Stories published in March, 2013

Dreams do come true: Malala goes back to school

There is a Malala in each and every girl of this unfortunate country. Amidst this war torn country, this teenager voiced her opinion against those elements of society which, quite atrociously advocate that girls should not be allowed to go to school. For them, she is just an ordinary girl. For us, she is a hero. Now, she wears a smile on her face as she strides along the streets of Birmingham, towards Edgbaston High School. She has seen yet another day when she can put on a school uniform and continue with her education. In Pakistan, a society where girls’ schools are being burnt ...

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‘Naya Pakistan’ rally: Where were the women?

Claims regarding the strength of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) March 23 jalsa range from some 100,000 to 1.2 million. From what I roughly calculated from above one of the containers placed especially for the media, there were at least 250,000 people out there. While I might be mistaken about the overall turnout, I am quite sure the number of women was disappointingly low. I literally had to search for them. I finally found a group of women, not more than 500 or so, sitting in the centre-front and scattered here and there. Some of those whom I talked to said they had come ...

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Strawberry trifle: A symphony of sensational flavours

Strawberries have a special place among berry fruits. They are widely admired because of their aromatic and sweet taste. The combination of colour, gloss, texture and fragrance thrills several senses at a time. The cheerfully red, sweet, plump, juicy, heart-shaped strawberry is in fact a member of the rose family. It has long been associated as a symbol of love. Apart from the superfluous look, scrumptious strawberries have numerous health benefits. The abundance of vitamin C, A and K, beta-carotene and potassium in them, protect vision, prevent cancer, arthritis and strengthen the immune system. Strawberries help in decreasing bad cholesterol and increasing ...

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Is Obama’s visit to Israel going to change history?

“Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this; political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see.” This was one of the highlights of Obama’s speech, who was addressing Israeli students and youth in Jerusalem, during his three day trip to the holy-land, his first as a US president, where he tried to reach out to the people of the region, rather than giving the spotlight to political leadership. Although most parts of his speech came as expected, it also had chunks of surprises for the Israelis and ...

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Sanjay Dutt: Unjustly convicted?

For 53-year-old Sanjay Dutt, no attempt to redemption seems to be succeeding. The Supreme Court of India has sentenced the star to five years jail time for the possession of an illegal weapon; a weapon he was “gifted” by a producer to protect himself and his family from riots that took place by Hindu radicals in 1993. His sufferings become all the more tragic when one considers the circumstances under which the said mistake has taken place. The Supreme Court verdict early this week punished him for possessing an illegal arm. Unfortunately for Dutt, that particular weapon was not only illegal ...

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Celebrating 10 amazing years in Pakistan

It has been ten awesome years since I started working and living in Karachi, Pakistan. It’s a strange realisation that I have never lived longer in any other place my whole life. I arrived in March of 2003. It was the start of the Iraq war and one can only imagine the concern my parents felt when I told them I was moving to Pakistan. Their apprehension has not faded (they get daily reminders of the horrors that Pakistan is exposed to) but they have now accepted that this is my home. Obviously I was also quite uneasy at first, and to make matters ...

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When I was truly Pakistani…

A couple of days ago while I was cleaning out my bookshelf, I came across a few dog-eared school magazines. I hurriedly dusted them with the hemline of my shirt as a wave a of nostalgia journeyed through me. The feeling was so overwhelming, I swear I could smell my grade four classroom for a few seconds. The first thing I got my hands on was an April 1998 issue — a newsletter with a very pixelated cover picture of a ten-year-old me standing with around 20 classmates, all clad in stark white shalwaar kameez. The girls donned dark green dupattas ...

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Hacking is painfully easy: Anybody can be you!

Having taken the day off, I was at home sound asleep. The phone rang around 10am. I did not bother to pick it up. It stopped ringing and I became half aware that it was received by our maid. What completely took me by surprise and made me leap towards full consciousness was her conversation with the other person on the line. This is what I heard her saying: “There is no one at home right now apart from chotay sahib. Choti bibi is in her room sleeping. Baray sahib left in the morning to drop chotay miyan and hasn’t come back yet.” I ...

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No, this is not Jinnah’s Pakistan

I am writing this piece with reference to Mr Yaqoob Khan Bangash’s article of March 18 titled “Jinnah’s Pakistan”. Notwithstanding the fact that the writer is a chairperson of the history department of Forman Christian College, I would, like to highlight few contentions that I have with his conclusion: “Jinnah’s Pakistan is an Islamic state, which defines who a Muslim is, excludes those Muslims it does not like and is not very democratic.” Anyone acquainted with history would not disagree with the fact that the struggle for Pakistan was certainly couched in religious terms. A lot of historians have also argued that ...

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What Imran Khan and the March 23 rally will bring us

The importance of the coming elections cannot be overstated. Pakistan today stands on the point of implosion and the kind of leadership that is elected to take the country forward could make or break it. My loyalties in this matter lie with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and I’m writing this to present my reasons for handing the party my vote and what I think you should expect tomorrow at Minar-e-Pakistan. Internal democracy. When a party is democratic then it is full of elected position holders. This means the leadership has integrity and mandate. More importantly it means they have more pressure to deliver ...

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