Stories published in March, 2018

Real Madrid vs PSG: Will The Whites celebrate their 116th birthday with #APorLA13?

Can you think of a better love affair than European nights and Real Madrid? I am pretty sure you can’t. Los Blancos have been going through a torrid campaign domestically, they are out of Copa Del Rey, and have no realistic chance of defending their La Liga crown. However, at Europe’s elite competition, they once again transcended to an entirely different level to tarnish Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) hopes of Champions League success, at a time when the contrary seemed more likely. Not a bad way for Madridistas to celebrate the club’s 116th anniversary. Here are some key points from the Round of 16 matches between these two football giants: 1. Cristiano Ronaldo ...

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Pakistan and Russia: From Cold War foes to budding allies?

It is no secret that Pak-US ties are experiencing a downward spiral. However, there is some good coming out of this mistrust between both countries. The ongoing tensions have motivated Pakistan to reach out to regional stakeholders other than China for potential partnerships, and one such partner being actively pursued by Islamabad is its former Afghan-jihad foe, Russia. Who would have thought that after almost three decades of Soviet disintegration and Pakistan’s active role in the former’s defeat in Afghanistan, both countries’ foreign ministers would be warmly embracing each other in Moscow? Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif – who recently concluded a three-day visit to Russia and signed a number of ...

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16 movies that prove Lollywood and Bollywood have been empowering women since 1957

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day; a day to appreciate and acknowledge the women around us and discuss female empowerment. As we do this, it is hard to ignore the contribution of the media, which is perhaps the best tool in our means to depict the society around us. However, having empowering female characters is not a new phenomenon in either the Indian or Pakistani film industry. On the contrary, filmmakers in India and Pakistan have consistently tried to come up with subjects and films which celebrate and empower women. From the inception of the film industry in this ...

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To the women of Pakistan: Get out there, march and reclaim your space!

For this year’s International Women’s Day, Pakistani women from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad have decided to stick it out together, get out on the streets of their respective cities, and march to reclaim their space in the public sphere. The event, called the Aurat March, is planned and organised entirely by a diverse group of women belonging to different ethnicities, classes and sections of our society. The march itself is not linked to a particular organisation, nor is it initiated or funded by any political parties or groups, and all women (and men) are welcome! #AuratMarch 4pm 8th March 2018. ...

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International Women’s Day: What if women started getting paid for household work?

“So do you work or are you just a housewife?” I remember being asked this question many times by people I was meeting for the first time. I also remember asking other women the same insensitive question, simply because I too, like so many of us, had been conditioned to only value work that gets remuneration in return. Looking back, the years during which I took a hiatus from work as a journalist, because I was looking after a home and my family, were the years I perhaps worked the hardest. Even physically. Imagine for a moment that the women all around us ...

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Are medicine and engineering the only two feasible options for Pakistani students?

Till a couple of decades ago, engineering and medicine were considered the most sought-after fields for students to pursue professionally. Parents at home and teachers at school would shape the youngsters in order to make them able to qualify for the top-notch medical and engineering schools. The most common statement to hear as a child, whenever questioned about future plans in front of our parents, would be, “Mera bacha bara ho key doctor ya engineer banay ga.” (My child will grow up to be a doctor or an engineer.) Young people never even get the chance to come to this realisation on ...

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Why ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ deserved to be snubbed at the Oscars

After a meandering and predictable awards season, The Shape of Water’s victory at the 2018 Academy Awards comes as both, a pleasant surprise and a relief. The former is because it is not often that genre-bending fantasy films are garlanded by the Academy, and the latter is because it breaks the clean-sweep streak of the godforsaken Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; a film that is hopelessly bad when it comes to portraying race in America. Starting with the Golden Globes in January, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri embarked on a laurel grabbing frenzy, picking up the top honours at the Golden ...

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Konya: The city of legacies, spirituality and Rumi

As we returned home from our trip to Uzbekistan last year, we kept aside four days in Istanbul to break the journey. Since we had already travelled to Istanbul previously, we decided to spend some time in Konya, which is the burial place of celebrated scholar and Sufi poet, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. Situated in the heart of Turkey, Konya is very well connected to the world by road, high-speed rail, and air. We had made our reservations to reach Konya from Istanbul via Pegasus Airlines, one of the no-frills Turkish airlines where the return fare from Istanbul was $50 per person. The airline operates from ...

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Imran Khan may become the next PM, but Umar Akmal will never learn from his mistakes

Imran Khan could become the next prime minister of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif could end corruption once and for all. Donald Trump could end up falling in love with Pakistan. I can expect any of these situations to become a possibility in this world, but if there is one thing that comes close to being impossible, it has to be Umar Akmal learning from his own mistakes. Umar Akmal's career summed up! #KKvsLQ pic.twitter.com/e9fIERS1Af — Hassan Munir (@hasssan39) February 26, 2018 The Lahore Qalandars are known for their bravery, amongst other things. Sometimes, however, they take a step too far as they try ...

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Afghanistan can accept the Taliban, but not recognise the Durand Line?

In an unprecedented move, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani surprised the world by proposing peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. He made this offer in his opening speech at the Kabul Process Conference, which was attended by the representatives of around 25 countries, signalling a major policy shift from his earlier belligerent stance. Ghani expressed his government’s willingness to accept the Taliban as a legitimate political group, and insinuated that factions of the Taliban will have to recognise the Afghan government and respect the rule of law, suggesting, “We are making this offer without preconditions in order to lead to a peace agreement.” The Taliban, who dominate a ...

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