Stories about money

Money 101: Workplace matters

The workplace is somewhere we head to in order to earn money and yet discussing money in the workplace is one of the most difficult topics to bring up. Do your own thing Starting from something basic as lunch orders – in most urban workplaces the current trend is to order in and split the costs. In this situation the financially prudent individual who brings lunch from home or wants to pay exactly Rs99 for his one order of fries can find himself/herself being labeled as a bad sport, kanjoos and so on. And given that you end up spending 9-10 ...

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Land of confusion: Riddles in the sand

The view from the bunker is perhaps, one of the most worrying sights for the amateur golfer.  The dual impact of a poor stroke and bad luck usually strikes a nerve that will further hinder the player’s already disadvantageous position. Chances are, at least one poor shot will follow. But that’s OK, because even the worst round of golf can be erased by another famed Scottish export. Ah, the golf courses of Islamabad. If there were ever a place in this city to forget poverty, illiteracy and disease, and everyone’s favourite – terrorism – these are the places to be. ...

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30 rules for survival in Pakistan

The mammoth difference between the lifestyles, and opportunities, provided to the so called elite, and the average man living a hand-to-mouth life, in our country, is nothing new to us. If you wish to survive in this country, you have to climb on the bandwagon. And the following instruction will tell you exactly how to do that. Please follow them very carefully. In case anything goes wrong or you are left morally impaired or religiously handicapped, just die. 1.  If you are already filthy, and ridiculously rich, go directly to instruction number nine. 2.  If you do not think you can ever be ...

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In pursuit of greener passports

I had been dreading this day for months. The inevitability of not being able to travel with a valid passport loomed over my head. Despite my fears I was optimistic when my brother and I headed towards Awami Markaz, Shahra-e-Faisal. CNIC? Check. Old Passport? Check. Yousuf in all his glory? Check. Our car was surrounded by zombies moving in for the kill. “Bhai Sahab, are you here for a passport? We can get it done for you and you won’t even have to get in line.” This always sounds too good to be true and it actually is; these “service providers” don’t come for free. ...

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Budget lies the government tells you every year

So, it’s the budget season again: the country goes through the motions of presenting budgets at the Federal and Provincial levels. As always there are tons of discussions over the types of budgets that should be presented. Each year like clockwork we see the same faces pop up on TV screens and newspapers giving the same old opinions on what should be and what should not be. But eventually the same thing happens. Absolutely nothing. It is in that spirit that I am have decided to write what the government does not tell the people and what the pundits conveniently miss out. 1. ...

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The last refuge of a scoundrel

Not a day goes by when I don’t feel disgusted by some within my own profession. They range from journalists who will do almost anything for a free lunch and those who will rub shoulders with almost any man in power in order to gain whatever personal favours they can fathom. Recently I was accused of being ‘anti-state,’ and a ‘RAW agent’. And all this because I pointed out how one particular TV talk show host was claiming to be working for free in an event paid for by taxpayer money. Since then, many powerful people have called me up and ...

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Digital piracy: Sharing is not stealing

Today, we are witness to an increasing number of crackdowns on piracy, with the police raiding street vendors, storerooms and middlemen involved in piracy of media goods including music CDs, VCDs, DVDs, books, software CDs, etcetera, with tougher laws, heavier penalties and fines, and with increasing court cases filed by media producers against pirates. However, piracy is an overwhelming force, with millions of criminals working hand in hand with consumers – us, the people who patronise the theft in films, music, comics, books, and other media goods. Sharing is not stealing: At least, it shouldn’t be How about digital piracy though? ...

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So you hate TV? Do something!

The Pakistani Television media has a problem. It is too often racist, sexist and intolerant of religious beliefs of minorities. How do citizens push back against the tide of propaganda being fed on the airwaves? I don’t think anyone should be advocating for the government to regulate channels. When the government is given power to regulate media it is very easy for regulation to become censorship. What should be done? It is simple. Citizens should push for economic boycotts. It is important to understand how media works and how they generate money. Unlike print media which also earns money through the circulation of ...

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Accountability? Don’t make me laugh!

It was recently reported in the media that Hosni Mubarak, former president of Egypt, will stand trial for his role in the deadly shootings of protesters during the uprising that resulted in his ouster. It is alleged that Mubarak and his two sons conspired to kill protesters in order to intimidate them when the movement was gaining unprecedented momentum. The prosecutor-general also outlined charges against the 83-year-old leader and his two sons, related to amassing wealth through abuse of power, enriching associates and accepting bribes. Mubarak has also been accused of defrauding the Egyptian government of millions of dollars when he conspired ...

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Vacation 101: Plan your trip

Hey folks, it’s that time of the year when the temperatures turn to all time highs, hair turns frizzy, moods decline before 9am and you feel that your face and the inner thoughts you are masking underneath, will be awash with a tidal wave of perspiration. With schools shutting down for the annual break and the office conversation turning to “so where are you headed off this year?” it is time to plan your escape to a brief sojourn in to a land unknown! Sounds exotic and exciting but most of us are guilty of having our holidays on repeat – ...

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