Stories published in March, 2016

Trump’s hate-mongering will not have the last laugh

Hate, war and fear-mongering are the words that aptly describe the 2016 Republican presidential campaign with Donald Trump being the star of the show. Yes, Trump, the same individual who has pushed the electoral process to disastrous limits and pulled the very concept of democracy to deepest of bizarrely disruptive depths never witnessed in modern US history. Growing up we were told not to run our mouths. It appears Trump’s elders never taught him basic etiquettes of life. Loose lips sink ships and through his verbal dysentery, Trump has created a volcanically toxic environment unleashing spirits that make people wonder if this is what American democracy has ...

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Is Pakistan okay with its houbara bustards being hunted to benefit “foreign policy”?

Consider this:  1. A sovereign government – despite being a signatory to international treaties protecting endangered species – issues permits to Arab royalty to hunt an endangered species of bird within its borders as a way of staying on good terms with the royals. 2. Locals rejoice because thousands are employed to wait on these lavish expeditions of the royals, who, in turn, will finance the building of local hospitals, educational institutions, mosques and religious seminaries. This is what is currently happening in Pakistan. Although the construction purported to be financed is being questioned by some, Arab money is definitely benefiting some in the country ...

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Why did Mustafa Kamal turn his back on MQM?

In the first week of March, when Karachi was approaching its colourful tea festival, Mustafa Kamal returned to Karachi from Dubai. Mustafa Kamal is not an unknown name, especially in Karachi, where he was the City Nazim from 2005-2010. He was nominated to this post by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and was affiliated with the party for almost 28 years. He left the party when he was serving as MQM senator in the Pakistan senate. During his time as City Nazim, Mustafa Kamal was able to complete many projects with the help of MQM’s supporters and workers. Without their support, the projects ...

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I was not allowed to enter Memon Mosque in Karachi, because I am a woman

A beautiful combination of chaos and serenity: yes, you are now in the most picturesque area of Karachi. An extension of Saddar town escalates towards the lighthouse, a grandiose Memon Mosque situated along the way. I had always seen this huge structure of reds while passing my route to college. I found myself thoroughly intrigued by the long bearded men who would come out of the high floral grilled gate in flocks of white kurtas and shalwars rolled up. A knack for photography has always had me attracted towards architecture that has history attached to it. One fine summer afternoon, following the hues of ...

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Kung Fu Panda 3: As fantastic as the first two

Some animated characters remain with us even after years of their first appearance in a movie. Case in point: Po, the fun-loving Kung Fu fighting panda – the antagonist of the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Even after Po’s debut appearance, in the first part of the Kung Fu Panda movie series in 2008, the series still have novel offerings for the audience with each of the sequels that followed. With the release of Kung Fu Panda 3, viewers went on another adventure with Po (Jack Black) and his friends, Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), Master Viper (Lucy Liu), ...

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Using Tinder is not very different from having an arranged marriage

Growing up in a city as beautiful as Islamabad, can sometimes be a challenge. You run to the store to buy a bottle of milk, with your hair tied up in a bun, wearing flip flops and you bump into the cutest guy from your class. You get me? The struggle to find privacy is real. Introduce the multi-million dollar dating app Tinder to this scenario and imagine the consequences. Here you were looking for the love of your life swiping away that you suddenly saw your Phupi ka beta! (Aunt’s son) Imagine the horror! But what’s more horrific is when certain ...

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The ugly truth about Muslims in New York

Recently, when I took the subway in New York my heart skipped a beat when I saw a poster that showed the Empire State Building on one side and on the other it said, in bold print, “The ugly truth about Muslims”. Below this, in fine print it continued, “Muslims have great frittata recipes.” My expression changed from shock to a wide smile. Photo: AP New York’s subway stations are flooded with “The Muslims Are Coming” advertisements designed to shock and thereby catch the attention of millions of commuters. Other posters indicate that Muslim-invented coffee, algebra and ...

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Series 3 The Little Princess Part 3 Nothing short of a tyrant

What came next was an eternity in hell. Her mother’s screams still pierce the air around her house. After what seemed like an eternity, the noises died out. The house seemed empty. Ammarah knew her mother was dead. Without hearing any gun shots or seeing her die, she knew her mother was no more. She didn’t cry though. With bone dry eyes and a scratchy throat, Ammarah attempted to climb down to her mother. She slipped several times. She steadied herself. The sight that met her eyes was beyond every explanation. There is an emotion beyond horror. It is beyond ...

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Is it safe to eat chicken in Pakistan?

Heated debates have been taking place on various forums revolving around the topic of hormones being used in chicken production. As a professional in the field of poultry, I find this assumption to be quite confusing to be honest. What has led to this sudden suspicion though? Is it because people have become more health conscious or have they suddenly realised chickens have become bigger? These beliefs stem from a lack of knowledge and inaccurate information being passed around and everyone conveniently links it to the rapid growth of broiler chickens (domesticated fowl, bred and raised specifically for meat production). People in general feel ...

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The magical powers of a Pakistani fan

Where is all the hysteria, the passion, the flair that once filled every Pakistani’s heart, and house, as soon as news was released of the national cricket team travelling for a major cricket series, like the ICC World T20? Since when have we started supporting our team based on their logical chances of winning? We have never won a tournament when we enter as the favourites and yet we won in 1992, and then again in 2009 when we were least expected to. We are unpredictable and it is time to support the mysterious Pakistani team once again! The beauty ...

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