Stories about USA

Why I’m glad I didn’t punch the guy who called my dad a terrorist

Fourteen years ago, I almost beat the living snot out of a kid in my high school. It was the last class of the school day, and everyone was glued to the TV in the room, trying to wrap their heads around what kind of a psychopath could fly planes into the World Trade Centre and murder all those people. At that point it was clear it was a terrorist act and talks about the US bombing countries in retaliation were already happening. The teacher walked out of the classroom for a second to make some copies of a homework assignment, and when she ...

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Like Waar, Phantom only provides momentary adrenaline to reactionary patriots

Kabir Khan is a well-known and renowned Bollywood director and it’s pretty clear by now that he is not interested in directing and producing ‘masala movies’. Since his directional debut, Kabul Express in 2006, he has made five films and there’s been a geo-political angle in all of them. Phantom is the latest movie directed by Kabir Khan. The film has created way too much controversy due to its subject matter, the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Additionally, the time of release hasn’t aided the movie either, keeping in mind the rising tensions along the Line of Control (Loc). The basic background of the movie revolves around a covert operation ...

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Does liberalism do more harm than good?

As a philosophy, liberalism is more inward looking and hence does not try to shift blame on the outside forces. By its orientation, it also does not have an overly negative assumption about human nature and consequently is not obsessed with crime and punishment. It believes in the rationality of humans and further assumes that human intelligence is capable of creating an artifice where ethnic, linguistic, and other such ‘natural’ differences can be accommodated without creating a rift. Its emphasis and belief on human rationality rather than instinct, logically lead it to being more fluid and progressive. Conservative points of views ...

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Where is Al Jazeera’s journalistic responsibility?

Al Jazeera News Network was recently in the news for relatively positive reasons. A surprise, one must say. Their editorial on “Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’”, grabbed attention not only among global media consumers but also various renowned media networks – who published scores of commentaries appreciating the stand taken by the media outlet. In their policy editorial by Barry Malone, Al Jazeera’s online editor, wrote, “At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one. Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee ...

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68th Independence Day: Liberation from the prejudices of the past

This weekend, India and Pakistan celebrate their 68th Independence Day as two independent nations. Such a solemn occasion is also a time for one to reflect upon and evaluate the journey taken so far. One wonders whether the fury, rage and bloody madness that gripped the countries prior to the independence were justified? Were the killings in the name of religion perpetrated by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs justified? You cannot avoid these piercing questions. History would not allow us to forget the guilt and living in guilt is an unbearable pain. It is time to reflect upon how much damage the collective guilt and refusal ...

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Some of us cannot afford the hijab of today

There is a school named The Clifton High School which is not in Karachi but in New Jersey, USA, and Abrar Shahin is a Muslim student of Palestinian descent who recently graduated from this school. Sincere congratulations and best wishes in her subsequent career to the young lady who appears to possess a strong sense of identity since her photograph shows her wearing a hijab, and who is about to present us with what I hope, a healthy debate. In the hormone-charged atmosphere of high schools, where girls dress quite revealingly, it takes conviction to cover your head with a scarf at ...

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Pakistan should learn lessons from China and avoid conflict with India

From the very beginning, Pakistan’s foreign policy has been security-centred, but the recent announcement of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) shows that Pakistan has pulled its strings closer in line with the global norms in order to benefit and cooperate with one of the emerging economies of the world. In times of relative stability, public policies, and systems of behaviour, democratic societies tend to flow in accordance with the dominant paradigm. With the evolutionary emergence of the liberal capitalist order, sustainable economic development is considered to be the most dominant paradigm which relates comprehensive national power to economic development since, the national interests of ...

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Pitch Perfect 2 is not so perfect after all

Having a commando situation in the opening scene with one of the biggest celebrity cameos Hollywood can pull off (President Barack Obama and his wife), the movie Pitch Perfect 2, directed by Elizabeth Banks, sets the tone for a ride very different from the first one, and I’d like to say, it’s not in tune with what it wants to sing about. The prequel worked because it was a lot about the freshman struggle and the issue about not fitting in and standing out. It worked because it celebrated the underdogs, whereas the entire second movie talks about competition. While there are other storylines, ...

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Is Pakistan capable of protecting its minorities?

The recent attack on the Ismaili Muslims in Karachi brought a lot of things into perspective. Firstly, it exposed the ineffectiveness of various military, rangers and police operations, and, secondly, it unveiled the dangers our minority communities are exposed to. But seeing this attack in isolation would not be of any help. We need to understand how religion has facilitated the state and, by extension, the militant organisations over the past decades and how it has led to the conundrum that we find ourselves in now. The first time Islam came to serve the government was in 1953, for Mumtaz Daultana, which led to ...

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Indian media and beef controversy: Using Nepal’s tragedy to defame Pakistan

The drawback with Nepal is that our country does not fare well in global media. We hardly get covered internationally and even when we do get some media attention it is largely related to negative news – such as the royal massacre or the Mt Everest avalanche tragedy. This time too, Nepal has made it to every headline around the world due to a travesty. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal killing more than 7000 people and leaving thousands injured. According to the United Nations and the government of Nepal, around eight million individuals have been affected by the devastating earthquake. Nepal falls under the category of ...

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