Stories published in January, 2016

CPEC: Will the Baloch be victim to the Pakistani state’s deceitful tactics again?

When I refer to the Baloch, I do not make reference to Sardars and Nawabs, minsters or stakeholders, but the common Baloch who suffers on a daily basis as a result of Pakistan’s deplorable negligence and incapability to protect the largest and arguably, richest province of their country.  The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has once again brought Balochistan in the limelight amongst the media and politicians. There is a mayhem of disagreements on which province will benefit the most from the CPEC and many fingers pointing at Punjab for eternally overshadowing the rest in terms of benefitting from natural resources. Reservations from all provinces ...

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What if your child was abducted by the ISIS?

I read recently that ISIS has been abducting children and training them to become soldiers in its cause. I read the news story in horror, as it went on to say that the children were instructed to go back to their homes and kill their parents. I began to imagine what that scenario must look and feel like,  She got on all fours and started crawling. She was careful to make no sound, just as she was taught. She winced slightly as her knees touched the cold floor. Steadily, she kept inching on for a few more minutes until she ...

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CDA is vigilant about encroachment in slum areas, but won’t shut down big businesses?

Violence against journalists must always be condemned, but what about the collateral damage caused to common citizens by a media houses’ flouting of the law? The ARY news office is illegally operating in a residential area, violating Capital Development Authority (CDA) land use rules. Besides the defiance of the law of the land, the nature of operation of this particular business exposes residents to an unnecessary threat. When the terror threat level is high, state security will tell people to avoid commercial areas and stay home. Media houses usually relay such statements verbatim, but might avoid offering this disclaimer, “Media houses are a prime terrorist ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 5 He was a boy and I was a girl

She was a pretty little girl. Again, he was struck by the familiarity of her features. Living only a street away, it was easy to be a part of her life in many ways. She shared her school stories with him and often came over for book report help and class project ideas. She trusted his input. As she progressed in grades, she progressed in intelligence and ambition. She got excellent score in her SAT and given her high GPA, got accepted to a very good college. He was elated. Yes things had gone very wrong, but this one ...

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If you’ve seen The Pursuit of Happyness, you’ve seen a better version of Joy

Let me get this straight right from the outset, some amongst us will always find a tale compelling where an underdog succeeds in the end despite the numerous odds , no matter how ineptly it’s told. And then there are others like myself who some will find a supposedly inspirational story about the manufacture of a mop dull if it is badly told, no matter how popular the lead cast is. For a movie that is supposed be uplifting and inspiring, Joy ironically is pretty joyless. This is a sort of film where you will have to decide for yourself. ...

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Our reliance on Maulvis has made religion a business

On December 16, 2015, the nation observed the first death anniversary of the APS attack victims. Right now, the country is reeling from the attack on Bacha Khan University. We have suffered multiple disastrous assaults, yet the government remains unconcerned. It still has not taken any concrete steps to implement the National Action Plan. Various measures had been taken to combat the likelihood of another attack. Security had been beefed up, children had been trained on how to react, school timings had been changed and special instructions were delivered. But these were interim and private measures. Has the government taken any long-term measures to address ...

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Creed: A heavyweight knockout

Creed is a story of an underdog boxer named Adonis Johnson (Michael B Jordan) who is burdened by the legacy of his father, the boxing legend Apollo Creed. Adonis embraces his fate and heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a boxer named Rocky Balboa. After realising the potential in Adonis, Rocky agrees to train him in the ways of boxing and the determination of a better life. Did anyone ask for another Rocky movie? Well, I’m glad they did end up making it because Creed is the best Rocky film since, well, the original Rocky (1976). After ...

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Dear PCB, can you please prevent your players from ruining their careers?

Self-medication is the use of medicines to treat self-diagnosed symptoms. Not only is this practice problematic, it is highly unsafe. Potential risks include incorrect self-diagnosis, delay in seeking medical advice when needed, infrequent but severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, an incorrect manner of administration, incorrect dosage, improper choice of therapy, masking of a severe disease and the risk of dependency and abuse.  It’s sad that Yasir Shah, Pakistan’s beloved leg spinner, did not pay heed to these problems. He took a medicine for his back injury which contained Chlortalidone, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA). Since ...

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Going to the 42 Day Challenge was the worst mistake I ever made

The 42 Day Challenge – “Often imitated, never replicated”. This is their slogan. Does it work? The testimonials on their Facebook page sure say so. But, is it a responsible program that ensures health with weight loss of their clients? Not in my opinion. So I have been working out since I was 14-years-old. The 42 Day Challenge was not the first hard core workout program for me. I have also been working out with personal trainers, with regular bouts of yoga. Like most people, my journey of fitness has not been very constant. I would adopt a fitness routine and then abandon it for ...

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My patient refuses to undergo treatment for cancer

Patient’s Name: Pakistan Chief Complaint: Pains, high fevers, insecurity, depression and weight loss. History:  Pakistan is a 68-year-old patient, well known to our oncology service, here to see me in clinic again for an acute flare of the above-mentioned symptoms. Briefly, the patient has been plagued with cancer for the last many years. It has lost over 50,000 of its cells to tumour growths all over its outside body, mostly concentrated in the head and neck area. Over a year ago, the patient visited one of my colleagues with a huge tumour that had revealed itself in its Peshawar territory. The tumour engulfed 144 healthy, vibrant cells. And now, the ...

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