Stories published in March, 2017

The world must not allow the situation in Yemen to fester anymore

The Middle East has had a tumultuous history and the region’s politics have been anything but composed and calm. There are many fault lines that run through the geographic, social and ethnic divisions, and as a result, conflict and turmoil have never been too far from taking centre stage. The latest conflict to erupt in these volatile climes has been the civil war in Yemen which has been raging for the last two years. Yemen is one of the poorest and most backward countries in the Arabian Peninsula, yet it is also very strategically located. This makes it a fertile ground for various interests to ...

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PTI knows that it cannot win the 2018 elections and the Panama case proves just that

For the past one year, no other issue has gained more prominence in the political landscape of Pakistan than the Panama leaks. The issue is frankly trivial and not worth this much obsession, but thanks to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and our electronic media, a triviality has transformed into a national obsession. The government has been distracted and is in some sort of a survival mode; more pressing issues in the country have been relegated to insignificance as the Panama case has become the centre of everything.   For PTI, the Panama case has become a fixation which is now bordering ...

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For Real Madrid, no cost is too high and Eden Hazard will be a galactico no matter what it takes

Real Madrid must prepare for a life beyond Cristiano Ronaldo, and one step in that particular direction could be to sign the Chelsea star, Eden Hazard. The Belgian international was Real Madrid’s target last summer too but instead he opted to stay at Chelsea and has enjoyed another fine season with the blues nearing their second English Premier League (EPL) title in three years. Football Soccer – Chelsea v Newcastle United – Barclays Premier League – Stamford Bridge – 13/2/16Chelsea’s Eden Hazard applauds fans after the game.Photo: Reuters Hazard has featured in 237 matches for Chelsea, scoring 66 goals and providing 50 assists. ...

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Will DC Comics’ Justice League be the answer to Marvel’s Avengers?

One thing I can never wrap my head around is the bizarre fact that all of Zack Snyder’s DC Comics’ movie adaptations are shot in the dark. Do they not experience daytime in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU)? With this slight moan out of the way, let’s turn our collective attention towards DC Comics’ answer to Marvel’s Avengers. The first full Justice League trailer just dropped and the entire internet world is in a state of meltdown. In a world where ‘The Avengers’ already exist, you’ve got to seriously up the ante if you plan on introducing a rival, and by the looks of it, this is ...

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Is Sesame Street the right platform to educate children about autism?

Julia is beautiful. With orange hair and comically large eyes, carrying her toy rabbit with her, she is the adorable new kid on the block. And that is not all! Julia is also autistic. In the current world of oddities, fewer things retain their true vigour. The most colourful street in town, however, remains as true to its purpose as it was 50 years ago. Yes, I am talking about the street that has a ‘Big Bird’ on it, the Sesame Street! Using television to teach children new ideas, basic linguistic and numerical skills was made tangible for the first time on Sesame ...

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The curious case of Hussain Haqqani

In ancient cultures across the globe, people believed that the gods punished them directly for their transgressions. These punishments would be in the form of droughts, excess heat or cold or simply too much rain. Numerous outcasts or prisoners paid the price as human sacrifices to the gods including children sacrificed by the Aztecs. In certain cultures, the sins of the people were transferred onto a goat by a priest and then sacrificed to pay for peoples’ transgressions. A similar story can be found in the Bible. Hence the term ‘scapegoat’ was born. I think it’s best to state the ...

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Why is Asim Raza so surprised with the unfair, illogical and unjustifiable Lux Style Awards nominations?

Asim Raza, the maker of feature film Ho Mann Jahan, is not happy with the nominations for the 2017 Lux Style Awards. His displeasure is both understandable and inexplicable. It is understandable because his film, nominated in five out of eight categories for film, seems to have been selected without much deliberation, thought and, if you will, intelligence. The film featured outstanding performances by two young actors, Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui and Adeel Hussain, but neither one of the two has been nominated in the ‘Best Film Actor’ category. Siddiqui, who was wonderful in the film, has been relegated to the ‘Best Supporting Film Actor’ category whereas Hussain, ...

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Reflecting on Raza Rumi’s Identity, Faith, and Conflict

I arrived in the United States a few weeks ago and the first public event I attended was a bit too familiar. In 2013, I went to the launch of Raza Rumi’s book ‘Delhi by Heart’ at the Khayal Festival in Lahore. Four years later, I was in Queens Museum, New York where Rumi’s new book titled ‘Identity, Faith and Conflict: Essays on Pakistan and beyond’ was released. The book is a collection of essays that Rumi has authored over the past few years. It was strange to see that the introduction described Rumi as an “international scholar in residence at Ithaca ...

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It is pretty clear that neither Ali Muhammad Khan nor PTI know why Pakistan was created

Recently, I had the opportunity to witness a panel discussion where the firebrand conservative MNA from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Ali Muhammad Khan, delivered his, and for that matter his party’s, “vision” for Pakistan. According to him, Pakistan should be a theocratic state and seculars should either mend their ways or leave Pakistan. Moreover, he also brought in the havoc of the Partition riots, arguing that all the sacrifices were actually for the creation of an Islamic country.  PTI's MNA @Ali_MuhammadPTI calls secular people a threat to Pakistan and asks them to mend their ways or leave the country pic.twitter.com/R2tezc7QoV — Reema Omer (@reema_omer) ...

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Destroying Jinnah’s house will not undo the Partition, Mangal Lodha

The sordid saga of ultra-nationalism unfolding in the subcontinent took a new twist this week. The Times of India reports that a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, demanded that Jinnah’s house in Mumbai be demolished and replaced by a centre representing Maharashtra’s culture.  Jinnah’s residence is a mansion in the Malabar Hill area of Mumbai where Mohammad Ali Jinnah resided following his return to India from England in 1936. It continued to be his primary residence till 1944, following which he started transitioning to the Flagstaff House in Karachi where he moved permanently after Partition. Before anything else, let’s dispense one clarification: jingoism ...

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