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)

Sanitary napkins are not luxury items… period

Is everyone ready? Okay… all together now… let’s say the following words: Period… Menstruation… Tampons… Sanitary napkins… Sanitary towels… Menstrual pad… Maxi pad… Whew. That wasn’t so hard, was it? Every month, before reaching a certain age, a woman ovulates for a span of a day or so. Following this time, an unfertilised egg is let go in a menstrual period that lasts up to a week or more of bleeding. It can be a very uncomfortable time for most, but is more severe for some; the pain certain women suffer is crippling. Yet across the world, especially in certain cultures, women are discouraged from discussing the affects and requirements of this basic ...

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No, Mohammad Amir, your spot fixing wasn’t a ‘minor’ offence

Of the three cricketers convicted and punished in the infamous spot-fixing scandal, I felt sympathy only for Mohammad Amir, since the left-arm fasted bowler was the youngest of the trio, and quickly put himself (as probably advised by his lawyer) at the mercy of the courts. On the other hand, both senior bowler Mohammad Asif and skipper Salman Butt fought legal battles to the very end. In fact, Salman Butt shamelessly exploited the nation’s hearts on Pakistani news shows by claiming that there were conspiracies against him. Finally, after exhausting all good will and legal recourse, Butt came clean. This ...

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#IStandWithAhmadis, and so should you

Here in Pakistan, we often feel affronted by the mistreatment of the minorities overseas, we identify with racially, religiously, or culturally. Any occurrence of a mosque defiled, or a Muslim man or woman being abused in the West, is quickly shared across social media captioned with angry messages. This, of course, is fair enough. As someone who considers himself to be a member of this planet rather than defined by race or religion, I feel humanity should know no boundaries. That being said, it is difficult to fathom how the volume of our outrage is directly proportional to the distance of the ...

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Using Mumtaz Qadri to bag votes is a sick tactic, Imran Khan

Mumtaz Qadri is a convicted killer – a man who shot his own boss in cold blood, then Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, for taking a stand in favour of minorities being unfairly prosecuted under a draconian and archaic law. Since his heinous crime, Qadri has become a beacon for the insane in this country; a symbol to which extremists flock like birds flying south for the winter, or like suicidal moths burning themselves on tube lights. Never mind the fact that Qadri threatened to take his own life (which honestly, is like threatening to gift someone a Ferrari); a clear violation of Islam’s anti-suicide rule. This ...

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Why do Pakistanis block roads, cars and houses, in a rush to attend prayer?

A popular Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim hadith quotes Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) as saying that once prayer has started, Muslims are not supposed to rush to join in quickly. Instead, they must proceed to the mosque at a calm and normal pace. If they miss any part of the prayer, they should simply complete whatever they missed, rather than making a mad dash to join the rakkah. The intention of this command, clearly, is to avoid creating hassle for yourself or anyone else. If you live anywhere near a mosque in Karachi, or have travelled to work, school, or even the ...

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Why does the world continue to ignore these roots of Islamic extremism?

The ghastly terrorist attacks in Paris have once again put Islamic extremism under the microscope. Similarly to all religions, Islam is like a stream of water, available to anyone to drink from. Out of the two billion Muslims in the world, the vast majority draws from this stream uneventfully, living out peaceful lives. There is, however, a corrupt and hateful minority, drinking from an infected portion of the stream because it suits their world view. This infected stream has been allowed to flow for over half a century in the modern era, because confronting it would result in painful and costly soul searching ...

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25 terms desis love to use

People of every country have their own slang, consisting of words they have either created or adopted. Here are some of ours:  1. ‘Denim ki jeans’: Well, what else would jeans be made of? Plastic? This would be as redundant as saying ‘gosht ka insaan’ or ‘lohay ki gari’. Yes, denim is the fabric used to make jeans. Thanks. 2. ‘Over smart’: Usually said on Facebook to someone perceived to be clever. Only in Pakistan is intelligence used as a slur. Imagine parents using this on their children, “Don’t try to be over smart. Stay within your limitations. You aren’t very intelligent after all.” 3. Dis/Dat/Dere: Even today, there are people who type ‘dis’ instead of ...

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#ParisAttacks: Blaming the refugees for the attacks on France is like blaming the victim for escaping the abuser

As I write this, there are over 150 dead across Paris in one of the most revolting terrorist attacks in the history of France. Scenes are described as pure carnage. Reportedly, the attackers indiscriminately chopped (gunned) down innocent civilians with gunfire and explosives to horrific effect. One witness inside the Bataclan simply said, “It was a bloodbath.” Another stated, “They were shooting at us like we were birds.” The Telegraph shared some stories of the lucky Parisians who escaped the theatre. “Everyone got onto the ground. From that moment, instinct kicked in. With each volley you try to get as far away as possible from ...

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This restaurant in Islamabad thinks misogyny is an acceptable marketing tactic

This Islamabad-based eatery is named ‘Table No. 5’, but perhaps they should call themselves ‘Mentally Unstable No. 5’. If you thought that joke was bad, then get a load of these.   If their sexist ‘humour’ wasn’t nauseating enough, their food is named after celebrities such as Sean Penn and Bill Cosby. You know, men who have a record of physically and emotionally abusing women. Take Sean Penn for example: Cracked: “After he got good and drunk (again), Penn climbed into Madonna’s house, where she was alone. He then grabbed her, tied her to a chair, and assaulted her for hours, both physically and emotionally. He then went out ...

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Dear Imran Khan, your inconsistent stance on your personal life is confusing

Dear Imran Khan, Let me start by offering my sincerest sympathies on the tragic end of your relationship with Reham Khan. I have, since I was a boy, held admiration for your achievements, and have read all books written by you, and therefore know how dearly you hold the institution of marriage, and how earnestly you wish for such a partnership to succeed. I also realise that you were hurt by the sad end of your first marriage, and must have entered your second one with every intention for it to succeed. These things considered; the differences between you and Reham ...

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