S Tariq

  • This week’s piece was inspired by the sight of two men and a woman on a road in rural Islamabad. The woman had a ‘polio team’ box slung over her shoulder, while the middle aged man was carrying some papers. It was however, the third person in this team, who caught my attention. ...

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  • In my books, the definition of a failed state is not how experts on the subject usually describe it. A state is what its leaders and nation make it. Regretfully, Pakistan’s dynastic political leadership has not only been corrupt to the core, but can be held culpable of high treason because of ...

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  • I have for the past few months been trying to figure out as to why there is such a hoo-ha being generated over the reported offer of a new job to the recently retired Chief of the Army Staff. The son of an old soldier, who honourably doffed his uniform as a major and brother of two valiant ...

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  • I have just returned after seeing the full dress rehearsal of the Joint Services Pakistan Day Parade in the Federal Capital. Millions of my fellow citizens will be witnessing the real event with their own eyes or through their television screens, as this piece comes out in print. I have no words to ...

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  • I was once forced to stop my vehicle at a busy Faisalabad intersection many years ago by a ‘tamashbeen’ crowd that had gathered in the middle of the road to watch a battle between, what were perhaps two enraged motorists. One of the parties in the conflict had an advantage of height and ...

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  • The end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012, precipitated a spate of movies focusing on the Armageddon theme, while social media spread stories that generated sporadic panic. While much of what we saw was fiction, our planet and its surrounding protective envelope is in reality undergoing a ...

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  • I come from a generation that has watched this ‘Land of the Pure’ fumble and stumble through seven decades of existence. Ruled by politicians, who ought to have been strung up publicly and toyed around by dictators with grand illusions about their indispensability, we the nation have ...

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  • I was recently in Lahore for a few days. The Punjab Capital is the city of my birth, the place where I received my education and later ‘tied the proverbial knot’ before settling down for compelling reasons in the Federal Capital. My attachment with what was once the ‘City of ...

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  • Never before in the history of the United States of America has there been a President more controversial than Mr Donald Trump. A billionaire, with strong ties to the Jewish (and therefore Israeli) lobby; business connections with the Russians and tendencies that reminds one of the notorious gunman ...

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  • I hung my head in abject shame as a member of the media quartet addressed the press outside the Supreme Court targeting the PTI Chairman in language that crossed all limits of decency. This display of being ‘more loyal to the king than the king himself’ reflected in no uncertain terms ...

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  • These days I am halfway through a book titled, ‘Ramblings and Recollections of a British Official in India’ by W H Sleeman. This amazing gentleman, who rose to the rank of a general in the ‘Company’s Army’ was responsible to completely eliminate the cultish practice of ...

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  • It has now been irrevocably proved that our lower House of Legislature is not sacrosanct. A clear message has been sent to the nation that anything uttered on its august floor must never be accepted as the truth, but a political statement or in simpler terms – a lie. By implication therefore, ...

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  • The advent of steam-driven machines and engines forced inventors to devise a way to release immense pressures that built up inside boilers and pipes in order to avoid terrible explosion related accidents. The human body is also a machine, but with unlimited intelligence, emotive power and ...

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  • The current political scenario created by the two major parties which have ruled this country since the ouster of Musharraf’s government reminds me of a celebrated painting and a tale that I read a long time ago – the oil on canvas masterpiece was titled ‘After the Storm’, ...

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  • The gloves are off and the true face of our ruling ‘democratic culture’ stands exposed. In what can only be called a ‘midnight coup’, the government has abolished the autonomous nature of regulatory authorities designed to maintain a check and balance on decision-making and ...

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  • According to the headcount done in 2013, Pakistan’s population stood at 182.1 million. Ruling this sea of humanity, wherein illiteracy, lawlessness and poverty run rampant, is a coterie of politicians, who are not only corrupt themselves, but think nothing of corrupting institutions by ...

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  • We are currently being forced to watch and reap the fruits of what can aptly be termed as the worst political era in our history. The business of ‘leadership’ has always been deemed dignified, wise and to be taken seriously. Pakistanis are however, at the mercy of corrupt and morally ...

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  • I saw the traffic jam a little too late to be side stepped and found myself stuck in a gridlock from which there was no escape. It was after half an hour of twiddling my thumbs and a missed appointment that I walked almost half a kilometer to the cause of the snarl – no policeman, no traffic ...

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  • By the time this piece is printed, the much awaited announcement of who would command the Pakistan Army should have been made. If not, then the Pakistani nation will have the benefit of some more time in passing their idle hours ‘selecting’ the new Chief. Whichever of the two scenarios ...

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  • The world watched the recently concluded US presidential elections in mute silence as one of the most profound upsets in electoral history manifested itself on television screens. I heard many of my acquaintances smugly comment that with Donald Trump taking decisions in the White House one could ...

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  • At long last, the wheels of accountability have been set in motion. Pakistan’s apex court has taken up the Panama papers case in a judicial event that will go down as a milestone in our national history. An event that will perhaps be the first of the many required to root out political ...

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  • I was asked by an ex colleague (who happens to be a PTI office bearer) as to what could be the outcome of Imran Khan’s decision to ‘lockdown’ Islamabad. I replied that in view of PTI’s stated intent to paralyse life, the Government would pull out all stops to put down the ...

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  • Islamabad is once again about to become the venue of a PTI sit-in with a major difference from the one that lasted more than a hundred days. This particular agitation has been planned on radical lines as a ‘do or die’ endeavour. In addition to a central sit-in, PTI will lock down the ...

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  • The recent sensation to hit the news channels is the one about disclosures made by an oft read Pakistani journalist about how politicians played a successful cat and mouse game with one of our few credible national institutions. I am not going to focus on the controversy itself, because the ...

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  • Discussions on and off media are rife with condemnation of our political leadership’s soft, laid back attitude in response to India’s aggressively offensive body language, providing an opening to critics, who have begun challenging the ability of our Head of Executive to lead the ...

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  • The word ‘conscience’ is described by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the part of you that judges how moral your own actions are and makes you feel guilty about bad things that you have done or things you feel responsible for”. Metaphorically speaking, this little guy resides ...

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  • Two celebrated quotes are nagging me day and night as I watch our ‘Democratic Dispensation’ being gradually throttled into oblivion – the first of these, “I’m tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work. We are supposed ...

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  • I have during the past few days been the victim of torture, the likes of which is inflicted on the people of Pakistan day in and day out. It was my misfortune that I had occasion to visit a few government offices to fulfil some legal and regulatory formalities. I was shunted from one room to ...

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  • The afternoon of October 22, 2016 will be reckoned by history as one of our darkest hours. This day, the self-exiled leader of a popular political party, addressed his workers on telephone, revealing his animosity towards Pakistan. Not only were anti Pakistan slogans raised on the occasion, but ...

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  • The fourteenth day of August 2016 came and went, but with a difference – a difference that was in all probability a result of the people’s faith in the combat-fatigue-clad officers and men, who are even at this moment laying down their lives so that the nation may sleep securely in ...

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