Stories about human

I will not dance on Osama bin Laden’s grave

I have been in the US for the past two years and in this time I have felt culture shock twice – the first, when I first arrived, and then again on the night of May 2, 2011. Any supporter of peace would feel nothing but hatred for Bin Laden and his organisation, and I do hate him or I thought I did. But, Sunday night when everyone was out on the streets celebrating, chanting “USA” and firing fireworks, I felt like an outsider. I couldn’t join in – partly because it still felt wrong and partly because I realised instantly that ...

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Here’s something to chew on…

“The supple, soft touch of his skin against my coarse, scaly fingers. Caressing his plump, rosy cheeks I get a whiff of his gripe-watered breath, lips dribbling with saliva. I stare, yearn, hypnotised for days just simply touching his seductive skin. I held out for six years, three months, two days and 19 hours, but my lust got the better of me and I was helpless against my desire to feel his crimson blood against my starved lips. Starting with a nail, a finger, I enjoyed him piece by piece, every square inch of his youthful arm. Our desire is no different ...

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Hating Terry Jones is bad for Muslims

It’s the same old cycle. Once again an insignificant person does something radically stupid in the West, and we in the East go on to a killing rampage. I am talking about the burning of the Holy Quran incident carried out on March 20, 2011 by Terry Jones, an American Christian Evangelist pastor from Florida. This is the same man who threatened to burn the Holy Quran on 9/11 but relented once he got the media hype he wanted. Spreading the stupid In the immediate aftermath of the burning, I thought that the Muslim world had shown restraint and ignored Jones’ thoughtless acts, as ...

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Does anyone care about the peacocks in Thar?

Are you aware, ladies and gentlemen, of what Tharparker’s peacocks are going through? According to a news report a strange disease is stalking them. The infected bird develops a bulge in the neck which keeps growing and then bursts. From this sore a worm crawls out. The beautiful bird turns blind and pretty soon stops breathing. The report says in Khipri and Islamkot areas of Tharparker district the situation is so bad that as many as 10 birds are dying a day from the mystery disease. The Thar peacocks did not have it easy even before this epidemic, the ever-expanding human settlements ...

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On love and marriage: Where did the spark go?

When two people get married, they might safely assume that they can’t afford to mess it up. Or can they? Today, I speak on behalf of all my girlfriends who are pondering the million dollar question: where did the spark go? A flaming start Initially most of us jump into the institution with gusto.  We look at it as a final end to a romantic rendezvous; the stolen glances and time restricted engagements that leave so much to be desired and explored. After marriage, there is an endless amount of time at our disposal and this reduces romantic fervour considerably. Where is the heart ...

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Failed projects and infringed human rights

The CDA has been going through a tumultuous period since the incumbent government came to power, with budget surpluses disappearing amid overly ambitious revenue projections, delayed projects and overlapping organisational roles following the inception of CADD and the PM’s task force on Islamabad. The latest cockamamie scheme was to replace the light bulbs in streetlights around Islamabad with LEDs, based on the argument that it would save money in the long term and reduce the strain on the national electricity grid. The phrase you must spend money to make money goes back at least 2,000 years, and the civic body appears ...

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Religion vs ethics: Who cares where human rights came from?

The election of Asma Jahangir is a welcome development in the establishment of human rights and rule of law in Pakistan. However, the concept of human rights remains one of the most controversial issues in contemporary political and social thought, partly because of the origins and the justifications used in reference to human rights. The case against rights The  grounding of human rights in our respective societies is perhaps one of great concern. Why bother with rights? What gives them legitimacy? Do they even exist? What does it mean to have a right? What about responsibilities? Are human rights universal? These ...

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You Like me, you Like me not

“Man kills sister on court premises.” 9 people like this. “Explosion in Peshawar mosque, 3 dead.” 28 people like this. “Twin suicide attacks at Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine.” 230 people like this Doesn’t this appear disconcerting to you? It was alright if you ‘liked’ my pictures or comments. But must you like everything? Is that the only form of reaction left online? Yes,I know you don’t really like it, in the true sense of the word’s meaning. You hit the only button available for appreciation (besides the one for tweets). But that’s how it appears to readers. Am I the only one ...

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Never let me go: A film that asks questions

Yesterday was the first day of the 54th BFI London Film Festival-and what a start it has proven to be. The opening night gala of Never Let Me Go, a film by Mark Romanek (acclaimed director of One Hour Photo) does not fail to impress. The film has a talented, young, British cast led by Keira Knightley (The Duchess 2008), Carey Mulligan (An Education 2009) and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network 2010). Based on the Booker Prize shortlisted novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go is a dystopian drama set in an alternative world, in which a ‘National ...

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Fundamentalism versus pluralism in religion

”The principle of movement in the structure of Islam” (Allama Iqbal, Reconstruction of Religious Thought In Islam) Religious fundamentalism has been described in various terms and jargon; however the most compelling description of fundamentalism when we consider the topics of knowledge production and social practice is’ the virtual absence of historical scholarship, liberty and rationality.’ Fundamentalists are by no means inclined towards force but they do deny the call for reform and change, arguing that religion is unchangeable hence any interference by human beings through manipulative means of interpretation is an adulteration of the purity of faith. In one clear ...

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