Stories about 2012

It’s December 21, are you still alive?

Enter December 21, 2012. For many days preceding this date, several people have been at their wits’ end in fear of what they call the Apocalypse, Judgement Day, Armageddon or the End of the World. With mounting apprehension they await the ‘annihilation’ of planet Earth. Already, a sizeable number has reportedly flocked to the tiny French village of Bugarach, which they believe is the only refuge from the disaster that is soon to engulf the world. Thankfully, the majority has not been swept away by the frenzy. Still, it begs the question that why has this particular date been singled out to prophesise ...

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Doomsday drivel: The world will not end, plan your future

I was planning on have an amazing winter break until I watched the movie “2012”. It scared me to death and made me reconsider my future plans. The movie depicts a global cataclysm that brings the world to an end in 2012. Since the past decade, a lot of people believe in the hoax of doomsday arriving on December 21, 2012. The public’s concern about this date blossomed into a major presence on the internet and spread internationally. Some conspiracy theories linked the end of the world on December 21, 2012 to the ancient Mayan calendar. Can you guess why? Only because the Mayan calendar ...

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December 21, 2012: The end of the world?

With exactly seven days to go, the air is booming with buzz about an impending doomsday set to fall on December 21, 2012. I’m sure you already know what the fuss is about, but for the uninitiated, here goes. It is predicted by historians, astrologers, astronomers, the Mayans, scientists and even internet wizards that the world is going to end this December. Yes, that’s right this very month, even before Christmas and the New Year holidays! Now, let me share with you a few fascinating historical revelations that, for some, point towards the end of the world as we know it.  1. The Mayan ...

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Bench strength

For litigants in the capital, the absence of a couple of judges has been deeply unsettling. The crisis at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has left several plaintiffs in trouble. As such, the crisis is only a couple of months old, because the court has functioned smoothly since its establishment in 2010. On November 20, 2012, the terms of both Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui expired. However, President Asif Ali Zardari did not confirm two additional judges for the court. So there are currently only three judges serving the Islamabad High Court, including Chief Justice Iqbal ...

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CNG woes: Can’t you see how miserable you are making us?

When I heard that CNG prices would be reduced, I was ecstatic. I, along with people all over Pakistan, celebrated this development. This reduction was intended to bring respite to the people in an environment of growing expenses and high inflation; it is no secret that here in Pakistan, even buying bare necessities have become difficult for the common man. Following this price cut, I enthusiastically took a picture from my phone of the new prices stated on the CNG pumps. It all seemed like a dream come true. Now, it is no less than a nightmare, not just to me, ...

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Learning from US electoral experience

Spending three weeks in the most important swing state of the Unites States — Ohio — and observing the recently-held presidential election campaign was a golden opportunity for me as I got to study how different the US election is from our own. The month was as important for candidates as it was for the voters. To voters, the election was not merely about voting but about electing a president for the next four years that would redress a number of their national issues such as job opportunities, health care and social security. The greatest thing I observed that is ...

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Polio peace

On June 16, the Taliban shura in North Waziristan Agency, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, banned polio drops. Then, in the south, a Maulvi Nazir-led shura also banned polio vaccinations until drone strikes in the south and north are stopped. A source in the FATA secretariat health department said that thousands of children will be affected by this decision and the world media condemns it. The agency’s administration there has started negotiations with tribal elders. It has threatened to arrest them and stop all developmental work in response. A tribal elder said that the ban was imposed by the Taliban ...

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Why women just aren’t funny

Humour is a funny thing. Take a man with a good sense of humour and combine it with a face that looks like his neck threw up on it and what you have is a ‘studmuffin’, who will have a bevy of beauties agreeing to throw their heads back for more than just laughing. But funny women, who may or may not be funny looking, never get the same response. Because ‘funniness’ is a trait that only men dominate. That’s a skill only men take pride in. Since there’s more value placed on being beautiful, women don’t mind falling into ...

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Start the rails: Of the NATO supply route

About six months have passed since the tragic incident at Salala by the US-led Nato forces followed by the closure of Nato supply routes to Afghanistan through Pakistan. All major parties, except government allies, found an opportunity to shine their politics on the issue. They would not tire of announcing large-scale protests and long marches if the government opened the route. On the other hand, the US and Nato are repeatedly asking Pakistan to open the route which means that either there is no alternative for them to take equipment to their forces or it is more expensive to export it ...

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Ugly realities: Protestors have no rights

Protests are a legitimate mode for citizens to convey their rightful demands to those sitting in the corridors of power. By using a combination of tact and skill the civil and police administrations can help avoid any embarrassment by discharging their basic duties. But time and again we hear of demonstrators facing mistreatment as the administration turns to brute force in quelling the protests. The other day, the Punjab civil secretariat observed an ugly episode when protesters of the Population Welfare Department entered the premises to protest. They misbehaved and as a result, official paraphernalia was damaged. Fortunately, Chief Secretary ...

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