shehzad.ghias

Shehzad Ghias

A graduate from the LUMS Law School and is running his own theatre production company, Cogito Productions.He works as a theatre teacher at various schools. He tweets @Shehzad89 (twitter.com/Shehzad89)

Pamela Geller’s hate for Muslims and blurry standards of free speech

A couple of weeks back, I vocally criticised the direct interference of the state in the academic affairs of my previous university, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), after they were forced to cancel a talk on Balochistan. However, this week, I found myself vocally protesting against the decision of my present university, Brooklyn College, to invite a speaker for an academic talk. On the face it, the positions I have taken in the last fortnight seem irreconcilable, hypocritical even, but what differentiates my two positions is the fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech. Ignoring any discussion on the technicality that in ...

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The diary of an “innocent princess”

You know me. I am the one whose friendship request you ignored on Facebook. All I wanted was for us to be virtual friends. I could have liked your cover photo, and you could have commented on how deep that Rumi quote was. You know? The one I shared with the image of a tropical sunset? That is the image of the sun of our friendship going down in flames. It is not my fault that I was born to Mr and Ms Princess; my father was ridiculed throughout his school life for that name. My father fought through the adversities of ...

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Karan Johar takes on GoT with ‘Kabhi Games, Kabhi Thrones’

Social media is full of news of Game of Thrones being adapted as an Indian television show. Am I the only one who thinks that the plot lends itself perfectly for a Bollywood movie instead of a TV show? I would pay good money to see a Karan Johar production titled ‘Kabhi Games, Kabhi Thrones’. The story would begin with Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon riding together on a motorbike merrily singing a song together. The evil sautayli ma (step-mother) would ask Jon Snow to be banished from the kingdom, and the Stark jayedaad (inheritance). Snow’s storyline would become even more contentious in a Bollywood setting with the word ‘bastard’ repeated multiple times with the echo ...

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GoT Season 5 Episode 1 brings death to King’s Landing

By now you would (read: should) have seen the first episode of Game of Thrones (GoT) season five. Despite leaving us for months at a time, GoT has a way of sucking you back into the world of Westeros every single season. Even when our favourite characters are (wrongfully) killed, they are replaced with new characters inhabiting different worlds, and just like life, the story goes on; Vlar Morghulis. This season began with the first flashback scene of the season. HBO show producers David Beinoff and DB Weiss were sternly against any flashbacks scenes. However, by putting the scene at the ...

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To save Pakistan, we have to let go of the idea of Pakistan

“We are fighting a fight for Pakistan.” This is an oft repeated statement from politicians, military personnel, bureaucrats and journalists. Let me tell you unequivocally, we are losing the fight for Pakistan. In our attempts to salvage an archaic idea of Pakistan, an idea relegated to the back shelves of the global landscape, we are losing the Pakistan that we have. We will not win this war in North Waziristan, we will not lose this war in Lahore, we will either win or lose this war in the minds of our countrymen. Yes, that is what they are, our countrymen, and every single ...

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#ShameOnLums

Eight years ago, on a November afternoon, I stood with hundreds of students at LUMS protesting against a military dictator. The students held placards, shouting slogans, and we were effectively having a stand-off with the police. Riot police with heavy armour, shields and batons was employed by the government to silence our voices. The police had warrants to arrest several students, and professors, on phony charges of ‘wall-chalking’ and vandalism. The scene was set for a direct confrontation. The impasse was broken by the direct intervention of the then Vice-chancellor of LUMS, Dr Syed Zahoor Hassan. The police retreated from entering ...

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Game of Thrones Season 6 comes to Pakistan

There are rumours flying around of production beginning on an Indian version of Game of Thrones (GoT). We let India sneak ahead in the nuclear arms race but we seem to be far ahead of them in the television dramas race. However, this could be a game-changer – to ensure we maintain our advantage we must make our own version of GoT before India! To make the job easier for all prospective producers, I have taken the liberty of casting the Pakistani Game of Thrones. 1. Mahira Khan as Daenerys Targaryen Our latest export to Bollywood is really the only option to play ...

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A woman does not need a man’s protection

“Nobody is a monster that he is excluded from society. After all, any society that has these rapists has to take responsibility for them, and this is the first thing that these feminist callers that came before the Verma Committee said, that these are our people, these men are ours.”— Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate, Supreme Court India and co-author of the Verma Report I am not a rapist. I cannot even possibly conceive how a person could rape, assault, murder or even harass. So why did I feel guilty being a man watching the documentary India’s Daughter? This question has plagued my thoughts for ...

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Pakistan vs Australia: This was clearly not like the 1992 World Cup

If you have ever fallen in love, the kind of love that makes you feel the blood rushing through your veins for the first time, then you know what it is like to be a Pakistani cricket fan. We all have our afflictions, and for Pakistan it is cricket. Cricket is our choice of drug. No matter how much it hurts, the next time it is on, we will be watching for our fix. Every World Cup, I promise myself not to get my hopes up too high. I rationalise it in my mind. Even if all the statistics, the form, ...

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Pakistan vs South Africa: Team green chase the dream

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the unpredictability of Pakistan’s cricket team. Most of Pakistan does not even expect this team to beat Ireland, let alone South Africa, arguably the best cricket team in world cricket. Not only did we do that, we managed to defend a score of 222. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see AB De Villiers alone to score that against us. Judging by our team’s performance in the past few matches, it seems like the only thing restricting our team was Moin Khan’s late rendezvous to the Australian casinos. The nation woke up with ...

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