Stories published in November, 2013

Five myths you probably believe about diabetes

The world prepares to paint itself blue in observation of the World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2013, which makes it a perfect time to discuss some of the bitter details of this condition. Simply put, diabetes mellitus is about your body’s inability to regulate blood sugar level. This could happen in two ways: either your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, which is the hormone responsible for lowering blood sugar level (type I diabetes), or the body doesn’t respond as effectively to an otherwise normal level of insulin (type II diabetes). The following are a few common misconceptions about diabetes that ...

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Pakistan’s winning hockey team forgotten, losing cricket team adored?

There is no free lunch when it comes to coverage of sports in Pakistan. Pakistan’s hockey team has just won the second Asian Champions Trophy by beating Japan in the finals and with this victory, Pakistan has retained the title for the second time. Interestingly, while our hockey squad was on stage in Japan reveling with their gold medals, Pakistan’s cricket team was getting hammered at the hands of the South Africans in the UAE. Even more interesting was the stark contrast in the nation’s response to these two international sporting events. Even though Pakistan lost the ODI series, the audience was glued to ...

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Pakistani reactions to breaking news (explained through cats)

When visiting US diplomats talk about Pakistan being a key ally in the War on terror. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When Imran Khan says he will block NATO supply routes. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Reality of trying to block Nato supplies… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. How security forces are seen when rumours emerge of an operation into North Waziristan ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  How the MQM is seen when they announce they are breaking a political alliance ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  How the JI is seen battling over the ‘martyr’ controversy …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Each time the power tariff is raised by 50 paisa …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When there is a strike due to ‘namaloom afrad‘ ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  When a negative review of Waar is published ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..  When a positive review of Waar is published …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. When there’s a ...

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Why is the value of the Rupee depreciating, your honour?

“Could you please explain to the committee the factors that have resulted in the sharp depreciation of the Pak Rupee recently? In addition, please enlighten the honourable members of parliament about the possible measures the government is likely to take in order to avoid this in the foreseeable future,” inquired the Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance. This was the moment I had been waiting for since the day I started my research associate-ship in Pakistan’s Upper House of Parliament, the Senate. I was, finally, about to see the executive being held accountable by the representatives of the people. The ...

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Salut to the tenants of the night

Salut to the tenants of the night, Who bend faith and time, Who bend modest climes, Wrapped in a thunder cloud, And reach for the holy grail.   Salut to the tenants of the night, Who put to shame A million eyes in vigil, A sky with the cloudy sigils, Of mercy and benevolence.   Salut to the tenants of the night, When the wild sounds of a cock And a thousand eyes salivate, Raping with uncouth cheers, The only two women who dare To chase the storm for their empty bellies.   Salut to the tenants of the night, Those uncouth ladies – harlots, Who tried their best to hide The blemish and the hair white With rouge and dyes, And streaks ...

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Munawar Hassan, our fallen soldiers and citizens ARE martyrs

Some time ago a small, market town in England called Wootten Bassett attracted national and international media attention. The town was granted Royal Patronage and even US President Obama appreciated their actions. The people of Watton Basset showed honour and respect to their dead soldiers, who were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whenever the bodies of British troops were brought to an air force base and they passed through this town, the townsfolk showed their respect with spontaneous gestures; businesses stopped, passersby lined the pavements, taking off their hats and standing in silence. The honouring of the fallen soldiers by the people of ...

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Gravity: Less of a movie, more of an experience

Space movies have always enthralled viewers because of their special effects. Gravity’s plot is a typical space survival story but the way the scenes are shot makes Gravity less of a movie and more of an experience where viewers can feel weightlessness, solitude and chills running down their spine. Director Alfonso Cuaron has taken the concept of space movies to the next level with Gravity. Movies such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Armageddon, and Apollo 13 are a few from this genre that were box office hits and still have a place in the viewer’s subconscious mind. [Warning: some spoilers ahead] In this space disaster flick, Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Lieutenant ...

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I remember a Muharram in Quetta when we lived peacefully…

Gone are the days when Muharram was observed by nearly all Muslims belonging to different sects of Islam. Now it is observed strictly under security from law enforcement agencies. In Quetta, my neighbourhood used to be an example of religious harmony; non-Shiite Baloch, Brahvi and Pashtoon, all honoured the religious sentiments attached to the month of Muharram. Playing football, flying kites and sharing our lunches with our friends, regardless of what sect they came from, was a part of my everyday life as a child. There was no objection from my elders regarding my routine as they used to socialise with our ...

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Younis Khan, ODI team selection is based on performance, not contacts

Do you remember the days when you would place a school bag on your preferred bus seat to symbolise that it was reserved? It would take a routine effort to have the bag all packed at the end of the last period and then dash towards the car park to get a preferred position. However, if you were part of a ‘gang’, they would ensure you get a seat alongside them regardless. That would happen, of course, at the expense of a not-so-connected boy. And so goes the story of the mainstay of our One Day International (ODI) middle order. Back ...

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Munawar Hassan’s words, spelling the end of Jamaat-e-Islami?

It is evident that the death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud has opened a Pandora’s box of accusations, suspicions and conspiracy theories; and provided enough fodder to the electronic and print media to feast upon. Although Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was fast to react, their statements were balanced and great caution was exercised by limiting their views to terming the attack as a conspiracy against the peace process. Maulana Fazlur Rehman meanwhile went the extra mile to stir up anti-US sentiments by saying that “even a dog killed in a US drone strike would be declared a martyr”. Of course, Maulana’s statement invited the wrath of many ...

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