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My list of stories – 2021

This column covers certain pieces published as an opinion or blog

While other media houses come up with ‘Year ender review’ at the end of the year or in the first days of the new year to look back at the outgoing year, we, at the Minute Mirror, should be forgiven for not taking out the year-end review this time as we started publication in the mid-year, and now we are in the process of expansion. After Lahore, our new destinations are Karachi and Islamabad, and reaching out to readers in districts, tehsils, and towns all over Pakistan requires efforts and, of course, bucks.

Meanwhile, I have tried to encompass the year-2021 publications through this column. I am going to repeat the disclaimer which I said in the last column too, that the pieces mentioned as ‘stories of the year’ are my personal choice alone. Moreover, these stories were picked without any proper homework or data work. The other day, a friend of mine called me, rebuking me for my ‘negligence’ for leaving out so many wonderful stories, which were the exclusive work of Minute Mirror. The friend, who is otherwise, polite and courteous, was not ready to buy my point.

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This column covers certain pieces published as an opinion or blog. These are fresh in my immediate memory, as I read them more than once.

Life with an invisible illness of migraine

Published on December 12, the op-ed piece, penned by Syeda Salma Tahir, is headache relieving. Really! It says, “Living with migraine means living life in a state of uncertainty; being engaged in a constant struggle to maintain control and living with the fear of not being believed”. If you read this column, I am sure you will never be afraid of coping with this disease or condition.

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To question or not to question?

The article by Dr. Nukhbah Taj Langah, published on December 11, 2021, in fact, addressed the questions arising in the wake of the Sialkot lynching incident. I was touched by the lines that “The ironies in this situation cannot be missed. Blaming Islam for what happened in Pakistan is as unintelligent as blaming Buddhism for not being able to stem the violence in Sri Lanka”. The piece is thought-provoking and anti-propaganda unleashed by the elements trying to target religious or national narratives. Thank you, Dr. Langah, for this exclusive piece.

Stockholm syndrome

The piece by Sania Khan, published on November 14 last, initially did not attract me. Later, while browsing my Twitter Newsfeed, I found this article making the rounds. Islamabad DC Hamza Shafqaat was speaking highly of this. I was traveling. I took a break, and read the piece while sipping tea. I remember I took two cups of tea and read the article twice. I enjoyed both the tea and the article. It says, “No one here, seems in a hurry and rush to keep up with the crazily fast-moving global life and yet they are far ahead and avant-garde in anything one can think of.”

The lessons world overlooks

Writer Ali Hassan Bangwar published this piece on November 10. As we all stayed indoors in the pandemic year, the piece covered the lessons we often overlooked. It says, “The ongoing rampage of the novel Coronavirus, as all major events in history, is going to leave long-term and far-reaching lessons for humankind to contemplate on and learn from.”

FATF and Pakistan’s monitoring agencies

FATF is a never-ending headache in Pakistan. Published on October 12, author Muhammad Iqbal Bhatti tries to educate the audience on the issue.

Loan is a curse, not a virtue

Though I was not convinced by the arguments of the writer of this piece, Iqbal Haider Zaidi, published on October 17 this year, I liked the piece for its cohesiveness, diction, and flow.

A massive restructuring of economic management

Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal published this on October 26. The economy often doesn’t make for an interesting read. Dr. Iqbal has the quality to sail through the dry subject in an interesting manner. He writes for the commoners, and I, being a common man, like to understand the economy.

The greatest leader of all times

Wajeeha Bilal wrote this piece on October 27 with mystic feelings. The article takes the readers to the world of peace, faith and love.

Three matches and three heroes

“The nation is truly proud of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Asif Ali,” wrote the author, Iqbal Haider Zaidi, on October 31. The writer is a great storyteller.

From shadows into sunshine

Sahibzada Riaz Noor wrote about the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 8 last. History becomes an interesting subject when writers like Sahibzada take it up.

The list is long. I would urge the readers to browse and read the work of Mahrukh Aftab, Ali Jan Maqsood, Aliyan Ahmed, Nimra Amir, Osama Tayyab, Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti, Maria Ali, Marian Sharaf, Maria Safdar, Deeba Shahnaz, Abdul Wahab Magsi, Khan Zeb, Saniya Khan, Ahson Mobeen, Ansa Mobeen, Munaza Kazmi, and so on.

Dear readers, the Minute Mirror would love to publish the list of your chosen stories too.


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