at his arrival and I think that bit of reality served him well. However, his return has made me recall the ...

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