Stories published in June, 2016

Bhutto’s economic policies were disastrous for Pakistan

In his article published in the May edition of Newsline, an independent monthly news magazine, economic journalist, Muhammad Ziauddin, says “a levelling phase” began in Pakistan with the advent of the Bhutto era, which forced the “22 families to flee the country with their loot.” He adds that the “phase of levelling inequality” was cut short quickly by General Zia and a new phase of cornering the wealth of the nation by a few hundred was launched. He and other left-of-centre writers like to glorify the Bhutto regime – why else would anyone call the six years of economic ruin and destruction “a levelling phase”? I recently spent some ...

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David Beckham was always an overrated footballer but he’s right about Brexit

Being a hard-core Liverpool (LFC) fan, hating Manchester United (Man Utd) and anything associated with it is part of my soccer DNA – Football tribalism at its fanatical best! So unsurprisingly, when it comes to rating David Robert Joseph Beckham, I always thought the ex Man Utd player was an overrated footballer. It’s not just his on-field abilities that underwhelmed me, I also could never wrap my head around the media circus that David Beckham’s supposedly off-the-field iconic status attracted.

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So when a couple of days back I found myself liking a ‘shared’ Facebook status of his, it naturally was ...

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What comes after the Istanbul Airport attack?

On Tuesday night, just as millions of Muslims here were breaking their Ramazan fasts, three terrorists attacked the city’s busy airport. They fired randomly at passengers with automatic weapons before blowing themselves up. They killed 41 innocent people, most of them Muslims, supposedly in the name of Islam. The assault on the airport is the latest in a series of horrible traumas in Turkey. In the past year, the country has endured almost a dozen major terrorist attacks. Some were the work of the Islamic State, which kills in the name of God; others were the work of the Kurdistan ...

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This season was Game of Thrones at its best

The thing about a show like Game of Thrones – although it’s not hard to argue that there’s nothing quite like it on the television landscape – is that due to the epic nature of its storytelling, characters are necessarily scattered far away from each other, with their own narrative arcs that are completely disparate and diverging. This has been especially true of the past few seasons, where beloved characters get tantalisingly close to meeting or reuniting, only to be flung away from each other again. This is not necessarily a criticism of the show and it certainly doesn’t diminish the thrill ...

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Today the blissful innocence of the Ramazans of my youth is far gone

Growing up, my family treated the start of Ramazan like the start of a new year. From an early age we were told not to view the thirty days as deprivation from food, water, and basic human vices like gossiping. Instead we were taught to view Ramazan as a sublime and peaceful month which would heighten our spiritual growth and instil in us forgiveness, patience, resilience, and compassion for the less fortunate. I remember these early years of Ramazan as a time of simplicity, safety and fun. As our prayers increased, so did our post-iftar socialising. As we retreated inwards spiritually we ...

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Why are we hiding our periods during Ramazan?

We’ve all been there, ladies. Don’t deny it. Who hasn’t taken a surreptitious look around before scoffing a bite of (insert chosen food here) while on your period in Ramazan? Lately, I’ve been wondering why on earth we do this… Why are we hiding? Clearly it’s because of the many social and medical benefits of pretending to fast while menstruating. Not to mention the frequent suggestions found in the Holy Quran and Sunnah that this is the best way to deal with the crimson wave cravings during the holy fasting month… That last paragraph was total nonsense, just an FYI. So why do we ladies – suffering with ...

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Argentina – A nation in a ‘Messi’ situation

One of the most calm and cool heads under pressure, Lionel Messi steps up to take Argentina’s first penalty of the shootout in the Copa America Final. He is expected to tuck away the penalty, but to the dismay of his supporters he balloons his spot kick over the crossbar. It frantically leads to a catapult of mistakes from the Argentinians, culminating in their loss to Chile in the Copa America Final – again. Chille stun Argentina to win the Copa America final for the second consecutive time.Photo: Reuters As if losing a final wasn’t bad enough, ...

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Pakistan has forgotten the true essence of Ramazan

This year, Ramazan has been anything but blessed and peaceful, considering we have witnessed the heart wrenching death of Amjad Sabri, the unfortunate kidnapping of Awais Ali Shah, and not to forget, the increase in mugging and theft throughout the city. Sure, we’re fasting, but is that really all there is to Ramazan in Pakistan? Amidst this chaos, I came across a Pakistani advertisement on television, directed by Vasan Bala. It’s a heart touching ad that depicts a little boy who wears new clothes for the festival and runs out to meet his friends. They spot an old sweet vendor whose cart is stuck in a ...

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Will Pakistan learn from its mistakes with Afghanistan to save its ties with Iran?

Even though tensions between Islamabad and Kabul over the Torkham border crossing are yet to be settled, Pakistan has laid the foundation of “Pakistan Gate” near the Iranian border in Taftan. The gate is said to check any illegal trade occurring via Iran, and also help the border guards effectively manage and monitor the border crossing. What makes this gate different from the one in Torkham is that it is not only built with mutual consent from both Pakistan and Iran – but also on special demand from Tehran, as it has already built a gate of its own ...

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He told his parents he was gay. They started grieving and looking for a “cure”

“I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth, Tell me why, sad and sighing, Thou dost rove These pleasant realms? I pray thee speak me sooth What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’ Then straight the first did turn himself to me And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame, But I am Love, and I was wont to be Alone in this fair garden, Till he came Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’ Then sighing, said the other,  ‘Have thy will, I am the love that dare not speak its name.’” From Two Loves By Lord ...

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