Stories published in March, 2014

Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world, he deserves the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award!

Last year, when the Portugal football team played their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Sweden, the whole world expected the match to be a do or die for both the teams. And none other than the superstar Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly took the Portuguese team to Brazil by scoring a blistering hat-trick. Ronaldo’s exploits on the pitch in 2013, where he scored 68 goals for both his country (Portugal) and his club (Real Madrid), saw him walk away with the most coveted trophy in Football – the Ballon D’Or 2013 (FIFA Best Player of the Year) for the second time in his career. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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On Jinnah and Nehru: One man’s hero is another man’s villain

My article is in response to the perplexing as well as thought-provoking piece by Taha Shaheen on the Express Tribune titled Of biased history: Wait, wasn’t Nehru the bad guy? The mentioned piece is besieged with the ever-present dilemma in our liberal section of society; a section which is trapped in the intense struggle of bringing together and reconciliation between India and Pakistan. It really baffled me how this way of thinking considers historical personalities, facts and narrations, as well as the building of political history based thought process. This, however, is not an exceptional example of a confused mindset. There a few others as well who always ...

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I hope MH370 has been hijacked to Pakistan

Speculations that MH370 had been hijacked to Pakistan hardly surprised me. Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney appeared on Fox News to explain how he believed the missing airplane could’ve landed ‘safely’ and ‘intact’ in Pakistan to be used for terrorism in the future. I had, in fact, been waiting for the media to start questioning whether the Taliban had played a role in the disappearance of the plane. And since Pakistan is globally considered synonymous with the Taliban, it was only a given that the media started wondering whether the plane had been hidden there. Even when the Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesperson denied ...

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What it means to be a ‘Pakistani’

A few days ago a good friend of mine, living abroad, asked me a question: “What do you think ‘Pakistani’ means?” The question threw me aback, partly because it was unexpected and partly because I couldn’t think of an immediate answer. A myriad of images flew around in my head in an instant; from the hustle and bustle of Karachi’s Empress Market, to the textures of the Anarkali bazaar in Lahore. But my friend’s question went deeper than just images and feelings. I found myself trying to truly explore what the concept of being ‘Pakistani’ entails. EMPRESS MARKET. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA Looking at it purely ...

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Five strange things all Pakistani fauji’s do

In countries like Pakistan, army officers are treated with a special kind of respect and having a fauji (soldier) friend is considered to be an honour. I am sure many people know what it feels like to have a friend who is either a Gentleman Cadet (GC) or a ‘leftanent’ as a lieutenant is usually called. It’s a feeling that cannot be explained in words. However, in my case, the ratio of fauji friends is quite high since I have grown up in the company of many ‘army boys’. Hence, in recognition of my fauji friends and their efforts, I decided to write something about their exhausting and ...

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Pakistan’s soldiers: The sons of our soil

Since 1984, the Pakistan Army has been fighting a war on the highest battlefield of the world, the Siachen Glacier. Although there have been periods of temporary ceasefire, they have always been followed by severe aggression from both sides. During one such hostile period in 1987, a high altitude post of the Pakistan Army at the Siachen Glacier was commanded by my uncle who was then a captain. He had been there for five months and had no hope of being relieved in the near future because of the escalated tensions and harsh weather. One day he was sitting with his troops in ...

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David Silva is still Manchester City’s best playmaker!

Maybe it’s because David Silva has always been, and continues to be, an out and out playmaker rather than a striker, I was, nonetheless, thrilled to see him score against Hull City last week. However, this piece has nothing to do with his delicious strike. There is no doubt that the arrival of Fernando Luiz Rosa and Jesus Navas last summer, and improving form of Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure are a big reason behind Manchester City’s impressive showing this season, but the former Valencia man has still been the most diligent contributor in the City midfield. How is that possible, you ask? Well, statistics speak for themselves and we’ll take them one at a time here. [caption id="" ...

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A FRESH! prespective at the Amin Gulgee Gallery

This evening I attended the launch of an unusual art exhibition in Karachi at the Amin Gulgee Gallery. It was called ‘Fresh!’ – 64 artists under 30, and showcased the art of yes, you guessed it, 64 young Pakistani artists from all across the country. Source: AminGulgee.com John McCarry, coordinator of the gallery, told me that Amin had attended an exhibition in New York at the New Museum called ‘Younger than Jesus’, which showcased artists all under the age of 34. “Why not do something like that here?” wondered Amin. So he found two co-curators, Raania Azam Khan Durrani, founder of the Commune Artist ...

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A Pakistani, an Indian and the gentleman’s game: And after the match…

Imran finished off the last bite of his dinner, washed it down with a cola and looked around the living room. It had been a long and tiring day for him, his wife and their house-maid.  Their friends had come over with their children for the day and the effects could be seen all over the house. He got up to switch off the TV when the familiar sound of an incoming Skype call diverted him to his iPad. He looked at the screen and grinned. As promised, it was Rajesh calling. Imran received the call and said immediately in a fake Bengali ...

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Will Crimea’s ‘strategic importance’ cost Putin his political future?

The moment you log on to an international news channel nowadays, two stories frequently flash on your screens: the missing Malaysian airplane and Crimea – the climax of the Ukrainian crisis. Although the agonising search for the debris of flight MH370 seems to be in its final stages with the latest Australian revelations, the Crimean crisis is still far from over. In the wake of the latest developments, the Russian State Duma has approved the treaty of making Crimea a part of Russia. The US, EU and the West called it an act of aggression, Mr Gorbachev called it a ‘Soviet era mistake corrected’, the Chinese remained mum and the Russians called ...

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