36 hours in Lahore

36 Hours in Lahore, Pakistan

(by Paul · in Uncategorized) A popular travel column in the New York Times called “36 hours in…” has covered over 700 cities ranging from Lijiang, China to New Haven, Connecticut.

But never a city in Pakistan.

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Al-Qaeda’s new plot uncovered by FBI

Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.

Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the spectacle as it unfolds.

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Dialogue is key to inter-faith harmony

RUCO-interfaithA prominent American Muslim leader has urged for a sustained inter-faith dialogue effort towards fostering mutual understanding, peace and socio-economic development in the post-9/11 world, riddled with wars and violent extremism.

Frank Islam, a leading entrepreneur and philanthropist, was speaking at premiere screening of acclaimed Pakistani scholar Akbar S Ahmed’s play Noor, which focuses on implications of conflict between forces of moderation and extremism within the Muslim societies and the United States’ strained relationship with some Muslim countries.

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Pakistan’s ‘Justice’ conundrum

Pakistan justics 2011 10 6Religious extremists staging attacks or targeted killings in Pakistan often get away with it. But, earlier this week, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, became an exception.

The personal bodyguard got the death sentence for killing Salman Taseer, an outspoken, liberal politician and the governor of Pakistan’s biggest province, Punjab. In broad daylight last January, Qadri pumped 27 bullets into the body of Governor Taseer, directly in front of a restaurant in an upscale neighborhood of Islamabad.

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Can you challenge my freedom to offend?

The defense of free speech often hides a multitude of sins. Since Brandeis University withdrew an honor it had intended to bestow on the author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, many have flocked to her defense in the name of free expression — no matter how offensive. But implicitly they are suggesting that Islam and Muslims are worthy targets of Ms. Hirsi Ali’s scorn. And their preciousness about the right to offend won’t be credible until they advocate extending it beyond Islamophobes — to racists, anti-Semites and homophobes, too.

Ms. Hirsi Ali is no casual critic of Islam; she has built a career and brand railing against what she calls “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” She has even come perilously close to justifying the Norwegian mass murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, whose killing spree, according to her, was a last recourse because he felt he had been “censored” by “advocates of silence” — a nebulous group that she insists promotes a dangerous mix of multiculturalism and tolerance of Islam.

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Lahore hosts the Baisakhi Festival

Sikh Pilgrims performing religious rituals during the Baisakhi celebrations at Gurdwara punja sahib in Hasanabdal on April 14, 2014

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4 local mobile operators shortlisted for 3G auction

The bids of four mobile operators of Pakistan qualified for the auction of 3G and 4G licenses, Chairman of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, Ismail Shah, told Dawn on Thursday.

Shah said that the four companies, namely Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone and Zong, were not defaulters of the government and the legal aspects of their bids had been scrutinised by the PTA and its consultants. Continue reading 4 local mobile operators shortlisted for 3G auction

The demon is back

It had never really left us, but our arch-nemesis, that tormentor of the Pakistani people is back: load-shedding is not only rising but is expected to continue to increase in frequency as the spring turns into the sweltering summer. In all fairness to the Nawaz Administration,Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif was quite upfront and honest about the fact that this problem would not go away for at least the first three years of their term. But that meant that the problem had to be as bad as it was last year, with 16-hour outages in most parts of the country. Nor does it excuse the fact that most of the outages will be caused by a return of circular debt, a problem that the government had supposedly resolved already.

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Greece’s economic woes breathe new life into the arts

The young man climbed a 30-foot scaffold on a building in central Athens and dipped a brush into a tray of gray paint. With rapid flicks of his wrist, he outlined a haunting image: a baby with two faces, looking simultaneously into an abyss and toward the sky, its vacant eyes searching for a future that was not there.

The mural, by a Greek street artist known as iNO, was delicate, stylized and clever, stopping passers-by in their tracks. Fundamentally, though, it was a raw message of protest, the latest in a wave of socially and politically conscious artwork spreading over the walls of Athens. Continue reading Greece’s economic woes breathe new life into the arts

brick instead of paper…Dubai traders shocked

Traders in Dubai have received containers full of bricks and stones from China instead of their originally ordered goods, Gulf News can confirm.

Dozens of containers have landed in Jebel Ali port containing bricks instead of the materials ordered such as paper and foodstuff destined for at least two traders who said that they were shocked that the containers reached their warehouses unchecked. Continue reading brick instead of paper…Dubai traders shocked