Stories about Dil Dil Pakistan

We will spread the colours of Basant thousands of miles away from home

It may not be a national holiday in South Asia, but the advent of Basant (spring) is certainly celebrated there in all its yellow glory, whether it is in Pakistan, Bangladesh or India. The colour yellow can be associated with the blooming fields of mustard which paint the plains from Punjab all the way to Bengal. One of the many passions that this season excites is kite flying. Even if one cannot differentiate between a patang, guddi or tukkal (types of kites) kite, it is okay because Basant is all about enjoying yourself. It also passes any religious and ethnic lines in the region, making it the perfect blend of spirit and fun. ...

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Junaid Jamshed is Pakistan: Absurdly talented yet seriously flawed

Capping off a year already filled with terrible news was yesterday’s tragic incident. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed on the way to Islamabad from Chitral, killing 48 people on board and leaving the country in shock. To start with, the pain being faced by the families of these lost 48 lives must be incalculable. To lose a loved one so abruptly without closure is a terrible ordeal. At the very least, the loved ones should be provided with grief-counselling by the government at the earliest, though the chances of this happening are low. There must also be questions asked about ...

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“People are dying” because of the bad healthcare system, not the YDA protests

You may put your mind at ease, because I will be singing no undue odes to the greatness of the ‘noble profession’ and all those who are a part of it. But there are more than a few reasons to empathise with the protesting doctors, a few of which I feel compelled to state. A recent blog on this site passionately listed the reasons for the author having no sympathy for the Young Doctors Association (YDA) doctors and their recent activities in Lahore. As a person who is closely linked with the medical community, I find it necessary to revisit some ...

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Happy Bhaag Jayegi: Yay or nay?

What’s the formula for an entertaining movie? Whisk romance, comedy, drama, emotions and relatable characters together, and there you have it; an entertaining movie. Happy Bhaag Jayegi is a combination of all the aforementioned ingredients, plus another ingredient; a comical Indo-Pak angle. Happy Bhaag Jayegi is about Harpeet aka Happy (Diana Penty) who, on her wedding night, plans to ditch her groom, Bugga (Jimmy Shergill) and plans on eloping with her boyfriend Guddu (Ali Fazal). Thanks to a carelessly formulated runaway plan, things take a chaotic turn and Happy ends up jumping off her balcony, into the wrong truck, which takes her ...

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We don’t know the Qaumi Tarana any better than Shafqat Amanat Ali!

Cricket matches unite the country and bring out the maximum national fervour Pakistanis can ever muster, especially if it’s an India-Pakistan game. But this time what gave more fodder for the newsfeed than the defeat itself, was Shafqat Amanat Ali’s performance of the qaumi tarana. After Qandeel Baloch’s offers to the cricket team – we finally found something unique, fun and deeply rooted in our patriotism to go gaga over. All of which makes a great combination for some national criticism. Pakistanis were excited that someone as talented as him was chosen to accompany the stalwart Mr Bachchan in performing their respective country’s national anthem. However, as with ...

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5 classic national songs every patriotic Pakistani can relate to today

National songs play a vital role in instilling love for a country in the hearts of children and the youth. They are the incentive and encouragement needed to express affection for one’s motherland in every way possible. I remember when I was in school and TV channels would play the national anthem and patriotic songs beginning early August. The voices of the singers – painting new colours to the land in the minds of the patriots and making green flags greener – were the background music of our childhood. Skits and performances on patriotic songs were the life of celebrations in August, especially ...

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Love in the time of World Cup 1999

If you ask Pakistanis about their favourite cricket World Cup, most will mention the ’92 version. The reasons are obvious and manifold. Pakistan became world champions in typically dramatic fashion and unearthed stars which were to dominate world cricket for years to come. The 1992 World Cup had aging stars and new ones, Imran Khan and Ian Botham rubbing shoulders with Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. It had a testing format in which each team played each other at least once and was played in superb grounds. An entire nation yearns to relive the tournament which produced several nuggety moments including the ...

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I stand with Junaid Jamshed

The year was 1990. Junaid Jamshed was at the height of his career when a petition was filed in the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan that the punishment for blasphemy under Section 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code is not appropriate under the light of Quran and Sunnah. Until then, the punishment could include life imprisonment, fine or death. The petition suggested that only the death penalty could be the right punishment for a blasphemer. It was a tumultuous time in the Pakistani political landscape.  The year saw a change of three Prime Ministers- the ousted PM Benazir Bhutto, the caretaker ...

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To all the leftist liberals and the beghairat brigade, my blood is still green!

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It’s like looking through the window of a bullet train passing by downtown of a metropolis at night. You only see the well-lit boulevards and tall skyscrapers while the darkened slums are blurred out of view. Today, when I look back at my 29 years in Pakistan, I can’t remember the pitch dark slums of the late 80s or early 90s. The memories that have remained or those which my brain has chosen to record are the ones where only the metaphorical boulevards and skyscrapers remain. Before a myriad of Pakistani television channels sprung up, before a number ...

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Vital Signs 1: Bringing vitality to Pakistani music since 1987

The generation that grew up listening to Atif has always associated Salman Ahmad with Junoon, completely oblivious to the fact that he was a part of Vital Signs first and had it not been for a bust up with Rohail Hyatt, Junoon might never have come into existence. As pseudo-underground bands cover redundant black and death metal covers in the name of underground music, what most of these bands, and even a large chunk of our biggest musicians remain unaware of is the fact this year marks the 25th anniversary of one of the greatest pop albums released by a ...

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