Stories published in January, 2016

Why isn’t the #OregonStandoff being called terrorism? Because it’s not

Last year, when I wrote about the Chapel Hill murders of three Muslims for The Express Tribune Blogs, I revisited the definition of terrorism because the term is oft misused. Use of corrupted words relates to poor journalism and exhibit one is how the coverage of domestic controversy in the United States lacks rigid examination of facts, a fair analysis of both sides and proper context. This is not only unique to underground blogs, but endemic in mainstream media as well, where the focus excessively becomes about the race and religion of those involved. While identity is important, it’s as important to adhere to a standard of objectivity ...

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A farmer’s struggle for education, but will his dreams come true?

Ali Hassan Brohi is a 30 year-old father of five children and a farmer from Dorr, Sindh. Seven years ago, after his matriculation exams, Brohi had to discontinue his education. He didn’t have a choice. His father, the family’s sole breadwinner who died in 2004, had passed away. A year later, his mother passed away too. The demise of his parents left Brohi’s world destroyed and dreams unfulfilled. The responsibility of taking care of his siblings fell on his shoulders. He secured second position in Hyderabad board of intermediate and secondary education and tried hard to continue his studies but he could ...

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The loving humanitarian efforts of an American in Pakistan

Due to frequent media images of violent anti-American protests as well as repeated travel-safety warnings from the State Department, most Americans avoid visiting Pakistan. However, Todd Shea, the founder of Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), has adopted Pakistan as his home and is running several welfare projects there. I learnt about Todd Shea on Facebook several months ago when I was browsing through a list of ‘People you may know’. Pleasantly surprised to learn about the humanitarian work he was doing in Pakistan, I began to closely follow CDRS activities on social media. The 2005 earthquake and the great need to help its victims brought Shea to ...

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The honeytrap and the (gullible) Indian Air Force

I recently heard about the honeytrap that was used to extract sensitive Intel from members of the Indian military. When I was finally able to stop laughing, I began to wonder why this hadn’t been bigger news on this side of the border because all Google searches on the subject result in Indian sources. Okay so today I learnt about the 'ISI honeytrap' Been laughing for 3 hours straight — HereBeDragons (@rageandpencils) January 6, 2016 ISI Used Fake Facebook ID To Honeytrap IAF Airman & Got Confidential Information yeh toh lol hogya…. — Junaid Shah (@junaidshah492) January 2, 2016 No guns, violence, and pigeons needed ;) #ProudPakistaniMoments #ISI https://t.co/LX5iKktDPh — ...

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Tired and hangry? This easy and delicious Khageena is just for you!

An associate from my former university, who is currently working on his PhD thesis on Pakistan, asked me if I could share a simple and basic recipe from a Pakistani kitchen which he could try. As I sat and thought about it, it took me a while to come up with something. Khageena was the first thing I learnt to cook as a 13-year-old. Nothing fancy, just the Pakistani version of spiced scrambled eggs eaten with homemade chappati (flatbread) or toasted bread. Ammi would cook this for a quick lunch or dinner when the fridge would be out of groceries or times when we had ...

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Hydrogen bomb or not, North Korea is still dangerous

Whether the North Korean nuclear test was that of a Hydrogen bomb or was ‘just’ a conventional nuclear test is not the main issue. The fact is that nuclear tests that pose a significant danger to the world have been made. South Korea registered seismic tremors of 5.1 on the Richter scale. That information enough should have us worried. Neither South Korea nor China – as almost the only allies of North Korea in the world – were informed about this beforehand. Both the nations are visibly shocked. China, which has a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), fully agreed ...

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When Quratulain Baloch made Sain Allan Faqir roll in his grave with Tere Ishq Nachaya

The Express Tribune had earlier predicted that the government will initiate a historic move in 2016 — slap a ban on companies making fizzy drinks, SIM cards and coffee from ‘manufacturing’ Pakistani music. Sources say ‘honouring’ folk music, making tributes and covers, and pushing them down people’s throats will be punishable by law. Until that happens, we present to you the latest that the corporate-backed music scene has on offer – Quratulain Balouch’s Tere Ishq Nachaya. At the finale of Pepsi Unplugged, the very talented singer unleashed a vicious cover of a song she has been performing for long. In fact, Quratulain made her first mainstream appearance ...

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If my father dies, I will hold Islamabad’s Shifa International responsible for his death

As I write this, my father is fighting for his life, unconscious with a ventilator pumping oxygen into his frail body from a makeshift tank in the surgical step-down of supposedly one of the best health facilities in this unfortunate country, the Shifa International Hospital of Islamabad. But my father was not like this a couple of days ago. He came to this hospital expecting humanity, civility, hospitality, professionalism and some refined attitude. None of his expectations were met and instead he nearly lost his life. As his bed was being darted into the ICU, he was unconscious and heartbroken. He had ...

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Is it time for Arsene Wenger to say goodbye?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has single-handedly transformed the English game; scientific methods such as stringent diet plans and structured exercise techniques are one of the many endowments the man has graced us with. He also introduced an unprecedented style of football with a flair that manifests itself to ‘Va Va Voom’, which is aesthetically pleasing and can arguably only be surpassed by the current Barcelona crop. PHOTO: REUTERS His 2003-2004 team – which he moulded at the peak of their powers – went an entire Premier League season unbeaten. A feat which has never been replicated in the Premier League era and is improbable ...

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7 cynical reasons Pakistanis have for why Netflix just won’t work in Pakistan

The idea for Netflix came to its co-founder, former math teacher turned businessperson, Reed Hastings, when he ended up paying late fines for a movie rental totalling twice the cost of the actual DVD. Here, Netflix began life some 18 years ago as an online DVD rental mail-order service that offered its users some unheard of conveniences. Netflix soon skyrocketed in popularity, leaving its brick and mortar competitor, Blockbuster, looking like a ghost town, and eventually filing for bankruptcy. Today, Netflix is the go-to internet TV service, especially when it comes to streaming TV shows and movies. Netflix also produces original content, including shows such ...

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