Stories published in January, 2018

Zainab was clearly not the last one as cases keep popping up, yet sex education remains taboo in Pakistan

Recently, a school guard of a private school in Karachi was detained by the police for allegedly molesting a minor girl. A five-year-old girl barely escaped a rape attempt in Bahawalpur. The body of a four-year-old girl was discovered in the sugar cane fields of Mardan; she had been raped and strangled to death. Policemen in Kasur search in vain to nab the serial killer wanted in the rape case of Zainab, a case that has taken the country by storm. The news of these horrific incidents keep popping up with no end in sight. My head spins when I get my daily updates, ...

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From Donut Burger to Waffle Chicken, 6 inventions at Karachi Eat 2018 that made it worth the hassle!

Karachi Eat 2018 started and came to an end with a lot of hype, by being bigger than ever with over 100 food brands selling mouth-watering edibles. The event turned out to be the most hyped and crowded (and also rather elite) thus far – a good way to start 2018. Though social media was full of rants against the mismanagement and long queues, there were many who expressed complete satisfaction with everything, especially once they got in. It seemed as if the secret to happiness with the food festival lay in the timings of ones entrance. Those attending ...

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Of the great America and its need for coups around the world

In the past few months, there has been a successful coup in Zimbabwe, preceded by a failed attempt in Turkey. While local elements involved in such a takeover are in view of the public, the same cannot be said about foreign conspirators. Talk of foreign involvement is often shrugged off as a “conspiracy theory” by the global mainstream media, and evidence implicating outside actors is often ignored. However, a brief review of recent history (post World War II) unveils the role played by the strongest power in history – the United States (US) – in coups around the world. The history presented in this piece is not based on the opinions of people, but rather on official declassified documents released under ...

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Man City will take home the title, but without their unbeaten run, thanks to the magical nature of Liverpool

Phillipe Coutinho might be a very special player; he could even be one of the best footballers currently plying their trade on God’s green earth, but then again, no single player can ever be bigger than the club. This axiom gains special credence when the club in question is as iconic as Liverpool. Following a drawn-out saga, the diminutive Brazilian eventually got his wish last week, when the Merseysiders agreed to sell him to Barcelona, in the third richest player transaction ever, for a whopping £145 million. New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho (R) and Josep Maria Bartomeu, President ...

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Sorry America, but Oprah 2020 is not the answer

On Sunday evening, at the annual Golden Globes award ceremony in Los Angeles, Oprah won hearts and minds with a rousing speech about speaking truth to power and advancing the position of women in society. It was an objectively powerful oration, and social media was promptly flooded with calls for Oprah to be the country’s next president. The newfound Oprah 2020 campaign drew support not only from NBC News, which eventually deleted a tweet referring to her as “our future president”, but also famous neoconservative war hawk Bill Kristol, who unleashed a Twitter storm of support for the beloved American icon. Oprah: Sounder on economics than Bernie ...

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Will PML-N and PTI take pages from TLP’s book to gain votes for the 2018 general election?

Recently, the results of the by-election in PP-20 Chakwal were declared, giving the embattled Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) a comfortable victory. This particular by-election was important for the following three parties: PML-N, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). For PML-N, ever since Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification through Supreme Court’s (SC) landmark decision, a question which has constantly been discussed in the media is their political future. According to some, PML-N is in dire state after the disqualification and is facing harsh subsequent events which include Faizabad sit-in and former prime minister’s continuous confrontation with higher judiciary and establishment. At the same ...

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Pakistan says the US is no longer an ally – and it’s a much bigger deal than you think

Donald Trump’s decision to ring in the new year by simultaneously demonising both Iran and Pakistan on Twitter has already backfired tremendously. Following threats that the US would withhold aid to Pakistan, the US confirmed it would withhold $255 million in aid (which has now become $900 million) and is now reportedly threatening a roughly $2 billion more as well. “We’re hoping that Pakistan will see this as an incentive, not a punishment,” a US State Department official told reporters. According to the Wall Street Journal, this recent animosity towards Pakistan has not gone over well. Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said in an interview that the US has failed to ...

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The fallen giant: Arsenal is out of major leagues and has no one but itself and Arsene Wenger to blame for it

Arsenal under Arsene Wenger had always been a pleasure to watch. With their free flowing attacking moves and gripping inter-changeable link-up play, it was impossible for opposing teams to keep up with them in their prime. The Gunners had immense fire power in their ranks, and for a long time, they were the team that any person would want to support, even if they were neutral about the teams. However, it seems as if those glory days are long gone. Currently, they are a shadow of a team that used to blow their rivals away in matches. Today, they have become this boring and appalling ...

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Remembering Ahmad Faraz: Do not murder the voices

The 87th birthday of one of Pakistan’s most beloved poet – who was also a resistance poet par excellence – the legendary Ahmad Faraz, was celebrated on January 12th. The honour of both the Pakhtuns and Urdu-speaking community, I was lucky to hear him recite his famous poem ‘Muhaasra’ (siege) in one of his last public appearances in Karachi back in 2008. He joined the immortals soon afterwards on August 25, 2008. To pay tribute to his memory, here I am sharing my translation of one of my favourite Faraz poems, “Mat Qatl Karo Aavaazon Ko” (do not murder the voices), which it seems ...

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How does one demand #JusticeForZainab from the Punjab government when the executioners are the perpetrators?

Punjab has now become a hub of sexual violence and a living hell for children. The plethora of rape cases being reported in this province alone is higher than all the other provinces combined. One wonders though, why the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) tenures always wreak havoc on innocent children. Is it criminal negligence, or a deliberate failure to act against the perpetrators? Or is it something else entirely? In 2015, over 200 children were sexually abused in Kasur, and their pornographic videos sold in the international black market. In response, there was a long list of notices taken by the Sharif brothers and a joint ...

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