Stories about hope

Pakistan, a song of love and brotherhood

History tells us that all great nations were once not great. A nation like America had been war struck for more than 100 years. Racial inequality was at its peak in America. The economy was badly affected eight years ago. England too was war ridden for many years. China was once a collection of divided people with vastly differing aims. All great nations faced a plethora of problems before they became truly great. A citizen of the great Pakistan. Photo: Salman Javed I am citizen of a country where, Every day, Earth witnesses blood, The sky witnesses injustice, The sun sees poverty, The stars see slums. And the ...

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Pak-India journalism: Inciting hatred or promoting peace?

Yesterday, at a seminar titled ‘Pakistan-India relations: What can media do?’, Mumbai Press Club’s President Gurbir Singh reportedly urged the Indian as well as Pakistani media to stop airing Television Rating Point (TRP)-grossing talk shows that negatively affect peace prospects between the two nations. This statement comes as a remarkable affirmation of a commitment to peace that needs to be strengthened by the media fraternity on both sides of the border. It comes close on the heels with Kamal Siddiqi’s recent piece titled ‘Talk peace, be damned’, where he laments that war-mongering brings ratings but at the expense of the dividends that ...

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Waar: Pakistan’s stark reality or hope for the future?

After the release of Waar’s trailer online I found myself being annoyingly corrected about how to pronounce the movie’s name. I’d invariably call it ‘War’ in front of Urdu lovers who would tell me it was Waar, meaning ‘to strike’. However, my friends at school would chuckle at me when I called it Waar and insisted that it was ‘War’.  As irritating as this was, there is an even more infuriating phrase I am certain you have heard when people discuss local ventures including films. Just like a worn-out bandage no longer covers or protects a scar, you’ll find this phrase invariably attached to discussions about new initiatives ...

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This August 14, I learnt patriotism from Hindu Marwari children

This year, covering a sports event on August 14 changed my perspective on what the word ‘hope’ really means. I never thought that amateur football players belonging to the poor Hindu Marwari community could teach me such an important lesson, but they did. They were playing an exhibition match with the Muslim Marwaris’ on Independence Day and how they played for Pakistan! The event that I covered is a mere news story; it can only serve the purpose of informing readers and cannot reflect the true emotions of these people unless you go out there and witness it for yourself. Their story is bigger ...

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Jamshed Dasti: We get it, you are powerful.

I wrote my first blog for The Express Tribune about two years ago. I wrote it with high expectations, wrote it with all my heart and wrote it with the hope that the readers would feel it resonate with their daily lives. The comments surprised me to no end. How could the average man think that people in power deserve privileges that defy the norms of decency? Maybe it is just the first instinct of every reader to say, “No, you’re wrong, here’s what I think and clearly my opinion is better and your blog deserves a place in the lowest rungs of ...

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Lessons for life: A letter to my beloved daughter

Dearest daughter, It seems as if only yesterday you entered this world. I remember holding you for the first time. You, my little one, were so tiny and fragile. You held my finger with your little hand and smiled up at me. The memory of that moment is, for all time to come, etched on my heart. With your birth, I learned of new relationships and the meanings they hold. First I was your aunt. Then, when your mother would be away I would replace her. And now that you are growing up, I am your friend. Dear one, there are things ...

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Musharraf’s trial: Vital for Pakistan’s history and future

Not wanting to take an extreme stand on the issue of the trial of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf is understandable but ignoring his absence from court isn’t. Precedent is extremely important here. If the right example is set, our future generations will have something to hold on to, as a source of hope and inspiration. The government’s decision to try the general and make this issue a top priority could be questioned on many grounds — how is the treason case or a murder trial more important than the ongoing terrorist attacks; why is energy not more important than seeing ...

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Life in Pakistan: Can we afford to hope for improvement?

I find it difficult to come up with a truthful answer to the question “How is life in Pakistan these days?” A simple “It’s complicated” does not even begin to describe the complexities of everyday life in this country. Pakistan is a difficult country; difficult like dealing with a child who has started screaming and crying in a crowded market, a child that cannot be pacified by meeting its unreasonable demands. Sheer patience is required to face the unending drama we create and encounter in this country every day. However, patience is not a virtue known to prosper in the ...

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Federal Budget 2013-14: More business friendly than people friendly

I still remember my Economics professor’s words, “The political cost of economic decisions is the worst nightmare for the policy-making circles particularly political parties and this is what plays the most significant role in budgetary allocations.” The federal budget 2013-14 has proved this statement correct. With the new political administration at the helm of affairs, the situation is surely somehow different than the past five years, though not an ideal one. A short glimpse of the budget document clearly shows that the budget is more business friendly than people friendly. We find that the government has focused on fiscal discipline, development, power generation, political ...

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Why Chambaili is a must watch

 1. Ehteshamuddin: The theatre actor and director, who has also tried his hand at television, is definitely the highlight of Chambaili. He is a perfect fit for his role at Musa, the idealist journalist-poet who leads his friends to stand up against an influential politician and his son. 2. Dialogues: Extremely well-written lines, particularly for Ehteshamuddin, are really the icing on the cake. The Urdu is crisp and clear, unlike the terrible language we hear on TV nowadays. There is no mixing with English, neither is there the Bollywood influence. The dialogues are so good that they manage to make an impression ...

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