The following article appeared in Dawn newspaper today (4/11/2012) and I am sharing it as it is for enlightenment. It provides a brief history of sectarian killings in Pakistan, most notably from Zia’s time when organized Sunni and Shia militant wings were formed and attacks were carried out on each other’s leaders as well as on general population.
by Syed Shoaib Hasan
To understand the genesis and growth of anti-Shia extremism, the claims of both Sunni and Shia leaders must be examined. Shia-Sunni violence in this region precedes Partition but its more recent form has other beginnings. Most analysts are convinced that the present problem is a product of the Pakistan’s security establishment enduring relationship with radical Sunni militancy. Continue reading
This article was published in the 8th issue of Lafz Magazine.
We are old pals, loadshedding and me. I don’t recall a time, at all, when I did not experience the absence of electricity. It was always there, coming and going, like it owned the country. And it continues to do so after so many years; no wonder my nephew was confused when he asked his American school friend a week after arriving in US “When does the electricity goes out?” and his reply, with equally confusing facial expressions, was “Never”.
Just take yesterday’s example when I was out playing Cricket after quite a long time. The heat was so intense that I needed water break after every couple of overs. We had placed a pedestal fan in the dressing room but behold, it worked for just an hour because of loadshedding. We also brought a watercooler with plain drinking water, hoping to buy ice from nearby shops, but they were out of ice due to loadshedding. Thanks to them, I had blacked out in the 17th over and was lying spread-eagled in the dressing room (which was nothing more than a tented cubicle with broken benches and hard-edged stones to sit on). Continue reading
A couple of days back I received an email where I was invited for interview due to my blogging history. It feels nice to be interviewed for a change and I agreed. I filled out the questionnaire that was sent to me and it got published on the website. The whole process took less than 3 days to accomplish and I believe the questions asked are good even if they are generalized to suit every blogger. Some known bloggers have also been interviewed by this website and it is nice to see my name printed in the same category.
Following is the link to that interview:
In Economics there is simple demand and supply rule that applies in most situations. When there is a demand, there will be supply. Increased demand will increase cost and supply will rise up to meet it. When the supply increases more than demand, then demand will reduce which will drive the price down. The rule is quite simple to understand and can be applied to most real-life situations as well with some alteration. Continue reading
This article was first published in December edition of Circles Magazine
Explaining the role of United Nations to young people has always been a hard task. Young and not much wise, children and young adults often find little or no concern about politics and international affairs. In order to bring awareness regarding United Nations and its functioning, a simulation by the name of Model United Nations (MUN) was introduced that has rapidly gained popularity in Pakistan in the past few years. Continue reading
Business education entails several phases of administrating business and marketing is one of the most vital parts of the business model. A business’s continuous growth is the virtue of good marketing skills and efficient branding by a marketing team or individual. A highly innovative Marketing specialist, on the other hand, sets a company on the track of phenomenal growth using the organization’s own strengths without needing to resort to cheap tactics, lies or marketing gimmicks to catch prospective buyers’ attention. Continue reading
As a Pakistani I find myself standing on a platform made of twigs and hoping that this make-shift ferry will survive a tsunami. Why I say this concerns less with my personal opinions and more with the daily death toll that makes headline.
While all other countries are busy making lives of their people heaven, we are confused at what life actually is. Until few years ago Mr. Anwar in my old neighborhood was extremely against his sons going abroad. He was and still is patriotic from head to toe and it took a lot to make him permit his eldest son to take up the excellent job offer from a Dubai based company. Later on Mr. Anwar got transferred to Saudi Arabia and after living there for three months he called me and told me to leave Pakistan soon. Continue reading
Higher education in Pakistan has had an unfortunate history of myopic view of what future of Pakistan holds and how a particular degree will bring glory to the family. There was a time when anything less than doctor or engineer was akin to insult for the family. Then came the ‘IT Boom’ and ‘Computer Wizard’ became the new trend that lasted for a while. In the previous decade the economy saw a lot of activities and MBA turned into the new star in parents’ eyes.
Universities, like Pan Shops, began to open all over the urban centers of Pakistan offering business education and throwing run-of-the-mill business graduates in the market. Similarly new engineering departments began to emerge in existing as well as new institutions despite lack of proper faculty and market demand. Continue reading
The blog is also published at Express Tribune and is in much better shape than original. Kudos to the ET team for editing.
When the idea to break the Guinness Book of World Record for Most People Singing National Anthem was presented to me first, I felt intrigued. With all the factors of division creating havoc in the society, it presented an excellent way to unite the Pakistanis once more and for that I joined Abid Beli and Waqas Pai to achieve this goal. Continue reading
Update: An edited form of this article was published in October 2011 edition of Circles Magazine.
I have used my right hand to perform major activities all my life. Even though my performance has remained average in most cases like quality of handwriting, sports and sketching, I considered it normal. Some time back at a family gathering my mother discussed with someone the complexities of bringing up children and I was surprised to learn that I was born left-handed.
She said she discovered I was left-handed due to the amount of pressure I exerted on her finger with each hand when two months old. At such a tender age she made sure my left hand remained immobile most of the time (though not uncomfortably) and was forced to use right hand freely that eventually became my dominant hand. Continue reading
This was originally published at Geo Blogs.
The bomb blast and killing spree in Oslo, Norway on July 22, 2011 set the western media in frenzy where within hours the blame of tragedy was laid upon Islamic extremists. It was headed by Will McCants, an expert on counter-terrorism, adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and member of many counter-terrorism programs in US.
The blame was laid on Islamic extremists based on vague speculations Will McCants came across on a password protected Arabic forum ‘Shmukh’ (known for its members being vocally supportive of Global Jihad) that was thirstily gulped down by media and soon BBC, New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post and others were propagating this speculation as news even before police in Norway managed to gain control of the situation. Continue reading
Published here on Express Tribune.
I will give huge credit to my previous university for teaching me one great skill … passing exam by just studying a couple of hours before the paper. I don’t know if it ruined me or blessed me but after nearly two years since graduating from university I find it hard to get back down and study with the same focus and zeal I had as a student.
GMAT, as it turned out, is not your run-of-the-mill exam and it can never be attempted successfully by rattafying (rote learning) the book. If you have a good memory, you might be able to do well in one or two segments of the exam, for the rest you’ll be out of luck. I cannot help but admire the examiners who constantly design and develop pitfalls for students using the simplest of tools. Many of the hardest questions can be solved through common sense while others with little bit of careful reading. Continue reading
Published here on Express Tribune.
It came as a shock to me when I read somewhere that Tokyo city alone had over 200 universities. If we check the list of most populace cities in the world, Karachi is included in the top 5 while Tokyo not even in top 10. Considering the huge difference in the population and education facilities, no wonder we have so many fake graduates ruling us.
Published here on Express Tribune.
Politics in Pakistan is a well known tangle of confusion, lies, deception, favoritism and broken promises. Anything that goes wrong, be it your boss really angry at you when a colleague revealed your secret or you’re next in line for team’s captaincy and someone ‘less worthy’ is favored over you, politics is to blame.
In my experience of both urban Karachi and rural Sindh I came across two distinct forms of commercial politics (politicians are contractual employees, aren’t they?). The personality based politics has strong roots in the countryside where, in a given area, a certain landlord will hold most influence. No matter which party he chooses or even decides to stand as an independent candidate, the votes in his locality will go to him (debatable if it’s by love or by force). This gives the candidate bargaining power and he chooses party that benefits him the most or to whom he’s most loyal.
In similar fashion the party based politics has strong base in Karachi and maybe urban centers like Lahore as well. The party chooses its candidates and probably the seats as well on which they fight during elections. How much the people have their say or how much the candidates have the bargaining power, it is debatable since every party has its own rules and policies. Whether in your locality an unknown person rises up to participate in elections or a personality you know very well and respect, it is up to the party to nominate the candidates.
We have seen effects of both political styles on local, national and international level and have examples to show who people vote and who they would not when given the choice. We have seen ‘Jamshed Dasti’ winning election from Southern Punjab again after resigning despite having fake degree, and we have seen an unknown figure ‘Syed Mustafa Kamal’ rising out towards fame when MQM nominated him against the veteran politician ‘Naimatullah Khan’. Despite having no distinguished record of politics and Naimatullah’s recent completion of term as Mayor Karachi, Mustafa Kamal became second mayor of Karachi in an era of construction blitzkrieg which he further sped up, resulting in a change of face for several areas of the largest city of Pakistan.
Both politicians were supported by their respective people that prove the distinct forms of political practices prevalent in their respective constituencies. Comparing to other countries we often find some similarities and many differences to the way politicians are recognized. Very few people must have missed ‘Barak Obama’s’ rise to presidency where he had charmed the American people so much that he earned victory against ‘Hillary Clinton’ to become lead nominee for ‘Democratic Party’ and faced the ‘Republican Party’ nominee ‘John McCain’ in the final showdown. From his early days as community organizer and civil rights attorney to state senator and then President, a clear line of political ascendance can be traced down to its roots. The U.S political system comprising of Senators might be slow but has the clarity to rip the politician down to his/her bare essence.
In Pakistan however, our Presidents are military usurpers, backdoor entrants, puppets and ceremonial figureheads chosen to smile and nod to show ‘aal iz vell’ in the country. Can there be a possibility for evolution of Pakistani politics where politicians are ripped to their essence and their worth is judged by 180 million (and counting) Pakistanis? If so, will it be the urban ‘Party based’ or rural ‘Personality based’ that will dominate the field?