Stories published in July, 2016

A day in the life of a Pokémon Go addict in Karachi

When everyone around me started playing Pokémon Go, and it was all over social media, I couldn’t quite comprehend what all the hype was about, and I was curious to find out. It was my friend that got me to finally download it and test it out for myself.

What started off as a trial suddenly turned into an obsession. What makes Pokémon Go so interesting is that it actually uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect exactly where and when you are playing the game. Pokémon begin to appear around you.
As you move around, different types of Pokémon appear depending ...

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Is China justified in rejecting the UN tribunal award on its claims over the South China Sea?

The United Nation’s appointed ‘Permanent Court of Arbitration’ has rejected China’s claims over the South China Sea, as well as the Islands within it. In a landmark judgment, delivered on Tuesday, the arbitration court found that China had no historical rights over the waters of the South China Sea and had violated the Philippines sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone by, 1. Interfering with Philippine fishing and petroleum exploration, 2. Constructing artificial islands and, 3. Failing to prevent Chinese fishermen from fishing in the zone. The tribunal had also claimed that fishermen from the Philippines (like those from China) had traditional fishing rights at ...

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The most blissful crumbly chocolate chip cookies you will ever have

I’ve always been fond of eating chocolate chip cookies throughout my childhood and have had an uncanny appreciation or rather obsession with the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. In my opinion, the perfect cookie has to taste downright blissful upon the first bite, crumble as you slowly savour the taste and leave you in a state of pure delight as you lick the chocolate chip stains from your fingers. These cookies are inspired by the legendary Levain Bakery, in New York City, chocolate chip cookies. Legend has it, if you visit Levain once, you’ll always be yearning to return. Till then, ...

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Remembering Edhi Sahab

The banks of Neelum River, surrounded by the mountains of Kashmir Valley, may seem like an incongruous place to mourn Abdul Sattar Edhi – but I had little choice. That is where I received the news of his demise thanks to a lady who, after finding out that I am from Karachi, immediately asked me if I was going to his funeral. Shocked, I retired to a lonely spot and then the location didn’t seem so strange after all. Like the eternally flowing waters and high mountains Edhi Sahab was inspiring. His life, like these living natural monuments was gigantic, deep and ...

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Dear Mom, I love you, but please stop forcing marriage on me

Dear Mom, You are an inspirational woman and someday I wish I could even be a fraction of who you are. But there’s one thing I don’t want to adopt from you and that is your approach towards marriage. I know you and your sisters got married in your teens because that was the correct thing to do back then and still is for most people. But you brought me up different, you made me believe education is something I should value and you encouraged me to be more confident and outspoken. I grew up with you constantly saying, “If you receive a ‘good’ proposal, ...

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Will Pakistan’s batting line-up be able to survive the English bowling attack at Old Trafford?

With Mohammad Amir shackling the stumps of Jake Ball to wrap up a famous Test victory in Pakistan’s cricketing folklore – a few of us are sceptical of the chances the green shirts might have to give the English team – especially their bowlers – a hard time in the forthcoming Tests. Mushtaq Ahmed says Mohammad Amir (pictured) was nervous at Lord’s.Photo: AFP Yes, you have the jurisdiction to celebrate your success but not at the cost of not learning from your cathartic failures – especially those at the openers’ slot. Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat, ...

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My top ten memories of Pakistan

Three years is not much time in which to learn about a society as diverse, complex, and fascinating as Pakistan. However, for foreign diplomats, it is a fairly long tour. As I leave, I wanted to share with the Express Tribune readers what I hope will be an interesting and unique perspective on this great country; on some of the things that we, in the American government, have done with our Pakistani partners; and, of some of the things I have most appreciated during my time here. 1. Viewing Mughal Architecture I have lived in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan off and on ...

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Boys will be boys but Qandeel was defiant – so she must be eliminated

The first video I watched of Qandeel Baloch was shared by a friend on his Facebook wall. She was clad in a skimpy grey dress showing off her voluptuous curves. Swaying suggestively and looking straight into the camera she said, “I’m 99% sure you hate me but I’m a 100% sure not even my shoe gives a damn about it.”

In one fell swoop she not only fully asserted herself as a sexual being – a space denied to women in our society – but cocked a snook at everyone unwilling to acknowledge her agency. I instantly fell in love ...

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Is it time to celebrate democracy in Turkey?

I have lately been a frequent critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his increasingly authoritarian government. But a military regime, like the kind a group of coup-plotters tried to bring about on Friday night, would have been not only illegitimate but also far more repressive and bloody. The people of Turkey, including many of Mr Erdogan’s political opponents, rightly rejected that. So has democracy carried the day in Turkey? It’s still too early to tell. There are many lessons to be taken from this astonishing episode. First of all, this is not the old Turkey anymore, where tanks could take ...

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The only country ‘sponsoring terrorism’ is the United States of America

News is meant to be serious and, apparently, so are the legal proceedings attended by lawmakers. Unfortunately, in our country, parliamentary proceedings are exceedingly boring but funny; not because of the content but because of the kind of characters who inhabit our parliament. A great example is Shah Sahib’s sadness at the murder of Junaid Jamshed which sparked a round of hilarious memes. What tickles my funny bone even more is when lawmakers abroad have long discussions about something absolutely absurd or condemning actions which their country is itself involved in. A recent example of this happened last week ...

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