Stories about corrupt politicians

Do our ministers really deserve a shameless 146% increase in salary?

I have to interact frequently with our tax collectors, and since our lawmakers don’t have to pay taxes, they have no idea of the torture the average businessman has to suffer. The following dialogue explains how the common man is taxed heavily and, since lawmakers don’t have to pay taxes, they thought it fit to increase their salaries recently: Tax collector: What do you do? Common man: I run a business. Tax collector: Well, pay professional tax then! What are you doing in your business? Common man: Selling goods. Tax collector: Pay sales tax then! From where are you getting your goods from? Common man: ...

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The Night Of is the best wake-up call our TV industry needs

HBO’s The Night Of  proved to be the most important summer show on television. The very transformation of the co-lead Riz Ahmed’s Nasir Khan as a clean-cut kid turned drug mule is a perfect example of why everything needs a little push. Oh, and also when two of Hollywood’s most likable ladies, Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks, are raving about something on TV, we should take notice. This is where the whole ‘wrong guy at the wrong time in the wrong place’ worked so well in the show. Imagine the chaos we’ve seen in 2016 in Pakistan. After some terror attacks and the murders of Amjad Sabri, Qandeel Baloch amongst others, one would ...

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Why are we banning Maalik when it’s a fictitious portrayal?

A lot has been said and discussed about the newly released Lollywood film Maalik. For me, there were two things about the film that made me want to watch it. Firstly, the fact that it was directed and written by Ashir Azeem, popular for his super-hit drama serial Dhuwan. Secondly, the tagline of the film ‘Main Pakistan ka shehri, Pakistan ka Maalik hun’ (I am the citizen of Pakistan and the owner of Pakistan) which made me realise that this film was definitely going to have more substance to it rather than a typical masala movie. I decided to watch it at a local cinema. After a few days, the ...

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Why are C-sections becoming more common than natural birth?

Upon a recent visit to a private hospital, I was perplexed by the quirky change in nature’s playground; almost every second birth happened to be a caesarean. Were indulgent mothers insisting on it, or were they being brainwashed into it by unscrupulous doctors? Apparently, neither. These cases indicated a very genuine need for a caesarean. Regardless of how hard the medical staff tried, the stubborn baby simply refused to come out. Cocktails of hormones and solutions were provided to induce the contractions; however, it was all in vain. In such defeat, one had to resort to the machine and deeper, more invasive measures ...

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Sharmila Farooqi’s Disney wedding and Pakistan’s plight

The coverage of Sharmila Farooqi’s nuptials on national media and the hype associated with it had all the hallmarks relevant for a royal fairy tale wedding. The glorification of the ceremony, pictures of opulence and extravagance, and a happy couple starting a new phase – the event represented everything good in life. Unfortunately, these were pictures of beautiful dresses and lavish feasts set in the backdrop of an impoverished country. Photo: Aysha Saleem This is not the first political wedding on which the national media went gaga. A couple of months ago, we had the Imran and Reham Khan wedding madness, that ...

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“No one in the Pakistani government is interested in change”

So, Chaudhary Mohammad Sarwar has finally resigned as the governor of Punjab. This has not been exactly unexpected. Rumours had been circulated for many months that he was deeply unhappy with those that surrounded him at the top of Pakistan’s political power structure. I can also explain just why he has become so disillusioned. My first experience in high-level policy making taught me an invaluable lesson about Pakistani politics. Many years ago, when I was but a wide-eyed PhD researcher starting my fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy School, I managed to secure a private meeting with a Pakistan cabinet minister who ...

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Why Lahore is better than Karachi today

Karachi saw its renewed glory days under the presidency of Pervez Musharraf. For the first time, the citizens felt bonded with the city and its ways. There was an air of optimism and under the ‘I own Karachi’ program, for the first time in a long time, Karachiites came forward to beautify their city and contribute towards its uplift. The two mayors, Mr Naimatullah Khan from Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) followed by Mustafa Kamal from Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), did wonders and set the city on the path of progress and development. I personally know a number of expatriates who relocated back to Karachi in order to ...

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The importance we (don’t) give our country

When one thinks about Pakistan, what is it that comes to mind? For some, it’s a land with troubled tribal areas or a cradle for terrorism. For many, it’s a haven for corrupt politicians, backed by a corrupt legislation and a flawed constitution. And for others, it’s just a mistake that Mr Jinnah made 67 years ago. If you ask a young, college-going boy about what Pakistan is to him, he will probably say that it’s, “A country in which I was born, raised and taught the tricks of getting my way in the world either by hook or by crook. A ...

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What about the two Air Force pilots who died yesterday?

Yesterday, Pakistan lost two impeccable fighter pilots in a saddening crash in Karachi. The incident took the lives of Wing Commander Khurram Sammad and Squadron Leader Umair Elahi. As the Mirage fighter plane crashed in Baldia Town, the incident caused four other casualties. Yesterday, Pakistan also saw the self-proclaimed ‘Quaid’ of Sindh, also known as Altaf Hussain getting arrested for money laundering. The news of his arrest caused the usual stir in halting all life in Karachi. Roads were jammed, shops closed and basically all activities came to a standstill as the city sat in terror. The violence that comes with such news is nothing new. People ...

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Definition of a ‘traitor’ in Pakistan: An honest army general

Pervez Musharraf’s indictment in the high treason case has opened up a Pandora ’s Box; with this, our corrupt politicians will no longer fear an army clamp down on their evil doings, only because now they know that the judiciary already provides complete shelter to their corrupt practices. The army will obviously stay away regardless of how much the public may plead. But this is what Pakistan wants, right? This indictment will also ensure that the title of ‘traitor’ is exclusively reserved for an honest army general who sent a group of corrupt politicians packing, gave strength to a failing state by giving ...

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