Stories published in October, 2015

Does Saudi Arabia support the ISIS?

For almost four years now, Syrians have been perpetually facing their worst nightmare; five million of them have fled the country while another 7.5 million have been displaced, close to 310,000 made up the death toll until April 2015, and only God knows how many more have been killed past that. But none of this was enough to trigger Saudi Arabia (KSA) – the strongest country in the region and a major player for regional cooperation – to intervene in this crisis. What did trigger the country (or certain fractions of it) was the imminent presence of countries like Russia and Iran in the region. For those who ...

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To those polluting Twitter with #IamMumtazQadri: Stop

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, in a landmark decision, maintained the death sentence awarded to Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer. The judgment today must have led to a sigh of relief from the family of Mr Salman Taseer. They will finally get the justice they have been battling for an arduous four years. This is a bold decision by the Supreme Court, which has upheld the institution of justice in the country. It clearly indicates that the country’s highest court has distanced itself from the likes of Maulvi Mushtaq. Justice might have knocked on the doors of the Taseer ...

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Keep calm, Pakistan: Our cricket team is shaping up quite well

The brief Zimbabwe tour came to an end a couple of days ago, with Pakistan emerging as the victors. It wasn’t a clean cut victory since Pakistan won four out five matches and the one match we lost was under extremely controversial circumstances. Having said that, Pakistan has managed to perform commendably against Zimbabwe this year. This particular tour highlighted five aspects about our cricket team.  Imad Wasim – The most wanted in the team Photo: AFP The first and foremost aspect that needs to be mentioned in this list is the emergence of Imad, more so after the ban ...

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Tortured, beaten and raped: Is sexual terrorism ever going to end?

It’s a matter of grave concern and great sadness that in the 21st century, despite all the world’s advances in technology, science, society and economics, violence against women remains endemic. In fact, one out of three women around the world is a victim of gender-based violence: domestic violence, sexual assault and rape, sexual harassment, honour killings and many other permutations of this crime play out in millions of homes, workplaces, streets, villages and cities in every part of the globe. Violence against girls and women is rightly called one of the greatest crimes against humanity, occurring across all nations and cultures, ...

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Can Djinns commit murder?

Djinns are an entity that most Muslims, no matter how devout, do believe in.  They are a whole different species, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, who apparently inhabit the earth commensurately with humans.  All kinds of theories are sprouted about djinns and their characteristics with some stating that they live in trees, therefore vegetation should not be cut and possess personality characteristics like anger, jealousy as well as love and obsession just like humans do. Whether or not you believe in the existence of djinns, they do form a potent source of horror stories for misbehaving children, as well as ...

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Farida Khanum: Setting the Coke Studio bar very very high

Curtains have been drawn on the show’s eighth season as the final episode of Coke Studio was unveiled this weekend. Stringing together a farewell set list might have been a nervous job for the producers who used the currency of nostalgia to full use, week in week out. The Fayyaz Hashmi ghazal is perhaps the most popular lyrical piece of the recent past which was further accentuated by the signature Sohail Rana ministrations. The old kingdom is no more and Farida Khanum is one of the few of its viziers, in Hali’s words — Yadgar-e-bazm-e-Dilli aik Hali reh gaya (only Hali remains ...

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This beautiful cheese soufflé will take your taste-buds all the way to France!

I was really wanting to surprise my mother on Mother’s Day with a fancy breakfast in bed, hence I searched for the perfect breakfast menu and discovered that egg is the one staple ingredient used in all breakfasts, so I had to somehow include it in my menu as well. While searching for the perfect breakfast, I came across a recipe of cheese soufflé. The best part about this recipe was that there was no need to go and buy additional ingredients, since they were already stacked in my pantry. Moreover, my love for the French culture motivated me to try ...

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Q&A in Pakistani history book: Do you think Jodhaa Akbar looked like Aishwariya Rai’s depiction of her?

A few days ago, I was browsing through my Facebook newsfeed and thinking how boring this particular social media website had become of late. Scarcely had the thought entered my head, when I saw that someone had shared this image on their page, I was about to scroll down, thinking it was probably some ‘blown-out-of-proportion’ news about the Bollywood actress Aishwariya Rai, when I noticed the words “class seven history book” accompanying the image. When I stopped to read the status, image and accompanying text as well as the comments that followed, I was literally left dumbfounded. This image is from ...

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Bombs without borders: American bullets in non-American bodies are always collateral damage

“Russia bombs ISIS/FSA targets” and “USA Bombs an MSF Hospital in Kunduz” read two headlines from the biggest international news stories these days. The contrast between the two stories is chilling. Brace yourself for the discomfiting truth that is about to envelop you. If you thought you understood the complexities of international affairs, prepare to have your world jolted. Russia, which has always taken a backseat in the whole “war on terror” ride, has now wrenched the steering wheel out of America’s slippery hands and has jammed its sturdy foot on the accelerator. The ‘war on terror’ officially has a new driver ...

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Has Quetta’s charm been lost forever?

While travelling on the Regional Cooperation for Development Highway (RCD) and the National Highway under the moonlight, which shone so bright that one could clearly see the crossing, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia. It made me reminisce about how Quetta used to be a peaceful, calm, and content valley – once upon a time. Photo: Ijaz Younus Baloch Over the past few years, Quetta has lost its charm of tranquillity and serenity. Gone are the days when roaming on Prince Road to find the right eatery for dinner and queuing in front of Flora for ...

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