Stories published in June, 2014

‘Metronomics’ in Lahore: We may be heading for an ‘F’

What brings economic progress to a country? Social scientists have argued for good institutions, trade-suited geographical placement, favourable climatic conditions, cultural homogeneity among a country’s peoples, and – lo and behold – even their superior genetic makeup. Yet, no sociologist has suggested relegating the laws of economics to history’s waste bin. Endowments of nature (such as those listed above) are important indeed, but their apt utilisation (good economics) is much more important. Fiscally speaking, any new project a public official decides to pursue needs a thorough pre-evaluation by experts. Economists have tools to compare a given project’s usefulness to other potential ones. ...

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10 years ago we told you not to wage war in Iraq, who will stop the bloodshed now?

It was a chilly February morning in 2003 when my sister and I trudged into central London with a couple of school friends to voice our utter revulsion at the upcoming Iraq invasion that was being planned by Tony Blair and George Bush. There were people from all walks of life; the elderly, the disabled, the very young and very frail out in the millions to scream at the top of their lungs,  ‘No war! No war!’ The atmosphere was electric and people rallied together with a unified message knowing full well that war would completely destroy the region. So more than ten ...

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What if there was a blanket ban on advertisements in Pakistan?

Everywhere we turn, all we see is advertising; on the television, the radio, newspapers, magazines and social media. What with all the hoardings everywhere, buildings are no longer recognisable. Motorists are continuously bombarded with blown up images of different products and photoshopped models, trying to get them to pay attention to what they’re selling instead of what is on the road in front of them. And just when we began to think that the giant, teetering, 3D monstrosities on our billboards were the limit, advertisements started to grow, like mushrooms, on green belts, dividers and roundabouts, and hang like bats from ...

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All the best, Pakistan, we are with you!

What do you do when your neighbour’s house catches fire? Do you sit by, try to extinguish the fire using water or hasten its destruction by throwing petrol in it? Pakistan, our neighbour, my dear friends, has been afire for the last 12 years. Verily, it is one of the biggest victims of terrorism, duh. Statistics reveal an alarming rise in the number of fatalities due to acts of terrorist violence in the Islamic Republic in recent years. As per the data available with the South Asia Terrorism Portal, as many as 52,409 people, including women, children and brave security personnel, lost their ...

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Pakistan is at war… finally

Two fighters enter a ring to fight over a title. The decision has been made; or been made public, at least. The war is ours, finally. The time for talks, indeed, is over. Pakistan Army has launched an operation against the militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). After all these years, and the loss of so many dear lives, we’ve been jolted into action. Over the next few days, details will pour in of exactly what and how the Army hopes to achieve from this operation. And over the next few years, of course, we’ll get to see the ramifications materialise in our daily ...

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4 reasons “Edge of Tomorrow” was such a… fail

From the day that the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow was revealed, it was surrounded by a buzz. With Tom Cruise playing the lead and the amazing visual effects, I was sure we were in for a mega summer blockbuster; in fact, the day the film was released in Pakistan, all the shows were sold out! That, in itself, seemed thoroughly promising. Boy was I disappointed. There was absolutely nothing extraordinary about the movie, in fact, in my opinion, it lacked a power-punch packed script and failed to keep the audience engaged in the overall plot. Its slogan, ‘Live, Die, ...

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In 2014, slavery still exists…

Children are beautiful, innocent, simple and sweet. Therefore, they are loved, cajoled, pampered and spoiled. They get special treatment, selected food, quality education, prompt healthcare and extra attention. But this is not true for every child. Not every child is considered beautiful, simple and pure. Some children are born to live as children while others are born to live as slaves. These slave children are neglected and forgotten. They are beaten day in and day out, humiliated and assaulted. They are the waiters, the maids and the mechanics. They are the ones you take one glance at and then look away, because they look ...

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My beloved daughter, do not weep when I am gone

To my beloved Daughter, It seems that today may be my last day on earth, my last day with my family, my last day with you. Today, I managed to get a chance to reflect on all that I have done in my life as a father. It has been pretty interesting, in my opinion. I leave to you my final memories as I prepare for my transition into the life hereafter. The first time I held you in my arms and saw your smile, sweetheart, I felt more blessed than you can ever imagination. I gazed at you, God’s marvellous creation, wondering if you ...

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Father – An orphaned refugee’s idealistic fantasy

An orphaned refugee, a remnant of the last jihad, writes a riveting and imaginative composition on the topic, ‘My Father’ – an idealised fantasy inked to paper in commemoration of an absent parent, a youthful escape into what might have been. Even though the writer never, seemingly, came to know his father, having been a mere infant at the time of the bitter separation, the writing vividly reflects the untainted aspirations of what a child envisions his or her father to be, particularly in the case of orphans and dejected children. The year is 1990, and the sun has already ...

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No Father’s Day for you Papa

Papa never had a day; he always cherished and lived in our days. This Father’s Day is just another day for Papa. To someone who never had a day, this morning was no different since even today he was busy cleaning cars as we bid him salam after discussing a few tasks that needed his supervision.  Papa had a tough beginning but that was never passed on to us, not even on his worst day. But then again, papa never had a day. What he passed on was something worthy of a king; love for life, passion for sports, discipline for hobbies, a ...

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