Stories about elite

Police force: Where are they in times of need?

They stand tall and sharp in their starch white uniforms, guns ready in hand, next to the fluorescent orange cones dividing us and them. “Of course, the president must be in town,” I thought as I glared at the ever-ready police officers. It’s funny to see these police officers and rangers come out of nowhere every time the president or prime minister is in town. Not only are they out on the streets, they look clean, vigilant and pose to be doing their jobs well. Clearly, the government has the resources to protect the common man, yet the only time you ...

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Getting my hands dirty in Islamabad

Freak weather and climate change, have made for some beautiful Sundays in Islamabad. Yesterday was one of them. So, a friend and I decided to make the best of it by hitting one of the picturesque trails – the perfect antidote to the bureaucratic air that otherwise prevails the environs of the capital. The atmosphere was quite festive. What a blessing it is to walk in the woods, I had thought to myself. The tribulations of the week were shaken off almost magically as we trudged along the trail taking in the scenery. Nature’s palette was especially vibrant that day. Bronze and gold ...

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Help! Our police needs help

There he stands; his black uniform stretched across a protruding belly, he has a certain fondness for chai and ‘pieces of paper with pictures of the Quaid’. This is the image that comes to mind when one thinks of a Pakistani policeman. In the pre-Musharraf era, crime was a major problem. Mustering the political will to clean up the police force was hard because the political elite found it useful to make alliances with certain police departments. Two important things have changed since then. Firstly, another threat has emerged, the militant threat, which attacks not only the common man but ...

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Why do voters elect the same politicians?

Switch on any TV channel, open up a newspaper or log on to a social network and you will see our parliamentarians and their electorate continuously drawing ire of the urban-educated elite. Participants engaging in intellectual discourse on talk shows raise questioning eyebrows over the wisdom possessed by the electorate, and criticise voters’ decision of re-electing the same allegedly tainted politician. This made me wonder; why do voters elect the same politicians every time? After some introspection, I came to the conclusion that the bone of contention is the socio-economic imbalance prevailing in our society. This is a battle between the ‘haves ...

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Talking about blasphemy in English, over dessert

If you wish to have a peaceful meal always avoid broaching subjects like the blasphemy laws at the dinner table. Be extra careful if steak has been served where sharp knives are at hand. In fact it is best to remain perfectly silent until dessert is served. Once knives are replaced by small, curved silver spoons you can go ahead and exercise your freedom of speech as per your kind pleasure. (You may want to ensure your body guard is around though.) If you truly wish to remain a dominant member of the dinner-table chatter, always speak in English. Remember: 1. ...

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Revelry for relief: Fiddling while Sindh sinks

The sensitivity of young people today should ideally never be gauged by the first question that comes to their minds when a bomb goes off in Karachi: Will there be school tomorrow? Instead, Karachi’s generation-next should be assessed on how much hard work, effort and time its members put into relief camps and charity distribution, placard holding and general running around they did in an effort to contribute to alleviating the pain of the people hit by the flooding this summer. There was a definite perception that young privileged girls and boys just live in their bubble on that side ...

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Partying in Jeddah: The elite immunity syndrome

A recent US consulate cable released by WikiLeaks describes a Halloween party at an elite residence in Jeddah; the funds of a prince, alcohol, ‘working women’ and a scene resembling ‘ a nightclub anywhere outside the Kingdom’ was highlighted. The news caused a burst of outrage. I came across more than one online forum where comments ranged from: ‘I wonder what kind of Islam Pakistan has imported from Saudi Arabia’ to ‘If anyone still blindly have faith in these low lives gutter mentality people’. It disturbs me that there is such outrage over a nation that is run by a monarchy-the very concept of ...

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Our economy’s problem: The rich don’t pay their taxes

Any chance of progress in Pakistan is contingent on two critical issues: economic recovery and social reform.  Every person in Pakistan, be it a high ranking politician or bureaucrat or a person belonging to the middle or lower classes, agrees that the economy—and problems resulting from its degeneration—are a significant cause of the country’s woes. The devastation caused by the recent floods has only added to the economic dilemma.  Following this disaster, numerous NGOs and countries around the world have promised aid to Pakistan, but the actual funds received don’t come close to the pledges.  It seems now that even ...

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Do you have what it takes to be a society aunty?

Aunties are the essential thread that holds the delicate fabric of Pakistani society together. In fact, it’s quite surprising that a proportion of our country’s defence budget isn’t allocated towards the Aunty Brigade. ‘Society Aunties’ are the crème-de-la-crème of the Aunty Brigade. Deceptively formidable, they are armed with snubs, icy stares and an ammunition of feline comments. Beautifully groomed, dazzlingly arrayed, and possessing razor-sharp social finesse ‘Society Aunties’ reign drawing rooms, ballrooms, and fashionable weddings. Just don’t make the mistake of addressing them as ‘Aunty’ especially when they appear 39 and Botoxed while their classmates are getting hip replacements. Have you ...

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Fashion Week: A prototype of resilience to terror

Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) Sunsilk Fashion Week has been a success. From Maria B’s clichéd yet imposing collection ‘Tribal Militants’ to Feeha Jamshed’s commendable attempt at paying homage to 40 years of the Teejays trademark, the show is a shimmering example of the surfeit of talent that exists in our fashion industry. But under the circumstances in which it was conducted, it serves to demonstrate the nation’s resilience against political violence. Ironically so, it is this very resilience that has been spurned upon. There is a section of society which believes that in the event of the suicide attacks in ...

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