Stories about 2014

Five ways to improve US policy in South Asia in 2014

If there’s one word that defines South Asia in 2014, it’s transition. Elections are scheduled in three countries – Afghanistan, India and a controversial one already held in Bangladesh on January 5. Newly elected governments face their first full year in office in four others – Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan. And hovering over this all is the international troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. Amid this change and uncertainty, Washington’s chief objective for South Asia will remain the same – attaining stability. It’s an admittedly ambitious goal in a region cursed by interstate and intrastate tensions alike, and flushes with security threats that range from ...

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The Australian Open men’s singles: With such big stars, who will walk away with the cup?

After the break following a fascinating 2013, tennis resumes in earnest next week in Melbourne at the first of the four Grand Slams. The Australian Open provides the perfect venue for the sport’s big stars to make their bids for glory and may well decide how the rest of the season pans out. Here’s my take on the prospects of the major contenders Down Under: 1. Rafael Nadal Reigning as the world’s No 1, Nadal made a remarkable comeback from a knee injury last year, winning the French and US Opens on his way to reclaiming the number one spot from Novak ...

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6 do’s and don’ts for Pakistani husbands

It isn’t often I feel the urge to write a long winded response to a fellow blogger’s work; however, this is one of those instances. Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I mean no disrespect to the author of “13 ‘Do-Nots’ housewives can wave goodbye to in 2014” and “14 ‘Dos’ for die-hard housewives in 2014“, nor do I intend any insult. I would simply like to share my two cents. While I feel the topic on marriage has been ‘done to death’, after reading two consecutive articles centered on what a wife should and shouldn’t do, ...

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Indian elections 2014: It’s Kejriwal versus Modi, and I know who the winner is

The biggest victim of the Indo-Pak conflict has been the aam aadmi or the common man. In fact, he is considered nothing more than just a chess pawn by the ruling class on both sides, to be played off against the ‘enemies’. His life is cheap and can be sacrificed. His blood is of no worth and can be shed like water. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost in this mindless conflict since independence and yet, the insatiable craving for blood by these beasts of prey, on both sides, remains far from being gratified. First came the white man and divided us in the name of ...

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Mathira and her 12-year-old ‘jhoota’ Arbaz – does it get any weirder?

I spent much of the last week of 2013 writing a review about the fantastic year Pakistani music had just had. On the first day of 2014, I woke up to the video of Arbaz Khan and Mathira’s song, Jhoota. My life will never be the same again. To start off with, I was a bit disappointed that Arbaz was not Salman Khan’s brother/Malaika Arora’s husband, a fact which said more about how irrelevant my references were and less about the situation. In fact, when Malaika Arora was actually worth knowing about (MTV Loveline, circa 2000) this particular Arbaz was still ...

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14 ‘Dos’ for die-hard housewives in 2014

Another December is almost gone and panic sets in again like every year since my marriage. It is because I realise that like every past year, I seem to have missed sticking to most of my carefully formulated new year’s resolutions. I was never much of an ardent new year resolutions buff until I got married. Since my marriage, my resolutions are all centered around matrimony and how I, the better half, the second wheel in this rather complex relationship, can make it better. Fact of the matter is, December is the time when even the most eternal pessimists among us ...

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13 ‘Do-Nots’ housewives can wave goodbye to in 2014

After having devised my list of housewife ‘Dos’ for 2014 (keep an eye out for it on ET), I realised that just as we devise what to do during the coming year, we should similarly devise what NOT to do as well. This year, in order to make sure I have my goals crystal clear for a sparkling 2014, I have not only devised ‘14 Dos for 2014’ but also ‘13 ‘Don’ts’ in remembrance of 2013’. Personally, I find that the best way to make and keep resolutions for a new year or in remembrance of a year past is ...

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An oracle’s predictions for Pakistan 2014

On a recent trip to Karachi’s Hawks Bay beach, I was taking a walk and thinking about the past year. There were some highs and lows, both on a personal level and for the country. In all respects it has been an extraordinary year. The country went through a massive election and witnessed a peaceful change of guard in the political spheres. It also saw the meteoric rise and then farcical irrelevance of a major political party while another came to terms with an ever changing post-election scenario. There were pockets of good news followed by disheartening reports of attacks, economic issues amid promises of a ...

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The Aam Aadmi Party is good news for democracy in India

Staring at the sky while lying on a wooden plank in the media section at Ram Lila ground – the venue of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s fast until death for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman – I am rapt in thinking about the fascinating revolution that is taking place in India. At a stone’s throw away, Hazare is spending the first night of his fast until death in his private chamber. It is also my first night of reporting for the Press Trust of India at the venue. It seems that the sky is also being economical in the use of light tonight for it ...

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US-Afghanistan withdrawal: Can Pakistan survive without NATO money?

With September 2014 fast approaching, all eyes are fixed on Afghanistan and the announced withdrawal of the United States-led coalition forces. Although the Afghan Loya Jirga has asked President Karazai to sign the peace deal with the US, a majority of the contingents are scheduled to leave by the end of 2014. This mass military exodus from Afghanistan will shift the burden of security responsibility onto the Afghan army and police. It is hard to predict whether the Afghan forces will able to cope with the post-withdrawal security situation or not. Yet the withdrawal will surely have a negative economic impact – ...

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