Stories published in May, 2018

PTI’s 100-day agenda: No change without exchange

On May 20th, Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) brethren took to the stage in Islamabad to reveal a wide-ranging legislative agenda that the party hopes to focus on, if it is elected into office in the upcoming general elections over the summer. The agenda included ambitious agricultural and developmental reform, as well as plans for the bifurcation of the Punjab province, with detailed plans for the incorporation of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into Pakistan’s legal jurisdiction. The conference ended with a few words from Pervaiz Khattak, perhaps the conference’s most important: “The media must not take this to ...

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I am a Muslim, but I fake fasting in Ramazan

It’s Ramazan and my mother is in the kitchen, slaving over a hot stove preparing a big feast. She’s fasting, even though she is a 64-year-old diabetic. As for myself? Earlier in the day, I had a huge fish and chips platter for lunch, but my Muslim family believes I’m fasting with them. This has gone on for years. During the month of Ramazan, most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims will observe by basically not partaking in any vice for 30 days. From sunrise to sunset, all able-bodied Muslims are required to “fast”; prohibited from eating, drinking (yes, even ...

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With these easy and yummy sehri recipes, Ramazan will go by like a breeze

It’s the month of fasting, so Ramazan Kareem to all! I hope your fasts are going well so far, even though the weather has not been kind as yet sadly. This time around I would like to share two stories with this blog in light of this holy month, and spread some positive messages. A couple of weeks ago I attended a workshop in the Manpower Institute (I did not know this existed previously). During the commencement speech, the Director General of the Institute, Ms Khalida Gulnar said a few impactful words which still resonate with me. She said that ...

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Why Karachi’s Burns Road will always be the pioneer food street of Pakistan

Ramazan cannot be complete in our household without the presence of iftaari from Burns Road, Karachi. This Ramazan, as I went to Burns Road on the first day of fasting to buy items for iftaar, I was once again reminded of the strong sense of nostalgia that comes alongside the aroma of the food at this street. While in the other markets of the city the process of buying iftaar can start at around 4pm, here customers will start pouring in at around 2:30pm. There is no doubt Burns Road is the original food street of Karachi. It was not set up ...

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Why Fakhar Zaman could be Pakistan’s wild card in #PakvsEng

If the checklist to become a Test batsman had 10 items on the list, Fakhar Zaman would miss all 10 of them. His technique and temperament are not made for Test cricket and he didn’t claim to be one either. What he does have, however, is the ability to shift the momentum of the game within a single session. This might be the wildest suggestion I would ever make but Zaman could be Pakistan’s wild card that could help beat England in the upcoming Test series. Rumours are floating around that Mickey Arthur is interested in introducing Zaman at number six ...

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Move over, Marvel! Mission Impossible may be the most original, entertaining action movie franchise

It isn’t common for action franchises to actually gain momentum as they get older; more often than not, it is the other way around. However, the Mission Impossible franchise stands as a distinct exception to the rule. Five movies in, the franchise that actually began as a (then) modern-day adaptation of a corny 60’s spy show, has now morphed into quite possibly the most entertaining action movie franchise out there. Not only does it continue to defy audience expectations with its ambitious set pieces, but it also actually provides a welcome alternative for anyone who is tired of the excess of superhero ...

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13 Reasons Why S2: A season of secrets, guilt and the power of kindness

The original Netflix series 13 Reasons Why released in March 2017 and took the world by storm. The show started an international dialogue about bullying, sexual assault, substance abuse and suicide. Although there was plenty of criticism that the show was glamourising suicide, the factors leading and contributing towards the suicide committed by the female protagonist, Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), seemed to have been overlooked by critics. Photo: Netflix (Note: The following blog contains spoilers) In season one, Hannah, a high school student, commits suicide, but leaves behind 13 recorded tapes to explain her actions. Hannah left ...

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Is China making Pakistan a client-state with its ‘debt-book diplomacy’?

In Pakistan, China is the most active and positive economic force. So much so that continued cooperation between the two countries is supported by virtually all sides of this otherwise deeply divided country. Everyone from the Taliban to the secularist military leaders view Chinese investment as a boon to the country, the main source of job creation, and, in all truth, the most promising source of kickbacks for themselves. It certainly is the case that the infrastructure projects part of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative are the most significant economic development stimulus in the economically underdeveloped country, and the ...

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Does Sonam Kapoor’s name change make her any less of a feminist?

I have often wondered about what feminism means to me, and there are still a lot of cobwebs in my mind that need to be cleared. However, the recent controversy surrounding Sonam Kapoor’s name change post marriage got me thinking again, as after she was criticised for taking her husband’s name despite being a vocal feminist, she justified the move by saying no one “told” her to do it; it was her own decision. Photo: Screenshot I for one have always been amazed that people cannot recognise the inherent patriarchy behind the practice of children being given their father’s ...

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Imran Khan is right, Pakistan should have more than four provinces

Whenever I make any comments about Pakistan having more provinces and smaller units, the reaction is always the same, “You want to divide the country? Are you a RAW agent or what?”  So when Imran Khan promised the creation of a South Punjab, it was a pleasant surprise to hear him say something intelligent for once. Imran made this promise recently as he welcomed turncoats from South Punjab into his party; defectors who enjoyed the perks and privileges of being MNAs for the past five years while saying nothing about creating a new province, until now. While supporting the demand by the Janoobi ...

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