Stories published in August, 2017

Rasm over rights: Why is the nikkahnama woven with inequality towards women?

Shaadi (marriage) is perhaps the most cherished tradition in Pakistani culture, a gathering of levity and simultaneous importance and an event which many deem to be the most significant in their lives. For women in Pakistan, the latter is often the case since marriage bounds them to a contract that is deliberately created to disadvantage them. The institution of marriage has been weaponised by the male-dominated religious lobby in Pakistan to systematically disenfranchise women into a life that is decided by their significant other. The most integral part of this system is the nikkahnama (marriage certificate). For many married couples, the nikkahnama is at best an afterthought in the marriage festivities, ...

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I am a female PTI member and I refute Ayesha Gulalai’s alleged claims against Imran Khan

There’s a popular saying which states that people don’t change, only their masks falls off. Whoever said that, hit the nail right on the head. Upon witnessing the ruthless slaughter of ethics and morality by Ayesha Gulalai, I could not resist the urge to write at length on this issue in order to make sure that the naysayers are exposed. Naz Baloch and Gulalai used to be two household names in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) circles and both women were given great respect by Chairman Imran Khan and the rest of the PTI leadership. They were allowed to voice their opinions during party meetings, without any ...

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What makes Fakhar Zaman a legend in the making?

We all know the story of how Fakhar Zaman left the Pakistan Navy to pursue a career in cricket. He was born to serve his country in one way or another. The left-handed batsman’s career shot to limelight during Pakistan’s successful ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign, most notably when he hit his century in the final against India. But how did he get there? What makes him the cricketer he is today? Fakhar Zaman exults after reaching his century, India v Pakistan, Final, Champions Trophy 2017, The Oval, London, June 18, 2017. Photo: AFP They say cricket is played 80% in ...

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Farhan Akthar’s Lucknow Central has much more to offer than your typical jailbreak movies

I’ll admit Hindi films aren’t always a delight to watch, but we must appreciate Bollywood’s efforts for coming up with novel story ideas once in a while and nailing them as well. I recently came across the trailer of Lucknow Central while I was watching another Bollywood masala film trailer on YouTube, and I was highly impressed, to say the least. The fact that it had Farhan Akhtar as the main lead pretty much convinced me to click on the thumbnail of the trailer. Upon watching it further, I was pleased to see an amazing cast comprising of Akhtar, Deepak Dobriyal, Ronit Roy, ...

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Ghairat: Exploring the orthodox beliefs and customs of honour killings and love marriages

Just when we started to see a glimmer of hope due to recent political events, many of us were given a harsh reality check. We were once again made to see the reality of our patriarchal society. We are once again talking about honour by stooping down to the level of discussing an unsuspecting female’s choice of clothing to become Pakistan’s top female squash player. We are once again associating izzat (honour) with the restrictive codes that women in Pakistan are expected to abide by. I will leave this specific matter until further investigation and evidence from both parties. However, this particular incident has evoked memories of several horror stories of honour killings in ...

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If it’s unfair to believe an allegation, it is also unfair to doubt Ayesha Gulalai and call her names

A few months ago, I wrote an article where I pointed out that both the Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were promoting a misogynist culture. In the said article, I criticised PML-N leaders like Khawaja Asif and Javed Latif for spewing filthy language against women in rival political parties. I further argued that PTI was also indulging in the same practice as an overwhelming number of its supporters have repeatedly abused prominent women politicians and also public figures. I cited examples of Malala Yousafzai, Asma Jahangir, Reham Khan and Maryam Nawaz. I also wrote about how Dr Shireen ...

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PML-N is like a hydra; you cut one head off, three more – Shahid Khaqan, Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz – will emerge

Pop goes the weasel. Nawaz Sharif is out. There is joy and jubilation in the opposition camps but gloom and despair in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) camp. The way forward is interesting to say the least. Nawaz didn’t nominate one person for the prime ministerial slot, he nominated two – Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for the coming month and Shehbaz Sharif until the next elections. The candidacy of these two gentlemen should not come as too much of a surprise. Abbasi is a long-time Sharif loyalist while Shehbaz is Nawaz’s younger brother. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had nominated Sheikh Rasheed, while the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had ...

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Are acid attacks becoming a commonality in the UK because they are treated as a minor offence?

Picture the following domestic scene: A woman hovering over a tawwa (stove), folding dough balls whilst the gas flame flickers gently under the cast iron. Behind her, a shadowy figure, wanting no blame and careful to hide their presence, opens up the cylindrical lever on the gas supply. Barely an instant passes before the light hits her eyes; eyes which will never be able to see themselves in a reflection in quite the same way. This was the old way, my mother tells me. This punishment for women, for what was perceived to be a social crime (normally domestic), would result in a woman becoming ...

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Mubarakan: Sit back, let go and enjoy the ride

Anees Bazmee’s latest film, Mubarakan recently hit the theatres. Knowing that it was directed by the king of comedy, who also directed movies like No Entry, Welcome, Ready, Singh is King and more, I honestly expected a mind-numbing comedy. These movies are high in entertainment value and that’s exactly what I expected. As I walked into the movie theatre, I was all set to laugh. And boy did Anees pull through this time. The cast Who doesn’t love a good Anil Kapoor movie? We have seen the Anees and Anil duo before, thus this film was already high on the expectations ladder, given the humour we witnessed in the last ...

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Game of Thrones S07-E03 was, in its truest sense, a Song of Ice and Fire

If the last episode of Game of Thrones (GoT) can be compared to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, then it would be justified to claim that episode three was more like The Godfather. While last week’s episode was packed with action and thrill, this week’s episode was filled with intense confrontations. As I said last week, this season is on steroids and at some point you might even feel like everything is moving too fast. This episode was titled ‘The Queen’s Justice’, which is an apt title considering the events that transpired. I believe this episode was, in its truest sense, ‘A Song of Ice and ...

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