Noman Ansari

Noman Ansari

The author is the editor-in-chief of IGN Pakistan, and has been reviewing films and writing opinion pieces for The Express Tribune as well as Dawn for five years. He tweets as @Pugnate (twitter.com/Pugnate)

No, Imran Khan’s “phateechar” comment was not racist

Prejudice has flown through Pakistani society across generations. We have held open biases against ethnicities that aren’t our own, against women, against religious minorities, against those of a different sexual orientation, and of course, against people with darker skin tones. The latter is especially common, even today. For example, our film, advertising, and modelling industry features very few artists who don’t have light skin. In fact, there is so much pressure in Pakistan that skin whitening creams are advertised and sold to reinforce every other stupid potential mother-in-law’s view that their son, regardless of his skin tone, should marry ...

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Dear Saudi, their only crime was being born transgender, and that’s not a crime at all

Amna, a 35-year-old from the Mingora part of Swat and 26-year-old Meeno from Peshawar were killed in Saudi Arabia this week in police custody. The death of any prisoner at the hands of law enforcement is already disturbing as it is, but these two were allegedly tortured to death. Alongside 33 others, they were arrested, placed inside sacks, and beaten, and beaten, and then beaten some more until the two succumbed to their injuries. Imagine being helpless, alone, inside a dark claustrophobic sack, and struck on the body and head with canes and kicks until dying painfully. There is very ...

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Why #OscarFail is just human error and not a conspiracy

The 89th Academy Awards are over, and after an embarrassing mix-up during the ‘Best Picture’ winner announcement, the Twitterati are at it again, terming it a conspiracy. The actual events of last nights #Oscars pic.twitter.com/0b3vkn4JqZ — Chloe Hughes (@ChloeHughes92) February 27, 2017 #Oscars mistake? Yeah right, it's all about ratings. #fakeoscars — Sir Prof (@foppish_dandy) February 27, 2017 That reaction though… #BestPicture #WarrenBeatty #Oscars pic.twitter.com/ci0KHjjbXW — Jireh Advincula (@beastmodejireh) February 27, 2017 Amusingly, it always seems to be easier for us to believe it is a collusion (though admittedly, conspiracies are more fun) than believe in the fortunate and unfortunate happenstances of life. Well, just because ...

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Is PIA operating planes or over-crowded minibuses?

In Pakistan, we are all used to seeing overcrowded minibuses force miserable commuters to travel standing because they are carrying customers beyond capacity. And when the vehicles are crammed to the point where it is impossible to fit anyone else inside, they dangerously accommodate passengers on top. People only travel like this because they don’t have a choice and are helpless. Of all the ways Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has mistreated its customers over the years, I never thought it would force passengers to travel like they would on a minibus. Yet on January 20, 2017, PIA flight PK-743 forced ...

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We crowned Wasim Akram, so why question the existence of spot-fixing in Pakistan now?

The latest news is that the World Cup opener Nasir Jamshed has been arrested alongside a bookie by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in London. By the time this blog is published, one can only imagine what other new developments will have taken place. As is now common knowledge, Sharjeel Khan and Khalif Latif are already in hot water. There are also suspicions casted on other players, including Mohammad Irfan, who is currently under investigation. Nasir Jamshed.Photo : BCCI I would normally take anything the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) says with a grain of salt, but PCB official Najam Sethi is adamant that the evidence is damning. It certainly ...

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Splitting the captaincy between Azhar and Sarfaraz is a bad idea!

Yet another tour of Pakistan to the continent of Australia has ended badly. After a good Test series in England, followed by achieving the number one Test ranking, they have been outplayed in the ODIs in England, New Zealand, Australia, and of course, the Test matches in New Zealand and Australia. There is a lot of blame being placed on the shoulders of Misbahul Haq for the losses in these last two Test series and for good reason. At the same time, cricket is a team game, and as the abysmal performances in the ODIs prove, there is only so ...

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Who is behind the disappearance of the five activists?

Salman Haider, Ahmad Waqas Goraya, Asim Saeed, Ahmed Raza Naseer, and Samar Abbas have disappeared in the space of days. Some, like Haider, who happened to be a poet, writer, professor, and an editor at the fiercely outspoken publication Tanqeed, and Abbas, who stood as the leader of Civil Progressive Alliance Pakistan, were more prominent. Others, such as Goraya, Saeed, and Naseer kept lower profiles but were known among some as activists on social media. Upon their disappearance, there was outrage in both Pakistan and international circles. In a country known as one of the most dangerous for free thinkers ...

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BBC’s The Real Housewives of ISIS: Offensive or not?

BBC’s Revolting: The Real Housewives of ISIS skit has earned mixed reviews across social media, from praise to explosive anger. The video is a brilliant and hilarious piece of satire. It takes aim, not only at lowbrow reality shows like Big Brother but at the United Kingdom’s growing radicalisation problem, where, over the years, a large number of young Muslims have travelled through Turkey to Syria and Iraq to join the world’s most infamous terrorist group. Inexplicably, a fair percentage of these Muslims happen to be British women, ranging from girls in their late teens to early 20s, who leave ...

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Why is Pakistan so quick to speak about nukes, Khawaja Asif?

Sitting in his jail cell secretly armed with a cellular phone, a British mobile SIM, and the contact details of world leaders, a murderous psychotic terrorist, in the hopes of killing countless, sat plotting nuclear war. His plans were so ludicrous that you’d think this was a work of fiction straight out of a bad spy novel, but I assure you that this incident was frighteningly real. First, he called a nuclear-powered nation itching to retaliate to fresh terrorist attacks on its soil, pretending to be the head of state of a nation whose countrymen were allegedly responsible for the ...

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Dear Adam Saleh, hijacking Muslim sentiments is not funny

From CNN to Al Jazeera, Adam Saleh’s video has made headlines across the world. We got kicked out of a @Delta airplane because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone and with my friend slim… WTFFFFFFFF please spread pic.twitter.com/P5dQCE0qos — Adam Saleh (@omgAdamSaleh) December 21, 2016 Retweeted over 769,000 times on Twitter, the shocking footage shows him being escorted off a Delta airlines plane where he expresses outrage for getting booted. His crime, he says, was speaking a few lines of Arabic on the phone to his mother, an offense that was too much for his fellow passengers. As expected, many online reacted with disgust. Was just forced to leave ...

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