Stories published in February, 2017

The curse of nepotism and kinship in Pakistan

If I come for you, you come for me. If I stand for you, you stand for me. If I give you comfort and security against a flock of bloodthirsty hyenas from another tribe/caste/village, then you will do as I wish. Maybe submit your right to vote to me? This tit-for-tat espouses what we call a ‘strong sense of community’, one which takes pride in its people, its power in numbers, the idea of stability and of course coming to another’s aid in adversity. Obviously, one must be of a crude heart not to applaud such a social setting in a globalised world jostling ...

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What is so similar about Nawaz, Modi, Erdogan, Duterte and Trump?

The new millennium has hardly started, and already we are witnessing unsettling tectonic shifts in politics all over the world. One such example is the emergence of a covert, scheming approach towards attaining power, embodied by certain group of people, who under different circumstances, ended up occupying the highest seats of power in their respective countries. We will pivot our discussion around five such individuals: Nawaz Sharif, Narendra Modi, Rodrigo Duterte, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump. Though each of them was elected to office democratically, ask any unbiased political analyst or academic, and they will invariably conclude that these five leaders have all the makings ...

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The infant girl no one in Pakistan fought for

Her ragged breathing must have echoed eerily all over the ward or it could have been muffled by the loud beeping of all the equipment. It is almost a mercy that she was an infant and had no way to comprehend how she had been discarded by everyone in this world. This baby, according to this Facebook post, had been inside an incubator ever since her birth and could not breathe on her own. She was in the hospital overnight with the medical staff and the doctor on the nightshift while her parents could not be reached. The doctor in ...

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Why are our children brain washed to become “followers” instead of “thinkers”?

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”  ― Charles William Eliot In the wake of the critical crisis that literacy and education suffers in Pakistan, it is imperative to understand that education and the enlightenment of the mind cannot necessarily be instilled within the caged walls of a classroom. Although degrees and grades can produce suited versions of empty minds vying for jobs in an already saturated market but they can hardly broaden the vistas of learning or enrich young brains with insight and ...

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David Warner turns on the heat

There is no doubt that David Warner is a destructive batsman; however despite making his ODI debut three years before his Test debut, he was never the accomplished One Day International (ODI) opener and was more successful at Test level. That is quite ironic given his style of play, but his record shows how he excelled in Tests and never really did as well in the ODIs, during the initial part of his career. Photo: Screenshot In five years, between his ODI debut in January 2009 till the end of 2014, Warner played 50 matches, in which he ...

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Why I think the PTV anchors were right to go public with their accusations

Currently, the issue of workplace sexual harassment seems to be in the national spotlight due to an on-going investigation at Pakistan Television (PTV). According to the available details, two prominent anchors had accused PTV’s current affairs director for sexual harassment. In response, the channel had initiated an inquiry to look into the matter. However, during the investigation, the two anchors decided to use other media platforms (electronic and social) to spread awareness of their case, which resulted in the PTV management imposing a ban on the involved anchors. The PTV management was of the opinion that the anchors were issuing ...

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Calling all cheese lovers, this one’s for you!

What I baked this weekend was a rich-indulgent and succulent macaroni and cheese casserole. Layers of macaroni, spicy meat sauce loaded with cheese white sauce, baked into an awesome weekend dinner. The recipe involves several steps for preparing the different layers but I am sure it will be worth all the hard work when you enjoy this scrumptious casserole with your family and friends and receive a lot of praise. I began with boiling my pasta. The best way to get it Al Dante is, throw your pasta in the water after it has begun boiling. Let the pasta boil for ...

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Why has Pakistan not had a census in 18 years?

Now that the country will have a census after 18 years, doubts are already being expressed about the accuracy of the data that will be collected. Farooq Sattar, MNA and former Karachi mayor, says that the census should not be influenced by the landlords as the census commission is very close to the landlords and there should be no injustice with the people living in Sindh’s urban areas. Mir Hasil Bizenjo, the chief of the National Party and the incumbent federal minister for ports and shipping, has said that the census should be put off in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) till the four million Afghan refugees return to Afghanistan ...

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Riverdale: A darker take on Archie Comics

One of the most awaited TV shows of this year, Riverdale, finally premiered on January 27, 2017. The mystery/teen drama is based on the characters in the Archie Comics and is set in the fictional town of Riverdale. The show follows the lives of Archie (K J Apa), Betty (Lili Reinhart), Veronica (Camila Mendes), Jughead, played by Cole Sprouse, and their friends. The pilot episode begins after the tragic death of Jason Blossom on the fourth of July. It explains how he had gone on a boat ride with his sister Cheryl, and drowned according to her. While the entire school tries to cope with Jason’s ...

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Is Rumi an anti-dote for the post-truth America?

On January 5, 2017, the New Yorker published an article with a revealing title: “The Erasure of Islam from the Poetry of Rumi.” Rozina Ali—who is also the editorial staff of the magazine—raised an interesting issue: that in the West, Rumi, the 13th-century poet and scholar, is “typically referred to as a mystic, a saint, an enlightened man” but “less frequently described as a Muslim.”  Ali’s contention is that Rumi’s poetry has been decoupled by his English translators from its Islamic context, and that way they have effaced “historical dynamism” within the Muslim scholarship. Because “Rumi’s works reflected a broader push and pull between ...

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