Stories published in May, 2015

How ‘influential’ are Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People?

The wait is over and we now have Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ list – a list which ranks the most inspiring personalities from all across the globe. This year’s list, however, made me question the ‘it’ factor that brings them in the league of these highly esteemed people. This year, the list includes a variety of individuals and gives you the flavour of everything under the sun. The 2015 list has personalities such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani activist Malala Yousufzai, rapper Kanye West, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping, India’s Narendra Modi, and many more. Thus, I question what makes one ...

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What if an accident like Fukushima or the Bhopal Gas Tragedy repeats itself?

“A nuclear accident anywhere is a nuclear accident everywhere” Almost a billion Indians now face the fearsome prospect of living under the shadow of an Indian nuclear lust. The Indian nuclear power industry remains shrouded in secrecy and opacity, refusing to reveal details on safety.  Following the nuclear diplomacy of India, one of the crowning achievements by the government of India was the pact with the US which showered out India from the list of nuclear pariahs allowing full access to nuclear technology and materials without signing Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).   The nuclear power generation is controlled by a government entity ...

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10 ‘guarantees’ given by tuition centres that should be questioned

Pakistan is witnessing the evolution of private schools along with the mushrooming of evening tuition academies. They manage to fascinate parents with an extravagant jingle and it has become the biggest educational discotheque where parents gamble, over-invest and most of the times, the results are not quite as anticipated. They all claim to achieve results and they all have different, ‘effective’ methods to help your child ace their way. But how is a parent supposed to know? Are they just supposed to go by their ‘claim’? Here are 10 ‘guarantees’ given by every tutor or tuition centre which must be questioned before any ...

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Is the Zimbabwe tour more important than our minorities?

The Zimbabwean cricket team will be arriving in Pakistan tomorrow night. After much confusion and shaky decision-making, the team will finally play cricket in Pakistan. This is the first Test team to visit Pakistan after six years. The security arrangements for the team entail a fleet of policemen protecting them at all times. Alongside this, 4000 special officers, 30 snipers and four patrol vehicles will keep an eye during the five-match series whilst four security check posts will be made at the main Gulberg entrance. I, like any other cricket fanatic, am ecstatic and charged for the historic event but the guilt of having failed ...

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Remembering Muzaffarabad with this divine Kashmiri chicken curry

During the long summer school holidays in Pakistan, as we roamed around the beautiful northern areas of Pakistan for summer vacations, Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan’s side of Kashmir, would be one of the stops. There weren’t that many hotels in that area back then so the government guest houses were the place to stay on such trips. Regardless of which part of northern areas one went to, the government guest houses would have one thing in common – a Kashmiri cook or khansama as they call them in Pakistan. Those trips were the reason for my delicious encounters with Kashmiri chicken ...

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It’s about time we put an end to transphobia in Pakistan

In recent weeks, on two different occasions, four transgender people were brutally murdered in Rawalpindi. The police believe that financial disputes between different groups in the transgender community may be the cause of the crime but religious extremism has also been linked to the killings in this often-oppressed community.  The exploitation of transgender people, known as transphobia, is not something new in Pakistan where sexual minorities are often victims of verbal, physical and sexual abuse. For instance, recently two transgender people were killed and another was gang-raped by an armed assailant who tried to abduct them in Swabi. Transgender or transsexual ...

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Why MQM wants Dr Ishratul Ebad to resign

The demand by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar for Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad to resign is just another proof that the political parties, and in this case the MQM, don’t understand their own political system that they chose to call ‘democracy’. The reason why this demand has come after so many years of Dr Ebad in office is a charge sheet prepared by Sattar a few days ago during a press conference, where he said that Dr Ebad had failed to meet people’s expectations, as the murder of innocent civilians in the urban areas of Sindh ...

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Pakistanis should no longer live in fear of other Pakistanis!

Imagine having to wake up every day and being afraid of going to school. Afraid that other students will harass and torment you because of your – perceived or actual – sexual orientation, gender expression, ethnicity, disability, or just because. That is the reality that many Pakistani students face every day. Kids in schools today are harassed because of perceptions related to their sexual orientation and are bullied because of their gender expression. The world community, including the media, general public, opinion leaders and policy makers will commemorate International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia this year on May 17th; but who in ...

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11 things you did not know about Pakistan’s history with sixes

In the recently concluded Dhaka Test match, we managed to break another world record. During Pakistan’s second innings, Misbahul Haq scored a six on Taijul Islam’s ball, making Pakistan the first Asian team to hit 1,000 sixes in the Test format. Pakistan achieved this feat in its 389th test match. Since this is an astounding achievement, I feel it would be great if we dwell upon a few facts regarding Test match sixes. 1. Except for Pakistan, several non-Asian counties have crossed the 1,000 sixes or more in Test matches record, which include Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and England. 2. Alongside ...

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Dear Ziaul Haq, we are paying the price for your decisions today

Respected Sir, It has been almost 27 years since your death. The flesh and dismantled bones placed in your grave would have turned to dust by now. Many governments were formed since your death. Many dictators have ruled us after you. Your rival’s daughter embraced shahadat (martyrdom) – as they say. A war even broke out in our neighbourhood. Can you guess who the predator was and who the target? That smile on your face will quickly disappear when I inform you that I am not talking about Saudi Arabia invading India. I am referring to America invading Afghanistan. Yes sir, the same Afghanistan that ...

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