Stories published in September, 2013

Will Nawaz Sharif be able to handle Narendra Modi?

On the evening of September 17, 1950, Damodardas Mulchand Modi and his wife Heeraben would have probably never thought that their third born, Narendra Modi, will one day challenge the powerful Nehru Dynasty and vouch for the office of Pradhan Mantri (prime minister) in one of the biggest democracies of the world, India. The rise of Namo (Narindra Modi) is spectacular as well as mind boggling. It shows a change in Indian politics, where a self-made tea boy running a tea stall at a small bus station in Vadnagar has risen to become the Chief Minister (CM) of Gujarat. Namo is the household name for the ...

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My university, NUST, grooms to minimise differences

The dress code at NUST (National University of Science & Technology) has cooked up quite a storm and as a student at the prestigious institution, this is what I have to say: “It was an overreaction.” The match that struck the flame was an image of a student fine notice stuck to a bulletin board at the university. This image, detailing what the students were being fined for, went viral. I admit that the grammar used in the notice was less than satisfactory including the terms ‘wearing tight’, ‘no dopata’ and so forth; but this error has been unfairly used to ...

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NUST: What’s so bad about a dress-code?

Since the concept of morality is fraught with subjectivity, any public discourse over it is always going to stir up a few emotions. Add to that a society, which has no qualms in projecting ostentatious displays of disposition or for that matter their disinclination towards religion; it can then stir up more than a few emotions. By now you have probably already heard, read, tweeted or shared the infamous news story regarding the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), that it imposed fines on some of its students for a dress code violation. Even though that was really the ...

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Forget NUST, our Baloch brethren need our help

NUST was the top trend on Twitter this week. 48 hours ago an earthquake of 7.7 magnitude struck Balochistan, the tremors of which were felt in Karachi and as far as Delhi. Tragically, over 300 people have died in Balochistan and according to The Express Tribune, 40,000 houses have been flattened. All the while, Nust remained top trend on Twitter. (News) #Balochistan quake death toll nears 350 http://t.co/2o5vUpPDoK #Pakistan #earthquake — The Express Tribune (@etribune) September 26, 2013 Photo: Reuters Most people seem to have forgotten that a tragedy far bigger than Nust’s dress code has struck Pakistan; either this or ...

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Rest in peace Blackberry, you were a good friend!

“…those were the days! I used to be the most sought after person. My number was on the speed dial of almost all high-ranking executives of public and private corporations in the town! They would even wake me up in the middle of the night…” This is how a corporate account manager of a large telecom company described his golden days. The big fish would call him directly whenever they wanted to buy a new BlackBerry or had an issue with their existing one. In return, they would oblige him in different ways. BlackBerry was a craze among the affluent, it ...

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When not being able to afford dowry can lead you to kill yourself

What would you say to five women, who are all fairly above the ‘marriageable age’ and yet have no good prospects in sight? Yes, I know that phrase pretty well. ‘Haye bechari!’ (Oh, the poor thing!) But it’s alright. Four of these five women don’t have to worry about marriage anymore. That is not because they have found feminism. It’s not because they found someone to take care of them or to love them or hold on to them without the greed of a dowry or a fancy wedding. It’s not because their father has won a lottery and suddenly became the richest man ...

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Craving GT Road dhaaba deliciousness? Try this channa daal

Whoever has travelled on the Grand Trunk (GT) road in Pakistan knows what a driver’s hotel or a manji hotel is. Four ideas are the usual elements which make up such a hotel; truck drivers, plenty of manjis (Punjabi for beds), karak doodh patti (strong milk-tea) and affordably epic desi food. These informal restaurants are where all the long haul trucks make in-between stops to eat, drink and rest before heading to another stretch of their tiring journeys. The GT road is South Asia’s oldest and longest road, originally built to link eastern and western regions of the subcontinent. The road was rebuilt by Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century. ...

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Kenya mall attack, and how our leaders let us down in Peshawar

A mother and her two children lay hidden under the cold meat counter of the supermarket, terrified of being discovered by the militants that had just taken over the premises. The mother had been shot in the leg and needed medical attention immediately, but her first priority was ensuring the safety of the children. So when the terrorists made an announcement that if there any children alive in the supermarket, they would be allowed to leave, she made the decision to stand up and announce their presence, even though it could mean certain death for her. Her four-year-old son Eliot’s protective instincts ...

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Do you know what your pharmacist does?

All around the globe, World Pharmacist Day is celebrated on September 25, in order to show respect for this important, yet often overlooked, branch of health care.  The responsibilities of a pharmacist are many and varied ranging from patient care to dispensing medications; and from monitoring patient health and progress to maximizing their response to the medication. In addition, pharmacists are also responsible for educating consumers and patients on the use of prescribed drugs and over-the-counter medications as well as for advising physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals on drug decisions. Since they also have expertise in the composition of ...

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At NUST: Fined for ‘wearing tight’ or no ‘dopatta’

As its contribution towards disciplining the youth of this country, the National University of Sciences and Technology (Nust) imposes fines on students for breaking their dress code. In their haste to fine students for wearing jeans and not wearing a dupatta they overlook something called grammar. No one is perfect, but when one is running an institution of higher learning perhaps one should have higher expectations. However, I digress. According to dawn.com, Nust has denied the report and stated only that students are instructed to wear ‘decent’ dresses. The fact, however, remains is that this isn’t the first time students have been fined at Nust or ...

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