Stories about corruption

U-19 World Cup: Is inconsistency part of Pakistani culture?

There are times when certain characteristics become symbolic of a particular country. That is, these characteristics are exhibited by the general masses as well as their leaders and institutions; hence it makes them part of a particular culture. For Pakistanis, I believe, that one characteristic is their utter lack of consistency. Albeit our politics, our economy, our policy-making or our sports, consistency has largely been absent for a greater period of time. In sports, our teams are widely known for being painfully inconsistent and this has become our reputation in the global arena. In the recently concluded Under-19 (U-19) World Cup, our young ...

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Indian elections 2014: Who will win?

There couldn’t have been a worse run-up to the 2014 general elections in India. As soon as dates for the polling schedule were announced, the world’s largest democracy witnessed many street clashes and stone pelting between members of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in various cities.  Violence broke out after the police detained AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal during his campaign in Narendra Modi’s territory, Gujarat. The clashes of wooden sticks with jharoos (brooms) were symbolically evident. In New Delhi, the police had to use water cannons on the protesters. The situation went from bad to worse in no time. The Indian National Congress (INC) The ruling INC, ...

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Gunday: A macho masala from the 70s

Director cum writer, Ali Abbas Zafar waited a couple of years after the release of his debut ‘Mere Brother Ki Dulhan’, a comedy hit of 2011, to entice filmgoers with an action packed crime thriller. This time, Zafar has replaced the genre of a light romantic comedy with a nice mash-up of 70s’ action films to present the perfect commercial movie – Gunday. If you are a fan of Amitabh Bachchan, particularly of his angry, young man image and classics like Sholay, Don and Kala Pathar, then Gunday is a big treat for you. It’s all about action, double-dealing, revenge tangled with friendship, deceit, romance and betrayal. The film ...

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Aao bacho sair karain tumko Pakistan ki: Not an ordinary nursery rhyme…

There is a very famous poem, by a very famous poet, written in a more hopeful and exuberant time. It has been set to wonderful, cheerful music and is taught to children everywhere. And in the video below, a child sings something that sounds very much like it. But listen carefully. The music has the same happy lilt, but the words are horribly different. So different, in fact, that a few people I showed this video to were seriously offended at what they consider to be a serious perversion of a great piece of art. The original poem and its English translation ...

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“Badshaho, we saw you kissing the girl”: To make a quick buck, the police will accuse you of anything

Going out with friends was a simple routine for me. It never bothered me whether I was going out with guys or girls since I never thought it to be much of an issue. However, in just one encounter, the Pakistani police taught me all the things that can go terribly wrong while going out with male friends. It was just another day when I went out with two of my friends from university. One of them was driving while the other sat in the front passenger seat and I took the backseat. We drove to a café located on ...

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The Aam Admi Party: An Indian version of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?

Politics between India and Pakistan have essentially been dominated by upper-class families, feudal lords and tribes. These politicians have a history of dividing the public on the basis of religion, ethnicity and class. Since the creation of both countries, we have witnessed the politics of hatred against people of other ideologies, religions and ethnicities. It is quite apparent that both countries are not running on the principles set by their founders, Quaid-e-Azam and Mahatma Gandhi. Both these great leaders dreamt of a state in which all citizens would be treated equally without any discrimination on the basis of colour, caste, class and religion. Even ...

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A conversation between Ghalib and Iqbal

Once upon a time, a Pakistani who also happened to be an Urdu literature lover, was travelling from one city to another somewhere in the northern areas of Pakistan. Throughout his journey, only two books were his companion – Deewan-e-Ghalib and Kalaam-e- Iqbal. During a long bus journey, his tired and weary yet over-imaginative mind was in a half-sleeping and half-dreaming state. In this trance, he found Ghalib and Iqbal sitting in the seats right next to him talking to each other, completely oblivious of his presence. This is the conversation that ensued between these two great Urdu poets: Iqbal “Aah! Look at those beautiful mountains and ...

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Wearing a Sindhi topi and ajrak won’t rebuild a backward province

It is the same mayhem every year. Yes, with ear-splitting songs ricocheting in the backdrop, the clatter of a hundred different tunes which sound sweet to the ear but are ironic when their meaning dawns upon one; a mela, a festival, a frenzy of colour as a consequence of a host of ajraks with exquisite block prints and astutely crafted Sindhi topis on display – all this seems so empty in the end and so fleeting in the final assessment. A land of culture and civilisation: check. A history of Sufi traditions and humanistic thought: check. A past of resistance to oppression of the Imperialist ...

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Will Nawaz Sharif be able to handle Narendra Modi?

On the evening of September 17, 1950, Damodardas Mulchand Modi and his wife Heeraben would have probably never thought that their third born, Narendra Modi, will one day challenge the powerful Nehru Dynasty and vouch for the office of Pradhan Mantri (prime minister) in one of the biggest democracies of the world, India. The rise of Namo (Narindra Modi) is spectacular as well as mind boggling. It shows a change in Indian politics, where a self-made tea boy running a tea stall at a small bus station in Vadnagar has risen to become the Chief Minister (CM) of Gujarat. Namo is the household name for the ...

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DSP Qasim Ali Khan Ghouri: He was my baba and he died serving Pakistan

I’m writing this article in the memory of my khalu (maternal uncle), Shaheed Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Qasim Ali Khan Ghouri, who was martyred at 8:30am on August 15, 2013. This is not meant to be a eulogy because no words are sufficient to express my affection and regard for khalu. I’d just like to share some very special experiences and lessons from my his life. Lessons from a martyr Khalu often used to express his deepest sympathies for the frequent martyrdom of policemen, but I never thought that, one day, he’d sacrifice his life for a policeman. I believed that ...

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