Stories published in August, 2016

Pakistan Cricket Board’s case of the missing Usmans

Unpredictability is the word that best describes what drives the daily operations in Pakistan cricket. Players touted to be “the next big thing” get sucked into doldrums of financial constraints or fitness issues, inevitably resulting in them having to give up cricket entirely. Three players with similar names and twists of fate came onto the scene with great intent and promise but eventually went missing without logical reasoning. Usman Khan Shinwari When the selection committee announced his name in the T20I squad for the series against Sri Lanka, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates, Usman Shinwari was a name unknown to many. Hailing ...

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I fell in love with Pakistani art in New York City

Pakistan has once again made headlines in New York City, but this time it’s for a good reason. Go Figureis a group show of young aspiring artists from Pakistan, showcased at Aicon Art Gallery in the East Village area of the city. The prospect of meeting Pakistani artists and art lovers in the city kept me excited for days before the inauguration. The show was exceptionally well curated, displaying highly imaginative illustrative, graphic and sensual work. Photo: Hassan Majeed Photo: Hassan Majeed On the opening night of art shows in New York, art-loving crowds ...

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In defence of Ziaul Haq

Pakistan’s liberal classes revile no other figure as much as Ziaul Haq. To them, he is the embodiment of whatever ails Pakistani society today. They put the onus of Pakistani Taliban on that sole grave under the shade of Faisal Mosque. They are quite virulent in their protests that Pakistani society became intolerant and vastly more Islamist solely due to him. Perhaps they forget that the marde-momin mard-e-haq did not declare Ahmadis non-Muslims: Bhutto did. Sadly, the man cannot even take credit for banning alcohol and gambling: Bhutto did. The Objectives Resolution of 1949, calling for the creation of an Islamic rather than a secular Republic, was passed when Zia was a mere Major in the army, with no ...

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Does Rustom pronounce Akshay Kumar guilty for disappointing his fans?

Akshay Kumar is the definition of a multifaceted Bollywood star; not because he gives repeated box office hits, but because he never hesitates to pair up with new directors and their teams. This requires aptitude and confidence – traits that very few superstars possess. This is Akshay Kumar’s third release in 2016 (after Airlift and Housefull 3) and it’s completely disparate from his previous endeavours. Will he be able to pull a hat trick this year? Rustom is Dharmendra Suresh Desai’s second film (the first was 1920 London, which was released a few months back). Was Akshay able to pull off the show under Desai’s direction? Let’s explore what Rustom has ...

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Before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, Pakistan had bathroom walls

Long before Pakistanis vented their frustrations out on Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp, there was another social networking platform where they would speak their minds; the walls of public bathrooms. You may have a brief sojourn at your favourite motorway stop, a loo in a college or one of those rare public rest-rooms that your rulers kindly allowed you to have. All you needed to do was have a look at the wall and there they were: the hopes and the fears, the laughs and the hatred, the good and the bad of a society constantly ruminating over their existential woes in the most ...

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Are there too many cooks in Coke Studio’s broth?

It’s that time of the year again, when the most anticipated musical project of the country hits our screens and is seen dodging the pressure of incredulous expectations attached to it. Coke Studio is back with its ninth season and will stick around for the next two months – all the while retaining an essential chunk of our national narrative. People will love it, hate it, love to hate it, and hate to love it – but everyone agrees there’s nothing quite like Coke Studio. Here are my two cents on the first episode of the current season. 1. Sasu ...

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Pakistan and India should celebrate independence from the British – not from each other

Sometime back I ran into an elderly man at work. Since I live in an area of Canada that is densely populated with immigrants from Indian Punjab, I knew the gentleman was from India. After I was done helping him out, he looked at my name-tag and asked me what part of India I was from. I told him I was from Pakistan, not India. A wide smile appeared on his face, and he asked me what city of Pakistan I belonged to. After I mentioned that I was from Lahore, his smile grew even wider as he got teary-eyed. ...

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Dear Forever 21 and Urban Oufitters, please stop plagiarising our Sindhi cultural heritage

As someone who lived the majority of her life in a city packed with diverse cultures, I love and thoroughly enjoy indulging in food, jewellery, and clothing from various ethos and lifestyles. From Japanese sushi to Indian yoga to Moroccan mint tea to African jewellery — I live for them all! And quite often, too. So, when I hear words like ‘cultural appropriation’ being thrown around, as soon as a (white) person indulges in food or clothing that would otherwise be considered sacred or unique to a specific culture, I often wonder what the reason behind all the animosity could be. What ...

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Pakistan’s long distance relationship with Afghanistan will never end

Banaras Khan was eight when he came to Pakistan in 1979, shortly after the Russians arrived in Afghanistan. He was the second eldest son, who crossed the Pak-Afghan border at Mohmand by foot with only his mother. His father had two wives – and he chose to settle down with Banaras’ stepmother in Peshawar. Banaras and his mother came with nothing to a country completely foreign to them. They took refuge with an old Afghan neighbour who was already residing in a rented home in my neighbourhood. His mother borrowed some money in the hopes of starting their life again. She began to ...

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Pakistan’s victory at the Oval was the best Independence Day present we could get!

Yesterday’s Test match was a befitting conclusion to one of the most engrossing Test series played in recent times. A 2-2 draw in the Pakistan-England series seemed like an appropriate result for both teams who played their level best. It was also an incredible Independence Day present from our team to Pakistani cricket fans; it couldn’t have been timed better. Yasir Shah was in imperious form with the ball for Pakistan, taking three wickets in just seven overs on day three.Photo: Reuters Misbahul Haq dedicated Pakistan’s memorable victory at the Oval yesterday to the late Hanif Mohammad, who passed away a few ...

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