I read so you don't have to: A week of small pleasures
Taking out was never so much fun. Introducing the Taliban chess set.
Here’s how not to lose heart when reading and writing about Pakistan week after week: you can either quit your job and stay at home wiping Cheetos’ dust off your shirt or you can laugh at everything you read.
When the military gets too overbearing, just poke fun at its head. Sick to death of political intrigue in parliament? Just create some of your own intrigue among the journalist community.
Here, then, is the week where everything just got too much and it was the little things that irked and delighted.
(June 17 – June 23)
Best of the week
1. Issam Ahmed- One year after its worst flooding, is Pakistan ready for monsoon season? (Christian Science Monitor)
On the first anniversary of the massive floods that wrecked Pakistan, most of the IDPs are still struggling to start life anew. No one wants to look at the possibility of further disaster, but it’s important that it be considered. The news, predictably, is not good.
2. Marvi Memon- Resignation letter (The News)
It is perfectly acceptable to be cynical about the reasons Marvi Memom quit the PML-Q and resigned her seat in parliament. But no one should criticize her for a resignation letter that quoted Bhitai and seemed to come from the heart.
3. What Kayani Whispered (Tumblr)
Here is everything that every newspaper sub-editor wanted to write while captioning photographs of army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani but was far too frightened to do so.
4. Taliban chess set (Hedwig and Sergeant Major)
Taking out your opponents pawns will be so much more fun when they are fundamentalists bent on destroying everything that is wonderful in the world. Points deducted for having a king who is already dead.
Worst of the week
1. FP Twitterati 100 (Foreign Policy)
There are lots of hilarious and intelligent Pakistanis on Twitter and truth to be told that description applies to most of those on this list. But the point of any list is to argue with it. So where’s @mirza9? And @fiverupees? Most importantly, where am I?
2. Pakistan survey (Pew Research Centre)
There are two reasons to hate this survey. You can either loathe it for its sample size, reliability and all these other technical issues that we pretend to understand but actually don’t. Or we can hate it for showing just how deep our level of delusion is.
3. ‘Historic UN gay rights vote: which countries backed it and which didn’t (Foreign Policy)
As if repressing minorities at home wasn’t enough, we’ve now decided to take our act global. Pakistan: if you don’t conform to our definition of ‘normal’ we will hate you.
4. JI, Muslim Brotherhood join hands (Dawn)
Not since Freddy Krueger and Jason teamed up to terrorise American suburban teens has an alliance struck so much fear.