Stories about america

Kung Fu Paindoo

Yesterday, I had another encounter with Disney*: I watched Kung Fu Panda 2. The bits I loved, and I really loved them, were the jokes. So when the Evil King, a peacock with a stainless steel body and lethal blade-feathers, yells exultantly to its minion-wolf: “CALL IN THE WOLVES! All of them! I want them ready to move! The Year of the Peacock begins NOW!” The minion, instead of running along to hasten the orders, pauses, “Right now?” he wonders aloud. “‘Cause it’s the middle of the year, so you’d only get, like, half of the Year of the Peacock.” But generally speaking ...

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You say OBL, I say CIE

Bin Laden found hiding in Abbotabad! School ID card found hiding behind desk. Explosions heard at PNS Mehran! Explosions heard and felt in the Chemistry practical exam. Should the ISI chief resign? Nope, the History invigilator should. CIA conspiracy theories won’t bother us, but change that A grade to an E and the riot begins. That’s the way it works around here. You can and will forgive me for waking up suddenly on this side of June to find the world crashing down around my ears. That’s because while you were busy frantically watching the news (or ignoring it in a ...

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A worthy enemy

Is America really our Enemy No 1? I am not the one to raise the question. It’s the headline on a political analysis by Raza Rumi. But you know how sometimes a single line in a long poem says all that the poem is meant to say? I thought this was just the kind of headline and have therefore borrowed it. Rumi says that at a gathering of Pakistanis in the United States, our ambassador to that country asked the audience who they thought posed the greatest danger to Pakistan. Was it India, he asked, the US or Pakistanis themselves? There ...

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Terror won’t end with Uncle Sam’s exit

Facing a resurgent wave of violence after the Abbottabad operation, our government, that is the military, is facing internal pressure to defy the United States’ (US) demands and reclaim our sovereignty. At the same time, it is being pulled in the opposite direction by our chief benefactor, the US. The line of argument, simple, yet repeated so often to have become a sacred mantra, is to demand that the US withdraw from Afghanistan, and Pakistan should seize to support her. By doing so, the Taliban would no longer have any justification to continue fighting. It’s neat and simple, yet its ...

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Taliban and the need for ‘evil USA, Zionists and India’

Terrorists armed with rockets and grenades attacked the headquarters of Pakistan’s naval air force in Karachi on May 22, triggering gun battles that killed at least 13 personnel – three weeks after the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Once again, the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) claimed responsibility for the incident, in retaliation to Pakistan’s alliance with the West in the war on terror and to the killing Bin Laden. According to TTP’s ideology, attacks against Pakistan Army are justified since it is ostensibly assisting America against al Qaeda. However, despite TTP’s open confessions of alliance with al Qaeda, a conspiracy theory exists in ...

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NY’s reaction to Osama’s death: The other side of extremism

Growing up in Lahore, the monsoon was my favourite season – those muggy, motionless afternoons when the air suddenly exploded into a river of orange rumbling down from the sky, leaving jungles in its wake. In the Bay Area, every balmy day of the year was beautiful except for the miserable characterless spluttering they called “rain.” In Ithaca, my favourite season was Autumn – a fire dance in the sky, bold and blazing, curling flames at your feet. And, in New York, it has to be spring, the teenage of nature, blooming poetry from every stem, every lilting branch a breathtaking ballet ...

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Imran Khan’s band of merry men

These days, the latest ‘it’ crowd in Pakistan are the Immy K revolutionaries. For those of you who do not know, these are pseudo-intellectuals who think they can help Imran Khan bring about an inqilaab (revolution) which will lead to khudmukhtaari (autonomy) and freedom from the West, just by standing on a road for a few hours, or even better, by liking a page on Facebook. I hate to break it to all who belong to this crowd, but quite frankly, you all are deluded. Before I go further, I must admit that I have a huge amount of respect ...

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Phil Jackson: Walking away with a smile

In sports, politics or otherwise, there is nothing as disappointing as an anti-climax. As they walk away, sports legends are susceptible to a letdown since they rely more on tools that fade with age: speed, strength, reflexes, nerves and vision. Sooner or later, mentally and physically, there is always a given breaking point. Having already crossed their peaks, their last few paces to the exit often betray the impact they had over the years. It even threatens to overshadow their achievements. While it is painful to watch an over-the-hill legend struggle at the end, the embarrassment of a sudden fall is equally ...

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Pak-China friendship: How special is it?

In the aftermath of the Osama Bin Laden disaster, Pakistan has been scrambling to come up with a response to counter the piling pressure. The pressure, mostly in form of tough questions being raised from across the world, is something Pakistan is not used to managing efficiently. And, in its moment of need, as always, our prime minister decided to reach out to our allies, China, and got on a plane for a quick state visit. The whole purpose of the visit was apparently to show the United States (US) that Pakistan has the support of China. This is ...

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Pakistan: A state in denial

Rather unsurprisingly, conspiracy theories have proliferated across the globe after the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death and are fast gaining traction, especially in Pakistan where such mindless gossip is bound to press buttons for the wrong people. Some of these rather unoriginal speculations are: Osama is not dead. Osama was taken alive by the US. Osama died years ago and his body had been kept on ice for almost a decade. Osama was killed as a pretext to war on Pakistan Osama was given up by Pakistan. Osama was killed to secure another term for Obama. Osama was killed to trump Trump and so on. Truth ...

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