Stories about financial

Do you need a ‘reason’ to be depressed?

‘An unemployed man, tired of the financial crises, hangs himself to death.’ ‘A woman takes her own life before killing her children due to conflicts and problems at home’. ‘A jilted lover shoots himself in front of the girl he wants to marry.’ The lack of awareness about mood disturbances, including depression, are obvious by the kind of media coverage of the incidents of suicide, which often broadly and superficially look at the obvious external stressors and fail to highlight it as a mental health issue that can affect even those who apparently may not have any external social or/and financial stressors. The recent ...

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Does anyone in Pakistan know how to save money?

While I was visiting a friend, I came across something very peculiar. His domestic help, who was serving us tea and refreshments, had headphones plugged into his ears and kept chatting away to someone over his phone. His behaviour remained consistent during my four-hour-long stay and I wondered how he was able to talk so long without his mobile balance running out.  Giving in to my curiosity, I asked my friend about his servant’s excessive phone calls, to which he explained that of the Rs10,000 that he received as salary, a major chunk of it went either to buying a new phone ...

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Weddings in Pakistan: Down with the dowry, enough with the spending!

An often ignored reality that has plagued Pakistani society is that getting married is a financial nightmare. Marriage in our country is an occasion for insane displays of spending on outrageously lavish valimas, mehndi banquets, jewellery, give-aways, dowry and similar acts. What is interesting and downright appalling is that all classes of society are guilty of this madness. Our upper-class uses the occasion to show how wealthy they are. The middle-class, as always torn between the echelons of society, tries its best to spend as much as it can and register itself within the upper-class so as to feel accomplished. The poor take out the money ...

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What happened to PIA’s glory days?

A rapid drop in altitude, deafening noise, sheer chaos, emergency alarms going off, doors and walls shuddering violently and people crying out loud! This is not an account of a plane crash. Rather, it’s about a whole airline company coming crashing down; an organisation which has completely lost direction. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), once soaring high in the skies of the aviation industry, has fallen into an abyss of financial and image crisis. So this is an account of our national flag carrier that used to be the nation’s pride; it is about Pakistan International Airlines. I still remember the time when PIA ...

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Does the EU deserve a Nobel Peace Prize?

The European Union (EU) has been recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2012 recently ‘for bringing peace to a continent that tore itself apart in two world wars’. There is no doubt that a supra-national political framework such as EU has done a lot of good work in the past, but choosing the EU for a Nobel Peace Prize has been more of a motivational gesture. The Eurozone’s economic troubles have escalated to a point that an economic breakup of the organisation is being discussed by experts and diplomats. In these hard times, awarding this prize is only ...

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Is education for Karachi slum-dwellers a waste of time?

In 2008, on a typical hot and humid summer morning, I was driving through Karachi city to get to work. Passing close to Karachi’s biggest slum area, Orangi, my car broke down and I had it brought to a workshop nearby to get it fixed. The workshop had a head mechanic, who diagnosed the problem and then assigned one of the several teenagers working for him to fix the issue. I observed the child working on my car and found him to be very talkative. He asked me about how I’ll be late for office and commented on my good luck ...

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Party campaigns: Where does their money come from?

Nearly all of us spend hours debating what our country needs, and almost every time we end up with the same list of priorities; education, eradication of corruption, job opportunities and other such basics. While I do agree that we require the above mentioned things, I also think that there is something else that we need on an urgent basis in our political system and which no one seems to be talking about it; campaign finance reforms. Even though it is the giant elephant in the room, I find it surprising that I have never come across a single discussion on it. For those ...

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The dilemmas of a Muslim shopper

Over the past couple of weeks my sister was in town,and along with my mother, we spent a good deal of time in shopping malls, taking advantage of discounts during a seasonal sale. Having lost a few pounds in the past couple of months, and after starting a new job in December, I had no qualms about treating myself to some new clothes, shoes, and accessories. Like many women, I find buying new items quite gratifying. This is especially so because in the past two to three years, I managed to work towards having financial freedom for the first time. ...

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‘My husband is my father’s age…’

A few weeks ago, I happened to witness the unfortunate crumbling and subsequent break-up of a close friend’s marriage. After hearing both sides of the story, I arrived to a conclusion regarding the main reason behind the failure: The husband was 20 years older than his wife. Although common in an eastern society where arranged marriages are the norm, such large age-gaps (10 years and more) often have great drawbacks in a relationship as intimate as marriage. In our society, parents are in a rush to marry off their daughters before they hit the twenty-fifth birthday mark (or even earlier), ...

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Debt and taxes: PPP’s planned loss

Elections are around the corner and the political heat is building-up. Soon there will be rallies, corner meetings and slogan chanting. Despite issues of massive magnitude, PPP’s coalition government will, hopefully, complete its term. But they might not wish to win the next general elections. The case I am trying to make is based on economic realities. Let’s analyse why. In the past four years of government, Pakistan’s economy faced tough challenges; two floods, financial mismanagement and lack of governance in all aspects of government functions, pushing the country into a deep economic crisis. Pakistan’s total public debt, which was Rs.6 trillion ...

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