Stories published in July, 2018

Naya Pakistan, purana Balochistan

As expected, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) grabbed more seats than any other party in the legislative provincial assembly in the 2018 General Elections. Though they did not win an absolute majority, BAP has enough elected members to attract other parties and independent candidates to form a coalition government. In the entire history of the province, there has never been a political party that has enjoyed an absolute majority in the assembly, so switching party loyalties to form a coalition government is a common occurrence. Of the 50 members of the house, the BAP acquired 17 seats, with two of them going ...

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India’s problem isn’t Imran Khan, but its own media

Of all the Pakistani celebrities India is familiar with, Imran Khan has been the most recognisable and for a time, the most popular. As an extremely talented and good-looking World Cup winning captain, Imran has been a byword for leadership and charisma in the subcontinent. Indeed, in the 80s, Imran appeared in several Indian advertisements endorsing products like Cinthol and Thumbs Up. The improbability of a Pakistani advertising for an Indian brand today points to the tragic deterioration in relations since then, but it also points to the popularity Imran enjoyed among Indians once. 1987 :: Cinthol Soap Advertisement Featuring Imran Khan "Pace ...

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Home Fire: A Muslim love story for the modern world

The latest novel by Kamila Shamsie has won numerous accolades, the most recent one being the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction. The novel, based on the Greek tragedy Antigone, delves into the modern-day spasms of jihad and terrorism, and also examines the concept of loyalty, belief and love. Not having read Antigone, Home Fire came across as a juxtaposition of the notions that have been shuffling in religious and political debate of late. The cover of the book – one of the most profound covers out of the books in my possession – is a simple maze of red-orange fire with two ...

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MS Dhoni – an era on his own

He came, he saw, he conquered. These words are the very least one can associate with Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his performance thus far in international cricket. By placing the ball behind the square through to the third man boundary for a single, he recently achieved the milestone of making 10,000 ODI runs. On July 14, 2018 at Lord’s, the home of cricket, he became only the 12th batsman in the history of ODI cricket to achieve this rare feat. MS Dhoni plays a shot during the second ODI against England at Lords in London on July ...

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Can Imran Khan fix 71 years of failed talks, bloodshed and hatred?

Imran Khan’s victory in the recently concluded General Elections went as per preordained script. The arrest of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter in a money laundering case practically sealed the deal. The Supreme Court has debarred him from contesting elections for life, virtually putting an end to the political career of the former prime minister. It is alleged that Imran enjoys the confidence and support of the establishment which paved the way for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to emerge victorious. The opposition has questioned the legitimacy of the elections, especially where it is alleged that widespread rigging was allowed to take ...

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Can Shazam! do for DC what Iron Man did for Marvel?

DC Extended Universe (DCEU), the rushed cinematic universe which longs to replicate what Marvel Cinematic Universe has already achieved, came crashing down when Justice League underperformed at the box office and didn’t impress the critics either. But fortunately, Warner Bros has come up with a new strategy that focuses on standalone movies instead of movies which are interconnected, and this might exactly be what the DCEU needs at the moment. DCEU has many standalone movies slated to release in the coming years, but the one I am most excited about is Shazam!, and its teaser trailer, which was revealed at ...

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The desire for change: A new Pakistan does not mean a better Pakistan

I began writing this in the morning after the 2018 Pakistani General Elections. This was my third time voting in an election, and my first time voting in Pakistan. On Election Day, I was moved. The morning after, I felt uneasy. I woke up to the headlines heralding Imran Khan as the prime minister of Pakistan amidst strong allegations of rigging. Not feeling particularly loyal to any party, and knowing with a level of certainty that the candidates I had voted for would not win – and they did not – I wasn’t keen on staying up all night biting my ...

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How did the ECP manage to mess up the elections?

In the wake of the 2018 General Elections, parties from the opposition have raised a hue and cry over alleged electoral irregularities, which is not very uncommon in Pakistan. For decades, elections have been marred by rigging allegations, which are then merely used as rhetoric for political sloganeering. And hereby, the same manner was witnessed following these elections and its results. Rewinding a few months before the elections, political parties were complaining of favouritism for a single party. Fast forwarding to a few weeks before the polling day, it was observed by several onlookers that in fact, the colours being ...

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From Zahid to Bubbly

“So you have decided to keep humiliating us in front of people,” he said with a roaring voice. His beloved Baba had slapped Zahid on wearing red lipstick again. “You are a boy, a man! The only waris (successor) of our hundreds of acres of land. I will beat you black and blue if I ever find you doing anything girly again.” Zahid had tightly clenched a broken red lipstick in his hands. Baba was continuously lecturing him about masculinity but surprisingly, all this scolding was appearing so rhythmical to him. Baba was admonishing him but he was dancing in his mind, wrapping red dupatta and responding ...

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Tom Cruise’s deadly stunts in Fallout prove why his missions are never impossible

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the sixth iteration in what is now an already established and long-running franchise. It is as synonymous with Tom Cruise as Robert Downey Jr is with the character of Iron Man (Mission: Impossible series of feature films predates Iron Man series mind you). It is directed and produced alike by Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed the franchise’s previous rendition of Rogue Nation in 2015. Henry Cavill (The Man of Steel), Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Angela Bassett are the newbies joining the franchise with this movie. Actors reprising their roles from previous films include Simon Pegg (Star Trek/Shaun of the Dead), ...

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