Stories published in December, 2013

What next for our men in black?

Rarely has a man in Pakistan polarised opinion so regularly. To his supporters, he is a superhero who steps in every time things start to fall apart in Pakistan. To his critics, he is power hungry and has overstepped his authority multiple times. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry is set to retire on December 11, 2013. Or at least that is what the plan is so far. In a country like Pakistan, plans seem to fall apart more often than not. However if all sense prevails, Iftikhar Chaudhry will sleep on the night of December 11, 2013, knowing that he won’t need ...

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Rich people, doing rich things in poor Pakistan

It has been 65 years since Pakistan’s independence. During this period, Pakistan has seen a lot of transition. From Ayub Khan’s industrialisation to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s socialisation, to Ziaul Haq’s Islamisation to Musharraf’s enlightened moderation and war on terror, we have had our fair share of ideologies and doctrines. Being a 22-year-old, average Pakistani guy who hasn’t seen most of these periodic transitions, I can naively (and safely) assume one similarity between all of them – the class divide in our society has remained unchanged throughout these six and a half decades. Every now and then I come across drawing room discussions where people, ...

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Farewell Mandela, farewell to the voice of morality

Omar Khayyam’s words ring in my ears today as the world bids its last farewell to Nelson Mandela, “Lo! Some we loved, the loveliest and best that time and fate of all their vintage prest, Have drunk their cup a round or two before, and one by one crept silently to rest.” I was still a child in the late 1980s. I was too young to understand the ways of the world, blissfully unaware of the earth-shattering global events that dominated the newspaper and the daily news program on PTV. I did not understand why the Berlin Wall fell, who George Bush was, ...

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Disaster victims are boring, lets cover Bollywood instead

Did you know that the estimated number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is around one million according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)? Did you know that another 1.5 million were affected by floods this year according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)? There are 1.2 million people in Pakistan urgently in need for winter items this season. I am quite sure that most people are unaware of these statistics. This is because the content on TV channels is driven by sensationalism which is essential to win the ratings race. Hence, we only ...

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Stuck in the concrete jungle of the corporate world, with nowhere left to go…

Pitch black darkness. Darkness so thick. And silence. He tried to say something. But no sound came out of his mouth. He had not spoken to anyone in years. Perhaps, the muscles in his throat had become weak and inactive. He used to talk to himself a lot in the first few days, weeks and months. But then he lost interest even in his own voice and soon silence replaced it all. Silence had become his only companion. Silence accompanied him every minute, every second of the day. He had tried so hard to break the silence at times. He hit his chains and shackles on the walls, ...

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10 reasons why Ian Somerhalder should win the Peoples Choice Awards

Most of you know him as Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries (TVD) while some of you might know him as Boone Carlyle from Lost season one. So all of you know how amazing he is. Here are my 10 reasons for why Ian Somerhalder deserves to win the 2014 Peoples Choice Award. 1)       He uses his fame for good causes. He organised the Ian Somerhalder Foundation (ISF) which focuses on the global conservation of habitats, green energy and animals, alongside educating people on the importance of protecting the environment.They collaborate with different non-profit organisations, people and projects to positively impact the planet. Isn’t ...

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Dear leaders, if you can’t protect drone victims, let the K-P government do it

Dear Mr Rana Sanaullah, Shahbaz Sharif and Pervez Rasheed,  I write this piece in response to your criticism over the NATO supply blockade by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government. Although Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members would give complicated arguments regarding dignity, terrorism and radicalisation against your views, my focus is relatively simple. Just take a look at the picture of Nabila Rehman showing a drawing she crafted over fear of drone strikes. Nine-year-old Nabila Rehman shows her drawing on drone strikes at the start of a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters Gentlemen, I do not know if drones kill terrorists. I ...

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Our nukes, their drones, our loss, their science

A news bulletin pops up on our television every now and then – showing that some region in our country – mostly the Federally Administered Tribal Agency or FATA – has been the recipient of a drone attack. These attacks often result in considerable damage to life and property, and there have been so many of them to date that it raised some questions in my mind. How can a country, located at least two continents away, kill anyone in our land with such impunity? How did the US gain access to the kind of technology that is able to pinpoint individuals from ...

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PCB: The mother of all evil in Pakistani cricket

Although Pakistan’s cricket team has seen victories, cricket in Pakistan seems to be on a downward spiral. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has taken many steps including the hiring of a foreign coach, but all steps taken by the board have failed to boost the team’s performance. Pakistan’s Bilawal Bhatti (2nd L) celebrates the win with teammates during the first ODI cricket match between Pakistan and South Africa at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on November 24, 2013. Photo: AFP In my view, this decline can be attributed to weak personalities regularly appointed to run the PCB, who ...

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Express News attack: Zip your lips or we will kill you

It sounded like thunder. My colleague and I stared at each other for a good 30 seconds, wondering what that noise could possibly be. Then, just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. “Maybe someone was moving furniture upstairs”, offered my colleague to my quizzical expression. And then the storm came. Chaos. Panic. Fear. That wasn’t thunder, nor was it people moving furniture; somebody had emptied entire magazines on our office. The Express Tribune was under fire, literally. They say when you are scared, you go numb and every minute feels like an hour. Let me tell you that I have never experienced fear ...

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