Stories about finance

I wanted to be a doctor my whole life but ended up doing BBA, and life changed

As a child, I always wanted to pursue medicine. I was the kid who would memorise the names of bones from a skeleton drawn in her book and tell her dad about this achievement. Medicine was my passion from the start. As a teenager, I wanted to do something substantial in life and my goal was to be an independent woman like my mother. Working hard had become both a passion and a liability to achieve what I always wanted to do. But last year, when the time for admissions into medical colleges came, things didn’t play out so well. And ...

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Dear US, before fixing the world, fix yourself!

At a time when the United States forces are grappling with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) scourge, it may not be the most appropriate moment to write this. However, recent events, such as the incident in Ferguson, Missouri, happening within the US, have prompted many to ask a rather critical question – does the US really need to go to foreign lands, sacrifice lives, dole out billions and play the role of a fixer when the country itself is domestically faced with issues of monstrous importance? As international affairs have significantly evolved, Washington continues to tow a somewhat outdated line. ...

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Budget2013: Research and Development in Pakistan

The initial prognosis of the recent budget by pundits is positive, with the phrase “business-friendly” or some other variant prefacing their every breath. While that’s an italicised development from past years, let’s hope there is a noticeable change in the fields of research, development and technology as well. To say the least, Pakistan has had its share of intestinal economic and political disruptions. Incessant wars, military rule, flogged bureaucracy and corruption represent some of the determinants of Pakistan’s snail-paced economic growth. Recognising these factors, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during his budget presentation speech invoked the word “development” 26 separate times, but ...

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Asad Mehmood’s out-of-this world dream

The first time I gazed at the sky in fascination was on a clear night on an off-road trip in Hingol, Balochistan. I had never seen a sky so full of stars and stood awe struck at the beauty and magnificence of the heavens. Naturally, my next impulse was to buy a telescope powerful enough to see them up close. I found this to be a very costly venture as telescopes, especially good ones are expensive. So I proceeded to scrounge for details on how to build one on the Internet. When I discovered that building one requires an ...

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How the mighty dollar weakens the rupee

Money only holds value because there are goods and services available to buy with that money. It is the goods and services that create a value for that money. Coconut water would be more valuable on a treasure island than kilos of gold. In that circumstance, it’s not the value of coconut water that has increased, but the diminished value of gold that is being reflected. The fewer goods and services available, the lesser the value of money – even if it is a pile of gold. Pakistan currently produces cotton, rice, fish, fruit, vegetables, pulses and much more. These ...

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Help! I’m a shopaholic

Dear Miss Informed, I am a shopaholic. I can’t stop myself from buying things regardless of whether I need them or not.  Even if it is a good day, and I am not blue, I just have to get out of my house and buy something, be it shampoo or a handbag. My condition is so severe that my arms ache when I’m not holding shopping bags. If the malls are closed, I press my nose to shop windows and try to smell the clothes I would have bought if I could get in. My fingers itch, and I feel the irrepressible urge to ...

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Islamabad Diary: Spinning around in numbers

Like most journalists I took up the profession because I was useless at math. It is ironic – and quite painful – then that I was surrounded by numbers for the first month after I moved to Islamabad. Even worse I, an English and History graduate, was expected to make sense of numbers that often ran into seven or eight digits. It was budget season in Islamabad, a time when people pretend to know what encumbrance control and interfund agreements mean and then proceed to thoughtfully ponder their significance to Pakistan’s financial future. Since mathematical nous isn’t native to most journalists, ...

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23 O level A’s: My success story

I am not a genius as many may believe; I do not have god gifted intelligence. But I do have vast knowledge. And more than anything else, I am hard working. I was never really considered a bookworm in school, because I engaged in activities that are part of student life. I play the guitar, and have won trophies for football. I was an active debater and secured six “best delegate” awards at the Model United Nations and also won trophies in parliamentary style debating. It was quite difficult to balance my social life with my studies and extracurricular activities, ...

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Long live Lollywood!

Lollywood originates from my hometown of Lahore. My childhood consists of vivid memories of Royal Park – unique as a glittering place – mesmerising me each time and offering escape from reality. However, the place has changed over the years and so has Lollywood. Who is to blame for the decay of Lollywood? The answer, simply, is filmmakers. Many have said that Lollywood needs a lethal injection to die once and for all as it couldn’t revive despite bans on foreign films, tax waivers, special grants and receiving the status of an industry. However, there’s always a flip side to the story. ...

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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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