Stories published in October, 2017

An Afghan-Indo-Pak alliance?: Stop looking for Uncle Sam’s hand-outs and helping hand

A beleaguered and bleeding Washington continues with its reckless, outrageous and undignified ways under the leadership of President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, fights for his credibility, as his job as the nation’s top diplomat is seemingly to rack up miles in Asia. For someone who thinks the utterly untruthful president, and his boss, is a “moron”, that’s quite a challenge. He’s representing the US at a time when the country’s image in the eyes of the world is dwindling; with mixed reactions coming from allies and adversaries alike. There is growing uncertainty surrounding the conduct of Washington’s foreign policy and ...

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After Verna and Arth 2, Rangreza’s colourful and gripping trailer has left us anxiously waiting

This month, a lot of Pakistani potential blockbusters have released their trailers one after the other. First it was Shoaib Mansoor’s Verna, then Shaan Shahid’s Arth 2, and now the colourful trailer of Rangreza has struck our eyes. Rangreza’s trailer makes a person think twice considering the storyline it possesses. The trailer seems to have two distinct personalities that make this movie seem interesting. The first half gives off a vibe of a romantic-comedy based on sweet melodies, followed by a tragedy and a happily ever after. However, the second half of the trailer makes one sit up straight when it starts addressing a ...

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8 reasons why Narcos season three surpasses its previous seasons

The first two seasons of Narcos, as we all know, chronicled the rise and the subsequent fall of one of the richest and deadliest drug kingpins the world has ever known, Pablo Escobar and his notorious Medellín Cartel. Season three is all about their sworn enemy and rival, the Cali Cartel. Here are eight reasons why I think that season three is better than its previous ones: (Spoilers alert!!) 1. Tactical finesse Unlike the sheer violence and fear that Escobar (Wagner Moura) thrived on as an instrument to enlarge and amplify his drug empire reign, the Cali Cartel did things incognito, like a sophisticated organisation. Their tactics were to ...

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Why are female celebrities asked shallow and personal questions but the men are asked professional ones?

I’m not going to lie, I’m a fan of red-carpet events. The pretty dresses, the sparkly jewellery, the glitz, the glamour, the hair and makeup – I love it all. Does that make me a bad feminist? I really hope not. I wholeheartedly believe in a woman’s right and choice to celebrate her looks, her body and her sexuality. But at the same time, it also sets me off when the media reduces a woman to merely that – just a pretty face. At the trailer launch for her upcoming film, Mahira Khan was questioned by a few reporters regarding those controversial pictures with Ranbir Kapoor. ...

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Rights over respect?: “Madam, this is the Red Zone and ‘khusray’ are not allowed here”

To be transgender means being unsafe across the globe, mainly because the masses have neither the understanding of gender diversity nor the awareness that a gender non-binary exists. Specifically in Pakistan, an almost outright denial of the existence of transgender people has led to their marginalisation as well as a lack of respect from society at large. They face threats, harassment and humiliation on a daily basis, and are only seen as sex workers, dancers or beggars. The disrespect and discrimination reserved for them is across the board, as in my many years I have seen no exceptions to this, not even from ...

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8 things you can relate to if you’re an only child like me – and no, I am not a spoiled brat

My parents were blessed with an only child, and trust me, and they will confirm, that child was more than enough for them. Life as an only child is pretty different and definitely interesting, but one of the things I always get asked is that, “Do you feel alone?” “Kesay rehti ho akelay? Bore nai hoti?” (How do you live alone? Do you not get bored?) Photo: Giphy I don’t get bored with my life; in fact, I love it! However, there are certain common occurrences in the life of an only child and I am sure a lot of ...

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Fudging the population: The missing 90 million Indian Muslims

There is one thing about Indian Muslims that just can’t be denied – most of them are poor. They don’t earn enough to be able to go on vacations to other countries. Most of them wish to go for Hajj to Saudi Arabia, and this they are able to do only when they are very old; having struggled to save over many years for the journey. Of course, there are rich and literate Indian Muslims whom one occasionally meets (mostly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia), and when you talk to them, they are adamant that the population of Indian Muslims is ...

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Arth 2 looks visually appealing, glamourous and gripping enough for a successful run at the box office

I always feel that a trailer cannot be an evaluator for how a movie will turn out, like the saying goes, “do not judge a book by its cover”. That is precisely what a trailer is, a cover of an upcoming movie. Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth is the first Hindi film to be remade in Pakistan. Arth 2, a modern day retelling of the original story, has a romantic storyline. With Shaan Shahid playing the lead role, this is one movie you don’t want to miss out on. Setting the original 1987 Arth aside for a moment, the new version looks fast-paced, glamourous and gripping enough to give it a view. ...

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#IamParis, #IamLondon, #IamKabul, #IamManchester – but what about #IamSomalia?

I was at my desk, typing away on my laptop when my friend decided to lean in and see what I was working on. Her jaw dropped open as she read the headline: ‘Somalia to announce state of war on al Shabab’. She asks me what happened to bring this on, and I got up from my seat to let her read the news herself. After several minutes, she turned around and stared at me, stunned. “Why wasn’t this on the news?” she asked. To be honest, I ended up asking myself that very same question, and I didn’t have an answer. Positioned ...

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Best FIFA Men’s Player: The Messi vs Ronaldo debate should be put to rest now, as we now know who the ‘best’ really is

It might seem like an eternity, and rightly so, because it has now been a whole decade since the juggernaut that is the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over football awards, started devouring any sort of competition that dared to cross its path. The last time that anyone else other than the pair managed to win a major individual honour was 2007 when Brazilian star Kaká claimed the Ballon d’Or. But even then, the duo succeeded to bag the second and third spot respectively. So it didn’t really come as a major surprise when on Monday night, Ronaldo yet again managed ...

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