Stories about local

What would you do “For One More Day” with a loved one?

During one of my jaunts to a local bookstore, I spotted bestselling author, Mitch Albom’s philosophical novel “For One More Day” and wondered how I had missed it before. Having read two of his previous novels “Tuesdays with Morrie” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven”, I had become a fan of his mortality themed writing. This novel is written in a similar fashion as “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” except that the main focus of the book is on the protagonist’s mother. It is a griping tale of family secrets and hidden truths that are carefully veiled beneath a prudently ...

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Chagharzai and other valleys: An epiphany in itself

Every now and then, we hear someone singing odes to the beauty of Pakistan’s North-West regions. Be it by one of those recent sing-along tourism promos running on nearly every news network these days, after a prolonged wave of violence in Malakand Division, or some bunch of local yahoos who’d just returned from a trip from any of the numerous valleys and lakes. The fact remains that the actual beauty and splendour of these areas is still quite underrated, despite all such praises. Even though the last few years’ armed conflicts have labelled the entire region as a no-go zone, ...

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Only in Pakistan: Setting an 11-year-old girl on fire to ‘treat’ typhoid

We were in the middle of a counselling class, whereby our experienced, capable and intelligent course instructor was attempting to answer a fairly difficult question.  One of the practicing psychologists present had asked her what they were to do if a client insisted on rejecting therapy and instead preferred to go to a ‘quack’ or a local maulvi for treatment. Carefully measuring her words, the instructor replied, “Don’t discourage them from attempting spiritual treatment. Let them seek a faith healer, a priest or a maulvi if they want but ask them to seek a therapist’s expertise on the side as well. Tell them there’s ...

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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: ‘Brilliant, arrogant, autocratic and opportunist’

‘Brilliant, arrogant, autocratic, opportunist’ – these are only a few of the words that have been used to describe the ‘father of popular politics’ in Pakistan. A staunch nationalist and the hero of the suppressed for his local supporters, a naive leftist for his foreign detractors, the man who restored Pakistan’s pride before his foreign supporters and an alcohol consuming corrupt statesman for his local critics. Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore it. Today on April 4, 2014 it has been 35 years since he was hanged following a politically motivated sham trial in 1979. Nevertheless, some facts need to be ...

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Mustafa Kamal: Karachi’s superhero should return!

The Karachi we know today is nothing like the city many of us lived in a decade ago. In 2000, the local government system was introduced by former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, which was initially just an experiment. However, the way Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur made use of this opportunity to flourish and improve has no parallels; one cannot find similar examples anywhere else. When Karachi is discussed, one cannot omit the role of Syed Mustafa Kamal, as the mayor of Karachi, in its development. It has been almost four years since Mustafa Kamal has left office – and Karachi hasn’t been ...

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Radio in FATA: A foreign voice for local problems

During my job at a radio station, I got one of my listeners to come in for some questions. In came 60-year-old Haji Noor Zaman, who is from the Khyber Agency and was internally displaced due to the operation against militants. My first question to him was, Do you still listen to radio? He replied saying, Yes, I do, but only to the news bulletin of Radio Deewa. Radio Deewa is a US government sponsored radio station. Curious, I asked: So, what’s new up there? He said: America has diverted its cannon towards Balochistan and has built up a human rights case against Pakistan. He was hinting at the ...

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What the Nato strikes mean for TTP’s jihad

The tragic killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers at the hands of US-led NATO troops on 26 November 2011 gave yet another opportunity to the local and international Jihadis to ridicule Pakistan’s so-called alliance with the ‘crusaders’. The first statement by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) coming on the heels of the incident reiterated its anti-Western mantra and reminded the government that the US can never be a friend of Pakistan. Manipulating the tragedy to further humiliate the Pakistan government, the TTP spokesman declared that his organization is not holding any talks with the government of Pakistan because “it is futile to negotiate ...

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Video Blog: How to start a business with Rs10,000

This series honours entrepreneurs who use limited resources to survive in competitive markets. Their advice is simple, feasible  and most importantly practical! Their real life wisdom can help improve local economies and guide the common ...

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T20: A league of our own

Cricket’s future in Pakistan is bright! But the prospects of Pakistan in international cricket look bleak to say the least. Isolated from the world of cricket, fans at home are hungry to see live action at their local stadiums. Instead, they are forced to see their stars perform on TV as they play “home series” in places like New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and England. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has become a laughing stock and its management, a back page joke. Our captain, Misbahul Haq, calls playing for Pakistan equivalent to “mental torture.” The ICC, while attempting to do ...

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Arab Spring: What now?

The buzzword in the Arab world nowadays is ‘change’. There has been a shift from criticising the Israel-Palestinian issue to protesting against internal state hegemony. The Arab Spring is not over yet. Tahrir square is protesting again. Tunisia and Libya are both unsettled and there are ever more crackdowns across Syria. King Hamad of Bahrain will be addressing his nation today. And, women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have taken to the wheels. Historically, this change, among others, was due. Socio-economic development in the region and the unjust polarisation of economic wealth across the spectrum, in the Gulf ...

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