Stories published in July, 2015

BJP and the Congress are two peas in a pod

In a recent television interview given to India Today’s Karan Thapar, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) patriarch LK Advani mentioned that Indira Gandhi cannot be said to have a ‘mixed legacy’ as she was responsible for clamping down emergency. Thus, she cannot be forgiven. However, Thapar was correct in pointing out to Advani that if Indira Gandhi can’t be forgiven for what happened on June 25, 1975 then can Advani be forgiven for what transpired on December 6, 1992? If the Indian National Congress (INC) carries the burden of murdering democracy on the pretext of the foreign hand theory by imposing the emergency, BJP has to be held responsible for smashing the secular edifice ...

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Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic: The fairy tale ending that was not to be

Regardless of how much the heart yearns for something miraculous to happen, the human mind has this uncanny ability to quash those hopes and let you see the reality of the situation. That same thing happened in the Wimbledon final between world number one Novak Djokovic and the man the Serb had idolised all his life — Roger Federer. Federer, the darling of the world of tennis, the winner of 17 Grand Slams and a joint-record seven Wimbledon titles, had the entire world behind him. Every single fan wanted a fairy tale ending for the Swiss maestro who had inspired ...

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The women of Kalash are a tale of colours, simplicity and struggle

Traveling is like an escape from the usual hustle bustle of the urban life. But this escape turns into an experience if you witness a culture very different from your own. We all have a lot of pre-conceived notions about every person we meet, every place we visit and every set of beliefs we encounter, but to look beyond these preconceptions is the essence of what traveling is all about. This sheer thought has provoked me to explore the world, beyond the realms of prejudices and artificiality. I’m not a photographer; rather I just try to capture this reality through my ...

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Can the minions compete with Despicable Me all by their mischievous yellow-selves?

After appearing as the henchmen and later as sidekicks of super evil felonious Guru in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 respectively, the little yellow-coloured, one-eyed, and two-eyed adorable creatures are back with their very own movie – Minions. The movie, however, begins during the era of the dinosaurs, and shows the minions travelling in herds over a period of centuries in search for an evil mastermind as their leader. However, the minions are not that fortunate because all classic masters who they wanted to serve meet a tragic end. Watching these villains on the screen will surely make you feel like travelling back in ...

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From Komal Rizvi’s selfie to a doctor’s negligence, where are your ethics, Pakistan?

The social media, particularly Facebook, has transformed into a deadly force to reckon with. Its raw and potent power struck me in the wake of three recent issues that, although unrelated, have garnered massive negative response by the public. In all three issues, there was another side to the story, which majority of those who were commenting on the posts relentlessly, were not aware of. The first is that of Komal Rizvi’s controversial selfie with Edhi. There were countless memes made, which led the singer to release an explanatory post. The second issue concerns the alleged medical negligence of Dr Shehnaz Hussaini to her nine-month pregnant patient ...

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Can I give charity to a thief, a prostitute or a rich man during Ramazan?

Pakistan is internationally known for many things; the surge of extremism, the footballs we supplied to the World Cup; for an often exaggerated emphasis on the miseries of its people. But it is lesser known for being one of the most charitable nations in the world. It is amazing how much the people of this country give and share. The sense of giving back to one’s community is deeply ingrained in our system. We give whether we are rich or poor. We share whether we ourselves have enough or not. If you are in Pakistan in Ramazan especially, on every signal you will be handed over boxes of dates and ...

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How I found true love in an arranged marriage

Last week, we celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. Ours was an arranged marriage, and I had not even seen his picture before saying yes to him. Sounds so backwards, right? I didn’t see his picture because I didn’t care to see, as I was already besotted by him when I began to talk to him on the phone and chatting with him over emails. It was the beginning of 2009. I was on holiday with my friend in Manipur without informing my parents. I called my sister at the hour of departure and told her I was leaving for a four-day holiday in Manipur ...

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The green shirts have fallen, but can they rise again?

It is unbelievable how Pakistan’s hockey team manages to hit new lows, especially when we already feel it is at its lowest point. If not making it to the 2014 World Cup in Hague was not enough, the green shirts have also failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Pakistan ranked eighth out of 10 as it finished miserably in the world hockey league in Antwerp, a performance that erases all hope of our team getting a ticket to Rio. There is no doubt that Pakistani hockey finds itself in a mess which needs radical and drastic changes in order to bring back ...

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Sabeen Mahmud, Jibran Nasir and Shaan Taseer are all cut out from the same fabric

In May 2013, just a little over two years from now, there was a wave of change which brought with it new possibilities and ‘hope’. Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) tenure had come to an end and elections were going to take place. We had various political parties competing against one another for the win. In the entire hullabaloo that was taking place, there was one young man, about 26-years-old who ran for the NA-250 constituency. Jibran Nasir ran his campaign actively on social media and other forums, and gained many followers, however he lost the political end game. Shaan Taseer, very well-known ...

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Is Modi now credible and trustworthy enough to steer a peace process?

Dialogue has a long shelf life. It never gets old or fades away. Sooner or later it asserts itself. It renews itself. That is what has happened in the Russian town of Ufa on July 9th, when the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, shook hands despite indulging into acrimony for a year. The Indian government has termed the meeting a ‘breakthrough’ and counts it as a great step forward in dealing with Pakistan. The interaction has paved the way for both civilian and military engagement between the two neighbours in time to come, which will address all the ...

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