Stories published in March, 2015

The greater evil, Western hypocrisy or the ISIS?

“Third teenager has been caught trying to flee Australia to join Islamic State” – Daily Mail, UK Are they crazy? Insane? Traumatised? Or hypnotised? Who can think of leaving behind the luxurious life of western countries, including Scandinavia, and end up in a region where even getting a continuous supply of electricity is a rarity, where the western concept of freedom completely seizes to exist, and you simply do not know whether the next bomb hitting the ground will turn your surroundings into a pile of rubble. How on earth can somebody think of leaving Australia for countries such as Syria and Iraq, which are ISIS ...

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Deliciously healthy spinach soup

Spinach is considered the world’s healthiest food, and I am proud of having some part of my kitchen garden growing fresh spinach for most part of the year. Spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. The benefits of spinach are endless; it possesses anti-inflammatory properties, helps fight against cancer, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and helps our immune system and brain functions. Photo: Farah S Kamal Ingredients:  Spinach leaves – 350 grams (fresh, chopped, washed stems and removed) Chicken stock ...

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Legally speaking, Shafqat Hussain can be executed

The case of Shafqat Hussain has been in the lime light for many days now; much has been written about the circumstances surrounding it. If we browse through social media regarding this issue, conflicting opinions are found, ranging from the very typical “propaganda by foreign funded NGOs” to the more realistic “Shafqat killed a child so he should be hanged too” and many in between. But most people seem to be confused about how the juvenile justice system in Pakistan works. Things are virtually the same on electronic media; some are calling for a retrial on the plea of juvenility over the allegedly forced confession through torture ...

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A woman does not need a man’s protection

“Nobody is a monster that he is excluded from society. After all, any society that has these rapists has to take responsibility for them, and this is the first thing that these feminist callers that came before the Verma Committee said, that these are our people, these men are ours.”— Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate, Supreme Court India and co-author of the Verma Report I am not a rapist. I cannot even possibly conceive how a person could rape, assault, murder or even harass. So why did I feel guilty being a man watching the documentary India’s Daughter? This question has plagued my thoughts for ...

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GermanWings crash: Blame the pilot or blame the industry?

Since the inception of free electronic media and social media, aviation accidents have become subject of great interest amongst the masses. For Pakistan, it was the Airblue Flight crash which took place in Margalla Hills, Islamabad five years ago. It was the worst aviation disaster in Pakistan aviation history followed by the Bhoja Air crash in 2012, which killed all 127 passengers on board. The first recorded accident in commercial aviation history was on August 2, 1919, when a Caproni Ca48 type aircraft crashed near Verona, killing all passengers aboard. Since then a number of aviation accidents have taken place, killing hundreds of people on board and on ...

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The army may be helping Gilgit-Baltistan but where is the Pakistani government?

Trekking is my craze, hiking is my pastime and mountaineering is my obsession. And to observe and do research about the conditions of people belonging to Pakistan’s neglected regions is something that I like to do. So you can understand my excitement when, last summer, I availed the opportunity of visiting Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), also largely known as the northern areas of Pakistan. I went up to a height of 17,000 feet, well beyond tree-line, whereupon I came across something spectacular. I witnessed the glory of the Pakistan army, helping its people out even so far above ground. I saw officers of the military doing ...

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Even Ayyan would be a better choice than Azhar Ali

Not satisfied with having had a poor World Cup campaign and an average limited overs cricket record during their reigns, it seems that both coach Waqar Younis and retired ODI captain Misbahul Haq have decided to leave us with a parting gift. This parting gift exemplifies their horribly defensive mindset which has been a major factor in the Pakistan ODI team’s mediocrity. Various reports state that it was the duo that influenced the PCB into naming Azhar Ali as the new ODI captain. It almost seems like a joke where Pakistan cricket is the punch line. PCB phones Azhar Ali, "Congratulations, you're the new ...

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Kashmir: Where raising a Pakistani flag is a criminal offence

On March 23rd, a Kashmiri woman publicly displayed a Pakistani flag and sang our national anthem in Srinagar. Judging from the swift and furious response by the authorities, she may well have been brandishing a swastika. I do not believe I would be able to mount a perfect defence, especially to Indian readers, of Asiya Andrabi – a somewhat intimidating niqabi separatist leader commonly photographed with a ceremonial dagger in hand. And that’s fine because who Andrabi is and what she personally stands for is irrelevant to this case. Why Arrest? Gun them down "@TimesNow: "Yes, I hoisted Pak flag & sung Pak anthem," ...

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The Theory of Everything: Serenely comforting yet harrowingly moving

Stephen Hawking, a British theoretical physicist, is one of the most extraordinary and brilliant minds that we have in the world today. His is a brain of astounding powers. The ground-breaking ideas that he has unleashed onto the world are significantly responsible for transforming the ways with which we make sense of the universe and have established him as a ubiquitous sensation; a personality so impeccably prominent and pertinent that he has been considered by many as the equitable heir to none other than Einstein himself. Photo: The Theory of Everything Facebook page The lives of such figures ...

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Mr Nawaz Sharif, the Saudi-Yemeni conflict is not our war to fight

As the Houthi rebels strengthen their stranglehold over the country, amid the surreptitious flight of the Yemeni president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the long raging civil war in Yemen has finally come into the international spotlight. Pakistan is, once again, at crossroads with Saudi Arabia, who is attempting to suck in inter-ethnic, inter-religious, and intra-sectarian conflicts into their black hole. The prospects of petro-dollars coupled with the longstanding romance between the Sharifs and Sauds, buoyed by a rise of the Pakistan Army as a bulwark against both domestic as well as international terrorism, in recent times, might have made the temptation of joining the Saudi alliance irresistible, but it is an alliance ...

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