Stories published in August, 2014

An open letter to murderers of minorities

Dear ruthless, relentless and barbaric attackers of the minorities in my country, I‘d like to start by asking you about what happened day before yesterday? With what conscience did you think that it was acceptable to brutally gun down a Sikh teenager and open fire at two other Sikh businessmen in Peshawar? Were you just having a bad day at the Hashtnagri Bazaar, as sources confirm that there was no enmity between them and you? Was the heat too much to bear that Jagmohan Singh, the teenager you shot, had to take the brunt of your barbarism? You critically injured Parimjit and Manmit Singh ...

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Come, see…

Out beyond the realms of these unseen waves, There was a world, a world of existence, a world, which consciously breathed. Warm moist air, was actually felt against, an acne ridden cheek. A world where unclipped, the nails grew, and unchecked, the hair greyed. A world, where emotions were all over the place; Where corneas glistened, lips curled and the starched skin wasn’t taut, with toxins Blunt affect was seen as a disease, people passed a smile, not typed a smiley Flat faces, behind flat screens, the world of today, ruins within sutured seams. But that darned tea stain, does it still not evoke a certain familiarity? Protagonists were ...

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“OMG, is #ImranKhan getting married?”

Those alluring eyes and that almost shy, sheepish smile; a self-assured gait of a true sportsman; a naive idealism that one can disagree with but is charming nonetheless. Add to it that tinge of genuine humanity and a good heart that the world has seen in his philanthropy and an overall drop-dead gorgeous personality despite the wrinkles that give away his age. Imran Khan Niazi, even at age 60 plus and a divorce later, is considered one of the most eligible bachelors alive. May be that is why the news that he is under pressure from his family to remarry made front ...

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This is not what Jinnah wanted for Pakistan

On August 11, 1947, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah gave a speech at the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan where he mentioned that in this country, there will be no discrimination based on religious grounds. “We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle, that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one State… You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place ...

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Saudi Arabia: No country for Pakistani brides

The untoward behaviour from the Saudi government of reportedly laying off 30,000 illegal Pakistani workers hit yet another ebb when Saudi men were recently banned from bringing brides from four nationalities including Pakistan that is amongst the relegated list. Other countries languishing in this ill-famed category are Bangladesh, Burma and Chad. A cursory glance at the names of aforementioned countries makes me wonder how insignificant Pakistan has become in the greater scheme of things. It reduces Information Minister Pervez Rasheed’s recent claim, during a conference held to discuss Gaza, about Pakistan being the world’s sixth largest force to reckon with to a mere ...

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Is Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation a sign of protest or defeat?

Sayeeda Warsi’s recent resignation has gathered a lot of spotlight. The fact that she is the first Muslim to serve as a UK cabinet minister has only added to media coverage of her resignation. While the reaction to her resignation has been understandably mixed, what is up for debate is whether this serves any purpose at all. To put it simply, the resignation by Warsi is a sign of protest. In her own words: “My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally ...

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Congratulations, Pakistan

The 16th Annual All Pakistan Inter-University Bilingual Declamation Contest for the Allama Iqbal Shield award concluded on April 29, 2014. It is an annual exercise that the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) conducts, in order to promote a better understanding of socio-economic and political issues, critical thinking and communication skills among under and post-graduate students. The contest comprises three rounds. Students from various departments within a university compete in the first round. One top scorer from each university qualifies for the second round, where students from various institutions within an administrative division compete. In the third round, three top scorers (Urdu ...

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Hercules: Out with the demigods and in with the mortals

Director Brett Ratner, who has previously directed the Rush Hour trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Horrible Bosses, brings Hercules, an action-packed movie with Greek muscles written all over it. Pumping the action in the lead role is former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, who is seen clad in leather attire while swinging his swords and clubs at his enemies with Greek conviction. Unlike the Greek mythology, where Hercules is the son of Zeus, the movie doesn’t bode that connection as this time the story is somewhat different. Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) is the leader of the mercenaries and although he is regarded as the demigod son ...

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Who is to be blamed for the Gaza conflict?

Bring up Gaza in a mixed setting and you will hear a myriad of passionate responses. It is a complex and sensitive issue with a troubled history. One thing is for certain though that it is difficult to talk about it without saying a prayer for the innocents caught up in the violence and those that have passed away. The Gaza conflict has been allowed to go on for far too long, fuelled in fact by delusion from both sides and the refusal to accept facts instead of heated emotions and false rhetoric. Israel accuses Hamas of indiscriminately launching rocket attacks that has ...

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Can evidence against PML-N ever be found?

First, a few observations on the new narrative being constructed about rigging; specifically the ‘election tribunals’ argument made famous by who appears to be Fakhruddin Ibrahim’s son. While many went gaga over it yesterday, this ‘view’ has been here for a month now. I first read it in a Dawn column at the start of last month, and in the Five Rupees blog the next day. Since then it has been furiously parroted by at least one PML-N guy on TV; the new Punjab law minister. The argument basically is that the election tribunals are working fine, with 78% of the petitions disposed off already. ‘Already’ and ‘fine’ here are obviously ...

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