Stories published in September, 2016

Indians need to stop living with their parents

Ever wondered why small town bumpkins in India are smarter than their big city counterparts? (Oh yes, they are). It’s because unlike the Indian city dwellers that shack up with their parents late into their 20s – some into their 30s and some even after marriage – the small towners come to the cities to strike it out on their own. They live alone, struggle, scour, scrounge and “find” themselves, if you like, in the process. As a contrast, the over-parented, mollycoddled city youngsters show themselves up as emotional waifs and exhibit symptoms including high-brow prudery, crabby uptightness, and sundry social attitudes unique to big ...

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Dear PEMRA, on behalf of all Ahmadis, we urge you to stop taking notice and start taking action

On Thursday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) “took notice” of the telecasting of “provocative” content by NEO TV and 92 News targeting the Ahmadi community. It released a statement to the effect that the complaint had been forwarded to its Council of Complaints and the television channels had been notified. This is a commendable action by the media watchdog and one hopes that the “notice” will be followed by stern action. PEMRA has a reasonable 24-point code on what constitutes hate speech which it has not effectively implemented in the past. It is time it started doing so. To provide some background, NEO TV, in its program Harf-e-Raz and Channel 92 in its show Subh-e-Noor had both telecast content that branded Ahmadi’s as “traitors to ...

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Three reasons why the 2019 World Cup will be dull without Pakistan

A cricket World Cup that does not feature Pakistan would be like a Wimbledon without Rafael Nadal, or a football World Cup without Italy. Sure, they don’t win every tournament, but their mere presence excites fans and sponsors alike beyond measure. Here is why Pakistan’s participation is indispensable for the World Cup. 1. The exuberance of team green When it comes to cricket, no other nation matches Pakistan’s raw talent. We operate with an instinctive flare, an uninhibited philosophy towards the sport, which makes us exhilarating to watch. Over the years, Pakistan has boasted a number of unique One-Day records: the highest number of ...

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The EU multi-ethnic European military force will only be effective on paper

The European Union (EU) seems set for another cul-de-sac of quarrels over the hastily tossed military salad of EU battle groups with rotating battalions and leadership. Accordingly, Hungary and the Czech Republic have openly called for the creation of an EU army, strongly opposed by the United Kingdom. On this issue, the Council of Europe would be well advised to define policy, delegate the business to France, and sit back. Four issues have made a re-evaluation of the need and role of European direct military intervention an imperative of defence and security which only French expertise can ensure. Firstly, acts of terrorism on European soil have diverted the ...

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Freaky Ali would stand nowhere without Nawazuddin Siddiqui

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is synonymous with quality oriented cinema. This time around, with the help of Salman Khan and his team, he is starring in Freaky Ali – a full out entertainer. It was rumoured that Freaky Ali is a remake of Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore. Even though some scenes may form parallels with the latter, the rumours aren’t entirely true. One needs to watch Freaky Ali to discover what it actually has in store. The main character, Ali (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is an orphan who is adopted by a Hindu woman (Seema Biswas) but raised as a Muslim. He takes up various odd jobs, while accompanied by Maqsood (Arbaz Khan) who is ...

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Series 6 Was I a threat? Part 1 “Please don’t dishonour us by going out all the time.”

Life in a small town such as Mansehra is quiet and serene. The name it has been given is justified; it truly is paradise on earth. It is the beauty of the district and the simplicity of life that always attracted tourists to visit during it their vacations. But simplicity, even though it is quite pleasing, has some boundaries attached to it. Saira, a young girl of the district, had lived in Mansehra all her life. She hadn’t been out to visit much either and all the contact she ever had had with the outer world was through television. Girls in the village ...

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No Air China, your racist advice was not needed

Pak-China relations have always been formidable mainly because China is Pakistan’s closest ally and staunch business partner in large-scale infrastructure projects like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The two countries often express loud protestations about their eternal friendship and cooperation in light of India’s anti-Pakistan aggression and sentiment. So it would seem the overtly favourable sentiment expressed by the diplomats of both countries would be mirrored by the inhabitants of China.  However, this wasn’t the case when a seemingly innocuous statement mentioned in Air China’s in-flight magazine offered travel advice about living in London. The statement was splashed over social media for all the wrong ...

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Champions League Matchday 1: Aye, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride

Even with a summer full of riveting international soccer contests with the Euro and the Olympics, being a Liverpool fan, nothing beats the good old start to the English Premier League (EPL). And if EPL is the cake then UEFA Champions League is surely the cherry atop this delicious offering. Unfortunately for me, this year is yet another in the long list of seasons this past decade that I would have to do without this particular footballing condiment. But hey, counting your blessings and all that shizz, I still get to cheer on former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and his band of merry men at Barca. And ...

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Being a man isn’t just about masculinity

“But that’s how we guys are.” Is a common response when a woman asks a man about a few traits and attitudes that are seen as manly and macho. While walking on a street near you, in a mall, or even when couples enter weddings – a familiar scenario ensues. The husband can be seen walking a few steps ahead of the wife for sure, and the wife trudging behind him, adjusting her ensemble, trying to catch up. For Pakistani males, Def Leppard’s classic Two Steps Behind You is too mushy I’m sure. It is seen as some mark of masculinity to walk at least ...

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National Accountability Bureau: Accountable to nobody

On August 11, 1947, the father of our nation , called corruption “poison” in his speech to the constituent assembly. He said, “One of the biggest curses from which India is suffering, I do not say that other countries are free from it, but, I think our condition is worse – is bribery and corruption. That really is a poison. We must put that down with an iron hand.” He went on to say, “Along with many other things, good and bad, has arrived the great evil – the evil of nepotism and jobbery.” Unfortunately, we all have to agree, that in our country, corruption and bribery is ...

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