Stories published in February, 2016

Is Afghanistan making a mistake by excluding India from the peace process?

The International Crisis Group, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation for resolving conflicts around the world recently convened a meeting on Peace and Security in Afghanistan under the aegis of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, on January 23 and 24, 2016, in Doha, Qatar. This was the second kind of such meeting organised by Pugwash to explore possible solutions to end the bloodshed in Afghanistan. Doha Conference At the Doha meeting, around 55 participants were present to discuss the possibility of hammering out a framework for a national reconciliation in Afghanistan. In a surprising development, the representatives of the Afghan Taliban, who had attended ...

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Do you know your Qaaf se Qanoon?

Good things should be appreciated and promoted, a recent example would be Qaaf se Qanoon, a radio-show, launched on ZAB FM 106.6.What this show seeks to do is spread legal literacy amongst the masses. The show is being aired in Karachi every Monday, from 6pm to 7pm. Those living in other cities can listen to the show online on either ZAB FM’s website or on Soundcloud. Qaaf se Qanoon is part of the ‘SZABIST Legal and Research Clinic’; project initiated by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology’s (SZABIST) faculty, current students and alumni. The main purpose of this clinic is to advocate ...

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Billions: Your go-to series for 2016!

Billions is an American drama series created by Showtime. Damian Lewis is starring as Bobby Axe Axelrod, a hotshot billionaire hedge fund mogul. He is seen as a powerful individual overseeing his own capital portfolio management company by the name of Axe Capital. Academy award nominee Paul Giamatti is starring as Chuck Rhoades, a virtuous federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York trying to bring down Axelrod’s empire. It all begins when Chuck Rhoades, through his liaison with FBI, gets wind of information regarding shady transactions and insider trading practices taking place at Axe Capital, through which they make ...

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What if you worked for the most benevolent organisation on earth?

We are all aware that the 21st century presents us with combinations of speed and complexity that we have never seen before. We call it the new normal because the old normal is gone forever. The old way of doing things is not coming back. For most of us, it has been painful. The consequences of new normal are reaching down and having an impact not only on organisations, but on individual employees too. Imagine that you work for the most benevolent organisation on earth – an organisation that believes in and practices fanatical employee support. The organisation has anointed you ...

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Does homosexuality exist in the Urdu ghazal tradition?

The term homosexual was coined in 19th century Europe but its categorisation for the people in the Indian subcontinent had existed long before. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activism emerged in South Asia in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the 1996 Indian-Canadian film Fire, written and directed by Deepa Mehta which starred Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das. This film argued in favour of the legitimacy of lesbian representation in cinema and subsequently, in public discourse. Following this contention, Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai presented an outstanding array of writings on same-sex relationships drawn from two thousand years of Indian literature to highlight the ...

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Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 7 Is she my daughter?

When we returned home, Abbu jee was away on a business trip. It took several years for the three of us to be able to finally sit together as a family, even for meals. I had withdrawn inside myself. All the vivacity and all the questions were gone. Life had answered them all. I got into Northwestern after my senior year and graduated with honours from my high school. If Abba jee was proud, he didn’t say anything. The disappointment I had plated out to him had made all my other accomplishments unpalatable. Ammi jee was happy. She was attempting to move on and I took ...

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Lights, camera, action: Let the (PSL) games begin!

After a long period of waiting, the first edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) finally kicked off in Dubai last night. Stars from Pakistan, Jamaica and America performed their hearts out for a pretty decent sized crowd. As with any cricket league around the world, the ceremony had all the excitement, flair, fashion, glamour and music to provide massive entertainment for the eager audience. Photo: Tribune By the looks of the event, the opening ceremony did extremely well considering this was our first time hosting such an event. Wasim Akram said this has got to be one of ...

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Should we look forward to Nasir Khan’s Bachaana?

We eagerly await the upcoming Lollywood movie, Bachaana, which is set to release this month. Having said that, I recently interviewed the director of this romantic-comedy, to get a clear insight of what to expect from this movie. 1. Tell us about your previous work especially Made in Pakistan “I have always been inclined towards film making and Made in Pakistan was also a step in that direction. I have been focused on making movies my entire life, and the documentary helped me improve as a storyteller. I started with a sitcom Bus Yunhi on HUM TV, and then my telefilm, 14 ...

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Would they have arrested Maulana Abdul Aziz had he been a Virat Kohli fan?

Al Jazeera claims he is possibly the most hated man in Pakistan. Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz; a fiery cleric; said to be the torchbearer of sprawling madrassas, 5000 pupils and 550 teachers strong; co-owner of the militia powered seminary Jamia Hafsa; accused of using religion to serve his politics; allegedly a sympathiser of notorious organisations such as Al-Qaeda, Pakistan Taliban and ISIS. In the late 00s, his Lal Masjid disciples began frighteningly violent acts of arson, vandalism, and kidnapping. In response, security forces hit back with a military operation. Scores died. Eventually, Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz became the subject of a meme when he tried to escape wearing a burqa. In ...

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Kashmir Day does not mean anything to the average Pakistani

Growing up during the turbulent 80s in Karachi, I was never fully aware of the Kashmir issue. As a matter of fact, Kashmir was just a faraway scenic land for most Karachiities. It was largely irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things and it barely evoked sympathy from within us.   A certain event strengthened this notion back in 1989. After my matriculation exams, I was trying to brush up my general knowledge in order to apply for a course in the Pakistan Army. A certain piece of news caught my attention regarding rigging in the General Elections in Occupied Kashmir. This inevitably led to ...

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