Stories published in July, 2017

#KhadijaTheFighter: Democracy may have won yesterday but justice continues to lose

Khadija Siddiqi’s case and her bravery amidst all the chaos has continued to serve as a lesson for women to hold their heads up high and fight against injustice. A year later, her case is still going strong with the accused bringing forth the most absurd arguments out of desperation to win the case. Clearly, the only thing working in his favour is the power his father holds in the legal fraternity. Siddiqi, a law student at a local college, was stabbed 23 times in broad daylight on May 3, 2016 by 21-year-old Shah Hussain, the son of an influential lawyer, when she had ...

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Is Ram Nath Kovind’s appointment as president expected to wash away the scars inflicted on the Dalit community?

When Ram Nath Kovind and his family were denied entry into the presidential retreat in Shimla, little did he know that fate would end up making this same presidential retreat his summer abode. Fast forward two months down the lane after this incident, the 71-year-old former lawyer and state governor was elected as India’s second Dalit president. Before June 19th, the day the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) elected Kovind as its presidential candidate, nobody really knew the man that was running for the country’s highest constitutional post. His nomination not only surprised political watchers but also surprised the common man. The only time Kovind came into the national ...

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#GoneNawazGone: Today could be the darkest day in Pakistan’s judicial history or the day a new Pakistan was born

The nail-biting suspense leading up to the verdict is now over. The unthinkable has finally happened. Nawaz Sharif, who managed to win three elections and serve as Pakistan’s prime minister, has been disqualified and faces political extinction. This is the mother of all Supreme Court (SC) verdicts and whether it will change the country’s fate for better or worse will be decided in the next few days. It could be the darkest day in Pakistan’s judicial history or it may be remembered as the day a new Pakistan was born, depending on whether or not the SC disqualifies others who are equally corrupt (which includes ...

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Instead of trying to earn cheap gains, Careem should focus on what powered their core business – safety

There is no place in the world where women can feel as safe or have the same privileges as men. But it is especially hard in Pakistan where discrimination is an endemic, thanks to the entitled mind-set of the typical Pakistani male. Abuse ranges from violence to sexual harassment, or worse, and no classes, locations or environments are completely safe from this. Some time ago, after someone close to me faced repeated harassment at the workplace through texts and emails, which included hundreds of threats of sexual violence, I was inspired to write an article investigating how deep the problem is in Pakistani work culture. The results were shocking. You’d ...

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Is there a leadership failure in the Indian Army?

Recently, there was a fratricide incident in the Kashmir valley. A jawan (soldier) was reprimanded by his superior officer for using a cell phone on duty. In return, the jawan shot him. This unfortunate incident has been quoted in sections of the media as an example of junior leadership and man-management failure. This has been linked to reports that the Indian army has over 100 stress-related suicides per year due to junior leadership failures. While the loss of even one trained soldier is unacceptable, suicides may still occur and be accepted but fratricide is and will always remain unacceptable. The Indian army is over one million strong. With such a large force, there would always ...

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You killed her… the strong, independent woman and her voice along with it

I recently came across an article that brought up some thoughts about being a woman in Pakistan. The following is the said article: There are girls out there who think they are the moral police of our society. They are the ones that pick and choose when they want to be feminists. The ones that believe it is their right to tell others what to think or feel. Why? Why do you think it is your duty to define what’s right or wrong? If you’re telling someone not to get “physically attached” before their nikkah, you’re barking up the wrong tree. A tree that ...

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Alpha: A glimpse into why the age-old bond between man and dog has stood the test of time

‘Man’s best friend’ is a pretty common expression that refers to the powerful relationship that we humans have shared with pet dogs for ages. The first recorded use of this phrase dates back to Frederick the Great of Prussia from the 18th century. Ever since then, it has become part of the general colloquialism. But have we ever wondered why we share such an intense bond with our canine buddies? Worry not my friends, because we now have an upcoming movie that precisely aims to answer that very question. The From Hell and The Book of Eli famed Albert Hughes’s new historical drama, Alpha, just had its first trailer released on ...

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‘Exit West’ and ‘The Golden Legend’ could be Pakistan’s literary game-changers

This is a strong year for Pakistani fiction. Two excellent novels, ‘Exit West’ and ‘The Golden Legend’, by two excellent novelists, Mohsin Hamid and Nadeem Aslam, have been published to great critical acclaim. Another, ‘Home Fire’ by Kamila Shamsie, is forthcoming in August and is already being endorsed by a plethora of writers. Historically, the Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world, has been won by Indian writers five times. No Pakistani writer has won it and only three, including Aslam and Hamid, have been nominated. This year, with two strong and worthy contenders, Pakistani writers have a great chance of featuring on the long ...

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The age of Woods is over: There is no shame in throwing in the towel when nature and health are your opponents

With Jordan Spieth clinching the Open Championship 2017, many people were looking towards one of golf’s greatest players and wondering why his name was not a part of the starting draws. It would not be incorrect to say that one of golf’s most successful and loved players, Tiger Woods, has not been performing lately. Many are of the opinion that he should now be allowed to retire peacefully. Like many critics expecting child actors to remain young forever, we expected the legend to remain at the top for eternity. However, like all good things in life, the reign of Woods must also come to an end. [caption id="" ...

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30 years of pop and patriotism: How ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ became Pakistan’s unofficial national anthem

In June 1987, an obscure Pakistani pop band, the Vital Signs were contacted by the then 36-year-old TV producer, Shoaib Mansoor. Mansoor had already made a name for himself for conceiving and producing a social satire ‘skit show’ for the state-owned Pakistan Television (PTV), Fifty Fifty. He had launched it in 1978 and it was an immediate hit with the viewers, running for eight seasons till Mansoor shut it down in 1984. Mansoor was teaching at the PTV Academy when one of his students, Rana Kanwal, drew his attention towards a pop band that had been playing at ‘college functions’ (mainly in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad area). They ...

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