Stories published in October, 2017

Greeters of Aamir Liaquat and champions of VIP culture, and PTI still claims to be an “anti-status quo” party

One thing which has often amused me is the way Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) fans use the word “anti-status quo” to describe their favourite party. As per their belief, PTI represents change whereas literally every other party represents status quo; campaigners of nepotism, corruption and of course the so-called “VIP culture”. On social media websites such as Twitter, the behaviour of the PTI followers is worth witnessing, where they literally exalt their party and leader Imran Khan to a deity-like status and condemn other parties and politicians using abusive language. Does PTI really represent change and is anti-status quo? To answer this question, we have ...

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Yes, Richard Spencer is a racist, but the US is still a democracy governed through a system of checks and balances

Richard Spencer, an American firebrand and a symbol of the alt-right movement in the US, recently delivered a speech at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida. Spencer’s prior claim to fame was leading the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. That rally ended in violence leaving an outright clash between Spencer’s followers and counter protesters. Spencer is known as a champion of white supremacy. When he announced that he was coming to Gainesville to deliver a speech, the university panicked. Initially, they tried banning his speech. Spencer countered by threatening to sue the university. He argued that he was allowed ...

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Shoaib Mansoor’s most anticipated movie, Verna, is yet another example of his anger towards social injustice

After hits like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol revived Pakistani cinema, Shoaib Mansoor is all set to return with another potential box office hit, Verna. Directed by Mansoor and produced by Showman Productions, the trailer has already amassed more than a million views on YouTube since its release. #Verna Trailer – 1 Million Views on YouTube!!! A film by Shoaib MansoorReleasing on 17.11.17#HUMFilms #Shoman #MahiraKhan pic.twitter.com/I9UAEIpFz4 — Verna The Movie (@VernaTheMovie) October 19, 2017 Not only have Mansoor’s previous films been considered monumental for Pakistani cinema, he is also the brains behind classic drama serials in Pakistan like Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Fifty Fifty and Ankahi. It is thus unsurprising that news of ...

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5 reasons why the premier of The Walking Dead Season 8 was highly disappointing

The Walking Dead (TWD) is hands down the best zombie apocalypse show out there; diehard fans may even argue that it’s the best TV show at the moment. (Warning: The following post contains spoilers) We’ve been fans of the show long enough to feel that in case of a zombie apocalypse, we’re good to go. Not only does the show excel in showing the apocalypse itself, it successfully creates the sense of community that arises as a group of people struggle to survive together and fight a threat that could potentially last forever. However, the last season was pretty much a let-down, with ...

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When privileged students Snapchat naked poor children for “fun” – because child pornography and poverty is a joke, right?

Yesterday, I was enjoying my Sunday having some me time and scrolling through my social media feed. While at it, I stumbled upon something that not only gave me a partial anxiety attack, but also shook me to my very core. A student of Beaconhouse National University (BNU) in Lahore went on a university field trip and decided to have some “fun” with her group of friends. The details of the aforementioned “fun” were graphic enough to trigger me, not only as a parent, but also as an educated person and a decent human being. This girl, who happens to be ...

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From Naran to Khunjerab Pass: A trip to the enthralling eighth wonder of the world and Pakistan’s very own heaven

It was the second week of September, and a bright sunny day, as we set out from Lahore on our journey to the northern areas of the country. My wife and I had been planning this trip for weeks but were still apprehensive on what was to come since we had never ventured this far up north. We hadn’t seen most of the places that we planned on covering but were excited nonetheless, since we were about to make our journey across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) to Gilgit Baltistan (GB) all the way up to Khunjerab Pass. We left Lahore and made our way to Nathiagali, ...

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The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is no longer the main game in the Middle East; it is now merely an irritant in the Arab backyard

The recently announced deal between Hamas and Al Fatah, the two main Palestinian factions, is being lauded as a historic move for the future of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Through this political reconciliation, Hamas would cede control of Gaza’s borders and allow the rival Palestinian authority to take over the day-to-day running of the territory. A broad Arab coalition is backing the deal, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with Hamas expecting substantial help from the Emirati and the Saudis and also getting a green light from America. One positive aspect of the deal is that it will ease ...

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Irfan Bhai and his solar eclipse

“I really need to beat Amir’s high score,” I said to myself as I played another round of Temple Run, not realising my battery had drained down to 5%. My phone got warmer and the LED light on my screen began to blink red. I turned on the battery saving mode and slid my phone in my pocket. I looked out my car window only to realise that the car had not moved an inch. I guess I’m just not used to Karachi’s traffic anymore, and a 20-day visit is not even minutely enough to adjust to it. After being thoroughly engrossed in ...

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BJP is to India what the Taliban are to Afghanistan

The Taliban government in Kabul during the 1990s had become symbolic, not only of political barbarity, but also of great cultural intolerance. They wanted to obliterate all the symbols present in the country that did not relate to its Islamic history and culture. The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas – which symbolised the epitome of Afghanistan’s history and heritage – was a brutal extension of that mentality. Today, India’s ruling Hindu party is besieged with a similar sectarian outlook. It displays an obsession to turn India into a Hindu nation, side-lining its other cultural and historical diversities. This fixation is so pronounced ...

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Secret Superstar: A 15-year old rookie overshadows superstar Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan’s roles define him in every movie. Whether he played Raja in Dil, Amar Manohar in Andaaz Apna Apna, Bhuvan in Lagaan, Rehan in Fanaa or Rancho in 3 Idiots, his performances leave a mark on the audience. His latest release, Secret Superstar, also falls in the same ‘hit’ category where Khan displays yet another side of himself to take over the minds and hearts of his viewers. However, this time, he is accompanied by a young actor, Zaira Wasim, playing the role of Insia, who wishes to become a singer but finds her father standing in between her dreams of stardom. The story shows that it is ...

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