Stories published in December, 2016

Have you forgotten what India did to Nepal and Kashmir, Mr Ashraf Ghani?

We were not very surprised when you, Mr Ashraf Ghani, at the Heart of Asia conference in India, conveniently forgot how much Pakistan has done for your country. You criticised Pakistan viciously and blamed it for the problems that you are facing and are not able to resolve. You must have been a young man when the Soviet Union invaded your country in 1979 and ruled it for nine years. While Pakistan immediately condemned the invasion, along with most of the civilised world, India supported the Soviets. When most countries, including Pakistan, refused to send their teams to the Moscow ...

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Paterson – Where ambition meets poetry

Paterson is a new deadpan comedy from the renowned Indie filmmaker, Jim Jarmusch. The film takes place in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, and coincidentally enough, the city and our main protagonist share the same name. Paterson (played by Adam Driver) is a bus driver and every day, he adheres to a simple routine: drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his ...

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I refused a sexual relationship with my boss, he refused to pay me for my work

If you’re working as a freelance writer, you’re bound to meet and work with people belonging to different cultures and mentalities. To maintain a healthy business in a professional manner, especially now when technology and virtual communication is integral to any business, it’s important to set certain restrictions and guidelines, leaving room for flexibility. But in all cases, be careful about who you trust because this is what happened to me when I let myself trust a ‘big name’. Two months ago, I chose to work for a well-known journalist, Wajahat Kazmi – one of those personalities who have a ...

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Lessons from Nelson Mandela

“I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” This historic roadmap  refers to the most celebrated statesman and visionary leader of the preceding century – Nelson Mandela. He is recognised both nationally and globally as an archetype of the utmost endurance and a man who showed unprecedented ...

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I Salute you, Aitzaz Hassan

Shehzad Rafique is a well-known name in the Lollywood industry. From Ghunghat to Rukhsati to Nikaah, the masses till date remember his movies. After a short hiatus, Rafique is back with a biopic on Aitzaz Hassan – a 14-year-old martyr, who stopped a suicide bomber from entering his school in 2014, saving the lives of thousands of students – titled Salute. The movie is amongst the first biopics that Pakistan has produced on martyrs. Saima Noor was highly appreciated for her drama Rung Laaga with Faisal Qureshi – and now she graces us with her presence on the big screen. As an accomplished actress, a lot of expectations were pinned to Saima’s able shoulders. ...

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The 24th amendment does not benefit anyone but Nawaz Sharif

A few days ago, a blog published on this website argued that the proposed 24th amendment by the government was the correct political and legal step in the current environment. Firstly, the author claimed that due to the exceptionally high stakes in the current Panama leaks proceedings, it is necessary that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is allowed a chance to appeal in the case of an unfavourable decision. Secondly, it was asserted that the 24th amendment, all political considerations aside, was a legal necessity to ensure that the requirements of justice and a fair trial were guaranteed. I respectfully disagree on both accounts. It is pertinent ...

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Could Salahuddin and Hamza replace Misbah and Younus?

Pakistan’s loss to New Zealand has been associated with many reasons including old horses, Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq, showing signs of aging, senior batsmen, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed, not playing to the best of their abilities, lack of match practice prior to the series and unfamiliar conditions. Many former players including Mohammad Asif, Muhammad Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar, to name a few, have been extremely vocal about their criticism of Pakistan playing their home matches on flat decks in the UAE which has done more harm than benefit to our cricket as a whole. While their arguments do have ...

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Is the Pak-Cheen dosti really that zindabad?

‘Pak-Cheen Dosti Zindabad!’ is a household anthem, isn’t it? A sea-pack, sorry, China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) appears to be Pakistan’s Achilles heel. Under this partnership, Pakistan is to receive a $51 billion investment over the course of three to eight years in the form of power projects, roads and railway upgrades, transmission lines, infrastructure, hospitals, technology and much more. Undoubtedly, such an investment is a welcome sign for Pakistan but the deal is strategically far more important to China than it is to Pakistan. We were on the brink of dragging the over-burdening economy with no imminent increase in exports, tax revenues, ...

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Your husband beat you up? No worries, now you can cover it up with makeup

A Moroccan TV show recently taught women how to cover up bruises they got as a result of domestic violence. After a lot of hue and cry, the video was removed but it still sparked outrage on social media, and Moroccan rights groups were extremely vocal about insisting that the show be cancelled completely. But let’s take a step back, shall we. Let’s go back to the moment the producer and the team of that show actually decided that this feather-brained idea would be a great seller. Let’s go back to the moment where everyone said, “Hey, you know what would be fantastic? If ...

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Conversations and resistance

When does a leaf change colour? Is it in the middle of a night? Or in the day when no one’s looking? Is it when the wind gives it wings?   Or when it’s completely still? When the new one arrives, a packed luggage in hand, What does the old colour say? Does the guest get a single room, And take over each of the others, little by little?   How do colours allow themselves to be mixed, Giving up their arms so easily, Embracing the invasion and the invader? Why does the new colour leave behind, No trace of the old. When fingers trace a leaf’s texture, Can they feel the resistance, or a lack thereof, that ...

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