Stories published in October, 2017

FIFA World Cup 2018: No Lionel Messi and no Cristiano Ronaldo?

Brazil is the go-to team for an overwhelming majority of my countrymen when it comes to the FIFA World Cup. But Argentina is arguably the second most widely supported international team, as far as Pakistani football fans are concerned. So with a very heavy heart, I am sad to announce that La Albiceleste, after a goalless drawn match against Peru, are at risk of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970. Come to think of it, that was even before than most of us were born. Moreover, their failed qualification would be the first time in our lifetime ...

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Lesson from the past: Why learning Mandarin is the precautionary measure that Pakistan needs to enforce right now

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which was originally valued at $46 billion and is expected to be a game changer for Pakistan’s economy, has been viewed with much scepticism since the day it was green lit. Some Pakistanis believe CPEC to be the equivalent of the Marshall Plan, an American initiative to aid Europe economically post World War II. Others believe that it is simply another East India Company (EIC) in the making, equivalent to calling CPEC a vehicle for colonialism. If you think about it, the idea that the Chinese could become the new British for us is not at all far-fetched. While the British ...

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Muslim immigrants’ alternative terror: “I’m relieved my religion or nationality is not questioned, at least this time”

I am a Muslim American and have lived in Las Vegas for over 17 years. It is my city, it is my home, and this is where all three of my kids were born. They were born in three different hospitals; the very same hospitals, which are now treating victims of the Sunday night massacre.  I am writing this to make a connection, a connection of love for the city, being invested in the city, being a part of the community and the very robust life of Las Vegas. Last night, as I saw the news unfold, I found myself in an unbelievable place; ...

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Salam and Shanti

Being in the army is like being caught in a revolving door. You see that settled life you so desperately want on the other side of the glass, just within your reach, but before you can join in, you’re on the move again. So there we were, posted to yet another place, to a pleasant city but a gloomy cantonment. I paid no heed to the eerie stories that our cook Abdul told me about the street we lived on. There were banyan trees lining the street, reminiscent of bearded men leaning on their sticks. I was sure the sight was ...

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Private schools: Money guzzling mills or upholders of education?

The exorbitant hike in private school fees in Islamabad was caught red-handed by the auditor general of Pakistan. This highlighted the failure of Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) as a potent regulatory body. Although PEIRA was established to mandate fee scales, which includes all fee and payments due from parents, private schools have displayed an attitude of absolute non-compliance to any such rules. Apart from failure to enforce adherence to fee structure rules, PEIRA also failed to regulate the teachings of Islamabad Capital Territory’s (ICT) mandated curricula in private schools. The incident in ICT cannot be brushed off as something that the rest ...

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Pakistan’s foreign policy, cross-country trade and internal security: For better or for worse?

Is Pakistan’s foreign policy in mayhem or is it a work in progress? This is a tough question for any political analyst. On one hand, the dwindling Pakistan-US relationship has drawn a lot of unsolicited criticism, while on the other, the increasing cooperation between China, Russia and Pakistan is claimed to be a stepping stone to country’s long-term growth. Pakistan has recently been under a lot of fire since Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has clearly stated that Pakistan will neither fight the US-Afghan war on its own soil nor will it be used as a scapegoat. Abbasi stated, “Nor can we endorse any failed ...

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Will red cards in cricket prove to be useful?

Over a period of time cricket has evolved, which is natural. The game is not as simple as it once was due to the constantly changing dynamics that continue to have a significant impact on how the sport is played. In order to stay in line with the progress on the field, it is appropriate to amend the laws in order to keep up with modern-day cricket. Thus the International Cricket Council (ICC) has come up with a few new rules that were implemented from 28th, 2017 Red card We are well aware of the red card rule in football, but cricket has now turned a corner ...

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The 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express was flawed, will the 2017 adaptation be better?

Considered by many as one of the most ingeniously crafted stories ever published, Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ has stood the test of time (it was published in 1934) and a handful of cinematic iterations to retain its place in the pantheon of great whodunits’. Most who haven’t read the book may be familiar with filmmaker Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of the classic mystery which was released in 1974. In Hollywood though, no film is old or important enough to be remade or as I like to call it, ‘reheated’ and this time around veteran Shakespeare director, Kenneth Branagh, is taking a ...

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When we’re told to “limit ourselves to the imambargah or shift these processions outside the city”

Recently, I came across a post on Facebook which stated the following: “Roads blocked, no mobile networks and markets are closed. Please stop bothering your fellow countrymen and limit yourselves to the imambargah or else shift these processions outside the city, somewhere on highway.” A typical, insensitive and privileged Pakistani comment. But this statement was not the only one. It is not unusual for the Shia community to hear such insensitive comments from Karachiities, whose lives are completely uprooted during 9th and 10th Muharram. Such insensitivity may not be uncommon, but it is hurtful, given the day and the solemnity of the incident being marked in Muharram. The ...

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Old vs new: Will Varun Dhawan’s ‘Judwaa 2’ fare better than Salman Khan’s ‘Judwaa’?

I recently watched Judwaa 2 and to be honest, I was thrilled during the entire movie. It is a David Dhawan directorial, who directed the original Judwaa as well. Luckily for us, Judwaa 2 has all the David masala his other movies entail. It is packed with a 90s Bollywood formula script, comic escapades, hilarious situations and scenes that lack logic, yet you watch it and feel thoroughly entertained. With a David movie, one expects loads of drama, an action-packed comedy, slapstick jokes and tapori (rowdy) lyrics. And this is precisely what you’ll see in Judwaa 2. I don’t need to delve too much into the story line, since it’s exactly similar to ...

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