Stories published in July, 2016

Only in Karachi can a ‘police officer’ shoot an unarmed innocent civilian like Abrar

Whenever I go abroad, I see that in most cities, policemen are always courteous and helpful, and people are not afraid to go to the police if they are robbed or have a complaint. But not in Karachi. Here, you know that if you ask the police for help, you could end up being robbed by them. I know many people who have been mugged and their houses burgled, but they dare not go to the police for help. In other cities, police officers will never shoot at unarmed men, in fact in some countries the police themselves are not armed. Yet they are ...

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Why is Pakistan allowing an imam to call for jihad against our Shia community?

Immediately after the news of the suicide attack on Masjid-e-Nabwi was released on various TV channels, a local imam of the masjid next to my house thronged to the mike and made a thorny speech against Iran and Shias around the world. The infamous Jamia Masjid Abu Bakar Siddique also has several posters of banned outfits such as Jamaatul Dawa pasted outside its walls. The speech was full of controversies, conspiracies and hatred – and called to capsize the entire population of a minority Muslim sect in Pakistan. His open call for the Shia genocide was based on his logic that the suicide ...

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Should I be scared to play Pokémon Go if I live in Pakistan?

The oft stated relationship between mobile application games and lack of physical activity has been the point of argument to disregard them as productive. For the most part, they’re right; computer games have had an undeniable impact on the physical activity of today’s youth; prompting odd sleeping cycles, unwillingness for social interaction, etc. I speak from experience; I have been hooked to gaming for the most part of my life; I believe the amount of time I’ve spent on gaming in recent years has contributed to weight gain, body image issues, and a general disinterest in real-life socialising, a ...

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Andy Murray – Scruffy Scot primed for top spot?

In another era Andy Murray would have been recognised as a ‘tennis great’ but such is the dominance of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – probably the two greatest players in tennis history – that even winning Wimbledon twice does not guarantee you a place amongst the pantheon of racket legends. Throw in Rafael Nadal and it is clear that Murray has been dealt a tough hand.

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This weekend, the Scot was playing in his 11th Grand Slam final and unarguably for the first time he was the clear favourite, having faced either Djokovic or Federer in the previous 10 finals. Ah! ...

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The Conjuring 2 gave me countless sleepless nights!

If any of you thought that director James Wan’s The Conjuring (2013) was a one-time thing, then you’re wrong. The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist is as scary as its predecessor – if not scarier. In the 2013 prequel, Ed and Lorrain Warren were up against the spirit of an accused witch. In the sequel, they are up against a malicious spirit; something inhuman, something demonic. Vera Farmiga and Patrick WilsonPhoto: IMDb The movie starts with the Warren family documenting the Amityville murders, but then shifts to London in 1977 where the Hodgson family, four children and their mother, discover a strange presence in ...

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Portugal’s victory in Euro 2016 proved that the whole is greater than the one!

The final of the European Championships took place in Paris, France, with Ronaldo’s Portugal against a resolute French team that had thumped Iceland in the quarter finals and edged past Germany in the semis. France were the absolute favourites to win the cup; indeed, it hadn’t been expected that Portugal would even reach the final. History was on Didier Deschamp’s side as Portugal had never beaten France in a major tournament and had only beaten France five times in 24 meetings, with a massive defeats-total of 19 games. However, the Portuguese were slightly more rested than the hosts, and would ...

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It’s mourning in Kashmir

My confusion regarding whether the explosions were Eid crackers or gunshots was short-lived; slogans followed the shots, which are a rarity in the uptown area of Srinagar, where I live. I rushed downstairs to hear my father announce that Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander, had been killed in an encounter. My mother looked at me in a way that suggested she needed to hear it wasn’t true. I didn’t know yet. I quickly checked my phone and saw missed calls from my friends and fellow journalists. Sheikh Saaliq, who works with Hindustan Times had called. Kyah chu karun (what do we do). Between the shock and ...

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Thari culture, palla fish, Bombay bakery and my meethi journey through rural Sindh

Quiet recently, I joined a small group of close friends on a trip to Tharparkar, Sindh. The three of us reached Karachi by air and went to Hyderabad by road, where two other group members joined us. The five of us started our journey to Tharparkar via Badin. Our first stop was at Mithi, the district headquarters, where we experienced the first taste of hospitality by a Hindu friend’s family, who despite being vegetarians had prepared meat for us with various other delicious vegetables. After enjoying the scrumptious meal, we continued our journey onwards to Nangarparkar. On our way to Nangarparkar we ...

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The Secret Life of Pets is fun, but it’s not clever

What do you get when you mix Toy Story, arguably the greatest animated movie ever, with talking canines? Voila! I present you with the latest animated venture from Illumination Entertainment, The Secret Life of Pets. Proceedings start off with the likeable terrier Max (Louis CK), his neighbour Gidget (Jenny Slate), and the finicky fat cat Chloe (Lake Bell). Max (Louis CK)Photo: IMDb Gidget (Jenny Slate)Photo: IMDb Chloe (Lake Bell)Photo: IMDb The narrative kicks into gear when Max’s owner, brings home a new pooch for Max to be buds with – the oversized and ...

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I am sorry I didn’t beat cancer

Yep, sorry, my apologies, with a diagnosis of metastasis four months ago, I didn’t beat cancer. Every one said, “You are going to beat it” Some said, “If anyone can, you can!!” They cheered me on as I endured one treatment after another and I kept fighting “like a girl”. I was told I will kick cancer’s a** and will show cancer who is the boss. I rode the wave of positivity and determination. I believed that I will beat it too. I thrived on the fantasy of the cancer submitting to my will and strength. Songs, inspirational quotes, memes, greeting cards ...

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