Stories about leadership

Married to an “alien”

The threat of extremism appeared on the horizon about a decade and a half ago, plunging Pakistan into a different kind of war. The Armed Forces, until then, had been concerned with tackling and keeping malicious forces in check at the borders, but now they had a new enemy much closer to home. Each bombing and suicide attack has caused us great pain and we have lost thousands to senseless chaos since then. December 16, 2014 seemed just like another nightmare, but this incident had the entire nation in unparalleled shock. I remember the disbelief as I heard reports of terrorist ...

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Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing political messiah, has well and truly arrived. And he makes jam!

This was supposed to be a bloodbath. This was supposed to be a funeral. This was supposed to be utter humiliation for Jeremy Corbyn, for this was supposed to be the day that Theresa May finally put to rest the party that had been the arch nemesis of the Conservatives (Tories) once and for all. So said the press, so said the pundits, so said the Tories, and even the Labour establishment. Yet, they were all wrong, for the voters had other ideas. Even as his colleagues sharpened their knives, Labour, under Corbyn’s brilliant leadership, exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations. Not only did they retain the ...

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Trump may be doing the right thing siding by Saudi instead of Iran

Political pundits around the world are trying to analyse the impact of President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his speech to the leaders of some 50 Muslim countries in Riyadh. Some are saying that it is full of contradictions as compared to his pre-election rhetoric against Muslims. Others say that his clear tilt towards Sunni’s and his siding with the Saudis on their stand vis à vis Iran is illogical and counter-productive to the USA’s fight against ISIS. On one hand, the fountainhead of the theological underpinnings of ISIS is the Saudi Arabian sponsored Wahabi/Takfiri ideology and its main support comes from ...

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Pakistan, I am of you, from you, and no matter where I am, inseparable from you

Once when I was six years old I sneaked out of my grandmother’s house in Lahore’s old Mozang neighbourhood and headed for the nearby Mozang Bazaar, a large market of red-brick shops over a hundred years old. The shops there fascinated me to no end and I was determined to discover kites – my main attraction – of every shape and size. Getting there was no problem as my grandmother’s laane ended in the bazaar itself. Once there though, I lost track of time and my curiosity led me to explore the entire bazaar. At some point I realised I was lost. ...

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I am a Sindhi and I have no sympathy for PPP anymore

Thar’s veteran politician, Rana Chandra Singh, once commented on the size of Umerkot’s Lanba ground in Dhatki, “Lanba ground Kachhi menhan Bhari ya Bhutto re Dikri.” (Either the southern rain has the power to fill the Lanba ground, or the daughter of Bhutto.) Those were the days when Sindhis, both Muslims and Hindus, chose to name their children after the famous Bhuttos. There are many Zulfikars, Bhuttos and Benazirs in Sindh and people once took pride in such names. Similarly, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged, many who had named their children Ziaul Haq, changed their children’s names immediately. Now, you will rarely come across a person named Zia in Sindh. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) represented the people; PPP represented the ...

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From Imran Khan to Azhar Ali – Pakistan’s ‘leaders’ over the years

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” Nelson Mandela defines it so simply; a leader is one who comes on the forefront when his subjects are in danger. If I go about comparing this example with our cricket team’s captains, I’m afraid very few come to mind that can fit the criteria of a ‘leader’. Leadership comes with huge responsibilities that not everyone can fulfill. But we do have some names that have ...

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Been there, done that: How ‘Naya’ will Naya Pakistan be anyway?

Can big names and old faces bring a revolution and change the system or are they just another step towards decadence? This question needs to be asked about the leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) trying to win ‘freedom’ for the people of Pakistan and who are also, directly or indirectly, equally responsible for the current condition the people are in. PTI’s top leadership is notorious for jumping parties, and loyalties, but the party has yet to deliver what it has promised to the masses – even after governing a province for the past 14 months. Most people lost hope when many old ...

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Give Pakistan a chance

There are quite a few times in the day that I find myself in the comfort of my living room hearing people excoriate the way things are running in this country. The source of the criticism is either a guest whining on a talk show on TV or a companion grumbling about the prevalent paucity of gas and electricity in the country. I come across numerous people around me, analysing and commenting on the many problems of our country. Some would say, “It is the exigency for a solid leadership.” Others devise a fancy conspiracy theory about it all being an orchestrated play, scripted by the ...

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Why #BanBossy won’t work for women in Pakistan

Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook is on a mission. A couple of weeks ago, she, in collaboration with a star line-up of women in other leadership roles launched the ‘Ban Bossy’ (#BanBossy) campaign. They argue on their website that, “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader’. Yet, when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy’. Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys – a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage ...

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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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