Stories published in July, 2018

Is Imran Khan the Donald Trump of Pakistan?

If you were to look back and think of one of the most unbelievable decisions made in the past five years, Donald Trump getting elected as President of the United States would perhaps top the list. Just imagining the “strongest” democracy in the world actually handing over its reigns to the man without a plan makes you feel a little bit better about the state of your own democracy. You think, maybe America is worse than us, for what sane mind would ever vote Trump into power?  Well, all this thinking made us wonder, who is Trump’s equivalent in our ...

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From Borat to Morad: Who is America? takes a jab at the American divide, but is it funny?

Sacha Baron Cohen is back with a new show. It is intriguingly titled Who is America?, and has Mr Cohen going back to his roots as a faux current affairs journalist engaging with politicians, liberal and conservative alike. Unfortunately, for all his comic brilliance, the show leaves the question of Who is America? unanswered. Cohen broke into the scene with characters such as the gay Austrian fashion critic Bruno, and the obnoxious Kazakh journalist Borat. No one was safe from Cohen’s biting social commentary through his satirical news pieces, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or sex. With Who is America?, Cohen capitalises ...

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Zesty and witty, Load Wedding uncovers body shaming and marriage like never before

Director cum screenwriter Nabeel Qureshi and producer Fizza Ali Meerza, the famed duo behind hits like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor In Law and Na Maloom Afraad 2, are once again back to lure filmgoers. This time, they are ready to amaze movie-buffs with a newfangled theme; conveying the message regarding social issues via a highly charged romcom – Load Wedding. The much anticipated film has been creating buzz and excitement since its first look was released. It is obvious, judging by the recently released official trailer, that the subject is captivating for various reasons. The three-minute trailer is a mix plate ...

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The rise of ‘aam shehri’

With the General Elections only a couple of days away, politics is in its prime – rallies are being held, politicians are still being convicted and disqualified, and the ludicrous valuation of assets are making waves on national television and drawing rooms alike. Unlike 2013 though, excitement beckons with the launch of mainstream candidacies by fresh challengers, who are mounting pressure against the status quo. Jibran Nasir, a popular social activist, is taking on age-old tested candidates, prospectively Pak Sarzameen Party’s (PSP) Fauzia Kasuri and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Dr Arif Alvi in NA-247, Karachi. Photo: Facebook/ Jibran ...

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You will love Dhadak, as long as you don’t compare it to Sairat

Dhadak is an adaptation of the celebrated Marathi film Sairat, based on the deep but doomed love story of two youngsters who, because of their class differences, have to pay a heavy price for being together by the hands of political and societal tyrants. The basic plot of Dhadak plays out the same way as the original, where Madhukar (Ishaan Khattar), a lower-caste boy, and Parthavi Singh (Janhvi Kapoor), an upper-caste girl, fall head over heels in love with each other. Parthavi is evocatively a fearless, boisterous and spoilt daughter of a Rajasthani political kingpin, while Madhukar is the shy son of ...

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Make matriculation/high school compulsory to vote

On July 25th, Pakistan’s fate, at least for the next five years, will be in its own hands. The future will come down to all of us as we make certain choices in that polling booth. Some of us will still be thinking, weighing pros and cons, measuring the benefits, and calculating the risks. But most of us would have likely made up our minds on who to vote for before judgement day. The next day, Pakistan, a sovereign state since 1947, will see only the second successive transition in democratic power. But I have a question: are all people informed enough to ...

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Jibran Nasir 1 – 0 Religious intolerance

Over the course of last two weeks, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, an independent politician, has faced a thorough degree of inquiry regarding his beliefs about Ahmadis in Pakistan, and the legitimacy of them calling themselves “Muslim”. For his refusal to curse them – a condition set by a corner meeting attendee at the promise of a vote – he has been accused, publicly, of being a blasphemer. Being an army brat, I am largely reluctant to voice my opinion on matters that are rather political. Our conditioning, generally, is such that we maintain consistency in following disciplined lines of action – ...

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Hospitals, schools, malls and now amusement parks – is there any safe space for our children?

We often complain of lack of recreational activities in Karachi – a city which can easily be labelled a foodie’s paradise, but with few other entertainment outlets available. Any new addition to the leisure scene in the city is always welcomed with arms wide open – and Askari Parks’ opening was no exception to this reception. One might recall Funland in Clifton, the Sindbad franchise across Karachi, Aladdin Water Park in Gulshan, Nisar Shaheed Park in Defence and Go Aish in Gulshan. While taking rides at these parks, we race at breakneck speeds through the twists and turns or suddenly ...

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If Lahore couldn’t handle the rains, what hope does Karachi have?

Karachi has a love-hate relationship with the monsoon season. While Karachiites long for rain throughout the year, we shudder at the very thought of prolonged downpour, flooding, destruction and power outages that are inevitably associated with it. The last time this city truly got to enjoy the rainy season was during Mustafa Kamal’s tenure, when despite drains heavily clogged with rainwater – especially the Gujjar Nala and Neher-e-Khayyam – alternate drainage arrangements were made and the citizens were spared the entire rain-related trauma. Things are much, much different now. With monsoon rains that are imminent and expected any day now, infrastructure ...

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#PakvsZim: When your haters are silent, you know you’ve made it!

Pakistan travelled to Bulawayo as the only ranked ODI team to not to have won an ODI this year, having lost all five they had played against New Zealand. Despite the slump in form, Pakistan were touted as overwhelming favourites to not only win but obliterate an inexperienced and depleted Zimbabwean unit. Having already missed out on qualifying for the World Cup by the narrowest of margins, Zimbabwe were already batting at all fronts before the first ball of the series was bowled. With Graeme Cremer, Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza refusing to take part in the ODI series, ...

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