Stories published in June, 2017

#PakvsSL: Because Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Amir had a different plan for Pakistan

Rarely a dull moment in the game, Pakistan versus Sri Lanka lived up to its expectations of being an engrossing virtual quarter-final. Despite a semi-final berth being on the line, both teams seemed to be on a never-ending quest to perform worse than the other. Eventually, Pakistan emerged as the less worse side of the two and booked a date with England. While Pakistan’s victory holds true to its rich history of edge-of-the-seat drama and turning the simplest of situations into tricky and impossible ones, some things, or some people to be specific, definitely felt out of place. And while ...

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Why Taimoor Raza’s death sentence does not come as a surprise in Pakistan

Last week, an anti-terrorism court in Bahawalpur gave 30-year-old Taimoor Raza a death sentence for allegedly blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on social media. The verdict left many stunned since it was the first time a death sentence has been given to someone for their actions online. Yet, despite it being a shocking legal decision, it was not a surprising one. At least not for those of us who have been keeping up with the country’s constantly evolving crackdown on its citizens’ cyberspace activities. For years now, activists, politicians, and journalists have bemoaned the many ways that Pakistan’s antiquated blasphemy laws can be abused. Whether it is ...

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Virat Kohli chose ethics over business and we couldn’t be prouder!

Recently, Virat Kohli decided not to renew his contract worth millions with Pepsi due to his views of the product. The announcement came a few days ago in an interview where he expressed his views about Pepsi and many other products which he had endorsed before but would not be doing any longer.  He is currently ranked number one in T20 cricket and holds an impressive ranking in other formats of cricket too. Currently, he is in his fittest and healthiest form. According to Kohli, he won’t be endorsing products he doesn’t consume or consider part of a healthy lifestyle just for the sake of making money. No matter how ...

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Islamabad’s food is terrible, and posh restaurants cannot fix that

The people of Islamabad are deprived of good food, and as a Rawalpindi-based critic, I promise not to take too much pleasure in this declaration. We are all aware of our guests from Lahore, our undisputed food capital, being notoriously hard to impress with nearly any kind of food found in Islamabad. Islamabad is a young city, and has not had time to evolve its own unique cuisine and celebrated eateries as many other cities like Karachi, Multan, and Rawalpindi have done in the last 100 years or more. Islamabad, true to its modern self, has wholeheartedly adopted the global trend of ‘culinary gimmickry’. We are impressed by burgers ...

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Do Pakistani female legislators actually represent women or merely serve as “proxies” for the wealthy and elite?

In the male dominated South Asian region, women are considered a marginalised faction of society. While describing South Asian women in politics, there are contradicting accounts. On one hand, there are examples of women like Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, Hasina Wajid and Khaleda Zia as prime ministers, while on the other, the majority of women are seen as poor, illiterate and lacking political, social and economic opportunities. A general perception ascribed to women in South Asian politics is that they belong to higher social strata and certain political parties, which aides their journey into the mainstream political arenas. However, women in general still lack the opportunities to participate and represent in the ...

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Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing political messiah, has well and truly arrived. And he makes jam!

This was supposed to be a bloodbath. This was supposed to be a funeral. This was supposed to be utter humiliation for Jeremy Corbyn, for this was supposed to be the day that Theresa May finally put to rest the party that had been the arch nemesis of the Conservatives (Tories) once and for all. So said the press, so said the pundits, so said the Tories, and even the Labour establishment. Yet, they were all wrong, for the voters had other ideas. Even as his colleagues sharpened their knives, Labour, under Corbyn’s brilliant leadership, exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations. Not only did they retain the ...

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Looking for a place to binge eat this Ramazan? #ETBlogsPicks the best places for iftar and sehri in Karachi

Are Ramazan cravings getting to you? Is the heat too much to bear? Every year in Ramazan, most of us score through the numerous iftari and sehri deals, hoping that this year, we’ll find that one place that meets all our desires. The struggle is way too real, we know. But don’t worry. Craving pizza? We know just the place. Feeling like a Bruce Bogtrotter and cake moment? We know where you can indulge. This year, we’ve come up with what we think are the best places for iftari and sehri. They’ve got pizzas, they’ve got waffles, and they’ve got paneer reshmi. They ...

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The legend of ‘the King of Clay’ is not a myth, as Rafael Nadal wins his 10th French Open

When a young, youthful and long-haired Rafael Nadal debuted at Roland Garros (French Open) in 2005, Carlos Moyá, former world number one and currently Nadal’s coach, predicted that this kid would be a tennis prodigy. Younger days: Nadal kisses the trophy after his first French Open triumph at the age of 19 in 2005. Photo: AFP Fast-forward 12 years into 2017, this physically gifted kid from Mallorca has managed to do something that has never been done in tennis before – he just won his 10th Roland Garros Championship, defeating the third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the final. Yes, you ...

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Brilliant badmashi: How Nehal Hashmi got away with retracting his resignation

“The people who are trying to hold us accountable, listen closely. You shall not be spared.” These were the ominous words of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) leader and future candidate for villain in a Bond movie, Senator Nehal Hashmi. Hashmi was referring to the joint investigation team (JIT) which had been tasked by the Supreme Court to further investigate Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s financial holdings, which has been the subject of the Panama Papers controversy in Pakistan. It was slightly embarrassing for Hashmi that Nawaz asked him to resign from his senators seat for his comments. “The prime minister has declared Nehal Hashmi’s speech as an irresponsible one,” said ...

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The midwife of Delhi

The Quran has acknowledged the existence of djinn, but the proliferation of stories revolving around these creatures of fire often delves into the realm of horror. In 19th century Delhi, to counteract children’s perceptions of djinns as fearful creatures, city elders recounted folk tales recounting the kindness and generosity of the djinn in order to remind children that djinn, just like any of Allah’s creatures, could be good and bad. What was important were one’s own actions, good deeds were rewarded, and pleasing a creature of Allah was equivalent to pleasing Allah Himself. Long ago, back when Delhi was a quiet city with horse carriages dotting the ...

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