Reason Before Passion

Sindhi, Pakistani and a Sufi Muslim

Symmetry Shines at “Agency of the Year Awards 2012”

Symmetry Group has brought some much needed success for Pakistan at the prestigious “Agency of the Year awards 2012” that were recently held in Singapore. The Symmetry Group, comprising of Symmetry Digital, Creative Jin and Iris Digital, bagged 4 awards.

In the press conference held at Southend Club on February 2, 2013 the management presented details about the event and shared their success story. The “Agency of the Year” is a prestigious award that is well recognized internationally. Digital agencies from round the globe participate and there is a comprehensive screening process that ultimately leads to final selection. There are various categories, including a Pakistan specific sub-category within South Asia that was completely dominated by Symmetry Group. The group not just bagged all three awards from Pakistan category but was also awarded “South Asia Digital Agency of the Year”. Continue reading


January 7, 2013 Posted by | Events | , , | Leave a comment

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 43,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

December 31, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Wolves and the Circle of Friends

This is a short story I wrote after hearing how a person ruined his life by making wrong choices and not facing the pressures of life


The class had the usual hustle and bustle. Students sat chit chatting animatedly and gossiping, the girls about the latest fashion and TV dramas while the guys about recently concluded Football league. Ahmed entered and after a general hello to the class he headed towards his usual place beside Sehar and Alina.

“Thank God it’s Sir Ali’s class first, it won’t be a bad start of the day” He said as he fell into the chair.

“You stay up most night talking on phone. Stop doing that and all mornings will be fine” Alina said.

“Sorry, I am not a morning person” Ahmed muttered

“Whatever, at least Sir Ali will keep us awake” Sehar said

“Won’t affect me as I’ll fall asleep” Ahmed said with a smirk

“Stop taking advantage of his nature. He’s easygoing, doesn’t mean you piss him off as well” Alina said exasperatedly

“No need, I’ll just take him off-track again and doze off like before”

“He tells really good stuff, you should listen to him” Sehar said

Ahmed laughed. Alina thumped his head. Both girls knew he was not going to listen. The bell rang and as the class began to settle, the door opened and Sir Ali entered. Thin and tall, wearing rectangular spectacles and tidy hair, Sir Ali seemed calm and peaceful like always as he greeted the class and put his laptop on the table and turned it on. This was perhaps the only class in the university that never required memorizing events and dates in Pakistan Studies course, making it not just easy but interesting as well. The only reason why the whole class found Wednesday mornings refreshing compared to the rest of the week.

“Everyone enjoyed our 1965 War analysis from last week? I hope you guys made the necessary notes, you’ll probably need them for the next quiz” Sir Ali said said.

“Will you be asking us specific questions? I mean like names of battalions and squadrons and all that?” Nooria asked

“I explained that earlier as well. You all need to understand the event AND recall the right names. You can cover broadly but that may not result in better analysis” Sir Ali replied

“That means we will need to remember all the names of pilots of PAF as well? And their squadron numbers too?” Sajjad asked

“Those that matter and the ones we covered. For example, who was Sarfaraz Rafique and why a base has been named after him?” Sir Ali asked Continue reading

December 18, 2012 Posted by | Short Stories | , , | 1 Comment

“Timepey” launched by Zong and Askari Bank

I received an email from Creative Jin on Saturday morning for an event at Expo Center at 7:30 pm. I was busy in the afternoon working on my thesis presentation that I emailed to university management around 3 pm. I had to attend a meeting at 6 pm after which I headed out for Expo Center and reached the venue on time to attend the launch of new branchless banking product from Zong and Askari Bank (pictures and video included towards the end).


Continue reading

December 2, 2012 Posted by | Events, Technology | , , | 2 Comments

Tribulant WordPress Newsletter Plugin

Using WordPress as a CMS occasionally throws up a few hiccups in the development process, and one of the biggest problems I face is setting up a halfway decent subscription and newsletter module. When the client is on a budget, this becomes an even tougher job. Various freely available newsletter plugins can be configured to provide basic email services. However, for a truly flexible and customizable solution, the only plugin I would recommend is Tribulant’s Newsletter Plugin. Continue reading

November 29, 2012 Posted by | Technology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chronicles of Pakistan: Genesis of Sectarian Strife

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

November 4, 2012 Posted by | Chronicles of Pakistan, Published Articles | , , , | Leave a comment

Chronicles of Pakistan: Sindh’s Ethnic Divide and its History – Part 1

The issue of ethnic divide had been simmering beneath the surface for some time and SPLGO ordinance has once again brought it out to front. The divide has been there since the creation of Pakistan but came to prominence during the 80s and has now become the most violent factor that threatens innocent lives during peace as well as troubled times. This post is first of a series that will look at how this divide came into being and will start off with the introduction of once “Sindh’s Jinnah”, Saeen G. M. Syed. Continue reading

October 12, 2012 Posted by | Chronicles of Pakistan | , , , , | 1 Comment

Chronicles of Pakistan: Chronology of Sindh’s Separation from Bombay Presidency

It is constantly repeated in history text books that separation of Sindh was result of All India Muslim League’s efforts. I am presenting a short chronology of the events that took place which eventually led to the separation of Sindh. These facts have been referenced from the book “Political Dynamics of Sindh: 1947 – 1977” by Tanvir Ahmed Tahir.

Continue reading

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Chronicles of Pakistan | , , , | 2 Comments

I Own Pakistan (And Destroy It Too)

It has been a sad week for Pakistan. The controversy surrounding the cheap and highly distasteful short film Innocence of Muslims has gotten out of hands and not just figuratively but literally. It started with protests over the internet from all over the world and then quickly translated to the physical world where street power was demonstrated in several countries. As a result, many people died during protests, most notable of them being the American Ambassador Chris Stevens who died in Libya.

In Pakistan, the protest that started from social media quickly translated to street power too and small-scale anti-American and anti-Jewish rallies were organized all over the country. Soon Youtube was blocked when movie and its trailer were not removed by Youtube. Pakistani government, in order to appease the sentiments of general public, declared September 21, 2012 as Ishq-E-Rasool (Love for the Prophet) day. The purpose was to honor the Prophet and counter the propaganda shown in the movie, only to see hell breaking loose all over the country. Continue reading

September 21, 2012 Posted by | Current Affairs | , , , | 2 Comments

Freemason Conspiracy No Longer Needed in Pakistan

For years we have heard about Freemasons, Illuminati and whatnot conspiring against Pakistan along with Jews and Americans/Israelis and trying to destroy the country. This oft repeated mantra gave us a ‘hidden enemy’ to loathe for all the bad things happening in the country and remain ignorant of many facts that were concealed in plain sight.

In this modern age, the Freemason conspiracy is no longer needed to undermine Pakistan because Pakistan is rapidly becoming self-sufficient in creating its own brand of Freemasons and Illuminati. Continue reading

September 15, 2012 Posted by | Current Affairs, Random | , , | 11 Comments

Prove Yourself – Happy Independence Day

Google doodle on Pakistan’s Independence Day

A couple of days back I went to Tariq Road with my mom an hour after Iftar and faced the traffic of shoppers to this prime area of Karachi. Police was everywhere, some people were shouting on megaphones and people were moving around in droves. One particular announcement caught my attention. I didn’t hear the first part of it but the second part was interesting.

“Apni rai aur tajaweez ka izhar yahan akar kijiye, suggestion box main apni suggestions dalein aur acha shehri honay ka saboot dein” (Give your thoughts and opinions here, put the suggestions in the suggestion box and prove that you are a good citizen).

I found this quite curious. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | Current Affairs, Random | , | 2 Comments


Note: I wrote this story in two hours as an entry for LUMS Young Writers Workshop 2012 but couldn’t make it to the final 8. After refining the story a bit, I am publishing it here on my blog.

Sound of running footsteps filled the corridor as the bell started ringing. Ahmed managed to rush into the class and jumped onto his seat before the final ring. He took a sigh of relief. Finally he made it to the class before the teacher and that’s a rare achievement for him. With a toothy grin he showed double thumbs-up to the whole class, practically dancing on his seat. Some laughed, some ignored, Ayesha giggled and Fari gave him a congratulatory pat on his back.

The celebration was short lived as the sound of resounding footsteps, like a giant walking the earth, clamped their mouths shut and glued them to their seats. The door opened and the teacher entered. She was so big that if she sat upon Titans, they couldn’t to do a thing about it. Her smile was ghastly and today it was particularly smug. She lumbered to the front of the class and slammed a pile of papers on the desk, announcing with a delight that the assignments were graded. Continue reading

July 26, 2012 Posted by | Short Stories | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loadshedding and Me

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

July 23, 2012 Posted by | Published Articles, Short Stories | , , | Leave a comment

Nokia Is Taking Pakistan Seriously (Updated)

While I was attending India-Pakistan Social Media Mela this weekend, I got a message on Facebook from an old acquaintance Umer Dawood. What followed up was an invite to Nokia’s App Summit (16 – 17 July 2012) as a blogger and I happily accepted it. I am always interested in telecom and social media, so it was a golden opportunity for me to enjoy two of my favorite topics in such a short time. Continue reading

July 18, 2012 Posted by | Events, Technology | , , | Leave a comment

The Social Media Mela of Indo-Pak

Initially I had no plans to attend India-Pakistan Social Media Mela 2012, but on a friend’s insistence I had applied for the Invite and luckily got it. For starters, it was a wonderful event. The small but vibrant Social Media community of Pakistan once again lived up to its expectations. Although a glum looking blogs on Tribune and LUBP have already been published, but knowing these websites and their hunger for controversy this is no surprise. Continue reading

July 15, 2012 Posted by | Events | , | 5 Comments

Son of the Soil [Guest Post]

This guest post is by Khalid Kamal who presents his point of view regarding the use of term “Son of the Soil”.

This term finds itself in the speeches and writings of political types all over this country. What does it really mean I have often asked myself? Most words and terms have a place or time when they are appropriate to use. Let us examine this term in detail.

Soil mean earth and earth is often referred to as “mother”. Although all forms of life depend on mother earth. Literally speaking earth is not anyone’s mother. The sort of motherhood attributed to EARTH is the innovation of poets and romantics. There is another unsavory group of characters who likes to refer to earth as their mother, because it allows them under convenient cover to sow seeds of hate and intolerance and they are political demagogues. I will not name any names but you are well familiar with them. They have existed in all countries and every chapter of human history. Continue reading

June 14, 2012 Posted by | Guest Posts | 2 Comments

My Interview With “The Pakistani Spectator”

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:

June 1, 2012 Posted by | Published Articles, Random | , , | Leave a comment

Citizen Registration: Tool of Inclusion or Alienation

This is a guest post by Khalid Kamal. It was first written for a scholarly journal back in 2008 and hold some interesting insights regarding citizen registration in Pakistan.

ABSTRACT: this article is a critique of the citizen registration and identification laws, and practices inPakistan. Comments on the performance of the National Database and Registration Authority are based on NADRA Ordinance (2000), information provided at NADRA web site and several dozen interviews with individuals denied CNIC’s. The purpose of interviews was to assess how extensive the problem is and how the effected citizens may be helped. The study was conducted by the non-profit “Stateless People in Bangladesh and Pakistan”. Continue reading

April 27, 2012 Posted by | Guest Posts | , , | 1 Comment

Rise of the Female Entrepreneurs – Updated

At the start of my third year of BBA back in 2007, I had realized the disaster we were heading towards. Despite the growing economy, I just couldn’t understand where will all the graduating students of BBA and MBA will go, especially since all institutes taught us to seek job rather than create jobs. Just a lousy course named “Entrepreneurship” was taught just for the sake of teaching and the institute would consider its job done; now it is left up to the student to utilize the learning of that one particular course or the 43 other courses he/she studied during the program.

In recent years the need for self-reliance has grown and surprising number of people have decided to open their own ventures rather than seek jobs. Back in 2010 I covered the exhibition of Ash Lamour, a handbags brand started by my good friend Ayesha Akram. Now, a couple of former classmates of mine from school and university days have also started their own brands. Arete by Aliza is a clothing brand while B by Bushra is a footwear brand. Continue reading

April 15, 2012 Posted by | Events | , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan Day … Really?

The celebrations of victory against Bangladesh in the final of Asia Cup are still in the air. The aerial firing went on for hours last night until I finally managed to sleep and found people to be more buoyant than usual today. The taste of hard-earned victory followed by a public holiday (Pakistan Day – 23rd March) makes it even more delicious. A big round of applause for the gallant Bengalis for their new-found energy and splendid display of performance never before seen on the field. Reaching the final after defeating the likes of Sri Lanka and India is an achievement unprecedented and a promise of much more to come in future.

The topic of this post is, however, not Cricket but the public holiday itself. Pakistan Day, celebrated on 23rd March based on Pakistan Resolution passed in 1940 by All-India Muslim League; that is part of every textbook written in the country for decades. We have all seen the great fanfare this day brings, watching PTV in the morning to see military march in Islamabad with several flotillas and stunts by airforce pilots. The books, on the other hand, never manage to actually explain what this resolution was. It is called Pakistan Resolution even though it was initially called Lahore Resolution and it was passed just after 11 pm on March 24 but is celebrated on 23rd March. What was written in the resolution, it is never taught. Continue reading

March 23, 2012 Posted by | Chronicles of Pakistan | , , | Leave a comment

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