Stories about idea

‘Naya Pakistan’ needs to answer some fundamental questions

With Imran Khan turning many doubters into believers by the virtue of his unwavering, unfaltering and untiring show in Islamabad, I have no hesitation in admitting that his performance on the political ground is as bold as it used to be on the cricketing ground. His supporters have shown commendable commitment, as the sit-in at D-Chowk has crossed a golden jubilee mark thanks to street power in other cities – especially Karachi. As I listen to his speeches, quite frankly, I love the idea of Naya Pakistan more and more each day, but what really confuses me is the model he is portraying and ...

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A reason to laugh

Five years ago, I came across a very strange news story titled, ‘Conspiracy theorists convinced Neil Armstrong Moon landing was faked.’ Gaping with horror, I delved into the details quoting none other than the astronaut himself claiming how he may just have been hoodwinked into believing the moon-landing was real, although it wasn’t. More ludicrous was the reason cited as being the cause of disillusionment for Neil; an elaborate YouTube video that was prepared by a conspiracy theorist. Questioning all that was real, I immediately Googled to find other news sites claiming the same to convince myself of the veracity of the news. None existed. Sceptically, I ...

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The ‘place’ for women is not just ‘the kitchen’

The term ‘male-dominated society’ does not mean (against common misconception) the subjugation of women to physical violence or having biases towards them. However, to say that it is nothing will also be a gross understatement. The term basically means an opportunity to attest and exhibit supremacy, in any form. Even a demeaning nod at the idea of an achievement by the opposite gender is as derogatory as the worst form of it may be. One doesn’t have to advocate ‘feminism’ or ‘masculinity’ to believe in gender equality – this only gives birth to more sexism. Sexism, like racism, should not be ...

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Be Pakistani, support the Pakistan Protection Ordinance

Leadership has never been our strong suit. When it’s time to step up to the challenge and rally the nation on a certain path, our leadership crashes; it always falls short of selling an idea and forming a narrative. Similar is the case with the Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO), which has fallen victim to proponents on the left who argue that the ordinance violates human rights and may be a prelude to governmental tyranny. Sure, point taken that it represents such implications. But this ordinance was made to bypass the parliament not because Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in the process of ...

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Google can envision Pakistan-India harmony in less than 4 minutes…can we?

Regarding India-Pakistan relations, Sir Walter Scott in his poem “Lochinvar” captured it the best: “Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide” Replace the river Solway with Indus or Ganges and one gets an idea of the ebb and flow of India-Pakistan relations. I first learnt of it through the most obvious of sources, Indian movies. We were watching a cliché with the usual “dushman mulk sazish” storyline when came the long advertisements and movie reviews that would be a permanent feature of the video cassettes. This was sometime after the Babri Mosque incident and relations between the two states were crumbling. Among the ...

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Thank you Faf du Plessis for showing us that the ICC cares… about you!

Dear Faf du Plessis, First of all, one must congratulate you for imparting a unique idea of utilising the trouser zip for tampering with the cricket ball. In the past, some ‘enthusiasts’ had tried Pepsi bottle tops, dirt/dust in the pockets, finger nails, and even teeth, but none had used a trouser’s zip before. Once upon a time in Australia, our Afridi “Lala” had tried to chew and/or bite the ball in frustration after several defeats, but he couldn’t hide it from any of the cameras installed across the ground. As a result, he was fined for two T20 matches. ...

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Building ‘Traffic Pakistan’ and the problem with start-ups

Around three years ago M. Ali, a close friend of mine, built a very neat road traffic reporting system. This was a low tech version (dealing with real time traffic and incident reporting) over text messages and tweets. This was before we knew that something like Waze (later developed via Google) existed. Since Pakistan was gradually becoming a country with a majority of its population having access to cell phones and the internet, this idea made sense. Being pragmatists, we decided to name the scheme ‘Traffic Pakistan’. The idea was quite simple. Pakistani roads are horrible and often get congested. ...

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Pakistani blood is cheap, but negotiations with the Taliban is an outrageous idea

A dead major general is nothing to be ashamed of. There are countries in our neighbourhood who have lost their presidents and prime ministers to the violence of dissenters. We ourselves lost a former prime minister and popular leader to bullets. For a country that gave away 50,000 lives, a dead major general and a dead ex-premier are nothing less than souvenirs. Their blood is the symbol of the country’s determination and steadfastness towards the right cause. This is the sad stance that most of us have taken so far. However, now, with attempts to reach a settlement with the Taliban, it can rightfully be ...

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What stress can do to you

It began in grade twelve. My grades had suddenly gone down, and I had no idea why. The journey from being a class-topper to actually failing in three of my favourite subjects was a short one. It took a toll on me. A year later, the stress that I had been gathering for years appeared in the form of a coin-sized bald spot on the crown area of my head. The night before, I had slept with a full head of hair, but that afternoon as I prepared to go for lunch with my friends, I saw that hairless little ...

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Negotiating with the Afghan Taliban is a good idea

Recent news of the Taliban opening an office to facilitate negotiations captured headlines across the world. First, Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai reacted with indignity to the decision made by the Taliban leadership to open an office under the banner of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. Karzai then announced that Afghanistan will not be participating in peace negotiations with the Taliban. What followed was last week’s bombing by the Taliban at the Presidential Compound, believed to be the most secure area in Afghanistan. The negotiations so far have been inconsequential. No prisoners swapped, no eleventh-hour deal, no power-sharing agreement. There exist only desperate pleas from Secretary Kerry ...

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