Stories published in January, 2017

Dear men, a short skirt, bikini and even a naked female is not an invitation

India is in the news once again, and for all the wrong reasons yet again. An instance of mass molestation in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve has put the country under the radar. An estimated 60,000 people gathered on MG Road and Brigade road to join in the celebrations ushering in 2017. Reports state that members of the crowd turned unruly and a large number of women were harassed and groped. And as has happened previously, ministers have been making asinine statements while trying to shift the blame from the perpetrators of the crime to the victims. Ministers have been known ...

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An open letter to the world from a hijabi

Writing this letter was hard. I didn’t even know where to start. I guess my life and this letter are quite similar in this regard. I know what some of you might be thinking – “what is this girl blabbering on about, and why are we even reading this?” – but it’s important for me to explain to you and make you understand where I’m coming from. I need to salvage the last bit of hope I have remaining. You don’t know me personally but I am a Pakistani hijabi. I have two of the most deplored identities in the ...

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Myth of Russian power

It is fair to say that Russia is doing its best to be the biggest thorn to prick the US and NATO in recent years. It is almost as if Russia was offended by how little attention the world was paying to them in the 90s and early 2000s, after the West spent half a century fearing and dreading them. And now they are doing their best to frustrate and annoy “Western interests” wherever they find them. President Vladimir Putin likes to claim that this is purely defensive, of course. In the wake of the Iron Curtain collapse, the Western sphere expanded substantially into ...

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Is PML-N the most liberal regime Pakistan has seen in recent times?

A single click on Google reveals liberal to mean someone who is willing to respect or accept the behaviour and opinions of others that might be different from one’s own. It might come as a shock to many if one was to claim that the regime of Nawaz Sharif might be the most liberal Pakistani regime in contemporary times, and perhaps second only to the great Quaid himself. I don’t claim this because I support Nawaz Sharif or Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N); on the contrary I spent Election Day sleeping, because I had no hopes from any political party to ...

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Donald Trump’s Eisenhower moment on Islamism

As President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet takes shape, critics charge that his administration would be the most anti-Muslim and anti-Iranian. Meanwhile, in Europe, Islamist terrorism continues to escalate: the assassination of Russia’s ambassador by a Turkish man who pledged allegiance to jihad in Arabic during the killing in Ankara, Turkey; a deadly attack at a Berlin Christmas market and the shootings targeting a Muslim prayer centre in Zurich. This is Islamism at work — the indiscriminate targeting of civilians to paralyse secular liberal democracies. As an observant Muslim woman who repudiates Islamism, I believe the Trump administration, rather than being anti-Muslim, ...

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Is Rogue One better than last year’s Episode VII?

Rogue One is the first spin-off film from the Star Wars universe. The story takes place in between Episode III, where the Sith Lord has taken over the Empire, and Episode IV: A New Hope.  In a time of conflict, a group of rebels band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s greatest weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. Spencer Wilding in Rogue One: ...

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Three reasons why the Pakistan Super League will benefit Pakistan cricket

I am a freelance journalist based in England. Growing up as a British Pakistani, cricket was always around me, and it still is till this day. If I’m not playing the sport, I’m watching it. If I’m not watching the sport, I’m writing about it. I have a passion for cricket, and a passion for writing, therefore the obvious role for me was to be a sports journalist. Being a British Pakistani, it’s tough to stay connected to your roots, but through cricket I’ve found that connection. In February 2016, I travelled to Dubai to cover the Pakistan Super League (PSL), ...

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This winter, cuddle under the blanket with a warm slice of this carrot cake

The temperatures are falling. It is getting colder by the day – the perfect weather to enjoy several mugs of coffee, cuddled under a cosy throw blanket by the window while enjoying a good book. For me winters would be incomplete without carrot cake. I am all for cooking healthy food, but some of the best desserts combine a bit from both worlds. Now, I’m not claiming that carrot cake is healthy. But it can’t be bad with all those good ingredients in it, right? The great thing about this cake (apart from it being extremely delicious) is how easy it ...

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Asif Ali Zardari vs Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: Round 1

Finally, Asif Ali Zardari, after a self-exile of 18 months, is back in Pakistan. His self-exile, at that time, was motivated by the Karachi operation which had started to target some of his close associates and also by his own rather uncharacteristic outburst against the military in which he threatened the institution with “grave consequences”. His return has also coincided with Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) deadline given to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) regarding the former’s four demands. Just to reiterate that, PPP had threatened a long march to Islamabad if PML-N did not adhere to its demands. However, on December 27th, ...

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In 2017, Modi may control the Indian narrative, but flounder globally

Because time moves on, the world is always in a state of flux. But regions and countries move at a different pace. Twenty-sixteen, however, was marked by several long-term trends in key nations and regions coming to a head at the same time, giving us that special sense of churn and dislocation. The terror attacks in Belgium, France, and Germany confirmed the beginning of a long and hard slog to contain Islamist radicalism in Europe. With Brexit, the unexpected British decision to leave the European Union, there are signals that the European Union itself was possibly under threat. Developments In the United States, ...

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