Stories published in December, 2017

Whether for smoking, wearing jeans or saying #MeToo, 2017 was a year of constant harassment for Pakistani women

It’s finally that time of the year, when you get to cuddle up in a blanket on the sofa while you sip on hot chai (tea), and reflect on the past year. In fact, I’m doing just that as I write this. As we get through the very last days of 2017, a year that went by rather swiftly, it’s time for an important recap.   For me, a great part of the year was spent writing about and highlighting human rights injustices, not just in Pakistan but globally. By far, what throws me off every time is the sheer ...

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If 2017 proved anything, it was that the beauty of Pakistan cricket lies in its glorious uncertainties

Heading into the final stretch of 2017, I can say with absolute certainty that as far as Pakistan cricket goes, the past 12 months turned out to be radically different from what most people, including myself, originally perceived at the beginning of the year; the major factor here being Pakistan’s incredible Champions Trophy triumph. I think that’s true for the most of us who closely follow Pakistan cricket, isn’t it? Realistically speaking, a majority of the cricketing pundits and fans did not give Pakistan much of a chance, and personally, I did not expect them to even go beyond the ...

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The best Pakistani dramas of 2017 that kept us glued to our screens, and what awaits in 2018

Pakistan has seen a rise in its drama industry, as every year we get to see different, thought-provoking stories unfold on our screens. This year, too, had a lot of interesting dramas with strong messages and unique characters. While we await 2018, there are certain upcoming dramas that have caught my eye. Here is a list of the best dramas of 2017 and the dramas we are looking forward to in 2018. 1. O Rungreza Written by Saji Gul and directed by Kashif Nisar, this Sajal Aly, Bilal Abbas and Irsa Ghazal-starrer has been the top favourite of the year. It raked in high ...

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2017 proved that the ‘war’ on terror has been misdirected towards the wrong enemy all along

As we step over the threshold of one pandemonium of a year, it is evident that the global perspective is shifting, with many ‘rites of passage’ that were once the norm for transitioning from one year to the next with an outlook of optimism and hope, being replaced instead by realistic concerns over security and the need to secure borders.    Today, questions asked in hindsight and disconcerted glances exchanged in retrospect, all entail a fresh meaning. This is because as the year dissolves into its waning stretch, it is hard to ignore the events that made it, in many ...

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Celebrating the best and vilifying the worst that Hollywood offered in 2017

This has been another banner year for Hollywood, and while there have been the usual crop of mediocre and bad films that are better left ignored, there have also been a number of great films that continue to give us a reason to go to the theatres, while also setting new standards for the art of story-telling and stretching the very boundaries of cinema itself. As we near the end of this year, the time has come to celebrate the best, and vilify the worst that 2017 has offered! 5. Mother! Darren Aronofsky is no stranger to exploring strange and exceedingly bewildering stories. ...

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Dear India, a simple “thank you” would have sufficed. Your neighbour, Pakistan

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” These words from Irish poet WB Yeats’ poem, Second Coming, sum up the mood in the subcontinent today. All the negative forces have ganged up to throttle the voice of sanity. These divisive agents are full of passion and want to preside over the fate of the relationship between India and Pakistan. We witnessed the worst effect of these negative forces after the meeting between Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian spy facing death sentence in a Pakistani court, and his female relatives. The meeting was aimed at breaking the ice between the two nations; it was ...

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Was 2017 a year of revival for Pakistan’s film industry? These 10 movies prove otherwise!

Just like its predecessor, this year started with a new hope for Pakistani cinema, a hope that the industry would continue to produce better films than it did in previous years. While the industry may have produced more films this year than it has in a long time, unfortunately, the graph went down in terms of the quality of content. Let’s take a look at what the revival of Pakistani cinema looked like this year. 1. Thora Jee Le Rafay Rashdi’s directorial debut Thora Jee Le was considered one of the most promising films of the year, simply because it launched more ...

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Justin Trudeau celebrating Ramazan in Canada is praiseworthy, but PIA celebrating Christmas in Pakistan is appalling?

Everyone is aware of the fact that Christmas is a festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is not only a day of celebration for Christians around the world but over time, it’s celebration has become a global festival, being regarded as a symbol of joy and togetherness, not just religion. It is a day where families and friends get together and give each other gifts, quite similar to Eid, where Muslims get together and give each other Eidis and celebrate over food. However, celebrating Christmas in Pakistan has become a debate over the past decade. Many Pakistanis take offence when a Muslim wishes someone ...

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The world of sports can provide more drama than movies and these 7 events of 2017 are a testament to that

They say ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, and a sports fan, more than anyone else, is likely to attest to this particular expression. For them, strange is just one of the many adjectives that can be used to describe the wild and whacky world of sports. Even for a movie buff like myself, I would readily concede that sports at times has this ability to provide drama like no work of fiction can. And the following sporting moments from the preceding 12 months are a testament to this very fact. 1. New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl LI in historic ...

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With rebel groups pledging allegiance to the IS, will Kashmir turn into another Syria or Iraq?

After being routed from Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State (IS) is now attempting to create its presence in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). The first time the black flag of IS was seen in Srinagar was in 2014, after which an inquiry launched by the local police revealed that a local “small-time” cleric was involved in encouraging the waving of this flag at protests, particularly outside the Grand Mosque. The director general of police has denied the presence of the group in the valley, while the Indian Home Ministry has also denied its presence in IoK. However, despite these recurring denials, the IS are trying to ...

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