Stories about money

Seven traits of the average Pakistani college girl

Disclaimer: The following is a result of the writer’s personal experiences that he gathered after seeing the sufferings of his friends. Though the writer himself is no real authority and none of this should be taken seriously, he can still argue over traits as he reminisces his days as a medical student in Lahore.  By the end of this article, you will know why the author has been single for many moons now. 1. She hates most of her friends Girls always find plenty of emotional support, and friends for dance practises for weddings which gives the impression they are friends ...

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Why the US dollar fell during current global crises

An interesting aspect of the Libyan, Tunisian and Japanese crises was that the US dollar fell against other major currencies, by a lot. Normally, in times of crises, investors tend to move towards the dollar. It is viewed as a safe haven. However, during the current crises, the dollar fell to historic lows against the yen, before the massive international central-bank intervention reversed the fall (now, the financial market will remain uncertain in the next two years. You can bet on that). Even the Euro strengthened against the dollar and Europe is considered to be in a messy situation that needs ...

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The young doctors’ movement: What’s all the fuss about?

The criteria for a nation’s progress is often measured in terms of the health service provided by the state. Welfare states spend much of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in maintaining the health of the population. Sadly, in Pakistan the health sector has never been paid much attention. One of the reasons for this is that we were so obsessed with “security” that resources were often not available to invest in hospitals. This has resulted in much frustration in the doctor’s community, especially young doctors who have to toil hard to maintain a white collar standard of living. What happened in 2008 In ...

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Eighteen years and counting

A watchman at a rural health centre in Chiniot has not been paid his salary for 18 years. All this time he has been arriving at the office at 7 o’clock in the morning and leaving at 11 in the night. The worker and the management have both kept to their ways. (Who’s watching out for the watchman? The Express Tribune, April 17, 2011) The official, identified as Munir Ahmed, has been regularly visiting the accounts department first day of the month, every month, to demand his wages. The cashier has been telling him his cheque is not ready. Every ...

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A cricket fan, no more

While my countrymen are arranging special prayers for the Pakistan cricket team to take on India on March 30 in the World Cup semi-finals, I cannot help but think how emotional our nation is. The height of ecstasy regarding cricket in Pakistan has made the public demand a holiday on the day of the upcoming match. Similarly, in India, many are willing to pay Indian Rs10,000 for a ticket worth INR1,000, through the black market. I, on the other hand, have boycotted the mania, as I have lost hope in my team. This is what happens when an emotional fan – ...

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We made society corrupt

Picture this:  it’s 2:00 am at a traffic signal somewhere, anywhere in Islamabad. A car makes its way to the red-light and slows down. From this point on, everything seems to be out of a fantasy world. That’s because it is unlikely for a car to stop on an empty street and on an uncrowded intersection at any time of day. Even though a mere traffic violation can hardly be compared to serious offences, the reactions of some people to being ticketed are often hilarious when put into the context of their general behaviour. “Sir, it’s my first offence”, “Sir, I’m late late ...

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Are doctors there for patients, or money?

The recent uproar regarding the issue of increasing doctor’s salaries saw the Young Doctor’s Association (YDA) take to the streets and boycott hospital wards. The strike lasted over two weeks and finally came to an end on Monday, when YDA officers were called in for a meeting with Health Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad and accepted the latter’s ‘word’ to speak to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on their behalf and raise salaries by July this year. It is no secret that doctors in Pakistan are woefully underpaid at every level. Many would grant the YDA’s appeal for an increase in salary as ...

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Rahat, we don’t love you that much

Organized by the Pakistan Youth Alliance in partnership with Miradore productions, ‘Rahat Fateh Ali khan plays for charity’ was an event most people (with big bucks in their pockets) were looking forward to. The security at Serena Hotel was tight. As the clock struck eight, cars started pulling in carrying the made up, designer clad women and handsome men ready to enjoy a night out. The event looked like a high class wedding more than a concert. There was a clear division between who had more money to spend and those who didn’t. Witnessing Rahat Fateh Ali Khan perform was an ...

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My first bribe: Pakistan brings out the worst in me

I’ve lived in the UK most of my life and visited Pakistan last summer after five years. I was simply overwhelmed when I arrived at the airport and was smiling at everyone and everything I saw. Unfortunately, my feelings of  joy came to an end soon enough. Fist stop: baggage claim I waited at the baggage claim for the last piece of my luggage -a lawnmower that that my grandfather had requested – for half an hour. Finally, I saw the big orange box. It was sitting on a luggage trolley along with another suitcase. Standing next to it was a tall, grey-haired ...

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Beggars don’t want your change

From what I learnt during lessons at school, I was pretty certain that “beggars can’t be choosers”. If beggars could choose, this idiom would lose its essence and we would have to come up with a modified version. But the following incident made me rethink this saying. One day, I was at Naheed Super Market running some errands. I was carrying a small amount of cash with me, just enough for the stuff I had to buy. When I was done, I was left with a few coins worth — only about Rs7. I usually keep these coins in a special coin ...

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