Stories published in August, 2015

She eliminated gender discrimination by eliminating the opposite gender, her sons

A recent piece of news making headlines across the globe is the murder of three sons by their mother in Chicago. The mother went on a blood-soaked rampage because her husband chose to give more attention to their sons rather than their daughter. The motherly instinct within her sparked and she sought to protect her daughter from a lifetime of patriarchal subjugation and castigation, by choosing to eliminate the threat completely. This incident highlights two important perspectives on the prevalent gender discrimination and the lengths people go through for equality. Firstly, given that the mother felt strongly about the discrimination against her daughter, killing her sons in ...

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Is Pakistan bold enough to give sex-offenders the death penalty?

A recent verdict of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has laid appropriate emphasis on the award of both criminal and civil compensation for rape victims. In the contemporary judgment of Nadeem Masood vs The State, Justice Anwarul Haq, while invoking Section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), not only sentenced the convict to 20 years of imprisonment but also ordered the offender to pay compensation of Rs0.1 million to the victim and another one million rupees to the child born out of the rape. This judgement, however, comprises part of the population of less than five per cent of Pakistan’s rape cases that actually ...

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Living in Quetta, the Amish way!

If I said that residents of Quetta live an almost Amish lifestyle, would you believe me?   “What is an Amish lifestyle?”, you ask. For those who don’t know, the Amish are a small Christian sect or tribe mostly living in North America and Canada. They are known for their simple and old-school lifestyle and can be recognised from afar by their clothes and appearance. Their men are usually attired in a suit and a hat while their women wear full skirts, mostly reaching to the ankle and may have their heads covered with a bonnet. If you have ever seen ...

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Should the Gulf states be wary of the revolution tsunami coming their way?

Socio-political change is happening across the globe at a pace not previously experienced in history. This is particularly true within the Gulf States. Each day, growing unrest is visible through dissident activity, protests, strikes, and violence. Frustration and anger once repressed is now acted upon. Unprecedented access to communication technologies and the proliferation of social media tools offer platforms for disadvantaged and repressed people to gather, collaborate and make themselves heard – even if only to others in their situation. Media outlets, YouTube videos, Twitter, and Facebook posts spread messages that embolden marginalised people and activist networks into individual and collective action. Rulers of some Gulf ...

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Bollywood takes on Hollywood: ‘Brothers’ does justice to ‘Warriors’

When I heard about the movie ‘Brothers’, the Bollywood remake of ‘Warriors’, I was disappointed at first because I did not want them to taint the legacy of such an epic movie, one of the classics of the Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) genre. Don’t blame me for thinking so, because most of the remakes and many from across the border will agree with me. I started to gather some more information about the remake, as I am a die-hard fan of action and MMA championship movies.When I learnt that Akshay Kumar would be depicting one of the main protagonists of the movie, ...

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Would Manto be happy with Ali Sethi’s Aah Ko Chahiye?

Aah Ko Chahiye is the second track in the Manto OST. The video seems more like a trailer with numerous sequences from the awaited movie flashing past in rapid fire, contrary to the bland and tasteless composition trying its best to complement it. The attempt makes you question why Pakistani filmmakers fail to understand how important music is for the success of a movie, especially with the audience from our part of the world. Some of the scenes from the biopic hint towards the numerous short stories penned by the master storyteller or the different anecdotes associated with his turbulent life. Sarmad Khoosat’s acting does push ...

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Why did we have to rely on Brandon Stanton or Kim Driver to portray us positively?

Brandon Stanton has done a great service to Pakistan, but what have you done for your country? Of late, my Facebook newsfeed projected a new Pakistani face every morning, credit Humans of New York (HONY), and a wonderfully fascinating story to go with it. There were moments I sat crying, moments of awe, moments of elation, moments of gratitude to Stanton for projecting to the world an image of Pakistan that is so awesome in its depth, humility, reality, humanity and simplicity. His wrap-up titled ‘A final word on Pakistan’, and the parting shot of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ (seven beautiful little boys) inspired a comment on ...

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Let’s address our own double standards before blaming Ayaan Ali

The University of Karachi (KU) has been home to intellectual discussions and scholarly rendezvous since time immemorial. Academic finesse is ubiquitous here and I have always found myself inspired while walking through its corridors and thinking about all the greats who have walked the same path before me. The university has had the privilege to host esteemed guests at its various ceremonies – it has seen the likes of Haseena Moin, Ibne Insha, Zia Mohyeddin and many other legends who have come and inspired students with their lectures. Contemporary celebrities like Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Kamila Shamsie, Sania Saeed, Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan and others have also recently shown their support ...

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Science ka Adda Episode 1: Pluto – A New World

Is there life elsewhere in the universe? How did our Solar System form? Are there black holes at the centre of galaxies? How long do stars live? These are just some of the questions that ‘Science ka Adda’ (Cafe Scientifique) and its host, yours truly, seeks to address. Pluto was discovered in 1930. Up until 2015, we did not know much about this little planet in our Solar System. The flyby of The New Horizon spacecraft has revealed Pluto to be a fascinating object hosting tall mountains made of ice, smooth plains with nitrogen ice flows, and a big moon Charon that appears six times deeper ...

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Why weren’t Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif given the same privilege as Muhammad Amir?

As of September 2, 2015, Salman Butt and Muhammad Asif  (part of the infamous trio convicted of spot fixing) will be eligible to officially play cricket again. Despite the criticism from fans and opposition, they are optimistic that they will perhaps have the opportunity to play for their country again. Firstly, let’s acknowledge the depth of their crime, given that spot fixing is a very serious offense and undermines the integrity of the game. There’s no doubt that fans who spend their time and money to see professional athletes perform to the best of their ability deserve better than dishonesty. Yet it is ...

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