Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'Pakistan'

The Pangolin’s Curse

January 4th, 2013 · 4 Comments

There are few environmental tragedies I find more puzzling than the decimation of the pangolin, a phenomenon recently covered by notable Microkhan ally Dan Morrison. Like rhino horns, pangolin scales are in high demand in Asian markets, primarily for medicinal and epicurean purposes. Yet there is little evidence that the scales work better than placebos, […]

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Managing the Bloodshed

November 16th, 2011 · No Comments

While heading to Microkhan Jr.’s preschool the other day, I heard a dreadful squawk emanate from courtyard of an apartment building. It took me a moment to realize that someone was killing a chicken for supper—a bird likely purchased from one of Queens’ many live poultry shops. I had no problem with the violence, as […]

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Carry Your Cup in Your Hand

October 29th, 2010 · 2 Comments

It felt weird leaving an abysmal Sidney Sheldon mini-series atop the blog for the weekend, so let me instead outro with a brief poem from the latest issue of Granta—one of the publication’s best in recent memory. It is by the Peshawar-based writer Hasina Gul, and translated from Pashto: We grow up but do not […]

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The Real World Cup

April 8th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Look, we’re as excited as the next khan about the forthcoming FIFA World Cup—if Paraguay wins it all, we stand to make a pretty penny. But our enthusiasm for soccer’s top tournament pales in comparison to the love we feel for the Kabaddi World Cup 2010, currently taking place in Punjab, India. Longtime readers already […]

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No Ice Cream in Karachi

January 20th, 2010 · 3 Comments

We were all set to start the morning on a light-hearted note, but then we stumbled across this eye-popping (and curiously underreported) Richard Holbrooke quote: “Karachi, the world’s largest Muslim city, 18 million people, had about four hours of electricity a day during the worst of the summer months. And we want to do things […]

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Animal Rights in Lahore

December 1st, 2009 · 3 Comments

We shudder to think how PETA might react if the organization had access to Lahore’s bustling camel market, which buzzed with more activity than usual in the runup to Eid al-Adha: The camel traders who brought camels from different cities of southern Punjab and Sindh were sold like hotcakes on Friday evening. The traders too […]

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Security and the Soil

November 20th, 2009 · 3 Comments

In Pakistan’s chaotic North-West Frontier Province, there’s a movement afoot to temporarily ban the sale of fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate, which are frequently used in bombmaking. (The article mistakenly fingers urea fertilizers as the target of the ban.) This got us thinking about the reasons for ammonium nitrate’s continued popularity among the world’s farmers, despite […]

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The Literacy Laggard

September 25th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We have to think there’s some sort of correlation between Pakistan’s persistent internal turmoil and its atrociously bad system of primary education. The nation may have one of the world’s top fifty economies, but its literacy rate officially languishes around the 50 percent mark. That makes Pakistan’s population less bookish than such poverty-stricken countries as […]

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More on the Venom Trade

September 21st, 2009 · 5 Comments

In one of our recent posts regarding the troubled Pakistani snake-venom industry, we opined that government price controls were making the black market too appealing for Sindh Province’s snake charmers. As it turns out, a similar scenario is playing out far to the south, where India’s snake-catching Irula tribe is suspected of selling venom off […]

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The Venom Trade

September 17th, 2009 · 9 Comments

As if the Pakistani government wasn’t already catching enough flak for its inefficacy, now some learned herpetologists are criticizing its lackluster approach to rounding up poisonous snakes: A report jointly prepared by Snake Research Academy (SRA) and University of Sindh, Jamshoro (SUJ) has slammed the snake catching methodology of the National Institute of Health Sciences […]

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A Raider for the Ages

August 17th, 2009 · 4 Comments

When the conversation turns to the all-time greats of kabaddi, the name Ameen Jatt must invariably be mentioned. The thick-bodied Pakistani raider was a dominant force in the 1990s, and still much-admired among the sport’s rabid fanbase: An awesome player, simply put out of this world! In 1995 World Cup he led Pakistan into the […]

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The World’s Longest Hunger Strike

March 30th, 2009 · No Comments

Following on last week’s post on the British experience on Pakistan’s North-West Frontier, Microkhan will soon be exploring India’s struggles to deal with its own “tribal territories.” As a somber teaser, check out this account of the world’s longest hunger strike, being carried out by a Manipuri activist named Irom Sharmila. She has been fasting […]

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“…Are Doomed to Repeat It”

March 27th, 2009 · 8 Comments

As we prepare to ramp up Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as focus more intently on the Taliban’s Pakistani havens, it’s worth looking back at the British experience in the Graveyard of Empires. Of specific interest is the classic 1898 account The Risings on the North-West Frontier, a detailed account of several expeditions carried out […]

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“Match Abandoned Due to Terror Attacks”

March 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

Microkhan has previously opined on the redemptive power of Sri Lankan cricket. Today, alas, not so much. Fateful Boxing Day words from Javed Miandad, director general of the Pakistan Cricket Board, upon announcing the Sri Lankan tour: Not only the cricket fraternity but the whole of Pakistan is thankful to the Sri Lankan president for […]

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