Stories published in April, 2013

Lawless lawyers:From heroes to hoodlums

The black coats have been Musharraf’s most potent opponents since his return, just as they were during his time in office. And while it is admirable that they have taken the initiative when others seemed somewhat hesitant, the ugly scenes witnessed in Rawalpindi on Tuesday would suggest that they have gone a step, or several, too far. Musharraf’s supporters had reportedly turned up in large numbers as he appeared before a court in connection with the Benazir Bhutto murder case. Lawyers were also present, although they claim not in the same numbers. After some sloganeering, a melee broke out between the two ...

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Slim is weak and healthy is fat? Are women a flock of sheep?

Submerged in a conversation with my friend a few days ago, she suddenly looked at me and quipped, “Oh, I wish I was as thin as you.” As per ritual, I started blabbering about how healthy she was, how her weight suited her and that she should embrace and flaunt it rather than complain about it. A few seconds later, I joined her and started complaining about how extremely petite I was and how I wish I was slightly athletic looking. We spent almost fifteen minutes cursing, complaining, then patting each other on the back and consoling each other. The conversation went on and my ...

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PPP’s political campaign: Old footage doesn’t impress me

The pre-election time almost feels like walking through a busy bazaar, with each vendor calling out to grab your attention.  It is just that; candidates too are trying to sell us something. Flyers, banners, billboards and flags of political parties take the city and media by storm. Music is launched and adverts are created, all in hopes of roping in as many supporters as possible. The real question to ask is, will we buy it? Here is my take on the worst political ads that have taken over our television screens this election season: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) ad:  “Kal bhi Bhutto zinda ...

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Chris Gayle shows the world how it’s done!

When Chris Gayle walks out to the centre, you can expect to see a trail of destruction with bowlers trying to hide and captains holding their heads not knowing what to do. And this is exactly what we witnessed yesterday when Gayle clobbered a 30 ball ton, becoming the fastest man ever to a century in T20 history!

A century in just 30 deliveries. AFP

Gayle reminds me of another West Indian who could similarly lay waste the opposition, Sir Viv Richards. He has absolutely no respect for the bowlers and that was on full display today as he ...

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Keeping it clean: It starts with you!

The authors of this post are Heraa Farooq and Tamreez Inam. Pakistan’s cities and towns are teeming with litter. With exponential population growth, increase in plastic packaging of food and other items and lack of a decent waste management system, let alone recycling facilities, our cities are unable to cope with the massive amounts of waste generated on a daily basis. While all these issues can be handled at the macro level with better planning, governance and educational initiatives, they may take a while to show results. However, there is something very simple and instantaneous which ordinary citizens can do by themselves, stop ...

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In India, you are free to go to your mosques and temples

India, like most developing countries, has a host of problems ranging from corruption and poverty to female foeticide. Fortunately though, religious intolerance is not on this list of issues that ail India. While there’s no denying the fact that India has, in the past, witnessed incidents of religious rioting, it still remains a country that is home to people of various faiths whose lives remain inextricably intertwined with each other – as classmates at university, colleagues at the workplace and as neighbours living in close proximity to each other. (A mosque next to a Church in India) I’ve written a blog about Diwali/Hinduism ...

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The seven-year-old rape victim

As journalists, we are told to be neutral, to leave our emotions aside and not become part of the story. There comes, however, a point when you just cannot write the word-by-word account without getting emotional. Your fingers refuse to proceed with the story as if not writing it would somehow reverse time. My breaking point came when I was asked to edit a story about a seven-year-old girl raped in Dera Ismail Khan. When one works for a newspaper, one can argue that coming across rape cases can become a routine. But this case was different. Though the girl survived the gruesome act, was ...

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When even videogames target Muslims, you know you live in an age of hate

I love gaming. We gamers don’t just play games for the sake of venting our frustration on remote control buttons and enjoying the graphics of a particular game; we follow the storylines as well and the characters become idols. Don’t believe me? Consider the example of a cousin of mine who came to meet me after many months. The first thing he did – without any greeting whatsoever – was blurt out, “Arey yaar Zain Bhai, apko pata hai Walking Dead mien Lori mar gayi?” (Oh man, Zain Bhai do you that Lori from Walking Dead died?) It is an obsession, yes and our tech ...

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Champions League 2013: Madrid in search for their Decima

After a short break the UEFA Champions League returns with some nail biting ties for the semi finals. The draws in Nyon, Switzerland, resulted in a Germany versus Spain for the last knock out round of the competition. It all kicks off at Allianz Arena when the German giants host Barcelona. Both the teams have dominated their leagues where Bayern Munich has already won theirs becoming the fastest team to have won the league in the four biggest leagues (Italy, Germany, Spain and England) while Barcelona is closing in on theirs. Both the clubs have a lot in common, starting ...

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KGS admission blues and the pursuit of (academic) happiness

Saturday, March 16, 2013 was probably one of the few very anticipated days in the academic calendar. For many, it was undoubtedly a defining moment for their kids. Yes, it was the day when one of the most prestigious schools in Karachi held its admission test for entry into class three. Success would mean victory, triumph and a sense of academic achievement par excellence. Failure would spell doom, despair, depression and a social stigma – in other words – for some nothing short of a calamity. The so called pursuit of academic excellence, if that is what we are after, comes with ...

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