Stories published in December, 2016

But why did Nico Rosberg retire?

Unfortunately, Nico Rosberg retired at the age of 31, just days after becoming the 2016 Formula One (F1) world champion. Internet broken? Yes. Shock value? Yes. Dirty photos, shocking health or private issues? No. Just a guy who’s technically the best at his job saying goodbye to all the speed and power he has to spend time with his lady and kid. Nico Rosberg becomes 2016 F1 world champion.Photo: Reuters Rosberg lacked the charisma and charm of a global icon. F1 maestro, Bernie Ecclestone, even said that Rosberg’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton, would always be a better champion for the sport considering his immense ...

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Reassessing what it means to be a Pakistani Muslim immigrant in Canada

While I sip tea and watch my children play around in our almost four-year-old home in Canada, I can’t help but reassess what it means to be me, as 2016 comes to an end – a Pakistani Muslim immigrant in Canada. I can’t help but feel this warmth for this great nation’s hospitality and heart. At the same time, like an itchy throat signalling the onset of a ruthless flu, I shift uncomfortably in my seat as corroborated stats show the rise and effect of hate crimes across Canada. I can’t help but remember last year’s shootings in Ottawa and how Canadian Muslims were shoved ...

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Of coexistence, mannequin challenges and Pakistan

The history of the region where Pakistan exists today would tell you a lot about its pluralistic values. This is the land where Hindus and Muslims have peacefully coexisted for years. This is the land of Muslim Sufi saints like Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Fareed and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, who preached values of humanity, coexistence and religious tolerance which is why they are revered today, not just Muslims, but by Hindus and Sikhs of the region as well. Even when you fast forward to 1947, it is evident that the post partition era of Pakistan was also very pluralistic. Do we not know our very ...

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Junaid Jamshed is Pakistan: Absurdly talented yet seriously flawed

Capping off a year already filled with terrible news was yesterday’s tragic incident. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashed on the way to Islamabad from Chitral, killing 48 people on board and leaving the country in shock. To start with, the pain being faced by the families of these lost 48 lives must be incalculable. To lose a loved one so abruptly without closure is a terrible ordeal. At the very least, the loved ones should be provided with grief-counselling by the government at the earliest, though the chances of this happening are low. There must also be questions asked about ...

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The Junaid not many knew

Sitting here, writing a blog that is an obituary for Junaid Jamshed. This is surreal. It is unbelievable. And is an unpleasant and painful task, but one that I must carry out as someone who knew him well. Because he would have liked me to write this. For two reasons: Firstly, Junaid, or JJ, or Jay as close friends called him, was a people’s person. He did not mind the attention. He was used to it from a very early age. I remember asking him, during one of the three interviews of his I did spanning over two decades, whether ...

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A Lahori’s first visit to Karachi

This summer, I had the chance to pay a short visit to Karachi – a city I’ve never had the opportunity to visit before. Soon after landing and taking a cab to the hotel, we started hearing stories of locals out and about in the city. This aged driver, who drove us to our hotel, told us how, for the last few months, Karachi has been a lot more peaceful because of the Rangers’ operation. He also said, “This operation should be extended to the entire province to ensure complete implementation of law and order.” That driver was not the only one who felt that the Ranger’s ...

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India – adding insult to their own sporting injuries

Remember the time when the green sticks were a force to be reckoned with? Sweeping all away; left, right and centre. Even then, we found pleasure in knocking down our big bully of a neighbour, especially in their own backyard. Out of the 39 matches that have been played between the arch rivals on Indian soil, Pakistan has won an impressive 23 encounters to India’s 14, with just two draws. So, it’s no wonder that India tries its best to avoid this embarrassing statistic being bumped up even further. But one would expect that these tactics would solely be restricted to on-the-field gamesmanship; ...

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Is uncovered hair a more deadly sin than murder itself, Saudi Arabia?

A woman named Malak Al Shehri posted a picture of herself on Twitter in Riyadh recently. The issue was that she wore no hijab or abaya in it – a punishable crime in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The backlash on social media was immediate with some asking her to be executed while others demanded she be imprisoned and lashed. “Kill her and throw her corpse to the dogs” was one of the suggestions. Another demand was, “We want blood!” Translation of those tweets:"We want blood"."Kill her and throw her body to the dogs"."The least punishment for her is beheading her". — Anon ...

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The Underworld needs to go under and never resurface again

I must admit I’ve never cared much for the Underworld movies. For me, they are very akin to the Resident Evil movies — both are going on five plus movies, both follow the stories of a female protagonist played by a C-list actress battling monsters like werewolves, vampires, zombies. And both series, upon the release of a new film, make you ask the question: ‘Exactly who paid to see the last one?’ Underworld: Blood Wars is the fifth entry in the Underworld franchise, and yes it’s utter trash and just as bad as the last four. Kate Beckinsale returns as vampire ‘death-dealer’ Selene in her traditional skin tight leather costume. This time ...

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How in God’s name was Regent Plaza even allowed to function without fire safety measures?

Anyone who has taken their Cambridge exams in Karachi will know the significance of Regent Plaza. I was not only a Cambridge student who scurried through the halls of Regent Plaza but later, for odd jobs, I was also an invigilator for British Council and often had duties in the various conference rooms of the hotel. There are so many people like me who, for years, have some sort of consistent relationship with Regent Plaza. I remember attending a conference there, and I even stayed there when I came back to Pakistan for a short while. When I returned, ...

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