Stories about past

Parenting the digital generation

It is normal now days to see very young children in Pakistan confidently operating technology, possessing cell phones and using social media. A seventh grader can multi tasking; constantly uses SMS to communicate, spending a lot of time online, staying connected with people through the social media and surfing the net and checks out brainpop.com to get homework help while simultaneously listening to his/her iPod. Many young people have blogs by the age of 13-14 years now. So, even if their essays or stories do not receive a good grade in class, or their ideas and thoughts are not entertained ...

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Parachinar: Heaven turned to hell

On a beautiful overcast evening, while I was travelling from Islamabad to the historic city of Taxila I began to reminisce about my childhood in Parachinar in the 1990s – a place where fairies came down from heaven , a valley of tall, lush trees filled with sweet smelling flowers and delicious fruit. Children sang songs of liberty without knowing that this vale of roses would be stained with the blood of their neighbours and we would be receiving mutilated bodies of our beloveds.  Who knew that the ferocious Taliban would attack us from all sides just because we wouldn’t agree with ...

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Let them wear bangles

Has life for women in Pakistan improved or deteriorated over the past decade? This question is being hotly debated in the wake of a report that listed Pakistan as the ‘third-worst country in the world for women’. Now, I am not one to say that some Pakistani women have not made great strides in the past ten years or so. When critics of reports like the one I mentioned above rattle off names of prominent women politicians, educationalists, intellectuals and social workers as proof of women’s success in Pakistan, I agree wholeheartedly that these women have effectively contributed to society, ...

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Where have all the good men gone?

Pakistani women are so obsessed with… Pakistani men, marriage, mating and all things marital. Can you blame us? With a huge plethora of Adonis look-alikes bustling in every nook and cranny of this purest of pure land of ours, how can we, the ‘weak’ women, keep a tab on our feelings? Every man in this country is so refined, so gentle, so well read, high in character, solid in convictions, true to himself – a hero personified. A Pakistani man is unique in body, mind and spirit – put on this land for the pure pleasure and delight of Pakistani women — an ungrateful ...

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Naval base attack: When will we learn?

Pakistan has a habit of not learning from its mistakes. We are stubborn and arrogant, and we scoff at others when they tell us we’re wrong, and let’s not forget, we believe our armed forces are brilliant and unstoppable. In 2009, ten terrorists managed to enter the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and killed 11 soldiers and two civilians. The terrorists were dressed in army uniforms when they entered the base. Fast forward to two years later – More than ten terrorists enter PNS Mehran, the air support base of Pakistan’s Navy, and destroy two air surveillance aircrafts worth $36 million each. Once ...

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The market for conspiracy theories

What was limited to marginal audiences in the past has now transformed into a huge commodity. Following every ‘big’ incident in any part of the world, it sells the most – conspiracy theory. In Pakistan, conspiracies theories are constantly evolving. You can get to any conclusion whatsoever, and come up with any analysis on a given situation. It will sell, provided you have a platform to market your theory. The favourite platform for a conspiracy theorist is a television talk show. The real disseminators of such theories, however, are local language newspapers. Deriving their credibility from the conspiracy-theory-based talk shows, the vernacular ...

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Some answers, please

So the world’s most wanted man is dead, terror in the world is a thing of the past, and everything will be all hunky-dory from here on. Or, has a new can of worms just opened up? Now is the perfect time to look back at the almost ten-year long Afghan War and re-examine the war on terror, specifically, the winners and losers. The United States has gotten rid of public enemy number one, and given Obama an unexpected popularity boost. However, with Osama bin Laden gone, a new face will have to be found for the enemy. For Pakistan, ...

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Osama’s death will not stop the dollar’s decline

The news of Osama Bin Laden’s death will open new dimensions for the US dollar but only for a short while. The reason I say this is because while global financial markets are terming the news of Bin Laden’s as good news for the currency, the dollar will continue to stay weak in 2011. Stock markets will rally in the US, Europe and Asia, but these efforts will all be short-lived and the status of the dollar will go back to its original position. Analyses of the past The bull market for the US dollar is like an invisible man. An important aspect ...

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The best thing about an identity crisis

Exactly one year ago, on the very night I wrote this, I remember not being able to sleep. Such nights were common then. I would twist and turn for over five hours, lying in bed until finally, sleep would come. During those waking hours spent in bed I would cry. My anxiety attacks were so severe that I would fear I may die during the sleepless struggle. I knew I was on the precipice of a full-on identity crisis. In retrospect, I wonder now why I never bothered telling any family member or friend what was going on. Maybe, it was because I ...

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Young cricketers: Sowing the seed for a better future

Over the past three years, despite the team being anything but consistent, the Pakistan team has managed to perform quite well in tournaments. Of the three World Twenty20s, we have reached two finals and narrowly missed out on a place in the third. A semi-final appearance in the Champions Trophy and now a last-four finish in the World Cup is quite a record. When I signed on as Pakistan’s strength and conditioning coach three years ago, my aim was to try and change not only the fitness culture of the team but also to leave a legacy. I had hoped that ...

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