Stories published in February, 2016

Should Apple give the FBI access to all our iPhones?

Considering how public opinion can sway important legal matters, there is perhaps nothing more perilous than irresponsible journalism. Unfortunately, in an age where click-bait is the name of the game, reporters unfamiliar with their subject matter often spread misinformation. This, sadly, is especially true for information technology. You may have recently heard from various news sources that Apple previously ‘unlocked’ iPhones for the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) ‘70 times’. Some even claimed that Apple is refusing to do so now as part of a marketing strategy. This has also been gleefully echoed by the FBI itself. Some of the sources ...

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I asked him if he saw anyone taking a body or crying. He hadn’t.

It was a cold, windy morning in January, when I left my house in Karachi to embark on a 350-kilometre journey to Mithi, the district headquarter of Tharpakar. My unwavering excitement for the trip rid me of any sleep the night before. Even the scenery along the route was so ruthlessly captivating that I couldn’t catch a wink on the way either. My team and I drove on smooth roads along vast agriculture fields and large industries. However, I would have enjoyed the scenery a lot more had my mind not been preoccupied with thoughts of the mass deaths of children and the ...

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Congratulations, Pakistan, on hosting a phenomenally successful PSL!

It came, it started and it conquered the hearts of millions, in our nation and beyond. The Pakistan Super League (PSL) finally concluded last night and what an ending it was. It was, arguably, the biggest and most colourful cricketing event ever held in the history of this country. PSL was an event which many thought would not kick off and an event that was continuously bombarded with criticism from all directions during its inception stage. But PSL’s success proved everybody wrong. I’m pretty sure its success may have even surprised its financial backers. Speaking of surprises, the winners of the ...

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The lost Jewish history of Rawalpindi

While roaming the streets of Babu Mohallah, one singles out this old yellow building with its distinct features. The abundance of old and new buildings of Nishtar Street fails to overshadow the tall, three story building with peculiar texture and strong colonial features. What makes this old yellowish facade even more intriguing is the Star of David’s situated on its top that have survived almost a century despite the predisposed hatred and revulsion. The building, former coal centre and the present Rehman Manzil, is the only intact Jewish architecture in Rawalpindi.  Rawalpindi, a 1000 BC historical city, General Headquarters of Pakistan ...

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Why is it okay for a man to do household chores in India, but not in Pakistan?

There’s all this hype about gender stereotypes. Men feel they’re being blamed unfairly and women feel they’re being wronged. And in this entire hullabaloo, we have feminist movements, academics and celebrities pushing for equality of the sexes. The word equality carries a lot of weight and varies from person to person. For some it may mean breaking the glass ceiling while for others it could be men sharing chores at home. A heart moving advertisement, from across the border, manages to make viewers question these particular stereotypes. Sometimes advertisements can be a bit exaggerated, but this particular ad strikes a nerve. Why? Because ...

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Zoolander 2: Too many cooks spoil the broth!

Fashion icons, catwalks, style statements, and cameo appearances run wild in Zoolander 2, the sequel to Zoolander (2001). Ben Stiller reprises his role of Derek Zoolander, a silly male model while Owen Wilson returns as Hansel McDonald, another male model who was Derek’s arch nemesis in Zoolander but becomes his best friend in the sequel. Stiller has appeared in notable movies including There’s Something About Mary (1998) Mystery Men (1999), Meet the Parents (2000), Meet the Fockers (2004), Starsky & Hutch (2004), Night at the Museum (2006) and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) giving stellar performances in each ...

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Despite all his flaws, all his negativity, all his divisiveness, Trump leads

He is arrogant. He is divisive. He offers nothing but gloom, but America loves him for it. He was born rich and has grown richer by expanding to China and Mexico, but the Americans do not care.  Americans flock to his rallies in huge numbers. Overwhelmingly white, his crowd is frustrated with the country’s first black President. They’re fearful over being potentially displaced by minorities and immigrants, and feel nostalgic in memory of the way America used to be. Donald J Trump has tapped into these fears and anxieties, and he has thrived. ‘J’ for genius. Ronald Reagan offered America a ...

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Why is Punjabi viewed as an inferior language?

The car paused at a busy signal and as I was fidgeting with my rings, a colourful banner caught my attention. It read ‘goongay Punjab apni zaban mangda’ (the deaf and mute Punjab seeks its language). This statement brought back so many memories. February 21st is celebrated as the International Mother Language Day. This celebration holds very significant, at the same time, conflicting and tormenting memories in my mind. It started with pain, but eventually evolved into something beautiful. Punjabi is my maa boli (mother tongue) and it was the only language I was taught when I was a child. My father loved ...

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Five times the Quetta Gladiators vs Peshawar Zalmi match made our hearts melt

If there was one team in the on-going Pakistan Super League (PSL) that deserved to be in the finals, it was the Quetta Gladiators. It was evident from their performances in the league, and yet again against the Peshawar Zalmis on Saturday night. The first playoff between the top two teams was always going to be one of the best encounters of the inaugural season. However, there were some key moments that stood out for cricket fans. Here are these moments from the Zalmi versus Gladiators ball-thriller that won our hearts:  1. A full house in Dubai Cricket Stadium After a couple of PSL matches, ...

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Why won’t you let NAB do it’s job, Nawaz Sharif?

Dear Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Until recently, you had nothing against NAB investigating and arresting those who did not belong to your party. But recently you lost your cool and came down hard upon this organisation for “harassing government officers” and you said that you would “clip its wings”. Apparently, you did not want any investigation of corruption in projects like the LNG, Metro Bus, Orange Train and LDA City. Why? You may be under the impression that being in government gives you the freedom to do whatever you want and violate all or most of the rules. You seem to believe that ...

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