Stories published in February, 2017

Imran Khan, not Nawaz Sharif, deserves credit for Pakistan’s decline in corruption

A recent Transparency International (TI) report has received eerie enthusiasm from various quarters of the government who are otherwise exceptionally reluctant to pursue any serious reforms to combat corruption in the country. The celebration is so exuberant that it has left many wondering in amazement. For the past few days, since the report has been released, the government of this poor country has spent millions of tax payers’ money in the form of print, electronic and social media advertisements to project themselves as Pakistan’s saviour against corruption using the Transparency report as evidence. This raises an important question: Who deserves credit for ...

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Is the new Vitara worth the money?

It’s said that the car you choose to buy depends on, well, your budget. But the condition you maintain it in depicts your personality and love for it. The way you drive it is a reflection of your state of mind. So who exactly would want to buy Suzuki’s latest attempt to transform itself in the eyes of the Pakistani public? Perhaps, that is the reason why it’s labelling it as a “game-changer”. After all, its signature product, the Mehran, has remained static, passing onto the next generation like a family heirloom no one wants. A comparison is unfair, though. If one could ...

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Will The Lego Batman Movie surpass DC Comic’s Batman v Superman?

The Academy may not have given the film its proper dues – and yes, some of us may still be a tad miffed about this major award show injustice – but the fact remains that The Lego Movie (2014) was downright awesome. Both joyous and thought-provoking, the wildly entertaining animated romp ushered us into the zany Lego realm. Now, three years later, we finally get the chance to revisit Lego Land in the spin-off instalment The Lego Batman Movie.  The flick is centred on the character of The Dark Knight (voiced by Will Arnett) and its trailer promises an amusing adventure in Gotham City. As per the prevue, Bruce ...

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Will Careem and Uber be able to survive in Pakistan?

The government of Pakistan, both federal and provincial, remains in a deep slumber. It does not counter any illegal business activity but only takes action when the project strengthens its roots in society and provides an alternative to public woes in a certain segment.  It is the government’s responsibility to provide adequate, reliable and secure modes of transport to the public to commute from one place to another. Unfortunately, the government has completely failed to do any such thing and hence, most of the country’s transport is in total control of the private sector. The tram service, which was operating in ...

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Moving towards a trans-friendly Pakistan, finally

What a feeling it is when you just be yourself without having to be self-conscious about it. There’s not an iota of concern there. “I am who I am, I wear whatever I please and I express myself however I chose to,” thinks the person. I am not going to be shamed or persecuted by anyone, or entertain any fears about that happening. For many, a transgender, man or woman, it is but an idealised notion that is not always realised but is perhaps trending in the right direction now. In Peshawar, Pakistan, there was a birthday party for a 40-year-old transgender woman by the ...

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It’s time we stopped turning a blind eye to the racism and xenophobia that exists in Canada

I consider myself a very proud Canadian. I do. I love Canada with all my heart and soul, as utterly clichéd as that may sound. When my parents were thinking of immigrating ‘abroad’ – we lived in Saudi Arabia at that time – they kept insisting that we move to Canada. And they didn’t have a valid reason for it either; they just wanted us to move here, because everyone else they knew was immigrating in flocks to the United States. I guess they knew, in their hearts, that Canada was the better option. And it was; well, for ...

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Passengers: An absurd cliche of a film

Why do good actors choose bad projects? That is the biggest mystery that runs through Passengers, a clunky sci-fi vehicle that can neither justify nor make the most of the star power at its helm. The film is set aboard the Starship Avalon, an interstellar star-liner that is on a voyage from an overpopulated earth to the colony world of Homestead II. Its 5000 passengers and 258 crew members are in hibernation, and are set to spend 120 years in suspended animation before they are awakened upon reaching their new home. Chris Pratt in Passengers (2016).Photo: IMDb But a malfunction ...

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These three players could cater to Pakistan’s premier concerns in the shorter formats

The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has arrived at possibly the best time for fans who are seeking some comfort after Pakistan’s poor outing in Australia. Pakistan only managed to win one out of the eight matches, three Tests and five One-day Internationals, they played. Performances in the shorter format are facing a continuous decline and all fingers point towards Pakistan’s mental resistance towards adaptation. While there were times during which Pakistan was able to defend scores as low as 150, those times have long ended and the world has stepped, raced rather, into the T20 era. Pakistan’s most confident performer with the bat was Sharjeel Khan, someone who ...

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I am a die-hard SRK fan, but I won’t watch Raees

The much-awaited Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Raees, released in January 2017, seems loosely based on the life of notorious Gujarati Mafioso Abdul Latif. Latif was a gambler, a hired assassin, bootlegger and extortionist par excellence. He was also involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and on the run till he was killed by the police in an encounter in 1997. Raees has, perhaps, sketched Latif’s life with all the charm and halo one expects from an SRK starrer. Like all other SRK fans, I wait for his films with bated breath. Such is my King Khan mania that I have never missed ...

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Will Balu Mahi live up to the hype it created?

The upcoming romantic comedy, Balu Mahi, has created a lot of hype over social media and for all the right reasons. We don’t know much about the movie aside from the fact that Osman Khalid Butt takes the lead as Balu, alongside Ainy Jaffri as Mahi. Sadaf Kanwal makes her debut in acting as well. In anticipation for its release, fans have already begun enjoying Balu Mahi’s title song, performed by Asim Azhar and Aima Baig. Recently, the Balu Mahi team started a Balu Mahi dance contest over social media. Featured in the video were Butt, Hareem Farooq, Zainab Ahmed, ...

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