Stories published in September, 2017

Chef: Will it offer the right amount of flavour?

Saif Ali Khan’s latest appearance comes in the form of a lead role in the upcoming movie called Chef. The movie focuses on the life of a father-son duo where the father is so occupied in making his career as a chef that he is unable to give time to his only son who lives away from him. Khan plays a successful chef, Roshan, who is seen aspiring towards achieving the coveted three Michelin stars (or more) for a hotel he owns in New York. However, while he is busy preparing sumptuous dishes, his son feels ignored and misses his father’s company. The story depicts the ...

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Pakistan does not need more thieves, harassers or mobs – its police officers are doing the job for them

Recently, I came across a news article about senior police officers breaking down the door of a house in Rawalpindi to arrest a murder suspect. The house they raided belonged to the cousin of the man suspected of having committed said murder. In addition, when these upright gentlemen did not find the man they were looking for, they decided to take with them cash and jewellery, worth at least a million rupees, which belonged to the owner of the house. Naturally, the poor victim immediately went to the nearest police station to file an FIR (without which the police cannot investigate a crime) ...

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India’s contract marriages: When Sheikhs marry, rape and divorce child brides, all in one week

Poverty is not a crime, but it surely is a curse for docile Muslim girls in the poverty-driven city of Hyderabad, India. Why, you ask? Because young girls from impoverished families are forced to marry ageing and rich men. Since the 90s, Hyderabad has been a hunting ground for the rich philanderers from oil-rich countries to seek young and virgin brides. Over the years, numerous unfortunate stories of teenaged brides wedded to ageing Arabs have unfolded at regular intervals. Recently, 20 people were arrested in a major crackdown against a ‘Sheikh marriage’ racket, which hints towards a much greater issue. Amidst poor living conditions and rising ...

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Series 8: The Green Thumb Part 2 ‘They wanted money, he wanted memories’

“Where are you going?” Zareen asked Ali as she saw him getting ready to go out. “I’m going with Fahad,” he told her. “Faizan Sahib said I could come with him and sit in the AC since he couldn’t sit without it and it isn’t fair for Fahad to enjoy it if I can’t.” Zareen couldn’t believe her ears. “Are you out of your mind?” she asked incredulously. “You think I can pay for the two of you? I only send him there because he needs help. You are not going, and that’s that.” “No Mama, I’m going,” Ali was adamant. “If Faizan ...

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We commend Punjab for banning medical treatment abroad, but will politicians like Nawaz Sharif actually adhere to it?

Despite what the popular opinion may be, the Punjab government must be commended for taking objective measures to ensure austerity in the province. The Punjab government has imposed an extensive ban, restricting all ministers, MPA’s and officials from travelling abroad for medical treatment at the government’s expense. Furthermore, the government has banned recruitment against vacant posts, imposed a complete ban on the procurement of locally assembled and imported new vehicles, amongst various other bans. The ban that I feel is most welcome is imposing a restriction on travelling abroad for medical treatment. Healthcare in Pakistan poses a major problem for every government. ...

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Law schools in Pakistan may be operational but they are not good enough to produce good lawyers

It would be no exaggeration to state that the legal profession is one of the oldest and most prestigious professions around the world. Most of the world leaders who have dominated the political scene belong to the legal profession, whether it is Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Mahatama Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, or others. From this, we can understand that it is no coincidence that most of the world leaders acquired a legal education without knowing its significance. The importance of a legal education can also be gauged from the fact that it acts as a supply as well as fuel to the legal profession and the state ...

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Honour is our national shame, not Mahira Khan

It’s 2017, which means every day one wakes up to a new outrage on social media – it is simply the way of the world now. You pick a side and tweet incessantly until the next outrage-inducing news comes along. Now, normally, I try my best to act reasonable and get some facts before I join the outrage train, so imagine my surprise when I see pictures of Mahira Khan smoking with Ranbir Kapoor, and I immediately begin to judge her. How could I not? Did you see what she was wearing? My first thought was, ‘wow, what a lovely dress!’ What do we have to ...

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Is Roger Federer the greatest player of all time?

In 1998, at Gstaad, a 16-year-old Roger Federer appeared for a press conference with a toothless grin on his face, thus making his professional debut into the tennis world. However, little did the world know that this was the first of many press conferences that the Swiss player would be a part of. Federer had already showed signs of belonging at the highest level by winning the Wimbledon boys singles and doubles title before heading for the Swiss Open. Photo: Getty From the outset, Federer wanted to make this game his own but the beginning of his tennis career was not ...

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Given their (corrupt) record, why is the Sharif family being allowed to skip accountability proceedings?

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with his family, has fled to London. Now, this isn’t surprising news, because everyone’s safe haven seems to be London. But you see, the Sharif family was discovered to be knee-deep in corruption and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has three corruption cases filed against them. The references filed are related to the Sharif family’s property in London and their two steel mills in Saudi Arabia. Since the filing has been completed, NAB can frame charges of corruption against the accused, thus the Sharif family should be in the country, rather than out of the country. Normally, under NAB rules and ...

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Good work appeals to the intellect and does not have to be a feast for the eyes – and ‘Parchi’ offers exactly that

Five of the most talented actors, Ahmed Ali Akbar, Hareem Farooq, Shafqat Khan, Usman Mukhtar and Ali Rehman Khan, star in the upcoming feature film Parchi. Good-looking, well-groomed and polished – to varying degrees, these actors are show business professionals. Hence, they understand the difference between acting and modelling and rely, almost exclusively, on their histrionic abilities when working as actors. Films and television shows are vastly different from fashion shoots and commercials. They rarely need good looks, clothes, jewellery and accessories. And they certainly do not require affectation, artifice and fake accents. Not everyone in the cast needs to have flawless ...

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