Stories about 2014

Déjà vu! Are the 2014 elections in India a replica of the 2013 elections in Pakistan?

In India, the election fever is in full swing these days. All the major political parties are busy, day and night, with their election campaigns. Amid all this rush, we see a blame game being played – something which is very common in any country’s politics. As they say, it is easy to point out others’ mistakes than finding your own faults. And these political parties seem to follow this idea vehemently. Almost a year ago, the same situation was present here, in Pakistan, during the 2013 general election proceedings. We had the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as the major ...

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Advani’s predicament: Has BJP become a one-man party?

The way the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) old stager Lal Krishna Advani and other senior leaders have been left out in the cold, in the run-up to the 2014 general elections, and meted out with a shabby treatment by Narendra Modi and his obsequious, lackey followers, reminds me of the case of the cuckoo. For those who are not aware of what a cuckoo is, it’s a medium sized, slender bird that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. For instance, let’s assume that a cuckoo has laid an egg in the nest of a hedge-sparrow. When the egg hatches, the sparrow feeds the ...

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Bangladesh’s foreign flags ban: So much for democracy

With the commencement of March 2014, the stage was all set for the race to win the trophy, for a sport that is religiously followed in this part of the world. Yes, it was time for the T20 World Cup to start, which is currently taking place in Bangladesh. Despite all apprehensions and uncertainties, up till the eve of March 25, 2014, the championship boat was sailing in the right direction. However, the on-going event has been plunged into an unnecessary controversy. An unpleasant situation arose after the issuance of a statement by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), whereby a ban was imposed on the locals ...

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Nuclear weapons are not safe in the US

The world is once again taken aback by the news coming from print and electronic media about the safety and security of nuclear arsenals of the United States. The surprise is intensified because the US keeps warning other nuclear states about safety measures. The largest breach of security in US’s nuclear force took place on January 15, 2014, when 34 nuclear missile officers were implicated in a cheating scandal and were later stripped of their credentials. However, within a matter of 10 days the number of officers implicated reached 90, more than double of the original number. This means that more than one-third ...

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Underdog alert: Let Sarfraz Ahmed play, PCB!

He bats like Saeed Ajmal and keeps like Kamran Akmal. He is simply a quota player. No one knows why selectors are so kind to Sarfraz Ahmed. These are some of the many comments which have been posed against Sarfraz – the man who was the real architect behind Pakistan’s victory in Sharjah against Sri Lanka, on January 20, 2014. However, if we keep these comments aside for a moment and relive the scenario of the match, when Sarfraz stepped in just before tea break and swept the game away, I am sure many would disagree with these aforementioned views. Sarfraz Ahmed. Photo: AFP Sharjah Test match, 2014 Pakistan was still 205 runs ...

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Three transgender people employed, well done Sindh government!

As I scanned through the multitude of headlines splashed across some of Pakistan’s e-papers on January 30, 2014 one headline caught my eye. The Sindh government has employed three transgender persons as full-time employees. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact that this issue was not carried across every e-paper and it was limited to only a handful of news reporting websites in Pakistan. The term ‘transgender’ encompasses a wide array of definitions. To put it in the simplest of terms, it is when the state of one’s gender identity does not match one’s assigned gender. This includes a person whose ...

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Here is why breastfeeding your child is important

Hooray! The Balochistan Assembly finally enacted the Balochistan Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Bill 2014 on January 18, 2014. This is truly a progressive step towards a healthier province and a healthier Pakistan. However, the real test for the provincial government will be to effectively implement this bill, in letter and in spirit. I say this because, even though the Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Ordinance 2002 is very much present on the statute books since its approval, its implementation  continues to remain a distant dream. As most of us know, Pakistan is not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal ...

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Australian Open 2014: Birth of a new legend, Stanislas Wawrinka

In the realm of tennis, the Swiss class prevailed yet again. However, this time it was not the four-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer, who made the headlines. The new champion of the Australian Open 2014 is Stanislas Wawrinka, who earned his title on January 26, 2014 after defeating the unbending, unflinching and ruthless Rafael Nadal. Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland celebrates defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in their men’s singles final match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 26, 2014. Photo: Reuters The match had a series of daunting backhands from both players, the services went on ...

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Bangladesh elections 2014: Where democracy is a prisoner of history

It was an election of the ruling party, by the ruling party and for the ruling party. That is how one can describe the recent general elections in Bangladesh. More than half of the candidates won the elections without even contesting and the remaining half, in a parliament of 300, romped home with a token fight between friendly parties. The ruling Awami League, therefore, got a three fourth majority in the national assembly, which was an unprecedented victory. This is a parliament where the largest opposition in the country, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has no representation at all. Political monopoly No doubt, a House ...

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Oscars 2014: Here are my predictions about who will take home the gold!

The year 2013 has been a fantastic year for films – a film about an HIV positive patient, another about the smirk of a drug lord with metal teeth; one about a lesbian love affair and another showing the re-enactment of a genocide. The year saw the triumph of documentaries such as The Act of Killing, the emergence and success of acting careers with the likes of Mathew McConaughey and Bruce Dern, and the introduction of low-key Indie style filmmaking into mainstream cinema with Inside Llewyn Davis. These elements made 2013 a very special year for the world of cinema. On January 16, 2014 the Oscar ...

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