Stories published in October, 2016

The Walking Dead returns with death, gore, violence and much more

After the show ended its sixth season on a cliffhanger, The Walking Dead has finally returned. The popular show had left things with Negan, the new baddie, holding Lucille (a baseball bat coated in barbed wire) and promising to kill one of the main characters. He chooses his prey by using a children’s rhyme and the credits start to roll before we can see Lucille in action. Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead (2010).|Photo: Imdb The Walking Dead returned last Sunday with an episode titled The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be and the moment everyone was waiting for ...

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Will Lahore Se Aagey live up to its promising trailer?

Director cum producer, Wajahat Rauf, is back to entice moviegoers with another road film Lahore Se Aagey. The upcoming rom-com is a sequel to his directorial debut Karachi Se Lahore (2015). Although, Rauf’s first film received mixed reviews, his new project has been a much anticipated movie this year with Yasir Hussain and Saba Qamar as the lead pair. The short teaser, and now the trailer, has received an overwhelmingly positive response. The audience is rather pleased as it promises the right balance of humour, romance, music, and dance. As per the trailer, the spinoff chiefly focuses on Karachi Se Lahore’s character Moti, played ...

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Why is Pakistan alienated by the global literati?

Arundhati Roy once said: “[…] Writing is an incredible act of individualism, producing your language, and yet to use it from the heart of a crowd as opposed to as an individual performance is a conflicting thing.” Roy, like many other authors of Indian descent has won a multitude of literary prizes, including the esteemed Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Which is why when India wasn’t nominated this year, it came as a blow to the world. This consternation, in my opinion, represented something far deeper for Pakistan: the alienation we face from the global literati, a sentiment the writers from ...

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Should Imran Khan abandon his quest to expose alleged corruption?

Right then. Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Tahirul Qadri and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and possibly the Lal Masjid folk as well, are scheduled to ‘lockdown’ the capital on November 2, 2016. Pakistan may be many things, but man oh man, politically boring is definitely not one of them.  So here’s the deal: some of the Prime Minister’s (PM’s) kids had offshore companies in their name linked to properties held abroad – leaked by the hacks into Mossack-Fonseca. Imran Khan (the opposition) demanded the PM step down on moral grounds, and the PM didn’t. An investigation was supposed ...

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Of the push-up controversy and our collective intelligence quotient

News flash just in: Oxford dictionary has added a new meaning to the word push-up. “A grave national security threat”. Wait? What? Push-ups? Did I hear this one correctly? Well apparently, yes! Over the years, we have all read some ridiculously dense statements coming in from our law makers, but this one literally took the cake. Instead of focusing their energies on the recent Quetta carnage, one of our legislators was still fixated with the in-vogue celebratory style of the Pakistan cricket team. Chaudhry Nazeer Ahmad, a ruling government MNA during an Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee meeting came up with the wise idea that ...

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Can we please talk about Quetta?

Can we talk about Quetta? They called Quetta the fruit garden of Pakistan, once. You read about it in your social studies class as the ninth-largest city in Pakistan; it was a capital, and capitals are revered. But no one ever talked about Quetta outside of textbooks. Monday night, October 24, 2016, cadets at a police training academy in Quetta awoke to a terrorist attack that killed 61, and injured more than 120. The dead bodies piled up, young men in the prime of their youth, young men that fall in the same age bracket as our brothers and sons, our husbands ...

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Should the Wheaton College Professor have been suspended for wearing a hijab?

Whether in Islamic theocracies or places with visible minority Muslim populations, from China to the United Kingdom, the hijab twists conservatives and liberals in their support or opposition to dress normally associated with fundamental religion. We see bullies “rip off” hijabs; one such incident recently took place in New York City. On the other extreme, groups like the Taliban declare, “wear hijab or be disfigured.” And they carry out such threats. Nushin Arbabzadah summed up this contrast in The New York Times: “Women may want to express ‘solidarity’ with Muslim women by covering up. But Muslim women don’t need to cover up. This act ...

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Is Pakistan in danger of becoming a Chinese colony?

I remember driving through Mall road with my family in 2005, overjoyed to see banners in red, yellow, green, and white hanging above my head in all their glory. Lahore seemed cleaner and quieter than usual, with the exception of the words “Pak-Cheen Dosti” splattered in bold colours everywhere I looked. Billboards were decorated with flamboyant colours and disproportionate faces of Pervez Musharraf and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, signifying the year when China and Pakistan signed the China-Pakistan Friendship Treaty. It was a historic moment for both the countries; everyone welcomed China with open arms thinking Pakistan and China ...

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Skiptrace isn’t a ‘good’ movie by any metric

The success of action comedies like Rush Hour (1998) and Shanghai Noon (2000) helped Jackie Chan gain international recognition. For his latest cinematic endeavour, the star from Hong Kong has teamed up, yet again, with an American actor for another action comedy, Skiptrace. Joining him for the buddy adventure this time is Johnny Knoxville, the Jackass crewmember who may not have the star power of Chris Tucker or Owen Wilson, but still manages to deliver the requisite comic relief in a movie that is considerably more enjoyable than it has any right to be. Jackie Chan and ...

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Chaiwala pe charcha in India

Irony just died a few deaths. At a time when Indian women and their aunts are wondering whether or not to publically lament the ‘ghar wapsi’ of the original heart throb Fawad Khan, another man has caught their fickle fancy. And as the crow flies or rather the Sada-e- Sarhad bus plies, he couldn’t be geographically closer but those miles today are politically insurmountable. An Indian friend married to a Pakistani once told me, the Pakhtun shopkeepers are finer than the work on the famous Afghan carpets they sell. Now I know what she means, as do most of the ...

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