Stories about LUMS

LUMS will most definitely change you, not necessarily for the better

“LUMS is the Harvard of Pakistan”, echo the tangled throng of prospective students and parents all across the country. You take the self-proclaimed mission statement of the university to “achieve excellence and national and international leadership” at face value and assume that this is the best place to educate yourself. Should you be lucky enough to get a one-way ticket to four years at this prestigious institution, you will find yourself amidst a swarm of other sweat-stained, bright lanyard-sporting students in the heat of August during Orientation Week. During this week, you will hear every misrepresentation of this university in the book and more. Within ...

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Am I a qualified PhD if I paid someone else to write my thesis?

If you were to imagine a PhD student, what would you think? Well-educated? Well-versed in the language of instruction? Well-spoken? Well-read? Well, some problems become worse than you initially expect them to be. To detect this problem, you don’t have to look any further than at the present lot of PhD degree holders in most of the private and public universities in Pakistan. PhD holding faculties exists in several universities, in big and small cities, where the incumbents can hardly even construct one correct sentence in English. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) seems to be emphasising on inducting raw MS and ...

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Forget the top 800, KU deserves to be in the top 100 universities of the world!

There are rare moments when I become proud of my alma-mater. As unfortunate as it may sound, there aren’t many instances where the University of Karachi (KU) is mentioned in an amicable light. So whenever it is mentioned positively, I savour it. I revel in KU’s popularity and I cherish the few moments of spotlight grandeur this university is offered. Earlier this week, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) – a reputed British ranking agency – revealed that six universities from Pakistan had made it to the top 800 educational institutions around the world. And, lo and behold, KU was one of them. ...

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The honeytrap and the (gullible) Indian Air Force

I recently heard about the honeytrap that was used to extract sensitive Intel from members of the Indian military. When I was finally able to stop laughing, I began to wonder why this hadn’t been bigger news on this side of the border because all Google searches on the subject result in Indian sources. Okay so today I learnt about the 'ISI honeytrap' Been laughing for 3 hours straight — HereBeDragons (@rageandpencils) January 6, 2016 ISI Used Fake Facebook ID To Honeytrap IAF Airman & Got Confidential Information yeh toh lol hogya…. — Junaid Shah (@junaidshah492) January 2, 2016 No guns, violence, and pigeons needed ;) #ProudPakistaniMoments #ISI https://t.co/LX5iKktDPh — ...

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Dr Nauman, after last night’s show, I must say, “Game on hai”

It is an odd feeling to watch a show on television discussing you for a couple of hours. For most parts, it was hilarious. Unfortunately, I missed yesterday’s pre-game episode of Game On Hai on PTV Sports. I was informed by friends that the Express Tribune blog I wrote was being discussed on the show, and rather than discussing cricket, Dr Nauman Niaz took most of the time on the show justifying his actions. I had to make sure I did not miss the post-game Game On Hai. Dr Nauman has a right to his opinion, as much as anyone else. However, if my ethics or ...

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Naltar – Stuck between trekking anguishes and scenic bliss

It has been a month since my university life ended, and to be honest, the alumnus status on my LUMS student ID card still unnerves me.  The hostel life,the  overwhelming independence,the never-ending sleepovers, the shopping sprees for the peculiar paindu day and daaku (thief) day, and the all night ‘chilling’ sessions at the khokha (canteen), not to forget the extensive travelling, are some of the best and irreplaceable experiences a student can ever have. The travelling came in the form of flights from Lahore to Karachi and vice versa, each time introducing me to strangers and immediately churning them into friends over the one hour 45 minutes flight. Some ...

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Risks of writing an authentic book in Karachi

I’ve been writing since I was in my mother’s womb. According to her, I never kicked – but she felt constant scribbling on her tummy. I probably came out of her holding a novel called My Nine Months in the Womb by Saba Khalid, which she probably threw away because it was too graphic for her Jamaat-e-Islami sensibilities. While girls were playing with Barbies, I was busy picking up my favourite books, cutting out the author’s name, putting my own name instead and then pretending to be the centre of attention of my very extravagant book party! By the age of eight, I had written ...

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In Pakistan, ‘tabdeeli aa gaye hai’

I recently returned from a two week research trip to Pakistan. While travelling through different cities and meeting government officials, former senior military officers, and people from the academia; I was surprised to see how Pakistan has changed so positively in many aspects. One of the things that have changed drastically is how those in the government, as well as politicians, have embraced modern day methods of communication. Till a couple of years ago, contacting government officials via email was thought to be waste of time because it did not fit well with the political tradition, which was failing to keep up ...

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An open letter to Pakistan’s leaders: One more nail to the coffin

Sabeen Mahmud was brutally murdered yesterday, and with her, yet another flame in the vast darkness of our land extinguished. For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing her, she was genuine, warm, and always open to dialogue and everything we wish Pakistan would be known for globally. She died shortly after hosting an open forum on Balochistan with, among others, a voice the government did not allow to speak at LUMS. With her death on your watch, we continue to be known instead for all the illiterate brutality, intolerance and narrow-mindedness that exemplifies the short-sighted policies of politico-religio-military convenience/expediency of ...

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#IAmSabeen: “This is the time to say Bismillah and march forward”

“They say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” – Banksy Sabeen, the person, is no longer with us. Sabeen, the idea, will live on. Sabeen will never die twice. Sabeen is dead, long live Sabeen. Every society has people an entire generation looks up to; these pillars of society make it what it is. Sabeen was an institution. Her contributions to the country are monumental, and they will never be forgotten. In a country that does not even have words for the concept of a public ...

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