Stories published in September, 2013

Shahzeb Khan: We did win!

So Shahzeb Kahn’s parents have decided to pardon Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices “fi sabillillah” (“In the way of God”).   Social and electronic media is in an uproar. TV channels are working themselves into a frenzy reporting on details of an alleged deal (worth Rs30 to Rs80 crores depending on what time you turn the TV on). Footage of a smug Shahrukh Jatoi flashing a victory sign as he leaves the court after being sentenced to death is being aired hundreds of times a day. Articles are being written saying things like “Shahzeb was shot a year ago, but he ...

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Shuddh Desi Romance: Fairy tales exist, with or without marriage!

Three days into the release of Shuddh Desi Romance (SDR), most of the Bollywood viewers (irrespective of whether they have seen the movie or not) know that the film circles around the theme of cohabitation, or live-in relationships as more commonly known. Most of these people have also formed opinions about the movie and its concept, which leaves little room for me to address the movie in. After all, what can I say? Everything has already been said! Frankly, to me, SDR is not about love or relationships at all. Strangely enough, it makes me want to take a good look at ...

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Shahzeb Khan’s parents did what they had to

‘’Shahzeb’s family should be shunned by everyone who supported them.’’ “The parents had been extremely pressurised to forgive the tyrants, but Allah (SWT) will inflict them with His divine retribution InshaAllah.’’ To all those bashing Shahzeb Khan’s parents, what would you do if you were in their position: threatened by feudals and their sidekicks, having lost one son and trying to protect the remaining children? In a land where might is right, would you have the guts to endanger more precious lives in order to see justice done to a grinning Jatoi or Talpur? As Shahzeb’s mother said: “We cannot spend our entire ...

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“Democracy is the best revenge,” President Zardari’s legacy

I can say with some confidence that President Zardari’s legacy will be written in golden words. I don’t say this as his son, or patron-and-chief of the Pakistan People’s Party – but as a student of history. I would compare his presidency to that of America’s Lyndon B Johnson (LBJ). He too was an accidental president. He came to power following the assassination of the popular and charismatic John F Kennedy. Much like Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto, JFK was assassinated before he could implement much of his agenda and vision for the country. LBJ used the political capital he gained following ...

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Younis Khan: A legendary match winner

When Younis Khan helped Pakistan out of a precarious situation in Pakistan’s second innings of the first Test against Zimbabwe, you would have known that you were in for a Younis Khan special. When it comes to Test cricket, Younis Khan is arguably the best batsman Pakistan has produced. He always delivers when the team is in need, he is better than all when it comes to second innings performances, he saves Tests, he wins Tests and he is a team man. His exploits and relative standing compared to other batting greats of the game have been well documented. Now, we ...

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Being a nice guy

I was speeding away on my bike when I heard an agonised moan coming from a man, sprawled on the roadside. He was begging for help. I just couldn’t bring myself to drive away without stopping to see what had happened, because, let’s face it – I am Pakistani, and like all Pakistanis, I love a spectacle. I parked my bike close to the man and examined him. He was writhing in a pool of his own blood, twisting in agony. He had been hit badly and at this time of the night, I knew no one would come to ...

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Leaving for college but trying to fit ‘home’ into a suitcase

Every time I leave home, I have the urge to pack everything within sight. Accessories I will never use, dozens of Pakistan flags I will forget to put up, books I won’t get time to read, stray tokens of days spent at home so that I may relive them at will. However, this odd impulse isn’t nearly as exasperating as the reality that I can’t actually pack the things that matter the most, because they are intangible. My sister’s voice or the spark in her chatter; my mother’s worried frown when she thinks I’m overworked; long, honest conversations with old friends; the innate comfort ...

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The US at the G20 summit: Selling a strike on Syria

The G20 leaders met in St Petersburg where Obama’s drive to strike Syria was on the top of the agenda. However, his ‘coalition of the willing’ is rather weak and much divided with Vladimir Putin resolutely against any military intervention without a resolution from the United Nations Security Council.   My fear is that this summit could be the final step before another disastrous involvement by the West in the Arab world. The similarities of 2013 and 2003 are startling. Just like 10 years ago, with regards to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, John Kerry reassured the congress that the Assad regime is the ...

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Mr Asif Ali Zardari, you have done it!

September 8, 2013 is a day for both history and headlines in Pakistan. A historically unprecedented and smooth transfer of presidential power has taken place in our constitutional and political history. There has been no coup d’état by a general, no declaration of emergency, no suspension, abrogation or subversion of the constitution and no declaration of a fifth martial law in the country. A democratically elected head of state has completed his full term and has vacated the office in line with the theory and practice of constitutional provisions. All the headlines emanating from former president Asif Ali Zardari’s completion ...

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Why I do not care about teaching my toddler about letters, shapes and colours

How many adults do you know that can’t read, can’t draw a circle or can’t identify colours? Honestly, you may be able to think of one or two in your life. Statistically, one in seven adults has issues with reading and writing. So this is not an issue to completely forget about, but if you are reading this blog, chances are your child will not be one of these children. This statistic mainly comes from very impoverished and neglected children and these adults will need far more than basic grammar skills to function in life. So what’s your rush to get your toddler to ...

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