Stories about issues

Bajee: I only realised her importance after she left…

“Baba, Bajee…?” asks my two-year-old, rather inquisitively, each time I put him to sleep or wakes him up. Bajee, the nanny, had been with us since before our son’s birth and had recently left for her village in Punjab to get married there. My son didn’t take her departure very well and became frustrated. He would go about the house calling out for Bajee and looking for her. Putting him to bed became difficult and the worst thing was that he would keep getting up in the night to ensure that either me or my wife were present. Since then, he has not ...

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18 mind blowing quotes by Pakistani politicians in 2013

Last year, our nation went through many a tragedy. From being held hostage by terrorists to being engulfed by sectarian violence, the terror spree has gone on without any breaks. In this madness, we have had our politicians providing us their ‘pearls of wisdom’. While this year we have missed the late Pir Pagara, Zulfiqar Mirza, Pervez Musharraf, Rehman Malik and the like, who had given us truly memorably comments regarding national security in the past, I was still able to collect some quotes which managed to become top headlines. Here is how our leaders and politicians have shared their valuable opinions ...

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In the Indian diplomat’s case, does anyone care about the nanny?

Paying a maid roughly 200 Indian Rupees (INR) an hour may seem overly generous in places like India and Pakistan where the job market is flooded with excess manpower. But can an Indian diplomat play by the same rules on American soil? Devyani Khobragade had relied on her diplomatic immunity to be able to import her own slice of cheap Indian labour to New York, but the US law intruded her haven nonetheless. She was arrested not only for paying the housekeeper less than half the minimum wage, but also for lying about it on her visa documents. There have been ...

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What I did not expect when I was expecting

From the initial joy to the various apprehensions; the journey to the operation room to even afterwards, I was quite prepared for everything. ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ had been my constant companion during my pregnancy period. If not that, Google had an answer to any of the queries that ever came to my mind. However, I wish they had also imparted some advice regarding what to expect with your social circle, and more importantly how to deal with it. Moms to be, here’s what you should be prepared to deal with in the near future. The unwanted, uncalled for advice This ...

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Rape is NOT cool

The 21st century has no room for patriarchal societies. The social structure of Pakistan has been moulded, formed and structured in a way to undermine issues of “the other gender” and feminism has no traces other than low-scale campaigns, most of which have been in vain. We have become a society immune to news of loss, tragedy and horrors. Every day, the bright screen in the corner of the room brings news of bombs, murders and countless tragedies, all of which pass us by in our own self-created apathy. The recent issue of rape in a street of Lahore has ...

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Privacy issues and the media

The role of the media regarding the matrimonial issues of politicians has received a mixed response in bureaucratic circles. To witness such debate among bureaucrats on the role of the media, and how it covers the personal issues of politicians, is quite interesting. Some appear to discuss such rumours, including those on the secret marriages of some politicians, just to dilute the heat created by Memogate. Some bureaucrats vehemently criticise the role of the media in bringing to light such things and say that this is done with an ulterior motive: to tarnish certain politicians who may be out of favour ...

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Media matters

It seems all that the media can seem to cover is the so-called memogate case and issues related to it. For example, for the past two-three days headlines on news channels have been dominated by speculation regarding whether Mansoor Ijaz will come, or not come, to Pakistan to testify before the commission set up by the Supreme Court to investigate the authenticity of the memo. Surely, there must be other issues for the media to cover. After all, one can argue that how does the issue of the memo affect the lives of ordinary Pakistanis who are finding it increasingly ...

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Video Blog: Voices from Pakistan

The international media has always shown Pakistani people reacting and protesting on TV screens, with the opinions of these people expressed in minimal headlines, skimmed and forgotten. Behind each of these headlines, are real people, with real issues and perspectives. This documentary explores the diverse spectrum of perspectives among Pakistanis, up close and personal, detailing the conflicts of opinions between them over various issues, in particular, the Facebook related blasphemy incident (also known as Draw Prophet Muhammad Day) which resulted in Pakistan’s authorities blocking major websites. The documentary goes beyond just that incident and touches other international issues too that cause ...

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Mideast peace process: Hampered throughout history

The Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal that concluded on April 27, 2011, was a good omen for the stalled Palestine peace process. Both factions displayed commitment to resolve the outstanding issues and reached an agreement on forming an interim government for holding of legislative and presidential elections. But the news of the resignation of George Mitchell as US Envoy in Middle East dashed the hopes of any progress on the peace front. Mitchell enjoyed the reputation of being a “tireless advocate” of peace, but his extraordinary skills failed in the face of Israeli obduracy. A few days ago, US President Barrack ...

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Editor’s life: Chopping block

In the course of my daily work, I have to do considerable amounts of editing. This involves not only deleting material, but also at times massively chopping it. This is done primarily for reasons of space, word count issues and sometimes policy as well. The idea is to make what appears in print clear and easy to read, and with no punctuation or spelling errors. I would categorise my editing process into five distinct phases. Denial: Having to cut a 1,000-word press release down to a 70-word brief? I’ll grow old editing this, I tell myself. Maybe if I just ...

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