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)

Rokhsahana, a woman, was barbarically put down like a dog that had defied its master, a man

She just wanted to live her life. Rokhsahana, estimated to be only 19 years of age, was brutally stoned to death just over a week ago, in late October. An Afghan girl belonging to the village of Ghalmeen, she had spent her entire life suffering decisions made by other men. According to The Guardian: “According to Joyenda, who has staff members from the village, Rokhsahana first ran away several years ago to Iran after her family tried to marry her off to an old man. After they brought her back, they forcibly married her off to another old man. When she ran away this ...

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What if gun control isn’t solely to blame for mass shootings in America?

With alarming regularity, shootings in America make the news across the planet, sometimes every other week. Horrific visuals of mayhem, tragedy, and pain fill our TV screens as we try to understand how the most powerful nation in the world helplessly suffers like this month after month, year after year. We look at the statistics where only the United States amongst its peers sees mass murders take place with any regularity, and wonder what the hell is going on. On the left, American politicians would have their citizens believe the problem simply stems from a lack of gun control, and the ...

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#ProfileForPeace defeats the mind games Shiv Sena tried to play by using Malala

Sometimes it is easy to forget the bond between Pakistan and India. Growing up in the Middle East, I had a number of Indian friends, and there was never an ounce of animosity between us, except of course, during a Pakistan-India cricket match. During one of these events, the passive aggressive jokes were as bare knuckled as they could get. We took great pleasure in beating the Indian cricket team during matches at Sharjah, while they enjoyed returning the favour at World Cup events. But even during these hot moments, empathy somehow found its way. After Pakistan was decisively beaten by India ...

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George Lucas took Star Wars to the dark side. Can JJ Abrams bring it back?

At the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker faces off against his father, Darth Vader, under the watchful eye of the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. Initially, Luke tries his best not to engage with Vader in combat, not only in the hopes of pulling his father from the clutches of evil, but to shield himself from the intoxicating draw of the dark side. Darth Sidious, “Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you!” Eventually,  Vader breaks through Luke’s mental defences, “So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from ...

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Will legalising homosexuality encourage incest?

(Authors note: Before forming judgment, I urge readers to read this article to the end.) After the United States Supreme Court legalised homosexual marriage across America, those in favour of equal LGBT rights showed their support across the world. Here in Pakistan, Facebook users had their profile pictures covered with a rainbow filter to show solidarity with the ruling. This upset many Pakistanis who are against homosexuality, including actor/intellectual Hamza Ali Abbasi, who feared mankind was now rolling down a slippery slope and that the backdoor to sexual deviations had been opened. For this article, I accepted questions from Pakistani Facebook users ...

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No, Fareed Zakaria, you cannot blame Pakistan for the mistakes made by the US in Afghanistan

Dear Fareed Zakaria, You are certainly a titan of journalism. Your CNN show, Fareed Zakaria GPS, is watched by countless worldwide, while your footprint can be found in publications such as Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Slate, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few. The career trajectory you’ve taken is nothing short of incredible. After leaving your home in Bombay where you were born to Rafiq Zakaria, an Islamic scholar and a politician associated with the Indian National Congress, and journalist Fatima Zakaria, a former editor at Mumbai Times and the Times of India, you eventually made your way to the US, where you graduated from ...

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Giving Saudi Arabia a vital position on the UN Human Rights Council is like putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank

During my 15 years growing up in Saudi Arabia, there was one tenet I, like most expatriates, strictly abided by. This simple unwritten rule was; minimise your interaction with locals. This is because many, though certainly not all Saudis we encountered, looked upon foreigners as if they were insolent slaves. From interactions in the neighbourhood, workplace, shops, and more, the Saudi disdain for foreigners was pretty clear. With Saudi media towing the Kingdom line, it was only through word of mouth that we learnt of expatriate girls, women, boys, and boyish looking men escaping capture from Saudi groups. These gangs often ...

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How much should we celebrate the Supreme Court’s verdict on Mumtaz Qadri?

There is a Chris Rock quote I like sharing whenever someone seeks positive strokes for completing a responsibility they believe is a grand achievement. In his standup, the comedian speaks of fathers who are proud of sending their kids to school or staying out of jail, “You’re supposed to, you dumb m*****f*****! What kind of ignorant s*** is that? ‘I ain’t never been to jail!’ What do you want, a cookie?! You’re not supposed to go to jail, you low-expectation-having m*****f*****!” Well, Chris, as it turns out, after years of disappointment, the good people of Pakistan now carry desperately low expectations. Today, ...

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This boy saved his mother when the crane fell in Makkah

September 11, 2015. It is a day when the tragedy at Masjid al Haram in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stunned the world. A massive crawler crane, one of many used to modernise the city, collapsed without warning on the Grand Mosque after 5pm on Friday, a time when the mosque is usually bustling with activity. The unfeeling steel indiscriminately took down concrete as well as flesh and bones standing in its path. In the aftermath, the sorrowful scenes saw 107 people dead and 238 injured. The stories emerging from the incident are horrifying. Many have lost their beloved family members in a few heartbeats. Yet, there is ...

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Dear Younus Khan, please take Wasim Akram’s advice and ‘stop worrying about the ODI format’

Dear Younus Khan, I hope this letter finds you well. Let me start by saying that you are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest Test match batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. Your powers of concentration and mental strength are only bettered by Misbahul Haq in the current Test team, while your skills as a stroke-maker coupled with your triathlon-athlete like endurance are a winning combination like no other. In a sense, you remind me of a boxer who lives for the counter punch. You, Younus, sometimes take more punches than a middle-order batsman has any right to handle, before you begin hitting back. It starts with numerous ...

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