Stories published in August, 2015

When did breaking a signal become such a serious crime?

We, Pakistanis, are a bit slow in understanding and following the laws of our country. True, sometimes they are ridiculous but not most of the time. Obviously, there is a reason why our lives are defined by rules whether statutory or social in nature. All it takes for a pandemonium to ensue is the absence of logical and understandable set of laws, such as the one we experience when we are stuck on the roads of Karachi. Recently, Karachi Traffic Police announced imprisonment of six months to two years for breaching traffic regulations. This includes going the wrong way on a one-way road, breaking traffic ...

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Kasur child pornography: Knowing the difference between resistance and consent

I don’t curse. But this is a rare occasion where I would love to abuse the perpetrators of the Kasur children’s sexual abuse atrocity in the vilest possible terms. However, here’s the thing about cursing – If I curse, I would end up using words that revile their mothers, sisters, and use the same pile of filth in words that they actually went and committed by use of force, intoxication and blackmailing. So I would only be furthering the same thought process, where sex is connected with a position of power.  People who curse using sexual terminology are played into feeling a ...

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Ghost whisperer: Much more than just supernatural phenomenons

You often second guess yourself with superficial ghost shows, and I don’t blame you. It’s true. There are very few soulful TV shows out there that have touched millions and Ghost Whisperer is that one exception. Although the series ended its run in 2010 with five seasons, the show has really moved me as a viewer. I caught sight of this gem a few weeks ago on Google, and I’m inclined to say, I have no regrets! I wanted to give supernatural-ghost-spirit kind of shows a chance and Ghost Whisperer was my first preference. The minute you think about ghostly spirits, ...

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10 reactions students have before the CIE results, explained through Disney

It is that time of the year again, when the world is about to come crashing down and you would rather go into hibernation than face the inevitable. No, I am not talking about the apocalypse. I am focusing on something much worse – the CIE results. This year, the fated day befalls on August 11th, and for all O’ and A’ level students who appeared for the May/June 2015 exams, the countdown has already begun. Since I have gone through the same countdown during my time, I can empathise with a lot of students who will face the kraken tomorrow. And in order ...

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The Mecca of mountains in Pakistan’s Shangri-La

Towards the boundless northern areas of Pakistan, the world’s greatest mountain ranges merge as one. Pushed upwards by the subduction of the Indian subcontinent, their snowy peaks rise above parades of clouds providing a habitat for The Golden Eagle, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Ibex, and The Tibetan Wolf.  Photo: Mike McCaffrey This is where the Hindu Kush, Himalaya and Karakoram mountains merge, hosting five of the world’s 14 peaks which are higher than 8,000 meters (26,247 feet), including K2, the world’s second tallest peak after Mount Everest. Flying over this region provides perspective to the viewer, as a sea of snow-capped summits can ...

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If Geeta was a Muslim, would the Indian government have done the same?

After the Indian High Commissioner, Dr TCA Raghvan and his wife met the hearing and speech-impaired ‘Hindu’ girl in Karachi, reportedly stuck in Pakistan for 13 long years, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj vowed on Twitter,  “We will bring Geeta back to India.” “Our High Commissioner believes that Geeta is an Indian,” Swaraj added, while thanking all the wonderful individuals in Pakistan who looked after the wretched girl like their own daughter and sister. Our High Commissioner believes that Geeta is an Indian. — Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) August 4, 2015 Geeta – whose heartrending story bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a character named ‘Munni’ in ...

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Bidding adieu to Jon Stewart: No one can fill your shoes

This article does not even come close to paying tribute to probably the best newsman of our generation. Although he is an American through and through, he was always there to point out the flaws and contradictions his country is full of. He had no qualms in putting those contradictions in front of whoever he thought was responsible for them. Over the course of the last 16 years, Jonathan Stewart Leibowitz, popularly known as Jon Stewart, did so much, not just for his country, but for the students of politics and journalism, and everyone interested enough in the fate of ...

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Dear Karachiites, before you plant trees, think

The heat wave that killed more than 1,300 people in Karachi seems like a long time ago. Concerned citizens, in the heat of the moment, promised to plant trees, but very little has been said regarding when and how this can be done. As time is passing and cool monsoon winds are blowing away painful memories of the heat wave, the promises seem to be dissipating. Where memories are short lived, long-term efforts to mitigate a recurrence of the same catastrophe seem nowhere in sight. That is the problem with climate change – the cause and effect, both take place over extended periods of time. ...

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Iran nuclear deal is a battle between the US right-wing and President Obama

While travelling, a few days back, I was having breakfast at my hotel. Engrossed in my own thoughts, I heard a loud scream that prompted a bunch of folks to rush toward the pancake-maker. As I ventured to look through the mass of people, I discovered that a young kid of Persian origin, while trying to operate independently, burnt his little finger. This prompted an Arab, an orthodox Jew and a Caucasian to congregate and help the poor soul. As for me, I just stood there, wondering in awe if the same heart-warming dynamics can be applied to the real ...

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Why Gilgit-Baltistan is not given the appreciation it deserves

The world has shrunk into a global village and everything seems to be available at the request of a single click. The promotion of any sort of business, even in far flung developing countries, has become easier than before. It seems that social media is facilitating the marketers to a great extent. However, this ease has triggered a complex competition of creative ideas, a race of initiatives, and the tactical management of these social media mechanics in order to attract fruitful prospects. In such a scenario, it was really surprising for me when I couldn’t find the name of our country and its beautiful and scenic tourism ...

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