Stories published in June, 2014

Déjà vu: The workers died due to suffocation

‘The workers died due to suffocation’ – this is not the first time we have heard news like this. The first time we heard it was back in 2012. Two years ago, on September 11, 2012, when the garment factory caught fire claiming 259 lives and injuring 140. They called for help, screamed and shouted in agony but all in vain. The rescue forces didn’t get there in time. There were no fire escapes, fire retardants or safety measures. The doors were locked and the only unlocked door was on fire. One might think that they could have used the windows to escape instead ...

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Spanish bulls annihilated by the flying Dutchman, what’s next?

On July 11, 2010, in the cauldron of the Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, the Spaniards shimmied their way around the unsparing Dutch to win their first world cup, a victory of classy tiki-taka over oafish display. Four years later, at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, we witnessed a Dutch Reconquista. It was a sight of corrida de toros (Spanish bullfighting), where Dutch bulls ran, veered and jostled past Spanish matadors, reducing their morale to dust by netting a cascade of goals. It was one of the most unforeseen results in FIFA World Cup history. On each of the previous occasions, where a team, that is defending ...

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Why Obama’s America needs Modi’s India

India’s image has altered considerably over the past few years in the eyes of the Western world due to the increasing influence with regards to global economic growth, steady consolidation with the international market economy, orientation of nuclear weapons, delivery capability of national defence strategies and effective introduction of new technologies of communication. In order to pursue its interest of maintaining its status as a super power, America needs to sustain long lasting and strong relationships with India. By calling India a ‘very important strategic partner’, the US hopes the new Indian government will help in the sustenance of their ‘enduring partnership’. The support and cooperation of India’s new Prime ...

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Fruity summers and mango treats: Desi mango lassi

Even though the temperature is rising every day, the best part about summers is the amazing variety of mouth-watering fruits in season, mangoes being the most favourite of them all. So, I decided to beat the heat with a simple yet refreshing mango and yogurt drink. Not only does it taste delicious, with the sweetness of the mango and the tart flavour from the yogurt, it’s immensely refreshing and super healthy. Mangoes are enriched with vitamins A, B and C, which when combined with protein packed yogurt or milk, turns into a delicious nourishing beverage that will keep you energised the entire day. It’s a great ...

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An entrepreneurial Pakistan is not a dream: Thatta Khedona shows you how it’s done

Imagine a village in Pakistan that has garnered international acclaim but still remains unknown to 99.9% of the Pakistani population. This village is called Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka (TGD), which I am sure many of you have never even heard of.  TGD is located 30 kilometres outside Okara and is situated on the Okara-Faisalabad road. Before 1992, this was like any other poor village in Punjab, lacking resources and infrastructure. However, a couple of events completely changed the fate of this desolate settlement. Amjad Ali, a local resident of TGD, whilst studying in Germany, invited his German teacher Dr Senta Siller to visit the ...

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Were Pakistan’s 2013 elections really rigged?

13 months on, and the issue of electoral rigging is still alive and well. Many of us wish this were not so; that Imran Khan would just give it a rest and get on with his parliamentary duties rather than taking his band of merry men town to town, stirring up the same issue like a broken record. Quite a few also suspect that the purpose of his actions may not simply be the pursuit of justice or even electoral reform. For them, it seems quite logical to assume darker motives. Such speculation is eminently justified given the events currently unfolding in ...

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To all the leftist liberals and the beghairat brigade, my blood is still green!

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It’s like looking through the window of a bullet train passing by downtown of a metropolis at night. You only see the well-lit boulevards and tall skyscrapers while the darkened slums are blurred out of view. Today, when I look back at my 29 years in Pakistan, I can’t remember the pitch dark slums of the late 80s or early 90s. The memories that have remained or those which my brain has chosen to record are the ones where only the metaphorical boulevards and skyscrapers remain. Before a myriad of Pakistani television channels sprung up, before a number ...

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The ATP World Tour: What to expect

After the French Open, the tennis giants move on to the grass courts. There are only five grass court events on the ATP World Tour calendar. The conversion from clay to grass is tough and the short time span between the French Open and Wimbledon makes it tougher. Players hardly get a couple of weeks in between these two grand slams. Before Wimbledon, the four tournaments that help players establish their feet on clay are the Gerry Weber Open, Aegon Championships London, Aegon Championships Eastbourne and the Topshelf Open. All the aforementioned tournaments are ATP 250 tournaments which are comparatively smaller to the ...

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The importance we (don’t) give our country

When one thinks about Pakistan, what is it that comes to mind? For some, it’s a land with troubled tribal areas or a cradle for terrorism. For many, it’s a haven for corrupt politicians, backed by a corrupt legislation and a flawed constitution. And for others, it’s just a mistake that Mr Jinnah made 67 years ago. If you ask a young, college-going boy about what Pakistan is to him, he will probably say that it’s, “A country in which I was born, raised and taught the tricks of getting my way in the world either by hook or by crook. A ...

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Cooking up a storm with Masterchef Pakistan

An idea struck me while watching this week’s episodes of Masterchef Pakistan. The arrival of the Masterchef franchise to a country doesn’t necessarily reflect the inherent love for food in that society, but rather it is an example of a country’s television-cooking industrial complex reaching a certain level of sophistication. Masterchef requires celebrity chefs and a television audience used to cooking shows. While the country’s media is still popularly associated with talk shows and famous anchors, cooking shows have quietly established themselves as mainstays of Pakistani TV, offering competition to both news and general entertainment. When Chef Shae walked in as ...

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