Stories published in May, 2016

Son of Saul: A new light to the Holocaust

Son of Saul (2015) is the tale of a Hungarian Jewish prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. He is forced to work as a ‘Sonderkommando’ in disposing the bodies of Jewish prisoners in gas chambers. Upon discovering a body of a young Jewish boy, Saul realises that this might be his son and from then on, searches for a Rabbi to give his ‘son’ a proper Jewish burial. The film is the feature directing debut of László Nemes and stars Géza Röhrig as the lead. Son of Saul won the Academy Award this year for Best Foreign Film and has ...

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With the army brought in to handle our players’ fitness, what are we paying our ‘experts’ for?

It seems the fate of our country lies in the hands of our soldiers; be it in a state of war or amidst a political crisis. Whenever rains flood our land, the army is called upon to take care of the victims. Whenever an earthquake jolts a part of our country, the army shows up as saviours. In other words, the army has always been and, unfortunately, will continue to be the Batman of Pakistan. But most of us would never have, even in our wildest dreams, thought that our cricket team would be handed over to the army to help improve the lads’ ...

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With Vietnam’s astonishing human rights record, is lifting the arms embargo a smart call?

President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Vietnam and his monumental full removal of the arms embargo was a clear signal that the leader of the free world will not be content with adopting a laid-back approach in his final year in office. He’s alive and kicking and means business! While the race for the White House gets nastier by the day, the president carries on strongly spreading goodwill and doing damage control as much as he possibly can both at home and abroad. Every nation has its own foreign policy goals and the US is no exception. Those goals may not necessarily fundamentally agree with the aspirations of other ...

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Inder Vineet was a 10-year-old Pakistani Hindu and he was drowned in Hyderabad club

April 13th was the perfect day for 10-year-old Inder Vineet to go for a swim. His father had finally become a member of the Hyderabad Club, only after Inder had begged him a million times to do so. He had, at last, gotten his wish – one that he had waited for a long while. He could learn how to swim now. On Wednesday, Inder left home around 3:45pm for his third swimming lesson. When Inder arrived at the club he was told to leave, perhaps, the pool was closed. But when Inder was heading back, he was called back by two men, ...

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You are willing to ban Udaari, but are you willing to jail the man who molested me?

It was a paralysing scene; a moment where lust, hunger and greed, all were entwined. It was when Imtiaz held Zebo’s little hands – a gesture which was seemingly innocent and affectionate, but paradoxically brought to light his malicious intent. His lingering gaze on the child, and his words with sexual undertones immediately replaced the gentle loving father with a man falling prey to his own animalistic traits. This was all PEMRA could take, and me too. Our reasons, of course, were different; for PEMRA it was truth-overdose. For me, it brought back memories. My eyes were transfixed on the screen, but ...

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10 horribly lame excuses people make when you ask them to travel within Pakistan

I have been travelling all across Pakistan for a few years now. It’s feasible for me to travel within the country considering my low budget and nominal income, as travelling within Pakistan compared to travelling abroad is cheaper, and believe it or not – it’s safe too. My admirers appreciate my lifestyle as I explore the diversity and beauty of Pakistan. They express their desire on wanting to experience the same adventure, yet come up with excuses not to, and end up travelling abroad instead. Excuses like, my dog ate my homework! Not literally, but their excuses fall under the same ...

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Alisha was treated outside a lavatory – shame on you, Peshawar

Like any other people, all the transgender community wants is to live with dignity. But in Pakistan, dignity for this sexual minority is almost impossible to find. From birth to their death beds, they are ostracised as if they are the bearers of some invisible disease. Forced to live with their own communities, forced to take menial jobs or to beg on the streets, forced to put up with mental and physical abuse, forced to deal with sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape, from their fellow citizens or even those tasked with protecting them, the transgender people of Pakistan ...

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Hotal is entirely an intolerable piece of hogwash

Hotal, the work of a New York Film Academy graduate, Khalid Hasan Khan, offered nothing surreal and nothing to write home about. Even though he won the Best Film award for his debut psycho-thriller at the Delhi International Film Festival 2014, his movie Hotal failed in many aspects. The lack of continuity, an insubstantial plot, and frequent editing bloopers served as serious mistakes that made the movie an extremely horrendous watch for the viewers. Hotal revolves around Kashika (Meera) and her wish to give birth to a daughter while her husband Naresh (Humayun Gilani) absolutely does not want to have another daughter. ...

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Did Louis Van Gaal’s failed philosophy cost him his job?

Almost two years ago, Louis van Gaal (LvG) was the centre of attention at the biggest football event on the planet – the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the build-up to Netherlands crucial semi-final game against Argentina, BBC Sports justified Louis van Gaal being labelled as the tactical genius. No one would have thought that in two years’ time, the same man would be heavily criticised and eventually sacked for the very tactics that were once glorified. France’s 2-0 friendly win over the Netherlands in March prompted a tactical rethink by Van Gaal.Photo: Getty Images Van Gaal’s announcement as the new Manchester ...

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Why are Pakistani authorities silent over Mullah Mansoor’s death?

The second amir of the Taliban, Mullah Mansoor, has been dispatched to the hereafter by a hellfire missile fired from a Reaper drone or so claim the Americans. Others can neither confirm nor deny. Our own government is going through the same old motions. Denial. Conveniently a passport has been found unscathed. It is amazing how sturdy and fantastically fire-proof the material Pakistani passports are made of. If nothing else, this shows true ingenuity. Our passport might be considered the second or third worst passport in the world, but at least it can survive a drone attack. Imagine the potential. ...

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