Stories published in October, 2016

He punched a Bangladeshi man and got arrested – would Pakistan have done the same for its minorties?

Whether you are a football fan particularly following West Ham United or prefer Asian shopping or dining at Green Street, then you are expected to have travelled to and from Upton Park Underground Station. Upton Park being, a district in the London borough of Newham, is an area that you would normally attribute to a large non-White population with welcoming environs for its migrant population. The borough, amongst other ethnic inhabitants, hosts a vast number of Muslim diaspora; in fact making it the second largest for the population of Muslims in the United Kingdom. Last week, in the heart ...

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A green passport in my hand and wanderlust in my heart

Imagine this: a Pakistani female, a backpack, and a trip across Europe. As a child, I saw the Bosnian war unfold. I played with the Bosnian refugees in the infamous Japanese park in Islamabad. I was infatuated by the country and its people, yet it always remained a sort of enigma for me. Years later, I am back in Europe and ready to backpack through Bosnia. The city of Mostar. I had saved money and decided that the Balkans would be my last stop before heading home. There are no direct flights into Bosnia, so I had to land ...

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Under attack again: When will our government stop tolerating banned outfits?

Another day, another tragedy in Quetta. The city has seen too many to be listed but the attack on Balochistan Police College that took at least 61 lives, is the third time in less than three months that terrorists have been successful. On August 8th, Quetta’s legal community was wiped out in a devastating bomb blast. Two months later, on October 5th, four Hazara Shia women were dragged from a public bus and shot dead on the road. Today we mourn the police cadets that were killed. Calling them martyrs will not help. They are dead. Dead like many, ...

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Mr Entrepreneur, just know, the future of Pakistan’s sports industry needs you

What’s happening to sports in Pakistan? We, a country of nearly 195 million people, are unable to produce even one athlete that can qualify for the Olympics. The nation’s performance in sports such as hockey, squash, boxing, and many others is declining and this fall in performances is detracting the public away from these sports. The entire nation meticulously follows cricket, and everyone wants to emulate our cricket stars. The media, particularly our electronic media, in Pakistan is completely biased towards cricket when promoting a sport. PTV was once a lone channel able to find time to air local sports. Having said that, the turn of the century came with a boom, and ...

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Yes, you can actually go turtle-watching in Karachi

Whenever one thinks of travelling within Pakistan and prospective vacation spots, the northern areas of the country are what come to mind. Scroll down your Facebook wall and Instagram feeds and the pictorial storyboards will corroborate this stance. Unfortunately, with the prime goal of running away from the heat and the general lack of interest in exploring our diverse culture, heritage, environment, and wildlife, we often ignore the treasures that our southern region has to offer. We often ignore the treasures that our southern region has to offer. Science has proven that there is a delicate balance between the wildlife and their habitat, ...

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Jack Reacher: Never Go back (take a cue from the title and don’t ever go back to it)

During the 90’s, a sure shot way to figure out a wannabe was to ask a simple question involving the identity of their favorite Hollywood actor. The acid test usually yielded a cringe worthy Tom Cruise or a Brad Pitt. Every now and then you also get a wise-ass girl pseudo-retorting with an, ‘Apnay aap ko Tom Cruise samajhtay ho kya?’ (Do you think you’re Tom Cruise?) type of lousy comeback line. Even then I would be all ‘heck no!  I’d rather frikkin be a Bobby De Niro than the overrated Cruise’. Tom Cruise in Jack ...

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In Pakistan, mental illness is diagnosed by a legal expert not a doctor

Every psych unit in the world teems with patients who confess a desire to do the morally unthinkable, or legally dubious. What separates them from the garden-variety criminal is their lack of control over their own thoughts and behaviours. Imdad Ali, a 50-year-old citizen convicted of murdering a cleric many years ago, is a known schizophrenic. His condition has been verified by a government psychiatrist, Dr Tahir Feroze, among others – who, reportedly, has also demanded pardon for Mr Ali on medical grounds. Schizophrenia is a condition characterised by hallucinations, illogical thoughts, and bizarre or even aggressive behaviour. The sub-type of ‘paranoid ...

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Will Pakistan be able to #SaveNabeel?

In September, Nabeel Masih, a sixteen-year-old Christian boy was charged under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws. His crime was ‘liking’ a post that allegedly ‘defamed and disrespected’ the Kaaba. Over a month later the police have yet to submit an initial investigation report to the courts. This means Nabeel is currently languishing in jail. His family has been forced into hiding and, fearing for their safety, many of his Christian neighbours have fled the area. Fair trials are uncommon in blasphemy law cases. Should Nabeel have a proper and fair day in court he’d likely be found not guilty for two reasons. First, there is ...

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Why are dramas like Sanam dehumanising mental illness?

In this recent most episode of Sanam, Ayla (Hareem Farooq) has finally spoken to lawyers and has insisted that she was subjected to mental torture by her husband, Harib (Osman Khalid Butt) and also is trying to convince Shehroze (Emmad Irfani) into marrying her so she can make Harib jealous. Okay. That’s a lot of weirdness. Harib and Shehroze have cleared up their misunderstandings – and Shehroze and Aan meet each other at the breakfast table. Yes, Aan brings Harib breakfast every day. More weirdness. To top it off, Aan lectures Harib about how he was responsible for Ayla sending the ...

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Nick Kyrgios and the top five… unsportsman-like gestures in tennis

Australian bad-boy, world number 14, Nick Kyrgios has been handed out an eight-week suspension, in addition to a hefty fine of $25,000, after he was found guilty of tanking a match and getting into an insulting verbal exchange with a spectator last week at the Shanghai Masters. The mercurial Australian found himself making a genuine unforced error, with his erratic behaviour landing him in hot water once again with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), which sanctioned him for “conduct contrary to the integrity of the game”. The mercurial Australian found himself making a genuine unforced ...

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