Stories about national

Our disregard for Pakistan’s national sport

After their historic win against Australia in the recent Test series, chairperson of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Shahryar Khan, announced a special cash bonus for the Pakistani national team. The team will get a total sum of Rs14.75 million for their glorious performance. Good to know. But while our cricket team seems to be aiming for the stars, our hockey team is being treated like its ugly step sister – it’s part of the national sports family, but no one really cares about it. Recently, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) cancelled the national team’s tour to South Korea due to lack of funds and visa ...

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When did not rising for a national anthem become a crime?

You know you’re insecure about your nationality when you have to raise a ruckus about people not standing up for your national anthem. It’s safe to flag this one as a serious problem. In late August, 25-year-old Salman was charged with sedition in Kerala for refusing to rise during the national anthem as it played in a movie theatre. Additionally, he was charged for posting derogatory remarks about the Indian national flag on Facebook. He was denied bail, and faces life imprisonment. No, I am not kidding. More recently, Preity Zinta boasted on Twitter about throwing a man out of the theatre for the same peccadillo. Why did Ms. ...

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No, Mr Khan. Dictatorship is never better than democracy

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief, Imran Khan, has recently claimed that former President Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship was better than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s democracy, allowing the world to roll its eyes to what has become our national shame – the dictatorship apologia of self-hating democratic politicians. In what has become a weekly tradition of delivering bafflingly misinformed statements, the lines between dictatorship and democracy were blurred by the D-Chowk rage-generators, in an attempt to continually vilify Nawaz’s government. The comparison of dictatorships and democracies is as ludicrous as suggesting that a bad bargain is worse than someone stealing your wallet. Any notion ...

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RIP Pakistan hockey?

Hockey is Pakistan’s national game and its players have won many laurels for the nation in the past. Previously, these players were household names and were considered darlings of the nation, until everything went down under. Comparing those golden days of hockey with its dismal state today often brings tears to the eyes of many hockey followers.   The 2014 Hockey World Cup is less than a month away and, sadly, Pakistan has failed to even qualify for this global event. The reason of this depressing situation could possibly be attributed to the poor planning and management of the previous team that ran ...

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Blocking NATO supplies: Imran Khan’s stance is for national security

Imran Khan has always been a personality admired by people. Starting from his cricketing days to his entrance into politics, people have only expected good from him. The  mercurial dynamics of politics in Pakistan have not affected his attitude and temperament much over the last 17 years; however, things seem to be experiencing a shift since his party has formed government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), earlier this year. Ideally, what we need to understand is that it is not possible to assume that a political party that has formed a government in a province is any different from the government ...

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Younis Khan, ODI team selection is based on performance, not contacts

Do you remember the days when you would place a school bag on your preferred bus seat to symbolise that it was reserved? It would take a routine effort to have the bag all packed at the end of the last period and then dash towards the car park to get a preferred position. However, if you were part of a ‘gang’, they would ensure you get a seat alongside them regardless. That would happen, of course, at the expense of a not-so-connected boy. And so goes the story of the mainstay of our One Day International (ODI) middle order. Back ...

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Our damaging obsession with F-16s

While there seem to be fewer reasons to honour our national holidays with each passing year, it’s always heartening to watch patriotic songs being played on every TV channel upon these days. The heart-warming lyrics and mesmerising tunes make us feel proud to be part of this great nation and remind us of the huge sacrifices made by our forefathers. Yet, these songs also bring to the forefront a certain kind of sadness along with feelings of desperation and hopelessness, like a loved one has tragically passed away. The videos of many of these patriotic melodies seem to be made with ...

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This August 14, I learnt patriotism from Hindu Marwari children

This year, covering a sports event on August 14 changed my perspective on what the word ‘hope’ really means. I never thought that amateur football players belonging to the poor Hindu Marwari community could teach me such an important lesson, but they did. They were playing an exhibition match with the Muslim Marwaris’ on Independence Day and how they played for Pakistan! The event that I covered is a mere news story; it can only serve the purpose of informing readers and cannot reflect the true emotions of these people unless you go out there and witness it for yourself. Their story is bigger ...

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Razzaq deserves another chance

Soon after their dismal performance at the ICC Champions Trophy, many senior cricketers were dropped and hence, they embarked on a mission to try and make a comeback to the national team. The likes of former captain Shoaib Malik and wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, instantly turned to their respective departments at the Ramazan Twenty20 events to win back the selectors’ faith. Although these players are capable of shining in the domestic circuit, I strongly feel they shouldn’t return to the national team until and unless they show outstanding performances with consistency. Their comebacks in the past were based on a single season of ...

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Can Moin Khan help Umar Akmal become a complete wicketkeeper?

Rashid Latif and Moin Khan are easily the finest wicketkeepers Pakistan has ever produced. Which of the two was a better choice is debatable but both had the ability to represent the national team on any and every platform. Be it Shoaib Akhtar’s deadly pace or the reverse swing of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram or the doosras of Saqlain Mushtaq, wicket-keeping wasn’t a problem for Pakistan as long as these two men played for the country. During their tenure, the captains even enjoyed the special leverage to use one wicketkeeper as a replacement for the other for a good ...

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