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Fair and Lovely Girls

By Maryam Khan   Being a girl I frequently find myself beset by the question as to why South Asian girls are ‘preferred’ and/or ‘discarded’ based on the color of their skin? I was born with a fairer skin tone, and thanks to the hot weather I eventually turned into a tan girl. I never realized being tan was a crime, and I don’t think comparisons would be made between me and my female cousins who were fairer. In order to dig out the cause behind this skin-color-based discrimination I accept the fact that we are highly influenced by the western community. “Goray” are the apple of our eyes; we love them so much that we become uncomfortable with our own skin. Girls are the victim of this discrimination – be it a job … Read entire article »

Filed under: Women

Women Empowerment and Our Society

Noor Sabah Our generation grew up listening to our mothers, aunts and grandmothers that women these days are more privileged and have way more independence than women did a few decade ago. This always made me think that women of my generation would be able to pursue a career, marry the man of their choice , travel around the world independently, be passionate thinkers and revolutionists. But the reality turned out to be far different, because as we progressed through our teens, we got to see many class mates, family friends , neighbours, maids getting caught up in the same cycle of women exploitation that women have fallen prey to over the course of many centuries . There are various reasons for this. One of the obvious ones is the lack of … Read entire article »

Filed under: Women

No One Will Come to Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja One of my very good friends from USA wanted to come to Pakistan. Before leaving I told him that I would get back and then let him know. And now with this latest killings of tourists, who is going to come here?  I have to now actually beg my friend not to come. Every time Pakistan surprises me with its ability to achieve new lows. During the past five years, I have seen Shiite massacre, attacks on Christians, countless suicide bombings and killing of liberal politicians. And overarching all this mayhem has been a sickening state of denial and apologetic defense. In denial mode, our “bright” mostly middleclass Pakistanis simply attribute everything to foreign powers whereas the apologists try to construe extremism as simply a reaction. The deniers often … Read entire article »

Filed under: Taliban, Terrorism, Travel, USA, violence

Pakistan Peoples Party: A Bird’s Eye View

Azhar Ali However great ‘reservations’ people may have about Zardari, the phrase ‘giving the devil his due’ may help in painting him in less pale light. But because of him the Pakistan Peoples Party would have become irrelevant, marginalized and radicalized after it was most wantonly deprived of its highly charismatic leader. He let the establishment wallow in the success of its weird grand design by not shying away from seeming to cooperate with it and annoying party’s sympathisers, but what he succeeded in accomplishing in the bargain is not mean achievement by any standard. From the perspective of the establishment, Benazir’s murder was the final nail in the coffin of a party which kept on harrowingly bouncing back. After installing Zardari, a craftly maligned figure by the establishment itself in the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Benazir Bhutto, Democracy

The End of Cold Start Doctrine?

By Ahmed Khan   India’s development of an offensive military doctrine after the 2001 attack on its parliament was meant to create a strategic advantage over Pakistan. Has it worked? The imbalance created between India and Pakistan due to the Indo-U.S nuclear agreement, coupled with their strategic partnership with the U.S. in various technological and scientific fields, has created a new security situation in South Asia. Pakistan has limited economic strength and military capabilities compared to its historical rival. The asymmetric nature of their conventional and non-conventional military forces has created a disparity in their strategic relationship. Moreover during the past decade and a half, Indian policymakers, along with its military leadership, have devised a new strategy that envisions and enables a limited war by conducting surgical strikes on Pakistan. The more offensive doctrine … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Mind and Meditation

By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar   Have you observed what is happening in your mind every moment? It vacillates between the past and the future – it is either in the past occupied with what has happened or in the future thinking about what you have to do. Knowledge is being aware of this phenomenon of the mind — of what is happening right now in your mind as you are reading this article. Information can be acquired by reading books or browsing the internet. You can open a book on any subject such as how to lose weight, how to prepare for an interview, success 101 and so on. There are innumerable volumes available on a countless number of topics, but the awareness of your own mind cannot be learnt from a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

A History Lesson for Mr.Sharif

A History Lesson for Mr.Sharif

by Abdul Majeed Chinese philosopher Confucius said, ‘Study the Past if you want to define the future’. Mian Nawaz Sharif has come full circle in his political career, starting from the post of Provincial Finance Minister to the Prime Minister of the country for an unprecedented third term. During a span of almost thirty years, Mr. Sharif has seen frequent crests and troughs in the political arena. One can only hope that he has finally learnt … Read entire article »

Filed under: Democracy, dynasties, Economy, History, ISI, Lahore, Pakistan, Punjab

Faiz sb on the Dream of Pakistan

Faiz sb on the Dream of Pakistan

By Faiz Ahmed Faiz Almost exactly nine years ago the Muslim people of undivided India adopted Pakistan as their goal of political endeavour. As the late Quaid-e-Azam repeatedly explained, the Muslim declaration for Pakistan was not a declaration of war against the non-Muslim majority in the sub-continent. It was, on the other hand, a declaration of peace. It was merely intended to end the vertical division that separated the two major peoples of the sub-continent wherever they … Read entire article »

Filed under: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Jinnah, Pakistan

The Psychology of The Internet Troll

This most interesting video by Academic Earth attempts to shed light on the psychology of the internet troll and explains how anonymous trolling contributes to the online “disinhibition effect”.   Link below:   Click here – … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Nuclear Prestige

By Saad Hafiz Pakistan, the world’s only Muslim nuclear power, celebrated Youm-e-Takbir (Day of God’s Greatness) this year with the usual fervor and chest- thumping bravado. The day marks the country’s nuclear tests in 1998, which were a tit-for-tat response to earlier Indian tests. Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program is set-up as a military deterrent against India. It is also regarded as the ultimate guarantor of the country’s survival. The nuclear program has come to play an important role in sustaining purported national self-esteem. “Nuclear nationalism”, or so to say, and anti-Americanism can easily excite Pakistanis, as may well be imagined, and which tends to deflect attention from the ruling elite who have historically done little to solve pressing national problems. It also helps to paper over internal dissension in an increasingly fractious … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army

Thoughts on Leaving USA

Raza Habib Raja So finally the time, which I had never wanted to come, has come. I will be leaving USA within a matter of days. We all have tendency to reflect back, whenever some important phase of our lives is ending. I am no exception and the only difference is that I am putting my thoughts on paper. I came here and like many who have come here, fell in love with this arguably the greatest place to live. I was doubly fortunate to have come here as a student and study at one of the best educational institutions. Cornell’s campus is stunning and the city of Ithaca along with its gorges, lakes and waterfalls, is out of this world. When 17th June arrives, the prospective date of my departure, I will … Read entire article »

Filed under: USA

Movie Review & Interview: Midnight’s Children

Movie Review & Interview: Midnight’s Children

Ras H. Siddiqi For the connoisseurs of south-Asian literature written in English, the book “Midnight’s Children” has to rank near the very top. Keeping such a background in mind and the length of the novel, when this scribe heard that it was being made into a single movie, the first thought that came to mind was “not possible”. Others who have read the book may or may not agree but this is not just the story … Read entire article »

Filed under: Cinema

Harnessing Women’s Power

By Saad Hafiz   Between gushing tributes to the ‘all-weather’ friendship between Pakistan and China, Prime Minister Li Keqiang could have highlighted the contribution of women to China’s rise as a world power to his Pakistani hosts. Pakistan can learn from the great strides that China has made in terms of women empowerment. In sharp contrast to Pakistan, China boasts a high female literacy rate and a rapidly closing gap between estimated female-to-male earned income. Chinese women seem to have overcome the usual obstacles of finding work, getting an education and are being freed of restrictive traditions faced by the women in many developing economies. During the Ming-Qing era when the country witnessed a rapid expansion of commerce, the Chinese discovered very early that empowering women is smart economics. In that era, … Read entire article »

Filed under: Uncategorized

Young or old, he is a champ!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Delusion Galore

Azhar Ali Atmosphere around him was laden with heaviness due to his morbid mien. Contemplating a lively note was not only impossible, it was blasphemous. All the subordinates instantly switched to sepulchral slant as soon as they found themselves in his company. There was something eerie in the air you shared breathing with him. He smiled very rarely. If at all he did, it was blisteringly tinged with irony. No one ever saw him laughing. Nothing moved, even in the civil sphere without his tacit approval, and a substantial number of notables were always at hand to pay homage to his ‘benign’ lording over the sparsely populated large tract of mountainous terrain, yet the ephemeral distraction did little to alleviate his exasperation and constant sense of being scrutinised. Trappings of his power … Read entire article »

Filed under: Army, Short Story