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Thar: A picture of negligence

Almost every year, Thar makes it to the headlines. Whenever metropolitans like Lahore, Karachi, Faisalabad or Peshawar face some kind of energy crisis, ministers begin using the idea of Thar coal reserves as a solution for the country’s never-ending energy issues. The government remembers Thar when it comes to coal reserves, but why does it conveniently turn a blind eye when the people of Thar die of hunger and famine? Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been ruling Sindh since the past six year. Six years is enough time for a provincial government to understand, evaluate and solve issues like the drought in ...

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No Imran Khan, you haven’t ‘won’ yet

As the clouds of smoke, dust and teargas recede, what looms into view is a picture of aggression and lawlessness that spells ‘victory’ for nobody. Maybe Mr Khan lost, but lesser than others did. Imran Khan has made repeated claims over the past few days of his party winning, which leaves one wondering what ‘victory’ really means to him. It’s important for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to not let its supporters be demoralised, and maintain faith in their rebel-leader. Yes, rebel-leader, which can be taken either pejoratively or as a term of endearment, as the reader sees fit. Khan has achieved this with a generous dose ...

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Will we ever see a nuke-free world?

Despite numerous calls and rhetoric to move towards global nuclear disarmament, no significant progress has been achieved to this day. Instead, all these efforts have met with a tragic end. The recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report has shown a very dismal picture with regards to this. All nine nuclear states are currently in possession of 16,300 nuclear weapons, which includes 4000 operational ones. P5 countries, which include the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, are upgrading their nuclear arsenal and spending a hefty amount on the development of new weaponry systems. Though, we have seen a ...

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Did Brad Pitt really get punched by a Hollywood prankster?

A crazy Ukrainian decided to make it his life’s mission to go parading from one Hollywood event to another, making a fool out of himself at the expense of our beloved celebrities. His latest whim consists of getting out of the fan gallery and jumping on Brad Pitt, allegedly to punch him. Yes, you read it right! This guy almost managed to punch one of the most handsome men on the planet. Brad Pitt, the American heartthrob, my childhood crush and the guy who has caused many accidents at the intersection of Punjab Colony with his face plastered across a huge billboard ...

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MohenjoDaro may not be the same after the Sindh Festival gets done with it!

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Sometimes, those words carry a sense of agony and irony.  Such was the case when I came across a picture depicting the historic mound of MohenjoDaro, surrounded by wooden scaffolding and construction crews. My first reaction was to do a double take. I thought I surely had been mistaken for why would anyone allow such an archaeological wonder to go under the proverbial knife and in such a daring fashion? Upon reading the associated article, I was informed that preparations were afoot to hold the opening ceremony of the Sindh Festival at this heritage site. The festival ...

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The apple orchard in Swat

Oh, apple orchard of Swat! Are your apples as sweet, Your atmosphere as pungent, As the aroma of apples soon to ripen? Did military boots, Honour your sanctity? Or are you a picture of depravity, As I am now? Are the trees still standing, Steadfast against the horror, Imposed on them, Have they had enough time to blend, To the new environment, Like we humans do? I am sorry, oh, apple orchard, Because I have behaved like I was, Okay with what you have become. But do you know, That I am sane enough? Or is it my insanity, That I would give forever, To roam amongst thy sleepy hollow? And thy fairy tales? Oh, apple orchard in Swat, To me, you are ...

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Pak Business Express Train – good, but far from great

Recently, I travelled through the Pak Business Express train that runs between Karachi and Lahore and is a comparatively new venture within the railway scene of Pakistan. Don’t cringe yet; this was all before the recent protests where passenger trains were set on fire and before Pakistan Railways temporarily suspended services of trains travelling from Lahore to Rawalpindi. I was accompanied by over 70 people, all headed to Islamabad via Lahore to attend the reunion of YES students. Our tickets were pre-funded and averaged Rs10,oo0 per person for a round trip. I remember receiving the tickets and being in the doldrums at the thought of ...

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Photoshopping the prime minister

A photograph circulated by the Press Information Department across newsrooms recently had Yousaf Raza Gilani standing in the middle, chatting with General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and General Khalid Shameem Wynne, with his fingers stationed uncomfortably near his chest — a pose we normally won’t stand in. But then again he is the prime minister. A sub-editor’s journalistic curiosity and an acute eye for detail led to a legitimate inquiry. Experts were called in. Professional advice was sought. No one could figure out this enigmatic conundrum: What happened to the prime minister’s fingers? “They are hiding something,” screamed one over-worked editor. ...

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What your Facebook profile picture says about you

Sigmund Freud printed Interpretation of Dreams one hundred and eleven years ago. I’m sure he’s turning in his grave right this minute because I’m about to pay tribute to his great work in psychology with one of the most shallow representations of our personalities. I am about to embark on the noble mission of interpreting the many profile pictures I have come across on Facebook. Please find below my analysis of the top seven worst profile pictures: 1. The ‘I’m too hot to handle’ teenage girl Description: Hugging a bear and/or posing with a commode visible in the background. The pouty face is mandatory, of course. The low-down: ...

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Burqa woman: A ‘make-believe’ refugee

“Excuse me … I’m almost afraid to ask this, but I have never seen anyone like you before. May I please take a picture?” Summer hat, sea blue shirt with khaki shorts revealing legs tanned, the right shade of cocoa-brown – how could I say no to this guy? So I pose next to a palm tree and say:   “I have my best smile on but I bet your photography can’t do any justice to it.” As he manages a nervous giggle, I can almost hear his thoughts: “Crazy woman with a strange sense of humour.” That was justified, of course, considering the fact ...

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