Stories about conspiracy theories

All Shahid Afridi did was ask us to look in our own backyard and do more – what’s wrong with that?

Shahid Afridi, though not new to controversy, turned into a bête noire recently when a video went viral of him suggesting that Pakistan doesn’t want Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) since it can’t even manage its own four provinces. He said that IoK should also not go to India and should rather be an independent entity. He further added that its occupation should end since it’s resulting in the loss of countless innocent lives. This statement, however, landed him in hot waters since many Pakistanis took offence. Pakistan ko Kashmir nahin chahiye – uss say apnay soobay nahin sambhal saktay: Shahid Afridi in ...

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Bitcoin, the magic money, and why I chose to risk it for the biscuit

The Bitcoin saga has been one of mad fanfare, terminological jargon, ridiculous price jumps, and scathing criticism from banking establishments. There is a plethora of information available on how Bitcoin works, and the original proof-of-work paper is available to read on the currency’s organisational website. Yet, despite all the countless articles that detail the schematics of the Bitcoin system, it remains mired in controversy, especially of late as it makes the news on a regular basis for its volatility. Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding Bitcoin, and attempt to disentangle this nascent cryptocurrency from the confusion that surrounds ...

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Will Pakistan learn from its mistakes with Afghanistan to save its ties with Iran?

Even though tensions between Islamabad and Kabul over the Torkham border crossing are yet to be settled, Pakistan has laid the foundation of “Pakistan Gate” near the Iranian border in Taftan. The gate is said to check any illegal trade occurring via Iran, and also help the border guards effectively manage and monitor the border crossing. What makes this gate different from the one in Torkham is that it is not only built with mutual consent from both Pakistan and Iran – but also on special demand from Tehran, as it has already built a gate of its own ...

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If the army has cleared the agency of all militants, then what is there to hide in South Waziristan?

The Pakistan Army has been fighting valiantly against the scourge of terrorism. There can be no words that can fully express the debt of gratitude that one feels towards our soldiers for having done what they have done to protect the people of Pakistan from the nefarious designs of these “holy warriors.” That being said, what comes next is an arduous task. The frontier of Pakistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will continue to pose a challenge unless and until something is drastically done on a political and national level to integrate them fully into Pakistan. They must not be ...

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What has Malala done for Pakistan?: 8 popular anti-Malala arguments answered

Last week, Malala Yousafzai appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the theatrical trailer for a new documentary, ‘He Named Me Malala’ was released. As always her appearance on the show led to universal support and acclaim. As always it also attracted massive amounts of vitriol from people in Pakistan.

I have been subjected to copious amounts of hate messages personally for posting messages supporting Malala on my Facebook page. I made an earnest effort to engage with all the Malala haters but none of their arguments held any weight. I have compiled the eight most popular arguments made by people who dislike Malala ...

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24 absurd beliefs Pakistanis have

Norms are beliefs about how members of a group should behave in a particular context. They are informal and often ‘invisible’ understandings and rules that govern a group’s behaviour towards particular religious, social, cultural, political and socio-economic triggers. Norms generally define what is acceptable in a society or group and are the building blocks for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, ideologies and narratives. These rules are generally implicit. In addition to what is considered normative in societal, political or cultural context, there are smaller groups within a society which endorse a particular norm. On one hand, norms define how to move, what to wear, how ...

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The cost of silence

The nation is in shock after the events of the Peshawar school attack. Even for a country that has seen its fair share of violence, the tragedy that occurred was unbelievable. After becoming aware of what had happened, I sat in silence, overcome with grief, contemplating questions such as ‘Why had this happened?’ and ‘Who would do such a thing?’ But it became clear to me that perhaps I was going about it all wrong. I was trying to make sense of a situation that could never make sense. What reason could ever justify the killing of over a hundred innocent school children? ...

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Another conspiracy theory, another anti-Malala day

Yesterday, when I was browsing through the internet, two headlines caught my attention. First was that of a terrible suicide blast in Nigeria that killed 47 students and second was of Pakistan Schools’ Federation observing anti-Malala day where they blamed Malala for supporting controversial novelist Salman Rushdie. A similar development took place last year as well when All Pakistan Private Schools Federation banned its members from buying Malala’s memoir claiming that it has anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan content. What is more disappointing than observing such a magnitude of falsehood which is going around in loops since a long time and we find these school federations projecting the same. ...

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Can Saad Haroon be the ‘Funniest Person in the World’?

Comedian Saad Haroon has been making people laugh for over 10 years now, and he now stands on the cusp of achieving something truly great. Saad is representing Pakistan in the finals of the inaugural ‘Funniest Person in the World’ competition and this weekend saw him perform in front of legendary comedians at Los Angeles’ ‘Laugh Factory’ – a venue that has hosted top performers such as Richard Pryor, Chris Rock and Robin Williams. It was wonderful to see Saad don a sherwani for his semi-final performance and to entertain an American audience with quips about biryani and the hospitality of Asian parents. Ahead ...

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Should she have declined the Nobel Peace Prize?

 The Nobel Peace Prize is given to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. I wonder which work of young Malala Yousafzai fell within any of these three criteria. To be fair to her, Malala did not ask for the Nobel Peace Prize, nor did she lobby for it. In all probability, her handlers did, because for them, it was the crowning glory of the agenda they have been pursuing through her ever since she was whisked away from ...

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