Stories about Defence

After 67 year, we are still unprepared for rain

When it rains in Pakistan, the words of Ardeshir Cowasjee seem very pertinent: “Gutter tou bana nahi saktay, atom bomb banatay hain”. (They cannot even make a gutter but are making atom bombs). Rain, a blessing of nature (or should I say curse in disguise), has wreaked havoc in parts of Punjab and Kashmir. It has not only cost lives and casualties, but also led to the spread of water-borne diseases. These torrential rains have flooded areas where lands have been cleared, people have been displaced and livestock has been harmed. One wonders then whether authorities, such as the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Water and Sanitation ...

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Four ways Pakistani cricket is like Argentinian football

I was barely six-years-old when Diego Maradona’s individual brilliance almost singlehandedly won the World Cup for Argentina in Mexico. For a boy watching the event with his sports crazy family, the event was electric, with the iconic images of Maradona dancing through the opposition, and eventually lifting the trophy, forever imprinted in my brain. Equally iconic were the images of Maradona crying four years later, after his side was cruelly penalised by the referee in the final against West Germany. Even later, when Maradona shed tears after struggling with substance abuse, I shared his pain, and supported my hero, ignoring the fact that he ...

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Red

This piece is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The air smelled of rich extravagance as her heart pounded in her chest and banged away like a hammer. Her eyes, heavy with kajal, glanced sideways as the butler came towards her to escort her upstairs. She smiled, stood up, hoping nobody would notice her trembling fingers, and walked upstairs. Unconsciously, her fingers rose to her lips and she started biting her finger nails to calm her nerves. The butler was moving ahead of her and she had to take long strides to keep up with him, while her ...

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In 2014, slavery still exists…

Children are beautiful, innocent, simple and sweet. Therefore, they are loved, cajoled, pampered and spoiled. They get special treatment, selected food, quality education, prompt healthcare and extra attention. But this is not true for every child. Not every child is considered beautiful, simple and pure. Some children are born to live as children while others are born to live as slaves. These slave children are neglected and forgotten. They are beaten day in and day out, humiliated and assaulted. They are the waiters, the maids and the mechanics. They are the ones you take one glance at and then look away, because they look ...

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Shaving Privates Ryan

Alfred Noble invented the dynamite in order to facilitate mining. His invention was misused and resulted in one of the highest death tolls of humans by any weapon. You can’t control the consuming end. Considering that, if you fear your product might be misused, just don’t sell it and avoid the doubts – especially when your reasons are based on religious grounds. See, many people buy cucumbers but not all of them eat them. Some just use them for garnishing and throw them away. Don’t get the wrong idea, people. As is seen in the picture above, this is what I ...

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University: A haven for fashion, marriage, and entertainment

They were right when they said that university can teach one some of best lessons in life.  In this place called a ‘university’, I have met people that I didn’t even think could possibly exist! Although I am still in my first semester and it might be too early to draw conclusions, I am completely bewildered by the people I have been fortunate enough to have met. Having been swept off my feet, I would like to talk about a few of them: The bathroom hogger The original concept of using the toilet has pretty much diminished. The bathroom is now considered a convenient ...

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I’m rich, I’m privileged, I’m informed – am I safe?

I guess you could call me one of the 1%. No one ever disputes that Pakistan is an extremely polarised society, but I think we often forget how polarised it is, because we all live in, well, bubbles. These bubbles are made up of all the assumptions we hold dear, from the mundane “I am a good husband and brother” all the way to the abstract “My world view is the correct world view”. Most of the time, I live happily in my bubble, bouncing off other people and life events with the comforting certainty a bubble brings. But then sometimes, very ...

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The horror of ‘the other side of the bridge’

Phrases like, ‘Oh no! Your house is on ‘the other side of the bridge’,’ or ‘That side of the bridge is so far away,’ often frequent the regular Karachiite’s tongue. In fact, there is a general feeling of time wastage, shock, disgust, annoyance, frustration and condescension associated with ‘the other side of the bridge’ in Karachi. Many of these chords ring at the mere mention of the bridge that connects the Defence side of Karachi to the rest of the city; the ‘other side’ of the city – the darker, scarier, gloomier side of the city. Sheesh, the drama! Here are a ...

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Zaid Hamid: Treason against reason

Two statements have been circulating in my head for the last few days. The first one is by George Orwell: In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. The second is a piece of poetry by revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz: Nisar teri galiyo pe ae watan kay jahan, Chali hai Rasm kay koi na sarr utha kay chalay. Jo Koi Chahnay Wala Tawaaf ko Niklay, Nazar Jhuka kay Chalay, Jism o Jaan Bacha Kay Chalay. (My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation! Where a tradition has been invented- that none shall walk with his head held high, If at all one takes ...

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Why thank the Taliban, minister?

Every Pakistani was thankful that Ashura passed off without incident and gave full credit to security agencies for employing stringent measures on the solemn occasion. Contrary to this, talking to journalists later, Interior Minister Rehman Malik thanked the Taliban for the merciful act of not carrying out any terror acts during Muharram. The statement not only stunned his compatriots, it also exposed the real reason behind the peace in Muharram — it was not actually because of heightened security, but because of an ‘understanding’ between the government and the Taliban. It was also clear from the statement that the terrorists ...

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