Stories published in October, 2014

Does Pakistan realise that TTP has joined hands with the ISIS?

Hardly four months ago, I blogged about whether Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) would be forming an allegiance with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). My assumptions became a reality when Shahidullah Shahid, now a former TTP leader, proclaimed his allegiance along with five other TTP leaders to the ISIS.  At the time that I wrote the piece, I was tremendously lashed out by various people on social media, who probably just read the main heading of the article or simply commented after reading other comments without having their own perspective on the topic at hand. Apart from the numerous comments that my memory conveniently ...

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Bravo, Jennifer Garner!

Jennifer Garner just did something wonderful, not just for herself, but for women globally. She accepted and celebrated her ‘baby bump’ and made the lives of her millions of followers easy. In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, she graciously accepted, “Yes I have a ‘baby bump’. Hold up, I am not pregnant, but I’ve had three kids and there is a ‘bump’. From now on ladies, I will have a ‘bump’ and it will be my ‘baby bump’ and, let’s just all settle in and get used to it, it’s not going anywhere.” Her statement provoked an instant uproar, laughter and approval from ...

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A Muslim’s open letter to Bill Maher

Dear Bill (I hope you don’t mind if I call you Bill because it’s the nicest word I can use to describe you at this point), We get it. You are an aggressive atheist, you abhor religions. For you, it is fashionable to be controversial. Being edgy is part of your job description. Congratulations, you are now so edgy that Bill O’Reilly of Fox News agrees with your views. ‘Bill the Liberal’ and ‘Bill the Conservative’ have now found common ground – Islamophobic bigotry. Let me ask you, Bill, are you back-paddling out of the muddy creek you created on your HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, last weekend with ...

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Dear Iran, self-defense is not murder

The world celebrates and praises Malala Yousafzai – a Pakistani girl whose claim to fame was a bullet to her head, her fault being her desire to seek education – and while the world talks of empowering women, the world is perhaps ignorant of the plight of another young woman fighting for her life in neighbouring country, Iran. This brave, young woman happens to be 26-year old Reyhaneh Jabbari who can be put to death any time now, as her 10-day delay in execution ended last Wednesday. Her crime was stabbing a man to death, a man who tried to rape her. It was in ...

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Federer, the living legend

Roger Federer – living legend and tennis’s Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) according to many – has defied the odds yet again at this year’s Shanghai Rolex Masters 1000. This title takes Federer’s total tally of Masters 1000 titles to 23, covering eight different tournaments. Most people wouldn’t find this newsworthy, considering they have heard of Federer’s magnificence in the game and, for them, Federer winning another title isn’t really a big deal. But this win is a very significant achievement for him, given the maestro’s struggles last year. In 2013, he struggled to even qualify for the World Tour Finals and had a ...

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To Karachi, with love

Dear Karachi, I know that you’re probably busy with your everyday schedule but I decided to write to you anyway. I hope you listen to the complaints I make and the compliments I mean. Almost every few days, you witness something awful. But I am so glad to see the strength that you have sustained. You’re still living. You moved on. And that’s what makes me fall in love with you. You’re beautiful, chaotic and dangerous in your own manner. At times, I can’t really tell who you are. I can’t decide if you’re the Lady in Red, who seduces people by bribing ...

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PTI, stampeding its way to democracy?

Imran Khan’s Multan rally, in which seven people died and more than a 100 were left wounded, has Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf hopping mad, as expected. Not only has the party suffered a blow of embarrassment in front of their workers, the incident has also provided the media with enough ammo to criticise the party for their faulty arrangements and planning. The government, apologetic as expected, has immediately put together another one of its bootless, good-for-nothing committees to conduct a more or less useless ‘probe’ into the matter. However, if one just views the situation objectively, despite the culpable reasons such as ...

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“I will be selling chai on Mars soon!”

Chinese authorities, on Friday, sent a letter to the UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs), condemning the unashamedly cheerful celebration by the Indian authorities on the success of the recent Indian Mars mission ‘Mangalyaan’. It accused the country of ‘highly inappropriate’ interference in its outer space affairs. The letter from the Beijing foreign affairs committee said that, under its ‘eight planet chain’ convention, China has the exclusive rights to any space territory that was charted by its ancient astronomers. This is not the first time the emerging Asian superpower has asserted its growing authority on disputed territories. It has previously ...

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Why can’t we buckle up?

Pakistan’s television industry has seen from amazing times – when classics such as Dhoop Kinarey charmed viewers all around the country as well as across the border – to the not-so-amazing times, when aunties gathered around television screens for nothing better than ‘saas-bahu’ soaps. Fortunately, the growth in television productions has recently been phenomenal, with dozens of serials airing on the ever growing number of television channels in the country. As the entertainment industry expands, its impact on society surpasses the mere purpose of entertaining. It begins to highlight social issues and influences thinking and behaviour among the population. A ton of storytelling on Pakistani ...

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20 and about to get married? Say goodbye to your dreams and careers

“I can’t wait to pursue my bachelor’s degree abroad,” I beamed with delight. With disdain, as if I had said something extremely outrageous, I was asked,  “Wait, are you not going to get married?” Recently, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures of bridal and baby showers of girls whom I went to school with. I am 20-years-old and some of my friends are already married and have children. While I was taken aback by this at first, soon realisation began to hit me. This was it. This was the end of these young girls’ carefree lives and that too at the ripe ...

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