Stories published in November, 2014

This is for Hobart

The morning of November 22, 1999 was nippy and blustery, typical Karachi winter weather. I woke up early with an air of expectation. Christmas was coming early this year and Eid was going to follow. Pakistan was finally going to beat Australia in a Test match on their home turf and I was ready for school early to savour as much of the moment as possible. The Test series was following after Pakistan had been blanked by Australia in the World Cup final earlier in the year and was billed as the ‘badla’ tour by the press. Wasim Akram, the Pakistan team ...

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Hell hath no ‘Fury’ like the Germans scorned!

Fury is a quintessential war movie that yet again reminds us of what horrors men are capable of when they wage war. It portrays and reveals the story of a lonely tank squad from the US army’s 66th armoured regiment, the second armoured division during the finishing days of the Second World War, and how they struggle to survive and endure in the face of un-seemingly terrible odds, behind enemy lines, in Nazi Germany. Starring in the lead role, as the central protagonist, is Brad Pitt who dons the character of a US sergeant Don ‘War Daddy’ Collier. He is a battle-hardened veteran who has experienced ...

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Would surrogacy ever be accepted in Pakistan?

Divorce in Pakistan has become a common occurrence in Pakistan. There are various reasons why couples are inclined to go down that path – sometimes it’s the couple’s inability to understand one another, other times it is because of issues related to dowry; and in some cases, it is because the woman is unable to bear a child, for which the husband divorces his wife and marries someone else, someone more fertile. Personally, I felt that last reason was a completely baseless one to leave someone. If a couple, for some reason, cannot conceive, adoption is always an exceedingly viable ...

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Talking out loud – Islam needs a reboot

At the very outset, let me clarify that I am neither a religious scholar nor do I have disciplined knowledge about the Muslim faith. The views expressed in this article are purely based on the perspective that one has developed over the course of the past many years. This is by no means a critique of a faith that millions of folks all over the world follow. To begin with, as paradoxical and contradictory it may sound, amidst all this opulent irreverence, the Muslims claim that there is a ‘back-to-religion’ movement the world over, as a reaction to the incessant indulgence ...

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Privatise this, privatise that – just make me rich!

I look around my house searching for items I can sell and make a quick buck. I come across some furniture that needs fresh coats of polish before I can even present it for sale. This requires too much effort! Why don’t I just sell that antique painting that has been hanging in the drawing room for years? This is effortless and is guaranteed to bring me a truck load of cash. As it is, I just have five hours to make money! If I think like this, then it should not be a surprise that our Privatisation Commission (PC) operates in ...

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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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In Iran, a woman cannot watch a volleyball match?

The two recent alarming incidents of women rights abuse in Iran has awestruck the entire world, and yes, as cynical as it may sound, like all the other stories, these two shall be forgotten soon as well. One woman named Reyhaneh Jabbari gets executed for murdering her alleged rapist and the other British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami has been sentenced to one year in prison for watching a volley ball match. Yes, watching a “volley ball” match is a crime in Iran. The authorities deny this to be the reason for her detention and are accusing her of “spreading propaganda against the state”. Yes ladies ...

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Shut up and listen to the music by Talal and Zoi

Drones, poverty and fundamentalism – these are often the things we hear on the news about Pakistan. But over the last two years, Pakistanis have brought home an Oscar, an Emmy, the Nobel Peace Prize, won second place in the Laugh Factory Funniest Person in the World competition and secured four places in the BBC 100 Women 2014 list. On a smaller scale, Pakistani contribution to local art, literature, fashion and music is everywhere. You just have to look. In Canada, Talal Chaudhry and Zohaib Bakhtyar are one of Toronto’s most talented duos on the electronic music scene. They are gaining international attention with their deep, melodic and ...

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Can LUMS still be considered apolitical?

This has not been a great week for Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Fresh off the sexual harassment case and an online petition to remove the Vice Chancellor, the university was embroiled in another controversy when an event featuring a talk session by Asad Umar was cancelled by the university. LUMS has since issued a public apology to Umar acknowledging that permission was granted to the Law and Politics Society at LUMS to invite him to speak to the students. The permission had been sought from the university and the topics of discussion were approved. However, just a couple of days before the event, LUMS revoked ...

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Pakistan celebrates Anti-Malala Day

An exclusive interview with the brains behind the anti-Malala day. Two days ago, the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation headed by Mirza Kashif Ali, celebrated ‘I Am Not Malala day’. It’s said that the association, which represents a network of some 150,000,000 private schools in Pakistan, is planning a ‘Pro-Polio day’ for its next stunt, followed by a ‘Flat Earth day’ in solidarity with the members of the Westboro Baptist Church in the United States. After chairing a panel consisting of six middle-aged men at the Islamabad Press Club, where not a single woman was present in the audience, Ali told The New York Times, “We are all ...

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