Stories published in August, 2014

Subjugation and Kashmir during the 100 days of the Modi Sarkaar

More than a hundred days of Modi Sarkar’s achey din are over and since then the Indian premier has visited the occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir twice. Lately, the disputed region, for a constellation of reasons, has also taken up quite a bit of space in the news. Starting from a debate over the abrogation of Article 370, which gives Kashmir special status, on paper at least, from the Constitution of India to the recent cancellation of foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan, Kashmir has dominated headlines and been the subject of prime time discussions on TV in India. An in-depth analysis of these ...

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Guardians of the Galaxy will exceed all your expectations

I went to watch this movie with little expectation, quite frankly. I was dragged into the movie theatre with reassurances from my friends that this was the “movie of the summer”. I quickly took out my phone and Googled the movie, cringing at the prospect of sitting stationery for two hours. I tried my best to come up with a believable excuse to get out of it but all efforts proved futile. One thing was for sure: a movie featuring Dave Batista and Vin Diesel would undoubtedly be a train wreck. Chris Pratt, for me, was going to be this film’s ...

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Can’t a woman ask for her property share?

A few days ago, I was at a get together with friends and the usual small talk somehow turned to the ‘controversial’ topic of women and their property rights. One of them dramatically sighed and told her sympathisers how her ‘atrocious’ sister-in-law had the audacity to ask for her share of the family’s property. That opened up a Pandora’s Box as she was joined in by the other women who started sharing anecdotes of girls who had the audacity to ask for their share of their family’s property. I did not, and could not, understand what was so reprehensible about a ...

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Umar Akmal: From child prodigy to cricketing enigma

Umar Akmal came onto the international cricket scene when the national team was surrounded by catastrophe. Rebellions, groupings, match-fixing and a loathsome competition for captaincy were the highlights of the Pakistani side. This was a mini flashback of the 90s, when the captaincy changed hands every time the team played badly and instability became the norm of the team. Akmal forced his way into the debris of one of the most colossal batting orders in the history of Pakistan’s cricket, on the back of the Australia A tour of June/July 2009. He had a walloping start in international cricket; just in his third game, ...

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Bringing FATA into the mainstream

The much talked about and supported military operation, Zarb-e-Azb, has been initiated in North Waziristan with the objective of clearing the region from local and foreign Taliban sanctuaries. The military strategy has already displaced thousands from the war-torn region at a time when the internally displaced persons (IDPs) affected from previous conflicts and disasters haven’t returned to their homes yet. Up to 30,000 soldiers are involved in the current operation, while more than 800,000 people have fled the area over security and an uncertain future. The operation was launched after the failed attempt at peace talks and demands from the ...

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The story of Pakistan: I am a dreamer but I am not the only one

We, Pakistanis, are full of dreamers. I say this not just as an expression but after observing it myself. While on my trip to the countryside, I came across many stories and dreams, and I found each story unique in its own way. Here are a few of the dreamers I met along the way… Photo: Salman Javed This is an 11-year-old boy and a proud shepherd. His household income depends on the cattle he grazes. He seemed like a very pleasant child. During our conversation, I found out that he wished to attend school, become a doctor, own ...

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Is America undermining Pakistan’s importance as an ally?

United States strategic shift to the Asia Pacific from the Middle East thanks to President Barack Obama’s Asia Pivot has certainly changed the entire Middle Eastern geopolitical calculus. We are now witnessing a time period when, for the first time in history, the United States is on the verge of becoming energy sufficient as it surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil production in October, 2013. This happened while the wrapping up of military campaigns in the greater Middle East is translating into reduced military spending ergo, reduced military might in the said region. These two events are significant as they are a contributing factor in the reshaping of the US ...

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A reason to laugh

Five years ago, I came across a very strange news story titled, ‘Conspiracy theorists convinced Neil Armstrong Moon landing was faked.’ Gaping with horror, I delved into the details quoting none other than the astronaut himself claiming how he may just have been hoodwinked into believing the moon-landing was real, although it wasn’t. More ludicrous was the reason cited as being the cause of disillusionment for Neil; an elaborate YouTube video that was prepared by a conspiracy theorist. Questioning all that was real, I immediately Googled to find other news sites claiming the same to convince myself of the veracity of the news. None existed. Sceptically, I ...

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Roger Federer will win the US Open 2014

Around this time last year, Roger Federer had entered the US Open 2013 as an ailing old man (32 years) and had found it hard to battle against the young blood during the tournaments. Fast forward to 2014 and Roger has already bagged 49 wins, four more than the whole of 2013. With his back fully recovered, a wider racket and some insightful coaching tips from Stefan Edberg, Roger now reminds us of the glory days of 2006. Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) speaks with his coach Stefan Edberg during a practice session at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in ...

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Nine reasons I no longer support Imran Khan

I had always admired Imran Khan. Even though I knew his party would not win in my constituency, I stood in line and voted for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate. But what has happened recently in the country has convinced me that Imran Khan is not suitable to be the country’s top leader and I have my reasons to believe so: 1. He is not consistent. He first accepted the results of the general elections, and then a year later claimed they were massively rigged. 2. He continues to backtrack. First he wanted elections only in four Punjab constituencies (one of which was not won ...

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