Stories published in September, 2016

What can we expect from the Pakistan vs West Indies ODI series?

This year has been quite an unlucky year for the Pakistan ODI team. There have only been a couple of times in the last eight ODIs that the Pakistan team has left the stadium celebrating. Pakistan has won eight out of 15 T20 matches and two out of four Tests played this year. This in turn has made Azhar Ali look like that child in the family who everyone is always scolding and pushing to learn from his friends (Sarfraz Ahmed and Misbahul Haq), who are doing exceptionally well. Pakistan drew the Test series against England after winning the 4th Test ...

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A hijabi bunny?

Muslims have it hard living in the West. Nowadays it is perfectly acceptable to sling all kinds of vitriolic, hate-filled misinformation towards Muslims that simply would never be thrown at adherents of other religions. So it is natural for Muslims, who fight hard against these stereotypes every day, to want to make a huge impact in trying to rid themselves of all the negativity that they become shrouded in. Unfortunately, sometimes in the quest for shaking off the adverse image, no real progress is made. This comes as a hijab-laden Muslim lady, Noor Tagouri, appeared in Playboy magazine as a ...

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The exoticness of Fawad Khan: Why one man is giving Indian women (and men) sleepless nights

To ask a Pakistani actor to go back to his country when there has allegedly been a terrorist attack on Indian soil by Pakistanis, is both stupid and understandable. The citizens ask for quick retaliation and, as always, people in the world of arts, culture and film are the softest targets. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), sensing the public pulse, cashed in on the anger and gave Pakistani actors and artists a 48-hour ultimatum to leave India. And mind you, a lot of Indians are irate with the presence of the Pakistani artists in India. That does not make them right or ...

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Washington may be broken, but it’s not broken enough to let thugs like Trump enter the Oval Office

It seems just like yesterday when a far-right Republican, who I had the misfortune of knowing, told me that he’d rather vote for a donkey than vote for President Barack Obama. That was back in 2012 when the president was running for his second term against Mitt Romney. Now, Romney may not have been as eloquent or academically gifted as Obama, but he certainly was not dope. He was a former governor, an established businessman and the backbone of the Mormon faith. Donkey he certainly was not. Fast forward to today’s campaign season, it appears that the Republican prayers have been answered. Thanks ...

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A dispute over water, a lifetime of war?

When the Indus Water Treaty was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ayub Khan in September 1960, President Eisenhower described it as the, “One bright spot…in a very depressing world picture.” Only eight months after independence, in 1948, India had first begun diverting water from the Pakistani canal system emanating out of the Indus water system. After about a decade of conflict over water (which also saw the two countries reject a proposal for unified basin development that would have brought Pakistan and India together in many ways), it fell to the newly installed military regime in Pakistan and Jawaharlal Nehru in India ...

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Will Mirzya turn out to be just another version of Mirza Sahibaan’s folklore?

Filmmaker and screenwriter, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, waited a couple of years after the release of his award winning biopic, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013), to entice filmgoers with another mystic drama film. This time, Mehra has placed the genre of the socio-political story in the form of a charismatic folklore to present a war-action filled romantic anecdote – Mirzya. Photo: IMDb   Mirzya is based on the epic love story of Mirza Sahibaan, one of the most poignant Punjabi folktales. It is about the courage and distress of a woman who sacrificed her love to avoid bloodshed. The idea is touching and has attracted numerous filmmakers ...

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The original king cake – the pound cake

 “Beta! Mehmanon kai liye bakery sai plain cake lao!” (Grab a plain cake from the bakery for the guests.) Who hasn’t heard this line? In fact we have grown up hearing this! Plain cakes or pound cakes, span over generations. They were made by our ammis (mothers), our nannis (grandmothers), and our par-nannis (great-grandmothers). The name ‘pound’ was given to this cake because the original recipes contained one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pound of eggs, and one pound of flour. Sometimes while baking cakes, you just want something plain and simple with no added frills and fuss. Especially now that winter ...

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Six Pakistani stereotypes that Udaari has challenged

Udaari grabbed the audiences’ attention from the very first episode. It has managed to highlight aspects which have been ignored for far too long – and it has also challenged various stereotypes which plague our society. The drama relates the story of individuals who have suffered at the hands of society. The awe-inspiring acting, along with the story-line, gave the audience a sneak peek into the struggle of these individuals, whilst breaking all kinds of barriers at the same time. 1. Rape victims should be ashamed of themselves Whether it is sexual assault or harassment on the streets, victims are shushed by their families in order to protect ...

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O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light…

I will be embarrassingly honest here. I actually do not remember exactly the last time I properly stood up while our national anthem was played. If I recall correctly, I am more the less left sidetracked by the juggling of placing my over-tipping popcorn into the holder and scouring the grubby cinema chair. Where else these days do we get to listen to our qaumi tarana (national anthem) other than the big screen? I for one am past the age of going to school and standing in an assembly every morning, loudly chanting Pak sar zameen shaad baad… So, it ...

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Is Brahamdagh Bugti right in applying for asylum in India?

It’s popularly said that times change and so do people, but sometimes after years of changes, a lot does not change at all. In classical warfare, the shrewd commander would keep a force at the front as a façade and keep a surprise for his enemy. The surprise could be an ambush from the side, moats prepared to drown the infantry, a fire hazard to cut one part of the infantry from the other and create a kill zone and so on. Modern warfare introduced more brazen tactics such Hitler’s blitzkrieg, which caused massive damage to the Allied forces. It also gave us the ...

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