Stories published in November, 2016

Will the new COAS be able to fill General Raheel Sharif’s shoes?

If there are no late November surprises, then on November 29th, the present Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, will retire, paving way for his replacement. A lot has already been written on his achievements which made him an extraordinarily popular person. He cracked down on terrorism and also on criminal elements in Karachi, much to the respite of many. Moreover, he is also retiring on time, setting a very good precedent. Despite considering myself a critic of the army, I am personally an admirer of General Sharif. He is one of the finest soldiers to ...

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Thank God it isn’t Pakistan being accused for ball tampering this time!

Surprise, surprise! Or not actually. Another year, another Test series, another ball tampering accusation, but fortunately for us, not another countryman. To be perfectly honest, I was kind of relieved that this time around, it wasn’t a Pakistani cricketer at the end of a cricketing controversy. In fact, not one but two tampering incidents have been making some serious news waves recently. One links the South African cricket team stand in Captain Faf du Plessis while the other involves his Indian counterpart, Virat Kohli. During the second Test match against the Aussies in Hobart a few days ago, the Proteas captain was clearly ...

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Dear Pakistan, try not to get scammed this Black Friday

Picture this – post Thanksgiving America gearing up for Black Friday. An event like none other; adults stealing from children, fist fights, arrests, and all in all, pure mayhem. Now imagine a ‘desi-fied’ version of the same event. No, I am not referring to posh aunties pulling each others hair for a piece of lawn, but rather, the whole hoopla surrounding these online Black Friday sales. Last year, one of the biggest retailers in Pakistan pulled the black Friday stunt, and as expected, everybody else followed suit. The sale ended up breaking records but as a consumer, I felt it was a dud. Now don’t ...

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Is Canada the next Anglosphere super power?

China is snapping at the US’s heels in the race for world leadership. Punters cheer it on, disregarding the significance of the Anglosphere, a multinational composite of domestic prosperity, political sagacity, economic achievement, military prowess and soft power concentrated within the Anglo-Saxon group of five effective countries. The Trump administration will further strengthen this sphere’s dynamism and harness it to its vision. The active club members are the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand—Ireland may be discounted for ineffectiveness. The five are intertwined within the United Kingdom-United States of America Agreement (UKUSA) by seven treaties in intelligence, signals intelligence, communications electronics, ...

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Does Pakistani law allow you to deport Turkish teachers, Nawaz Sharif?

The recent controversy that has emerged regarding the PakTurk school system is troubling to say the least. PakTurk schools started popping up all over Pakistan during last decade. Turkey has always carried a strong brand value in Pakistan and it is therefore not surprising that the school system ostensibly embodying the best of Pakistan and Turkey was an instantaneous hit with parents.  This school system allegedly has connections with Fetullah Gulen, the reclusive Turkish Islamic scholar now living in the US. In the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup, President Recep Erdogan and his government have accused Gulen and ...

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Is the new #BeatMe campaign really a form of female empowerment?

I have always been a misfit. The obese thought I was too thin to fit in, the thin ones considered me too fat to fit into their circle. I was not serious enough for the intellectuals and a bit too serious for the non-intellectuals, too unconventional for the conventional and too domesticated for the free birds. However, these are just to name a few. My greatest dilemma is being too desi for the burgers and too burger for the desis. This leaves me with no choice but to hang-out with myself and even take myself out for dinner. I am well aware of the criticism ...

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IDEAS 2016: For the elite, by the elite

Like every year, a proud tradition has come about again; one where government officials and army generals hold highly sophisticated weapons in their hands and pretend to target invisible enemies – so the foreign dignitaries they are trying to entertain are impressed enough to purchase the firearm in question for big bucks – because, well, these steel toys do not come cheap. The place is flocked by bureaucrats, generals and a whole lot of politicians in one place having a good time and appreciating the deadliest weapons produced by a third world country. Although this is seen every year under the name of International Defence Exhibition ...

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What’s right with the Pakistan Test team, is what’s wrong with the ODI team

A good Test player won’t necessarily be a good ODI player. Some examples of this theory are Justin Langer, Alistair Cook and Younus Khan. Similarly, a good Test Captain may not be as good as an ODI Captain; for example Alistair Cook, Michael Vaughan and Misbahul Haq. Yes, you read that right. Misbahul Haq is a champion – a champion Test captain testified by the number one Test ranking that now rests with Pakistan. But, what he brought to the ODI team is still on display, even during the last two years (when Azhar Ali became the skipper). Misbahul Haq is a champion.Photo: Reuters The defensive ...

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If you think Trump is racist, come to Pakistan

Muslims in the US and across the globe are condemning, in the strongest possible words, the US President-Elect Trump, for his anti-Islam rhetoric during the election campaign. And now that the British and American people have made the seemingly impossible possible, in the form of Brexit and Trump’s victory respectively, Muslims have every reason to be worried about a substantial increase in Islamophobia in the West. But while the concern for our Muslim brethren living abroad is completely legitimate, let us introspect and have an objective, impartial discussion about Pakistan’s own covert affair with bigotry. One of the reasons Pakistan was founded was for ...

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Cheesecake FTW!

Given the choice between a cheesecake and a myriad of other desserts, I would choose cheesecake every day and maybe even twice on Sunday. It is one of my great loves. Before the dawn of places like The Cheesecake Factory and more cheesecake concoctions than days in a month, there was just… cheesecake. Having said that, it’s a multitude of everything you could ask for in a dessert: it’s creamy, tangy and melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. There are two versions – baked and non-baked. Here I’ll be going for the former. I got this easy recipe from a flatmate at Warwick. Ordinarily, I don’t go for a topping because ...

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