Stories about japan

In the worst of times, Pakistan swings lotas

Last week as tickers of an earthquake in Japan started running on television, a PML-Q parliamentarian sat with four, different coloured lotas, screaming for her opinion to be heard in a discussion between two people. Other channels too had nothing but mudslinging, noise pollution and tickers on the earthquake. Pakistani television seemed oblivious to the disaster. It was not before turning to BBC that the extent of what had happened hit, as footage of seismic waves razing homes, sweeping away ships and cars appeared in the most devastating videos I have seen. Unfortunately it wasn’t only the infamous electronic media that had ...

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Does Pakistan care about Japan (or anybody else)?

Japan has been hit by the world’s biggest natural disaster since the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986. Panic has spread like wildfire as people take off to Taiwan and other international destinations. Japan’s nuclear crisis is skyrocketing to new heights, since radiation levels from a stricken power plant are traveling through Tokyo. When Pakistan was ravaged by the floods last year, the international community went all out to help us. But in Japan’s time of need, Pakistan is silent. Here, I must still congratulate Pakistan on its nerves of steel. Due to our onslaught of personal problems, we Pakistanis have strengthened ...

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A Hiroshima survivor’s message to the nuclear world

What happens when a nuclear weapon is used? And what are the implications the day after? Scientists tell us that as an atom splits, a burning sun erupts from its heart, descends from the sky to engulf a city in its flaming wrath. It chars houses, melts skin and poisons the mud. The sound could be mistaken for the angel Israfeel’s promise to end the world with his trumpet. A few weeks ago, Tufts University held a conference on the peril and promise of ‘Our Nuclear Age’. I had the opportunity to listen to some distinguished speakers answer interesting questions. Hiroshima survivor ...

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Forgotten in Japan: Thousands of Pakistanis that no one is reporting about

The newscaster’s voice was audible even before I entered the house after attending my morning classes. “Earthquake in Japan” “Magnitude of 8.9 on the Richter scale” “Waves wash away the infrastructure of Sendai” “Tsunami warning issued to other nations in the Pacific basin” As I ran inside, the images and videos on TV showed one of the biggest calamities to hit the earth. However for me, unlike most Pakistanis, the news wasn’t easy to forget. It took a while to sink in. My father was there. “Is he safe?” I grabbed the remote and switched the channel over to BBC and saw footage of the destruction of one of ...

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Pakistan’s begging bowl runs deep

Allah Ditta hurriedly hides his ration and relief packets under the shabby rug which adorns his clumsy tent dwelling as he sees a TV team approaching his relief tent. His wife Naseera has now joined the queue to get another packet or two of the relief goods containing pulses, cooked rice, mineral water and biscuits. The anchor person along with his cameraman stops in front of his camp as the latter fixes his shot and peeps inside through the lens to see if the shot is worth taking. The camera is now rolling and anchor person asks a few ...

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What Chinese model, President Zardari?

Speaking at the China Pavilion of the Shanghai Expo President Zardari said what has pretty much become a cliché: “Pakistan can learn a lot from the Chinese model of economic development.” I assume President Zardari is aware of an ideologically circumscribed, intellectually coherent set of policies or strategic decisions which together make up a ‘China model.’ The Chinese think tanks, scholars, diplomats, entrepreneurs, and journalists that I frequently meet seem to have divergent and pragmatic view of what constitutes this Chinese model, and how it differs from the previously worshiped ‘Asian model’ or ‘Japanese model.’ Does President Zardari want to learn from Chinese ...

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