Stories published in August, 2016

Would you like to have a child who is intelligent, athletic, good looking and genetically modified?

Would you like to have a child who is intelligent, athletic, good looking, and musically gifted? Designer babies are now possible as genetic enhancement projects are getting underway in China. Most Western countries are studying the development; with the exception of the United States, genetic modification of germline human cells is on hold. I remember when I was young, the first in-vitro fertilisation child born in Pakistan created a moral debate. For months, all across the country, people kept asking questions about the legitimacy of the IVF child. There was a strong resistance from conservatives which has disappeared; it is ...

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Parday kay peechay: A humourous unveiling of Pakistani society

Parday kay peechay starts off with a typical scene at a funeral—relatives, both close and distant, feigning sadness for the deceased, backbiting aunties, and, of course, as is custom in Pakistani society, talk of rishtas. The play revolves around the family of the late Mr Kazmi attempting to gain a stronger financial footing by convincing one of his daughters, Alia, played by Shanze Hasan, to marry the son of an American businessman. However, Alia’s sister, Leena (Alina Salahudin), wants the American boy for her own self, and thus pursues Daniyaal, played by Saad Mirza, while comically setting up mean-girl-esque pitfalls ...

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What makes the Cybercrime bill atrocious is the intent behind it

I was quite concerned when the Protection of Pakistan Act (POPA) was implemented a few years ago; I felt this may lead to Pakistan converting into a police state. That being said, with the recent implementation of the cybercrime bill, I’ve realised that I wasn’t wrong – my concern is now inching closer towards reality. Am I against laws which may control cybercrime? Of course not. Countries worldwide are trying various techniques in order to counter the ever increasing threat of cybercrime by implementing new laws and devising novel penal codes. However, what makes the cybercrime bill in Pakistan atrocious is the intent behind the ...

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Are the people of Balochistan not human enough for us?

Nations can be judged in times of tragedy. How they live, how they breathe and how they react to an atmosphere of fear, fire and blood, tells a lot about them. As a nation, which has seen years of relentless bloodshed, bombings, beheadings and coffins, the Baloch, Pakhtuns and Hazaras of Balochistan are amongst the most resilient people our region’s history has witnessed. They have been cut down, mauled, killed in their own homes – yet they do not react irrationally nor do they retaliate barbarically in return. Such resilience and patience is beyond compare in modern times. However, if ...

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Why is Mohammad Hafeez still on our national team?

Thirteen years into his international debut, Mohammad Hafeez has failed in justifying his position as an opener in the Pakistan cricket team. What’s even more disappointing is that this statement holds true for all three formats. The sign of an average player is that when playing at home (home for us being UAE), he plays well. But the moment conditions change and pose as a challenge, such as in England, South Africa and West Indies, he fails miserably. No wonder then that Hafeez’s average in away Tests against these mentioned teams is not even 20. Try to recall when he ...

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Ben-Hur: Fast & The Furious – Jerusalem Drift

I have seriously had enough! Hearing out all my chachus and mamoos praising the hell out of Ben-Hur (1959) all my adult life has simply taken its toll. Me: “Maamo, The Shawshank Redemption.” Mamoo: “Nah, Ben-Hur!” Me: “Chachoo, 17 Academy Awards for the Lord of The Rings trilogy!” Chachoo: “Meh, Just one Ben-Hur and 11 Oscars!” Me: “D-Day landing sequence from Saving Private Ryan.” Not just maamo and chachu but maami and chaachi too: “Ben-Hur’s Chariot Race… debate settled!” Charlton Heston as Judah Ben Hur in Ben-Hur (1959)Photo: IMDb Charlton Heston as Judah Ben Hur in Ben-Hur (1959)Photo: IMDb There is just no winning with this lot as far as Ben-Hur ...

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My niece is the apple of my eye, but I fear for her

I was reading the paper while having toasted bread with a cup of coffee, and my eyes fell upon a story that sent shivers down my spine – two brothers had raped a 14-year-old girl. I placed the cup back on the table since my hands were trembling and all of a sudden, I was a broken little girl again. I was transported back into the past, the same past that had affected not only my childhood, but my soul – a past where I was loved and was the apple of someone’s eye. But sometimes, love isn’t enough because I still remember. ...

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Karachi is forgiving, it is beautiful and chaotic, it is home

The city of lights: Karachi. Karachi has always been seen as the land of opportunity, the city where dreams come true. Many claim that it is the Dubai of Pakistan; Karachi is where people come with hope and promise, looking for a brighter future. It is a city of contradictions; it’s a blend of cultures, it’s sunrises over Sea View, nights reined by terror, it is so many things all at once. But I didn’t know that until recently. For many people, Karachi is solely represented by the sea. They don’t see the city for all that it has to ...

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Is IG Sindh trying to promote gun culture by rewarding a man for killing a criminal?

Some days ago, Sindh Inspector General (IG) AD Khawaja lauded and rewarded a Karachi resident for killing a robber. This seemed like an old West Hollywood movie where bounty hunters get rewarded for killing criminals. He further stated that citizens should possess weapons to defend themselves. I wonder if this statement depicts how weak our judiciary is or how helpless those whose job is to defend us are. Moreover, this statement comes at a time following a recent incident that shook people with horror – Karachi residents beat a street robber until he was unconscious and then dumped him in a sewerage hole to ...

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Why has non-violent India become so violent?

India carries somewhat of a reputation globally as the home of spirituality and a champion of non-violence. The combined legacies of Emperor Ashoka, Gautam Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and many other renowned gurus and sages have left an imprint on the way India seeks to carry itself on the world stage and also to an extent how the rest of the world perceives it. Many seekers of wisdom and inner peace make their way to India, hoping to find a path to spirituality and enlightenment. Some succeed in finding what they were looking for, while others return with disappointment, disillusionment, and ...

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