Stories published in June, 2014

Mimicking rape styles from India: Hang the rapists!

The outrageous rape and hanging of Muzammil Bibi near Multan is shocking to say the least. However, it will only remain a source of horror and disgust for a couple of days because as a nation we have grown immune to such and even worse cases. These news items catch our eye for a second and we mention it to our friends during the current day. Our discussion ends with, “Yaar, these things are common in Pakistan and no one can do anything about it.” We rarely remember this the next day and by the third day, there is another wild story to enrapture us, ...

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Ditch the bakery stuff and make your own healthy jam filled bran muffins

Even though baked goods are notorious for being laden with sugars and fats, we crave them and indulge in them quite often. Our children love them and thoroughly enjoy them too. However, when these treats are baked at home, it gives us the liberty to control the ingredients and portion sizes. And what can be healthier than wheat bran? It is an excellent source of dietary fibre that aids in preventing colon diseases, including stomach cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, haemorrhoids and hiatal hernia. It is also used for treating constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type-two ...

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Will we ever see a nuke-free world?

Despite numerous calls and rhetoric to move towards global nuclear disarmament, no significant progress has been achieved to this day. Instead, all these efforts have met with a tragic end. The recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report has shown a very dismal picture with regards to this. All nine nuclear states are currently in possession of 16,300 nuclear weapons, which includes 4000 operational ones. P5 countries, which include the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, are upgrading their nuclear arsenal and spending a hefty amount on the development of new weaponry systems. Though, we have seen a ...

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Kill them, kill them!

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Sinister, sinister, He exclaims, You are forever, Held in remains. You shall kill for you need to live, Earn for yourself but to me you give, Deny the contrary, expand the illusive, For we are the ones, we are exclusive. Sinner, sinner, He explains, Blessings for those, Who do not complain. You see my friend, you cannot speak. When elders troll, the minions scroll, To pacify you is our ultimate goal. Kill them, kill them! He will shout. The mind that opposes, Should bleed, no doubt. The end is nigh, we need to act. Those that answer, we will subtract. We are the holy, we are ...

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My friend and I were the first Pakistanis to receive tweets from Space!

2010 was ending and I had no idea about the amazing things that were going to happen. Since it was the end of year, my old astronomer friend Ramiz Qureshi told me that he wants Pakistani astronomy enthusiasts on Twitter to become a part of the International Space Station (ISS) wave. All was set and during the last week of December we decided to set things in motion. During an ISS pass, people from at least three cities of Pakistan – Hyderabad, Karachi and Lahore – saw the ISS passing right above their heads and waved at it. Once done, people tweeted ...

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Happy 61st Birthday Benazir Bhutto, there is none like you!

June 21st is one of the longest days of the year. But its significance is much more than just that. It is also the day when Pakistan’s great leader was born 61 years ago. Benazir Bhutto was a brave and dauntless leader. With her charisma, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and compassion she was an ideal woman in many ways. Tested through fire, she never abandoned her ideals and belief in the freedom of humanity from tyranny. In a male-dominated and Islamic society, she became the first woman elected ruler of a Muslim country in modern history. She stood bravely against both the tyranny of ...

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Will Spain be able to recover from the 2014 World Cup debacle?

How ironic is it that Spain had a new king just hours after the country’s football team relinquished their crown in Brazil? And how symbolic is it that it happened at the Maracana Stadium? Oh the Maracana. While Brazil still sees ghosts of 1950 and Uruguay, there will be new skeletons in the closet for Spain for years to come at this iconic venue, for this is the ground that finally saw the end of Spain’s glorious era. All great teams have a cycle. And alas, Spain’s has ended. It was Chile, one of the teams Spain defeated on the way to World Cup glory four ...

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Parkour boys of Quetta: Fighting fear… like a boss

I didn’t really know what parkour was, until I came across a recent article about some boys from Quetta’s Hazara town who practise this activity. I had come across references to free running (a more acrobatic version of parkour) on television previously, but since I’m the kind of old soul who believes that doing anything which might result in a serious injury is a cry for attention, I never gave it any. It had an aura of belonging to the seedy world of graffiti, tattoos, drugs and gangs and I am, as I mentioned earlier, an old soul. After reading the article and watching ...

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Don’t ignore your IDPs, Pakistan!

The military operation in Swat five-years-ago led to the displacement of approximately two million Pakistanis, who had to abandon their homes, commodities and lives overnight to a bleak and uncertain future. Facing obscurity, these two million refugees trekked to safer locales with infants and elderly in tow. According to United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) statistics, released as of September 11, 2012, there were 160,063 families still resigned to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) status, of which 12% (18,783 families) were still residing in camps and 88% (141,280 families) were residing in host communities two years back. Though the World Food Programme (WFP) assisted ...

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What is the difference between dictatorship and democracy in Pakistan?

Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer is often referred to as the butcher of Amritsar who opened indiscriminate firing on the crowd at Jallianwala Bagh in 1919, killing hundreds of peaceful protestors. Nearly a century later, when we have evolved into an independent country governed by Muslim leaders, his ghost lives on. In the recent barbaric incident of State brutality, the Punjab police opened fire on the workers of Dr Tahirul Qadri resulting in the death of eleven innocent civilians and over eighty others injured. The dead included two women as well, one of them pregnant. TV footages revealed how the government machinery ...

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