Stories published in July, 2014

Pakistani dramas in India, yay!

Indian soap operas and dramas have been airing on Pakistani television for a long time now. Pakistani women especially, have been largely influenced by these drama serials and this can be seen in the way Hindi words have seeped into our language and Indian clothing has become part of our fashion. Women not only want to buy Tulsi’s sari now, but to also, at times, address an unfortunate happening or a mishap as abshugan (Hindi for bad luck). The effects on our culture can be easily spotted. However, a few days back, I came across news that was thoroughly refreshing to hear; Pakistani dramas are ...

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Will TTP back the ISIS?

Reports from various sources and news agencies are claiming that Pakistan is all geared up to tackle terrorism on a large scale. The question however is: how much can Pakistan really do, with the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, protection of its eastern borders and dealing with internal security affairs? On the other hand, the United States has once again embarked upon a full scale procedure to eradicate the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Iraq. The US has confirmed that it is now flying armed drones over Baghdad. Pentagon has claimed that this act is for the protection of ...

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Is Pakistan ready to pay the cost of a complete ban on smoking?

The Pakistan Paediatric Association estimates that about 12,000 adolescents become addicted to smoking every day. If this seems like another passable statistic, let me confess that I smoked my first cigarette when I was only eight-years-old. Most of my childhood was spent in an environment clouded by thick smoke of the cancer sticks, yet I was always taught that smoking was bad. The mind of a child can never grasp why something his male relatives indulge in so often can be harmful and I was no different. Not until I took up smoking in my late teens and observed examples of smokers ...

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Should we have a role model?

Hussain Haqqani had just finished his talk at the University of Boston auditorium and was surrounded by a horde of star-struck students. He was somewhat of a celebrity professor there, famed for his eloquence and sound argumentation, and was sorely missed after having gone on a sabbatical, of unspecified duration, due to his new duties as the ambassador of Pakistan in DC. With a train of excited students behind him, he announced that they shall all have dinner at a nearby restaurant. Seated in front of him at the end of a long rectangular table, I was among the three ...

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For the apple of my eye

On August 22, 2013, I was blessed with a healthy baby boy, Yahya Waqas. He was perfect in every sense of the word. The apple of my eye, the joy of my life, everything I could ever dream of. He was a beautiful baby, my little miracle when I least expected it. He made our family complete. The three of us, he, my husband and I, were totally inseparable. We laughed with him, played with him, even danced with him. He was a feisty young boy and it was during my pregnancy that I fell unconditionally in love with him and I ...

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Want to own a Lamborghini? Here is how it’s done!

I am not really big on cars; the previous cars I have had – a white Mehran (aka the Sex Mobile), a whiter Mehran (aka the Sugar Mama) and a maroon Mehran (aka the Kinky Dinky) – were all funded by a non-refundable loan from my dad (he is the best bank ever). Not that I don’t like my Mehrans, but yesterday I saw the latest Transformers movie, and I have to say, I would love to buy a Lamborghini for myself. I mean, it’s about time I buy a car that has its own name, you know, like Gallardo or Aventador. I don’t think ...

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What does religion have to do with football?

The World Cup 2014 is about to reach its final stages, with the quarterfinals matches starting from Friday, July 4. The knockout rounds saw major teams facing a tough challenge against underdog teams and five out of eight matches went into extra-time so that a winner could be decided. This highlights the intensity of these matches. The clash between the mighty Germans and the dark horses, Algeria, also went onto extra time. Andrea Schurrle scored in the opening minutes of the extra time, to give Germany an edge over the highly impressive Algerian side. Mesut Ozil doubled Germany’s lead in the 119th minutes and ...

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Zarb-e-Azb: Are you doing your bit to fight terrorism?

With the consent of the federal government in Islamabad, the Pakistan Army has finally launched operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ in North Waziristan. It was long due for the federal government to take responsibility of the constitution of Pakistan. The constitution is not just about executing former chiefs of the army under article six; it is also about establishing the writ of the state, providing justice to its citizens and securing their lives and properties, against criminals and terrorists. The attack on Peshawar airport was not the first attack. The attack on the Karachi airport, on army bases and headquarters, on schools and public gatherings, in marketplaces and residential areas, ...

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Are you a Facebook lab rat?

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, leaving behind China’s 1.34 billion people and India’s population of 1.2 billion. Their user base has increased from 1 million in 2004 to 1.23 billion today. In 2012, Facebook tampered and manipulated the newsfeed of about 700,000 of its users for one week. It placed posts into user news feeds to study how this affected their mood, removing either all of the positive posts or all of the negative ones. Scientists working for the social network conducted this study for a week in January 2012 to see if interfering with posts the users ...

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The queen of hearts lives on… even today

The legend of the late Princess of Wales, Princess Diana, lives on in the form of Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince George. History seemed to repeat itself when the royal family took a tour of Australia recently, where Diana and Prince Charles took their historic six-week voyage in 1983 with baby William two years into their marriage. Although the obsession with celebrities wasn’t that deep during that era, the excursion was overwhelming for the shy and insecure Diana, who was unaware of the media savvy princess that she would eventually blossom into. Royal tours can be immensely stressful, unnerving and intimidating ...

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