Stories published in June, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: #KeepTheSecrets

(Warning: Minor spoilers ahead) The wait is over! Harry Potter fans rejoiced as the first premier performance of JK Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took place on Tuesday and Thursday in London. The long anticipated play which continues from the conclusion of the seventh book focuses on the children of Harry and Ginny, Hermione and Ron, and the much-disliked Draco Malfoy. The play has been divided into two parts, with each part at least two and a half hours long. The official synopsis of the play stated: “It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t ...

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Is it time for Roger Federer to retire?

To say that Roger Federer has had an illustrious career in tennis is perhaps an understatement. His accomplishments in the sport have caused him to be regarded by many as the greatest tennis player of all time. His career endeavours have even given birth to speculations that Federer, the brand, has become bigger than the game of tennis itself. Similar to Federer, every sport has a legend who transcends the boundaries of being just a sportsperson and reach a god-like status; being adored and ‘worshipped’ by sports-crazed fan all across the globe. Myths are weaved around the mortal human whose ...

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Being a Syed-zaadi wasn’t a matter of pride for me, it was a curse!

I was born into a Syed family. Since childhood, I’ve been told that this is a blessing as we are the direct descendants of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, all Syed girls had a status equivalent to that of mothers of Ummah. Thus, it was forbidden for us to even consider marrying a non-Syed man. Everyone called the girls of our family bibi jee and, while growing up, this was a matter of pride for me. I was in my early teens when I first realised that there were a number of unmarried women in our family, belonging to all age groups. Due to family ...

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Why is Pakistan asking a foreign supplier to build our electronic voting machines?

Elections in Pakistan are going electronic. No announcement has been made yet but two tenders released last month by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suggest that this is the way the country is going. In one tender the ECP would ask vendors to bid for 300 biometric verification machines (BVM). These will be tried out during the by-elections. If successful, the winning bidder will get an order for 300,000 machines for use in the general elections. The second tender is for 400 electronic voting machines (EVM) followed, in the event of a successful trial, by 300,000 machines for the ...

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Whether the victim is a man or woman, acid attacks are no laughing matter

A terrible incident took place in Multan a few days ago when a young person was attacked with acid, suffering burns on over 50 per cent of their body. Usually – as much as 80 per cent, in fact – when an acid attack takes place in the country, the victim is a woman. In this case, though, the genders were reversed. The victim, a 24-year-old man, had been invited over by a 36-year-old woman to her house. I am sure there is more to it than this, but the woman, who apparently was already married and the mother of ...

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Dylan Roof was not termed a terrorist, but Omar Mateen is?

In the aftermath of Orlando shooting, Muslims and Islam have come under the spotlight again. There can be no denying that there are a number of problems in the way Muslims interpret Islam and its injunctions and how these are to be implemented in the modern world – where inevitably one has to interact with people of different points of view, many of which may be antithetical to those Islamic injunctions. The issue of dealing with the LGBTQ community is one such challenge that Muslims have to confront themselves with. Muslims have to realise that killing off people for having ...

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Making India an NSG member state will be a mistake

Recently, India initiated efforts to become a member state of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Correspondingly, Pakistan — in an attempt to subdue India — has also submitted an application in its desire to join the club. However, both countries don’t meet the prerequisites to join the NSG. I personally believe that Pakistan needs to focus on stability rather than gaining access to this group. NSG restricts the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling nuclear commerce. India, the fastest growing economy in the world, has a huge population and an enormous demand for energy. It has various domestic nuclear industries that require international exposure ...

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Pelé sells his history, but remains in ours

Sometimes, it’s not enough being a legend. Pelé, the first global superstar of football has auctioned his entire collection of awards and memorabilia for five million dollars including what he won as FIFA’s player of the century. It can’t be easy letting this treasure go, Pelé was still in his teens when he won the first of his three world champion titles and now at the age of 75 will see strangers holding his trophies. Pelé insists that he wants his fans to own a piece of his history and will be donating proceeds to the largest paediatric hospital in Brazil. Memorabilia will also be given to the ...

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Did we make Omar Mateen a self-hating gay man?

What happened in Orlando is a terrible tragedy. Innocent people were massacred and now the blame game begins, with accusations and counter accusations, but some serious soul searching needs to be done by several groups. While the gun lobby is relieved that the shooter wasn’t a white right wing, gay hating, fringe extremist, it is relevant that he had licensed weapons, despite being on the FBI radar. America must question the ease with which it allows people to access such lethal weapons. Is the right to bear arms still relevant in this day and age of dialling 911 and proactive ...

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Naan khatai, the biscuits that make tea time Pakistani

I always remember our house being well stocked with biscuits. There were the regular and perfectly shaped ones from cardboard boxes that included Peek Freans Peanut Pik with slightly soft peanuts; cumin laced Click and the plain Marie. Lu brand biscuits were crisper and more interesting. The scalloped shape of Prince Chocolate Sandwiches was akin to laser cut paper doilies. A snack pack of these often graced my school lunchbox. Candi, a brown sugar biscuit had little bits of caramelised sugar. Gala usually made an appearance when we had guests as they had a dainty design and a richer ...

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