Stories published in September, 2017

Coke Studio season 10 may have had a rocky start, but it has managed to silence its critics with its latest episodes

They say aging makes the wine taste better. That certainly is not the case with subsequent Coke Studio seasons lately. The awful rendition of the national anthem was a terrible lapse of judgment on the director’s part. Things did not quite improve with ‘Sayonee’ either, which was taken as nothing less than an affront on the honour of Ali Azmat as a singer. However, if each episode is viewed song wise, the season has not been half-bad. Yes, I know I may have poked a hornet’s nest here. I myself quite enjoyed episode three, four and five and I shall explain here ...

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If Aung San Suu Kyi fails to act, she will go down in history as an unworthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. In her acceptance speech, she called for the world to be “free of the displaced, the homeless and the hopeless”. Her story is one of courage and determination, especially the way she took on the might of the military junta for restoring democracy in Myanmar. In the 1990 general election, Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), witnessed a resounding victory but unfortunately, the military junta refused to recognise the results. The military kept Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 ...

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Our curriculum may be out-dated, but it surely does not brainwash students into committing acts of terrorism

Pakistan is going through an extremely difficult phase concerning its current security situation. In my opinion, what is worrying about this scenario is that the numerous terrorists recently captured by law enforcement agencies are highly qualified individuals and are a part of the country’s prestigious academic institutions. Whenever we hear of students involved in terrorism plots and acts, our politicians and government, instead of finding the reason behind students committing terrorist attacks, start blaming the curriculum of educational institutions. Personally, I feel that our curriculum is perfectly fine. It may be out-dated and may lack discussions about recent scientific issues, but it surely does not glorify terrorists or terrorism. ...

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After defeating Voldemort, Daniel Radcliffe battles nature in ‘Jungle’

Ask any aspiring actor around to spell out a sure shot way of becoming famous overnight and they would invariably answer that landing a memorable character is the key to unlock this particular treasure chest. Starring in a major role, however, is also a potential double-edged sword, where actors and actresses when trying to move on have found themselves trapped in the success of these very characters. Mark Hamill was, at one point in time, the ultimate example of an actor who was solely known for one single character. So much so, that you might not even notice who this ...

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Dear Centaurus Mall, forcing single males to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs500 is elitist and offensive

Centaurus Mall has once again fired shots at the lowly invaders of its ‘family-oriented’ atmosphere. I fear this will only get worse. Frustrated social media users have posted images of Rs500 entry tickets to Centaurus, applicable only to single male visitors. Unlike older entry coupons, these tickets are neither refundable nor adjustable with purchases inside the mall. #Boycott #Centaurus_MallAbsolutely ridiculous! Centaurus used to charge 300 previously which was adjustable. They're… Posted by Islamabad~~~Rain~~~Music~~~Walk~~~Perfect Combination on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 It appears that the management of Centaurus has done nothing that is not within the class-warfare guidelines of Islamabad – the face of Pakistan’s elite ...

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Brown vs white: ‘The Big Sick’ throws South Asian women and families under the bus

As I walked out of the theatre after watching Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick, a myriad of thoughts ran through my head. Let me begin by stating that I feel there are positive aspects of this film and it is what I would consider a step in the right direction. This is the first Hollywood romantic comedy in which a South Asian plays a lead role. Nanjiani and actress Zoe Kazan portray Nanjiani’s relationship with his real life spouse, Emily Gordon. As a brown woman, it was undoubtedly exciting to see someone of my ethnic background acting in a mainstream film. Considering that ...

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Silence of the lambs: Pakistan is doing its fair share for the Rohingya refugees, but what about India and Bangladesh?

One wonders what is more appalling – Myanmar’s systematic genocide of its Muslim minority, or the inexplicable manner in which the world stayed numb while a small country, wielding hardly any politico-economic clout in international affairs, went about openly violating all norms of international law. Let us forget about the world for a second, what exactly has the “Muslim Ummah” done to stop the killings of our Rohingya brethren? It is because of the inaction of Muslim governments in times like these that the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) is often referred to as “Oh, I see”. If Muslim countries had ...

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World XI vs Pakistan’s best: Will talent trump home advantage?

Most Pakistani cricket fans have purchased their tickets for the upcoming Independence Cup matches and cannot wait for them to begin.  After receiving security clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is in full swing and is busy putting final touches to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Gaddafi Stadium is set to make its international cricket comeback, as the home team takes on World XI in the first Twenty20 International on September 12. Photo: AFP Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each team, the behaviour of the pitch and the probable ...

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16 years after 9/11: Its tragic memory, surreal aftermath and the insecure world it left behind

In 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down, young men like me who had posed as ‘Marxists’ across the 80s were overwhelmed by a sense of both sadness and dread. And yet we knew that things in our beloved Soviet Union were not quite like what we had imagined – a socialist Utopia in which the working classes (the proletariat) had risen above economic, religious and social biases to consolidate their own rule according to the noble dictates of Marxist-Leninism. I was 22 in 1988 and about to head out to a university in Moscow on a scholarship. The plan was ...

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Benazir Bhutto’s assassination was carefully planned, politically motivated and amply funded – but who did it?

Every movie buff has their favourite action movie star – mine is Mark Wahlberg. He has acted in several high octane, action-packed and successful movies. For our purpose, I’d like to remind my readers of one of his more subdued films, Shooter. The film follows the story of a sniper living in exile who is coaxed back into action to prevent a plot to kill the president of the US. Unbeknownst to him, the people who brought him in to help them are the ones who were involved in the whole conspiracy to begin with. If you haven’t seen the ...

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