Stories published in May, 2013

Will Imran Khan end corruption in K-P in 90 days?

With the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government formed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), a lot is expected from the political party. Successfully governing such a challenging region would be nothing less than a miracle! Directly or indirectly, the political administration of K-P also involves the critical management of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) affairs. The PTI’s electoral victory in the region shows the unparalleled confidence the people of the province have in them, but by spreading hype of fulfilling high expectations, the party is in for an uphill task. The PTI team needs to first understand and rationalise the existing problems and then formulate and implement feasible solutions ...

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IPL: A league of extraordinarily corrupt gentlemen

Players are fixed, umpires are fixed, team owners are fixed, and perchance the whole Indian Premier League (IPL) has been fixed and compromised by vested interests out to subvert the beautiful game of cricket. The world has come to know of appalling corruption involving the arrest of three Indian players and a franchise owner in alleged spot-fixing and wagering. If this was not enough, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has withdrawn Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf from the upcoming Champions Trophy for his alleged involvement in spot-fixing and betting being probed by the Mumbai police. Rauf abruptly left India earlier ...

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At the age of five, I experienced sexual abuse

It all started when I was about four or five years old. I used to live in a small rural area located near Mirpur Khas in Sindh, Pakistan. I stayed there for nearly a decade. By means of introduction, I come from a moderately educated Muslim family background, where the joint family system is preferred. Just like any other family, in front of my parents, I was a typical ‘playful’ and happy-go-lucky five-year-old boy, but there has always been something inside me that I could never share with anyone – not even my mother, who is the closest to me. I used ...

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Lahore: Garden of the Mughals

She was my first love, Remnant of a bygone era, Concubine to the king.   They sewed her lips closed, Staining the tomb, Of the poet that lay deep within her bowels.   She roared with a fiery intensity, The blue-eyed daughter, Of an emperor that played the flute, To her siren call.   And then we wrote her name, With the courtesans’ blood, The word taking new forms, With every priests pronunciation.   That was the day, The poets’ darling, The emperors’ daughter, The harem girl, Slaughtered her final hostage, And became, Lahore.   Read more by Mohammad here or follow him on ...

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Ask Sayeda: How can anger be controlled?

Hi Sayeda, I really need your help. I have a problem with anger. I can’t seem to control it. If someone says something that offends me, I just blurt out whatever comes to my mind. I end up saying things I don’t mean and raise my voice and act like a fool but only realise things after I’ve calmed down. I really hate it and want to change, can you offer some advice? Thanks, Mad Cow. ————————————————————— Hello Mad Cow, You’ve chosen an interesting name for yourself! First of all, remember that whatever name you use, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, if you ...

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The Woolwich murder and narratives of hate

When my phone gently buzzed with a Guardian alert on Wednesday, I was tempted to ignore it but I didn’t. What I read made my heart sink. Someone was talking about a British soldier being hacked to death in Woolwich, South London and Theresa May was summoning Cobra – a crisis response meeting only called for matters of national security. That could only mean one of two things:  a terrorist attack perpetuated by home-grown elements or external forces. From the Twitter details streaming in, it sounded more like the former. In fact, it sounded less and less like a carefully ...

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President Obama’s speech and the continuation of drone strikes

President Obama delivered his much anticipated speech on counter-terrorism at the National Defense University, at Fort McNair in Washington, on Thursday. In the days before the address the focus was mainly expected to be policies governing drone attacks. According to White House officials, the speech would particularly give procedural details explaining the process leading up to decisions to use drones in counter-terrorism. It was also said that the remarks would outline, in detail, this administration’s counter-terrorism policies. Pakistan has had a long and violent relationship with American drones since 2004, the fifth year under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. According to ...

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Why do pickpockets go scot-free?

Embarking on an assignment to investigate a crime, I became the victim of a pickpocket. These days, the twin cities are in the grip of this age-old social evil plaguing our society, especially the poor vulnerable class using public transport. Though I have had the experience of falling victim to pickpockets many a times, this time it was coupled with embarrassment. More often than not, it is old men, women, pensioners, careless youth and the salaried passengers who become the target of the expert pickpockets. The last time, they had taken away all the cash I had on me, my cell ...

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The not-so-great ‘Great Gatsby’

I’ve always been disappointed by movies based on books that I’ve read because the director usually fails to bring the literary ingenuity to justice in the film. That’s why I made sure I didn’t read The Great Gatsby when I watched the movie, so that I could witness Baz Luhrmann’s magic on screen without constantly comparing it to the book. After all, he did a pretty decent job with Moulin Rouge and Australia! The Great Gatsby starts off with Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a depressed insomniac, trapped in a sanatorium, going down memory lane and recounting the days of his enigmatic youth. He keeps ...

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Dear MQM, PTI supporters are not sorry!

This letter is a response to a letter  recently published in The Express Tribune. I sincerely applaud your gracious apology to the MQM, especially at time when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters are vehemently caricatured only as abusive and irrational juveniles. One cannot help but be struck by the irony of your worthwhile endeavour. Had you been an MQM supporter, publicly asking Altaf Hussain to apologise for his incendiary vitriol and distasteful accusations against Imran Khan, you would have known the consequences of such an act would be dire, even if you had chosen to withhold your private identity. But thankfully you will ...

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