Stories published in April, 2013

In Amsterdam: When Pakistanis bring shame to Pakistan

‘Hi! Good evening, I want to go to Diemen please!’ I hopped into the second taxi waiting in line outside the Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena Station. It was almost 2:00 am and I was returning home from the 25 year jubilee dinner that my company hosted at Den Haag (The Hague). I normally prefer to travel via public transport but this odd hour didn’t leave me with much choice; the night bus would require a half an hour wait and an additional 20 minutes to get home and I was tired. On the other hand, the taxi ride would take me around ...

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Rape: It’s not about sex; it’s about power, anger and violence

Public debate about ‘rape’ is always an emotional affair. I place ‘rape’ in commas as it is an out-dated word carrying incorrect perceptions about sexual violence; perceptions that blur the true picture and inhibit effective solutions. The first and most distracting misconception is that sexual assault is about sex. Sexual assault is no more about sex than assault with a weapon is about the weapon. Experts, such as Stephen Homes, Larry Seigal and Gene Ragula, are among a range who have published writing clearly stating that sexual assault/abuse is not about sex. It’s about power, anger and violence. Legal systems across ...

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Agro farm issues: Pakistan’s very own political FarmVille

Around the world, banks, leasing agencies and recovery firms are despised for the swiftness with which they come to collect on unpaid loans or breaches of contract. People complain about how their unique circumstances were not considered by the agencies when they appeal for leniency. Yet, at the end of the day, this is what keeps those companies ticking over. Plus, ‘borrowing’ something with no intention of giving it back is a form of fraud. Fortunately, so is providing loans to people who cannot pay them off. Unfortunately, while poor borrowers get punished, predatory lenders usually get off scot free. In December, ...

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WrestleMania 2013: Another star-studded disappointment

WrestleMania featured movie stars, pop idols, rock stars and of course the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars. It had everything it needed to be the grandest stage, but did it deliver? The following review will elaborate on the highlights of the night and will contain spoilers and opinion based perspectives. Team Hell No vs Ziggler and Big E Mid-carders are wrestlers who aren’t involved in the main event. They comprise rising stars and soon to be glorified jobbers. Highlights from these talents included a great tag team match between team Hell No and Dolph Ziggler and Big E. The match got great ovation from the ...

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Are nasty comments distorting reality?

The online landscape in Pakistan is not unlike the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) at its current scale. There are almost no laws that govern this space. For better or worse, individuals and groups online act with near impunity, with only the slightest fear of heavy-handed retribution from a largely disinterested, clueless government and its associated agencies. In this space exists the potential – both good and bad – for the shaping of public perception, particularly on many thorny issues that traditional media dare not touch. It is also here that the greatest potential exists for measurably changing a person’s opinion ...

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My revolution begins with my evolution

The rhetoric of revolution has gained significant momentum in our politics of late. While globally the word may still be reserved to define bloody upheavals and decade long struggles, our political enthusiasts have never shied away from labelling a transition of power with the ‘R’ word – irrespective of its eventual impact on the lives of the people. Whether it was a consequence of the arrival of a fiery cleric administering a large tea party in Islamabad, the heartthrob Kaptaan reaping rich dividends of his 17-year-long political struggles, or the disillusioning incompetence and corruption of the rulers passed, talk of change and a revolution ...

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People who ride motorcycles are not sub-human

Progress comes at a price they say, but when it comes to Karachi, motorcyclists seem to be the ones paying this price most often, if not always. From entry into state-of-the-art shopping malls and luxury hotels to snap checking by the police, motorcyclists face discrimination in most situations. This is about the rights of two million motorcyclists — sales agents, delivery staff, factory workers and other corporate as well as public sector employees — who serve the city in one way or the other. If you are on a motorcycle, the security at a five-star hotel will not let you in, nor will they treat ...

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Hazara’s electoral politics

With the elections around the corner, many proponents of the Tehreek-e-Sooba Hazara — who vociferously demanded a separate province for the inhabitants of Hazara when the name of the erstwhile NWFP was changed to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa — have joined mainstream political parties. This switching over and ditching game played by the champions of the peoples’ rights has literally left the Hazarawals in the lurch. They are now groping in the dark as to who to support as it is not clear who will promote their cause for a separate Hazara province in the best possible manner. The inhabitants of Hazara lack direction as ...

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Yousuf’s Fried Chicken (YFC): Finger lickin’good

Be it in the form of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) or a cloned recipe, fried chicken has literally taken this world by storm. What can we say, it is finger lickin’ good and we all love to indulge in some from time to time! For most of us though, we’d prefer making it at home. I’m in love with the extra-crispy recipe that KFC has and I have tried hunting for a good clone for ages. Unfortunately, all the recipes that I have tried so far don’t quite come up to par with the original. After all the experimentation with what works and what ...

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What happened to being just ‘Pakistani’?

Today, my country, Pakistan is more divided than the subcontinent was in the 1960s amongst Hindus and Muslims. Today, people call themselves Balochis, Punjabis, Pashtuns and Sindhis instead of just Pakistanis; they put their provincial ethnicity before their nationality. People consider people from other provinces – who speak different languages -as their enemies; they forget that they all belong to the same country! Pakistanis blame the government for all their problems, but they refuse to consider their own wrong doings. They litter and then they complain about how dirty the city is. They bribe the police officers and then complain about the police force being corrupt. They carry guns and ...

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