Stories published in June, 2018

Out with the new, in with the old: Is Imran Khan sacrificing his “Naya Pakistan” to win the elections?

As the country approaches the all-important elections, the selection of candidates by all major parties is almost complete. This is an extremely important stage of the electoral process, as the eventual legislature will be formed out of the pool of these candidates. Moreover, in a democracy like Pakistan’s, whom you give a ticket to is extremely important for both pragmatic as well as normative reasons. From a pragmatic aspect, while candidates are important in every democracy, in countries like Pakistan they are even more significant. This is due to two reasons. Firstly, Pakistan follows a majoritarian model as opposed to proportional ...

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is an action-adventure, but mindless-bore would equally suffice

Back in the early 90s, when the original Jurassic Park first came out, I never got the chance to watch it right away. Make no mistake, this dinosaur galore was the biggest deal in terms of flicks making rounds back then. As a result, for years, I was mocked left, right and centre by dino-fans for missing out on this particular Steven Spielberg masterpiece. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t in the least bit bothered by my self-imposed failure to give it a watch. But years later, when a younger dino-phile cousin of mine was in town, I finally found myself ...

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I am one of the ‘entitled millennials’ whose conscience got pricked by Mohammad Jibran Nasir

There was a post making its rounds on Facebook that caught my attention, which said, “If you were to meet your eight-year-old self today, what advice would you give?” And then a slightly more chilling question, “What would your eight-year-old self say about you?” I remember myself at eight, naïve and highly impressionable, living in a world of make-believe, convinced that life was as simple as being one of the good guys and standing up against all forces of evil. But with time and growth came the realisation that things aren’t so simple. This is a blog I may perhaps be better off not writing. ...

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Quantico’s apology is a slap in the face of every Muslim misrepresented by Hollywood

The past week has caused uproar in the international media, after a Hollywood show had the misfortune of treading conflicting political grounds. ABC, an American television studio, later issued an apology to Indian fans after its crime drama Quantico portrayed Hindu nationalists in a negative light, as they planned a terrorist plot and tried to frame Pakistan for it. The scene from Quantico’s most recent episode, The Blood of Romeo, received prompt backlash from Indians after Priyanka Chopra, who plays the lead character of an FBI agent, holds up sacred Hindu prayer beads as evidence that the plotter, who planned to detonate ...

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For Muslims in India, Eid namaz was offered under the shadow of fear

I recently recalled the memory of an argument I had with one of my friends from school six years ago, when I was still in high school. It was around the time Narendra Modi was vigorously campaigning to become the next prime minister of India. He was a hot topic for debate, and every media house was discussing the sharp rise in the popularity of the chief minister of Gujarat, despite the Hindutva identity he carried. The media termed it the ‘Modi wave’. My friend and I were discussing the series of corruption scandals that unfolded during the tenure of ...

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How are we supposed to “celebrate” Eid with no water and no electricity?

Life in Pakistan has never been easy. The living conditions continue to deteriorate with each passing year. The effects of climate change, coupled with the water crises, are making life harder and harder for people living here. The power outages do not help either. However, this year, the repercussions of climate change and the water crisis are being felt the most, and things are about to get much worse. Today is Eid, which many people in the colonial parts of the city, especially certain gated communities, are enjoying to the fullest. Perhaps because they do not face the same problems ...

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Why Imran Khan’s HARDtalk interview would make every Pakistani cringe

Leaders and polished politicians are frequently called masters of the art of spin. They use this ‘spin doctrine’ in debates and interviews to satisfy the viewers, all the while deflecting from the real questions being asked. Similarly, even second-tier politicians know that defensive body language like hand-wringing, arms folded across the chest, clenched fists or narrowed eyes should be avoided during interviews, so as to seem collected in their responses. But perhaps Imran Khan is not a seasoned politician yet, or he simply is not good at being asked critical questions. His recent interview to Zeinab Badawi, the host of the famous ...

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How Laila saved Eid this year

“Could I hit him if he groped me again?” she thought to herself as she made a fist and punched thin air around her. Cursing under her breath, she returned to the pile of clothes she was rummaging through. She could hardly see anything inside the dark tent. Making a blind choice in the dark, she pulled out a piece of cloth and turned around to leave. She was about to miss her truck. Cautious as to not literally step on anyone’s toes, Laila hopped about the tent silently, avoiding crushing her family members who were still asleep. On her ...

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The 8-step guide to help you expertly navigate the crazy maze that is Eidul Fitr

It’s almost time to put your rozas away and bring out the charming ‘please eidi me’ smiles. However, in the woke-era of 2018, celebrating Eid is a much more complex and charged event than it ever has been in the past. And with the elections coming up, probably not the best time to have the entire khandaan (whole family) gathered under the same roof.  I realise not everyone possesses the same spontaneity and adaptability that I do, so I’ve put together a eight-step guide to help you expertly navigate through the maze of Eidul Fitr 2018: 1. Mom versus eidi Repeat after me: ...

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The only thing we want to be free of is the horror that is Azaadi

All around the world, particularly in India and Pakistan, people mostly watch films for entertainment. Films that are smartly written and well directed are always liked by audiences. On the other hand, filmmakers who try to stuff messages in any film without the entertainment quotient usually end up falling flat on their faces. In both Pakistan and India, Eid is always a great occasion to release a film that is backed with some good content and has any known celebrity in it. This Eid has been a busy affair for Pakistan, with multiple domestic releases dominating the conversation. One of ...

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