Stories published in May, 2013

PCB Central Contracts: When seniority takes precedence over skill

Welcome to the peculiar world of Pakistan cricket; a world where players like Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan are rewarded Category A contracts, shortly after being snubbed from the team announced for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy tournament. Another “dropout” Umar Akmal nabbed a Category B contract. Can anyone check with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about their criteria of bestowing these contracts? For those who do not know, here is a brief summary of the three categories as reported by The Express Tribune: The increases gives “A” category players a monthly salary of 359,375 rupees ($3,600) and a Test match fee of ...

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Abdul Waheed Khan: When a social worker dies, a little piece of Pakistan dies too

Ladies and gentlemen, the conundrum for you today is to guess what March 13, 2013 and May 13, 2013 have in common. Many of you will answer, ‘the number 13,’ but looking beyond this obvious similarity, the former date marked the death of Perveen Rehman whereas May 13, marked the unfortunate death of Abdul Waheed Khan. Perveen and Abdul were both human rights activists, trying to improve the situation in Pakistan in terms of social mobility. It has been two months since Perveen’s death and nothing has been reported with respect to any investigations or legal proceedings against her killers; attaining justice for ...

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The agony and esctasy of PTI

‘’It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us..’’ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. ‘’Captain oh my captain’’ Imran Khan energised many with his strident call for change which lassoed in thousands hoping to change the history ...

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Why doctors want to leave Pakistan

I was born in a society where the field of medicine was considered a ‘sacred’ profession. A doctor was called “Doctor Sahib” out of mere respect. Reflecting on these societal views, I too, aspired to be a doctor. Little did I know what I was in for.. After graduating from medical school, I joined the likes of many enthusiastic doctors and started working in a government hospital in Islamabad. The job expected me to work over 80 hours per week and paid me nothing at all because all the paid seats (which were a mere handful) were occupied by doctors who were ...

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My party, PPP, lost because it forgot about the people

One factor which always made me proud to be a part of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was the its representation in each and every nook and cranny of Pakistan. However on May 11, the people’s verdict not only wiped out PPP from three provinces, but also clearly rejected our manifesto and our welfare programmes. PPP’s defeat is not merely a defeat of the party but a defeat of an ideology; it’s the defeat of roti, kapra aur makaan and of the policies we have been carrying since 2008. It’s a defeat of the downtrodden class as still it’s the only ...

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LDA fire: Victims not rich enough for your time?

It was our first day back at school after the election holidays. Everyone was anxious and impatient to share their stories. Amidst the rowdy crowd, my classmates and I sat in a laboratory and exchanged our political views on what had happened and what could have happened when we noticed something strange. One of my class fellows, Jehan* sat next to us unusually quite. She lived on campus and had gone home to cast her vote during the holidays. Her abnormally silent behaviour worried us, so we asked her what was bothering her. Upon our inquiring, she said that the ...

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Poverty and population growth

Sceptics may call it statistical trickery, but economic data confirms that global poverty has indeed been falling for the last three decades. According to the Poverty Reduction and Equity report of the World Bank, which was updated in April, the percentage of people living in the developing world on less than $1.25 a day (in purchasing power parity terms) was 52.2 per cent back in 1981. The figure dropped to just 20.6% in 2010. In other words, 1.2 billion people were impoverished in 2010 in the developing world as opposed to 1.9 billion in 1981. However, far more people would have ...

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Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani: Let the badtameezi begin!

With the music of the Ranbir-Deepika starrer Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, music director Pritam brings to us one of the most widely anticipated soundtracks of this year. There are still two weeks left for the May 31 release but the buzz around the film has already reached fever pitch. With Ayan Mukerjee at the helm, the film is expected to have a certain amount of youthful energy and breeziness to it (remember Wake up Sid?) and the music has been a success so far. Moreover, through one of the highlights of the soundtrack we are able to see the variety that it offers. The album utilises the ...

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When your boss breathes down your neck

It’s not fun. It’s not helping, and no, it’s not okay. Please leave me alone. I did a sales job about a year ago. It was probably the worst experience ever. It galls me to even speak of it as the memories haunt me till date. But, after being in denial about my skills for a good five months, and falsely assuring myself, “If he can do it, then so can I” or “If she can do it, I can definitely do it”, I finally realised, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Dealing with customers was not painless; it came down ...

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Please don’t stare at my sister

My little sister is well into adulthood. Mentally, however, I’d say her behaviour is that of a particularly sober and socially adept five or six year old.  This is due to a combination of Down’s syndrome and profound hearing loss (which has obviously been a hindrance to her development). It also means that she cannot speak and relies on a slightly limited sign language vocabulary.   As she’s the baby of the house, we all do as much as we can to spoil her. One of my pet activities with her is frequenting coffee shops and restaurants. She loves the ...

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