Stories about traffic

Did the government really think that one bike lane on Shahrae Faisal will solve Karachi’s traffic woes?

The traffic problem in Karachi has gone from bad to worse to the absolute worst in a reasonably small expanse of time. No amount of signal-free corridors, bridges, underpasses and new roads have been able to alleviate what is one of the biggest causes of suffering for the city’s populace. While the recent grand encroachment operation under the Supreme Court’s instructions turned out to be a beacon of light for the citizens, things once again went astray when this too resulted in no significant improvement for the people of Karachi.  However, no matter how hard the government tries, it won’t ...

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For PM Imran Khan: A guide on how to fix the unfixable

There is a new sense of optimism in Pakistan. Many in the country are looking to the government of Imran Khan to reform the way the country works and put it back on the track of development and prosperity. The new government has signalled a willingness to think outside the box. This means trying to do what has not been done before. It means going against vested interests, the ‘rent seekers’ who have used their influence to accumulate power and enormous wealth. And finally, it also means going against established international ‘norms’ of behaviour as defined by the ‘Washington Consensus’. First ...

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Karachi’s traffic making you pull your hair out? Here are 10 tips to make your travelling experience less confusing

Anyone who has had the luxury of experiencing the traffic in Karachi, will understand when I say there is a certain wisdom hidden in the chaos on the streets. Ultimately, if you’re super agile and a glass-half-full kind of person, you can not only live through the road rage-driven manslaughter attempts, but also learn countless life lessons in the meantime. When I was a young girl, my mom taught me to look in both directions before crossing a street. However, I would also always go outside with an adult, so there was never really the need to do the ‘looking’ ...

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“Tera baap jaraha hai”: When police officers remind the common man of their place in society

How many times have you wondered why you are stuck in a traffic jam? And then received your answer in the form of a trail of police cars zooming by? I’ve cursed these cars more than I have cursed George RR Martin during the course of my life. Living in Karachi, it is hard enough facing the frustrating traffic every day, but to have these VIP protocols block the roads further adds to my misery. Recently, a video went viral on social media where a man was filming a VIP protocol driving in front of him. It showed the police vans stopping in the middle of the ...

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IDEAS 2016: For the elite, by the elite

Like every year, a proud tradition has come about again; one where government officials and army generals hold highly sophisticated weapons in their hands and pretend to target invisible enemies – so the foreign dignitaries they are trying to entertain are impressed enough to purchase the firearm in question for big bucks – because, well, these steel toys do not come cheap. The place is flocked by bureaucrats, generals and a whole lot of politicians in one place having a good time and appreciating the deadliest weapons produced by a third world country. Although this is seen every year under the name of International Defence Exhibition ...

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Light lunchboxes

His daughter knocked on his door; only once. It was time for work and her school. He got up, stretching here and there, listening as individual muscles came out of slumber. After he was ready, he headed to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Each item appeared to be dripping. The electricity had been out throughout the night. He reached for the night’s leftovers and packed their lunch, first for her, and then for himself. She came to the kitchen shortly after. She was well-aware of her father’s strategies and how she ended up getting more of the leftovers. However she used to silently weigh ...

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Why do you stare, Pakistan? Do women on wheels freak you out?

Austrian Ambassador Brigitta Blaha is an active power woman. She is the type of diplomat who promotes her country but doesn’t rub nerves, because she equally promotes the country she is in, wearing their clothes, meeting their people and participating in their events. So it was no surprise that she was invited to Lahore, for the much-hyped Women on Wheels initiative by the Punjab Chief Minister Special Monitoring Unit on Law and Order and UN Women. True to type, she got into the car with Asma Khan, founder-director of Satrang Gallery in Islamabad, and drove right over. And then traded ...

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Sicario: Gripping, taut and powerfully performed

Set against the vapid and treacherous backdrop of the US-Mexican border, Sicario takes us into the dangerous world of drug trafficking, as seen through the lives of covert ops who aim to put an end to it or at least deescalate it. FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is assigned to a special government task force spearheaded by a shady government agent, Matt (Josh Brolin), to help bring down the ever escalating war on drugs. However, when Kate finds out that there’s much more to the mission, and her mysterious team member Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) compared to what she ...

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Ten reasons why Pakistanis do what they do

Pakistan, ever since its inception, but even more so after the rule of Hazrat General Ziaul Haq, has been under the axe of western propagandists and bigots. The precipitous progress that the country is displaying and the threat that this presents to the developed world has them grinding their teeth. Thus they target us rather unfairly and portray to their public an image of ours which cannot be far from truth. It is to undo their nefarious designs that I, perhaps for the very first time in history, yearn to exhibit a picture of Pakistan like it really is. To this effect, a list of ...

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O21: Comically bad?

Perhaps the most impressive thing about O21 is that it was made at all. Aside from the fact that this bi-lingual Pakistani film boasts a talented cast of both Pakistani and foreign actors, and is helmed by filmmaker Jamshed Mahmood Raza, aka Jami – who here has directed his first feature length film – O21 also takes a risk by featuring a narrative that avoids all the cliché-ridden trappings of a Pakistani film. A bigger risk, however, is the pacing of the film, which at times is so slow that it makes the deliberately paced cinematic Steven Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey seem like Usain Bolt running on angel ...

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