Stories published in July, 2016

The one chant that India has been unable to gag; “Hum kya chahtey… azaadi”

Kashmir is back to square one; the killing spree has begun once again and there seems to be no way out. After killing approximately 120 peaceful protesters in 2010, of which half were teenagers, this year, the Indian forces have not only begun a killing spree, but a blinding spree as well. With the help of lethal pellet guns, introduced to Kashmir through British expeditioners who used them for hunting, they forces have ended up blinding numerous individuals.   If you are not already aware, the intensity of a pellet gun is monstrous – one shot sends nearly 600 high velocity lead ball bearings. At ...

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In India, a dead cow is more precious than the life of a Dalit or Muslim

An image can be a commentary on the state of affairs. The image of the four Dalit men stripped down and beaten with sticks for trying to skin a dead cow, by the alleged Hindu fanatic group in Una – a town in the western Indian state of Gujarat – narrates a very sorry state of affairs for India today. Members of Gau Rakshak Sena (Cow Protection Army) not only humiliated the members of the socially marginalised Dalit community, but, in a brazen manner, they made a video of the whole episode to show off their temerity to act without fear. ...

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Wham bam, thanks but no thanks Sam!

Love him or loathe him, Sam Allardyce aka Big Sam is never far from the headlines. This after all is the same guy who bizarrely had designs on conquering the sport with his unique (read Neanderthal) style of football. “I’m not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid. It wouldn’t be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time. Give me Manchester United or Chelsea and I would do the same, it wouldn’t be a problem.” ...

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The struggle has paid off – the Pakistani film industry is finally awake

There is certain redemption in resurgence. A feeling of hope and of renewal, of things starting anew, of setting the old wrongs right. Pakistani cinema has come up by leaps and bounds in the last few years. From a struggling franchise engulfed in out-dated ideas desperately clinging on in order to survive and become a booming industry reminiscent of the golden days and a slight peek into the wondrous possibilities that lie ahead. Pakistani cinema has finally arrived and as a keen devotee of this resurrection it is apparent that the film industry is here to stay. Although the current situation resembles ...

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Who is behind Karachi’s water shortage?

Pakistan ranks 80 amongst 122 nations regarding the quality of our drinking water. Although Karachi is situated on the eastern coast of the Arabian Sea, its residents continue to face a severe shortage of water. Due to the onset of summer, Karachites face an acute shortage of water because of the negligence of our ruling elite. It is tragic that ever since Pakistan’s inception, the authorities have still not been able to form a single policy that ensures a consistent supply of water. Unfortunately, neither of the strategies currently present can regulate the alarming water situation in our country; hence we continue to ...

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Madaari: A genre juggling act that turned into a complete circus

‘Baaz choozay pe jhapta, use utha le gaya. Kahaani sacchi lagti hai magar acchi nahi lagti. Baaz pe palat waar hua, kahaani sacchi nahi lagti magar acchi lagti hai.’ Madaari opens up with this wildlife wisdom in Irrfan Khan’s resonant voiceover narrating a little tale about the struggle between a hawk and a chick. “When a bird of prey”, he says, “pounces upon a hatchling, the story sounds real but it isn’t stirring enough. “But when the ill-fated ‘chooza strikes back at the ‘baaz’, that is when the proceedings get rousing,” he asserts, “regardless of how incredulous the fable might sound.” What happens ...

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Karachi, you used to be home

I walk out of the plane and I’m hit with humidity, heat, and a smell that I can’t even describe with words. This is home. The airport is packed as I trudge my way to get my overweight, large suitcases. My eyes are watering, my hair is in a state, and my clothes that seemed so loose back in Rome are suddenly sticking to me as the gaze of almost every male present follows me in a carnal manner.  This is home. I try and relax as I look at the out-dated conveyor belt slowly moving bag after bag until I finally see my own. I push ...

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Can Pakistan’s president house host its Ahmadi citizens on an Eid celebration?

There are over three million (1% of the United States population) Muslims living in America. Even though anti-Muslim animus is generally on the rise across the country, President Obama has increasingly stood up for the Muslim American community. He has passionately promoted pluralism and diversity in the United States and vouches for religious tolerance world over. In his latest show of solidarity and outreach, the president held a White House reception to celebrate Eidul Fitr with Muslim American leaders and activists. Muslims from all sects came together to celebrate one of Islam’s holiest days in one of the nation’s most significant landmarks. This was a feat of unity and ...

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Erdogan is to Turkey what Ziaul Haq is to Pakistan

When Recep Tayyip Erdogan recited the following verses whilst serving as the Mayor of Istanbul back in 1999; “The mosques are our barracks, The domes our helmets, The minarets our bayonets, And the faithful our soldiers…” Turkish citizens should have known better than to vote him in as prime minister for 11 consecutive years, and eventually, the president of Turkey. Known to the world of politics since decades, Erdogan isn’t a stranger to how the political clock ticks. He created the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2001, which raised him to unprecedented heights. To date, his status within the party remains ...

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What went wrong for Pakistan at Old Trafford?

Pakistan succumbed to a distressing defeat at the hands of England at Old Trafford. England was clinical in all three departments, Pakistan were equally mediocre and the disparities were embarrassingly obvious. Surely an anti-climax after the much-awaited restoration of honour at Lord’s, Pakistan was reminded that their honeymoon period was over.  Pakistan succumbed to a distressing defeat at the hands of England at Old Trafford.Photo: AFP While it would be sinful to completely downplay Pakistan’s valiant effort at Lord’s, Pakistan was bailed out by some individual brilliant efforts and Misbahul Haq had to come to the rescue, ...

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