Stories published in April, 2013

Chambaili: The perfect tonic for a dejected Pakistan

Yesterday, I watched the much-awaited film, Chambaili – the first in a long list of Pakistani feature films under production and probably the most hyped movie since Bol that was released two years ago. It is a shame that Pakistanis have to wait for such a long period of time between the production and release of films; that said, the movie is worth the wait. It is far superior to the films produced by our bigger and greater neighbour. Disclaimer- spoiler alert! Chambaili is like no other film. The movie revolves around the political structure of a country – it draws an underlying comparison ...

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How MQM taught me never to lose hope

On Thursday evening, April 25, 2013, while driving past a congested locality, I was jolted by the deafening sound of an explosion. I lost control over the car and hit the footpath. There was panic everywhere as people ran for cover. By the time I regained my senses, the atmosphere was filled with the siren of rescue vehicles. Everyone was running in the direction of the explosion. The site of the explosion was an election office of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) in Nusrat Bhutto Colony, Karachi. The office and the shops adjoining it were completely destroyed; there was blood all over the ...

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Elections 2013: Did you forget about minorities?

With election season in full swing, political parties have set their stages for the May 11 battle. The media lens has shifted its focus from ‘who has been qualified or disqualified for being saadiq and ameen’, on the pretext of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, ‘to the coverage of corner meetings and campaigning of different political parties’. Unfortunately, none of the parties have anything attractive enough in their manifestos to appeal to the non-Muslim voters. All the parties have been singing the same mantra of equal rights, equal representation and equal treatment as shown by all our news channels. It baffles my ...

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Dear Jinnah, I am sorry to disappoint …

Honourable Mr Mohammad Ali Jinnah, I’m convinced you’re well and in a much better place. I’m a citizen of Pakistan and after having enough, I thought I should speak to you – inform you about the Pakistan you fought for on our behalf. Sir, we have your picture on Pakistani currency which we use for bribing. We also have your picture in our government offices, under which our managers (I’m sorry Sir, but I don’t find any leader in this country as of now) sit and rape (literally) the constitution and tell lies. Sir, the Pakistan you thought of, we are nowhere ...

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Is Israel really Pakistan’s enemy?

Growing up in Peshawar, a slightly conservative city of Pakistan, my sentiments as a child were nothing different from those of others in most parts of the country. I had a slight disliking for India, and sheer hatred for Israel. Words such as ‘Jewish lobby’, ‘Zionists’, ‘Freemasons’, and many others – whose meanings many of us did not even know – kept ringing in our ears through religious scholars, teachers, friends and peers, and we used to associate all of them directly with Jews, especially Jews of Israel and those having major shares in US corporations. The Indian intelligence agency Research and ...

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Major Ishaq and mass politics

During a time when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had managed to capture the hearts and minds of the people in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Major Ishaq Muhammad was one progressive who chose to pave a different political path. Ishaq, who had been Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s cellmate during the 1950s, was known for his militant stance against crony capitalism and entrenched landlordism. Following the split of the National Awami Party in 1965, Ishaq left his flourishing legal practice to create a rural-based movement in the form of the Mazdoor Kissan Party (MKP) in 1967. He was also a prolific author ...

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Praying to forget

Hasan sat in his computer class quietly. It was early in the morning and he was still tired from the weekend. He cursed the wrath of Monday under his breath and found it hard to concentrate on what was happening around him. Sri Lanka was dominating Pakistan at stumps and that did not help his mood either. He had his favourite TV show on at one end of his computer screen and on the other he had the scorecard open. The match started in 30 minutes. He wasn’t worried that he would get caught, the teacher was absent, and it ...

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Why I am voting for Jibran Nasir

Like most people in Pakistan, over the past few weeks I had been actively following almost every news story related to the elections in general and in particular news about the constituency in which I reside. PS-113 and NA-250 in Karachi are what I would call spotlight constituencies where political parties have put forward the best of their party members. NA-250 is being contested by Khushbakht Shujaat, an educated, hard-working self-made woman contesting from the MQM ticket. From the Jamaat-i-Islami we have the formidable Naimatullah Khan, whose record as an administrator and social worker is unquestionable. PTI has put forward Dr ...

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Eight reasons why the IPL is popular in Pakistan

The first edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off in April 2008 and took the world by storm. Cricket fans from all over the globe enjoyed this T20 spectacle as Shane Warne led a spirited Rajasthan Royals side to an unexpected victory. The best part about it, from a Pakistan perspective, was that the leading wicket taker of the inaugural tournament was a left-arm Pakistani swing bowler Sohail Tanvir. Since then, the IPL has become an annual cricket festival that is followed thoroughly by cricket lovers. The sad part though, is that Pakistani players have not appeared in ...

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The formula of making a failed state

To make a failed state you can start off by looking for a newly created country. It will help if the state is initially in two parts geographically, separated by a country that has several elements living within it that openly criticise the existence of this state. It will also help if the strategic importance of one wing of this state is immense when it comes to global politics. This will make sure that it remains in the centre of major strategic decisions in the future. Once created, chances are that the leaders who led to its creation will acquire top administrative roles. ...

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