Stories about corruption and bribery

Raymond Davis ka Khuda Hafiz

Raymond Davis, the man who almost single handedly sent Pakistan into a new free-fall of conspiracy theories has made his getaway in true spy movie form. He sneaked out of jail and was flown out to *London the very day he was indicted for double murder by Pakistan’s courts — a decision that was turned around in the blink of an eye following pardons by the families of his victims. Personally, I am glad to see this diplomatic quagmire come to a close. Given our diplomatic ties with the United States, the release of Davis was inevitable; it was always just ...

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The banned trio and the unjust punishment

The troubled trio involved in the spot-fixing case has finally received a verdict that has ruined their cricketing careers – a severe but expected decision. Cricket fans had earlier speculated that Mohammad Amir would be cleared to play with a penalty or short ban but the five year ban has put a big question mark on his career and in the minds of cricket fans. The bans imposed on 26-year-old Salman Butt and 28-year-old Mohammed Asif have as good as finished their careers; 10 and 7 year bans mean that at this age, they have a rare chance of making a ...

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Whose country is this anyways? (Part III)

Corruption is the one word that explains government failure, greed, misallocation of public resources, abuse of power and undeserving state patronage. However, depending on who is involved, the degree of condemnation varies, which is a curious anomaly in what should be outright condemnation and a clear recognition of right from wrong. A dog’s life Recent reports have suggested that Pakistan’s Defence Ministry is demanding Rs1.66 billion to establish a National Canine Centre to train dogs.  3,260 dogs are to be trained over a period of 10 years, which works out to Rs2.7 million per dog. The army already manages a well regarded dog-training ...

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When money is involved in journalism

One of the many lessons I’ve learnt in the profession of journalism is that there are always strings attached when a flock of top media personalities are in full attendance when, let’s say, a boring yet important issue like maternal healthcare is discussed at a five-star hotel. I was recently invited to attend one such ‘interactive’ event organised by a leading NGO in Karachi. It was a lively discussion and I was really impressed that many important people not only flew all the way from Islamabad, but also braved through the five-hour long session. As the event progressed, those belonging to ...

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Why I broke the law at the Islamabad airport

While working abroad, not many of us can afford to go back to Pakistan for a visit as often as we like. In 2009, when I finally had some time (and $1700 to spare), I landed in Islamabad. Two weeks flew by and I found myself at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, ready to head back to the US. As I handed my passport to the official looking security fellow, he looked at my face and said: “ji, aap kay pass protector nahi hai” (you do not have a protector). With my passport handed back to me, I was dismissed. Having no clue what ...

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