Stories published in July, 2018

When Pakistan’s political drama overshadowed its tragedy, again

The anti-climactic landing of deposed premier Nawaz Sharif in Lahore stood in strong contrast to the scores of supporters usurping the provincial capital in order to welcome him. Funnily enough, none of the leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) made it to the airport, or even near it. Their entire show of power to ‘welcome’ Nawaz was solely to flaunt their supporters and exhibit to the country that PML-N still holds strength in Punjab. Nawaz and daughter Maryam Nawaz both arrived in Lahore at around 8:48pm last night, and videos from fellow passengers were being played on repeat on ...

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Political parties are promising jobs in their manifestos but snub education – how does that work?

Pakistan has one of the largest youth population in the world. Forty-six million of these will be voting for the first time in about two weeks; a number that is by no means small. To put it into perspective, if these voters were a country, they would be the 30th largest country in the world in terms of population. They will most likely vote for the party that has promised them jobs, and no one can fault that logic because jobs get you money and as we all know, money makes the world go around. But there is a slight ...

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FIFA World Cup Final: The mind says France, but the heart wants Croatia

FIFA World Cup in France, way back in 1998, might not be my first recollection of football’s biggest event, but it surely is the most vivid one. Les Bleus came out victorious in the final against Brazil on their home soil, winning their first FIFA World Cup trophy. Majority of the people would remember this particular final because of Zinedine Zidane’s brace in the final against the Canaries at the Stade de France. There is also a small chance that they might remember it for (original) Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima’s bizarre omission and then his subsequent re-instatement 45 minutes before ...

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If anything is coming home, it’s Pakistan with 2 trophies!

As far as the T20 format is concerned, Pakistan cricket has been on a roll since September 7, 2016, under Sarfraz Ahmed’s leadership. After a disastrous T20 World Cup in 2016, when Shahid Afridi and his men failed miserably and couldn’t qualify for the next round, Pakistan were under a tremendous leadership crisis. Enters Sarfraz. He was handed the captaincy and his first Test was against England, where Pakistan was coming in with a 4-1 defeat in the ODI series. However, we witnessed a complete turnaround as Pakistan comprehensively beat the pioneers of cricket with a nine-wicket triumph. Since then, ...

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India’s awakening: The end of Article 377 and the last shred of colonialism

One of the most glaring anomalies in the Indian legal landscape is Article 377, the 1861 law that criminalises gay sex. This law, inspired by Victorian era prudishness, should have no place in the India of 2018. The British, who created this law based on their values of that time, have now adopted much more liberal and progressive outlooks. Meanwhile, the Indian state has refused to move on. In fact, it has appropriated those archaic values and keeps them entrenched and alive in the country’s legal code. This is ironic, and perhaps tragic, because through the course of history, the Indic ...

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With Anil-Aishwarya sharing the screen after 18 years, Fanney Khan seems simple yet unique

“Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the star of jhankar orchestra, Fanney Khan!” With such an exciting and quirky announcement, the trailer of debutant director Atul Manjrekar’s much awaited film Fanney Khan opens to tell the story of Fanney (Anil Kapoor), a struggling star from the 90s and his 16-year-old daughter Lata (Pihu Sand). The film is an official remake of the Dutch film Everybody’s famous. The preview presents a mixture of glitz, desire, emotions and tears, tempering it all with witty dialogues. Fans seem to love the simple yet hilarious elements of this emotionally charged musical comedy, and are eagerly waiting to ...

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Are internships a waste of time in Pakistan?

“Mind the gap.” This is a warning familiar to anyone who has ever taken the tube in London. It refers to the gap that exists between the platform and the train itself. It is also a warning delivered to all of us at university before we step into “the real world” – the platform being college and the bullet train being the corporate sector. What is this ‘real world’ we hear so much about? And why does every working professional refer to it as a world that every student is completely oblivious to and unprepared for? Did we not just spend ...

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The legality of the Avenfield case: Will appealing the verdict save Nawaz Sharif and Maryam?

 “Independence means voluntary restraints and discipline, voluntary acceptance of the rule of law.” – Mahatma Gandhi The much talked about judgment in the Avenfield case issued by the accountability court  should be celebrated for upholding accountability from the top, and promoting the rule of law in Pakistan where everyone is required to obey the laws of the country.  The verdict given by Justice Muhammad Bashir relates to case filed under Section 18(g) read with Section 24 of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 against five accused, namely deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Captain (retired) Muhammad Safdar, Hussain Nawaz Sharif ...

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Sicario: Day of the Soldado might be trash, but it’s an incredibly stylish trash

Being a sequel is such a sad state of existence. You are doomed being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Where critical analysis of a follow-up’s cinematic merit is the proverbial stone and the intense comparison with the original work is the unyieldingly rigid wall that they are constantly pushed against. But some sequels have it worse than the rest. Case in point: when you are up against one of the best director-cinematographer duo in current times. And Sicario: Day of the Soldado just happens to be one from the unfortunate bunch. The original movie was a product ...

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Why India wants PTI to lose and PML-N to win the elections

South Asia is currently in a vortex of a very defining election season. In India, though the General Elections are still 10 months away, the country has already started discussing the possibilities and predicting the outcome expected in 2019. The main question dominating all discussions is whether Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will emerge victorious for a second term. At stake next year in the world’s most populous democracy is the idea of India itself. Will the polls ensure the defeat of the divisive forces currently at work, or will we see further consolidation of the majoritarian agenda? In the meantime, the ...

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