Stories published in August, 2018

From Imran Shah to Khawar Maneka: 11 days, 2 cases – when will PM Imran walk the talk?

I have to concede, it is not easy to digest. But every once in a while, there is news that shakes up the political arena and sweeps the ground beneath your feet. This is one of those instances. Although more details are to be revealed, there are enough facts present at the moment for us to be reasonably alarmed. It seems, unfortunately, that the only “genuinely incorruptible” man in Pakistan has also been compromised. The district police officer (DPO) of Pakpattan, Rizwan Gondal, was reportedly transferred after he intercepted Khawar Maneka, former husband of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s wife, Bushra ...

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How are we supposed to keep a check on governance without Twitter, PM Imran Khan?

The 280 characters provided by Twitter don’t seem like a lot of space to make a powerful statement. It sounds even smaller when nearly 6,000 tweets are tweeted per second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets per minute, 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year. But with 350 million monthly active users, every tweet has the potential to reach millions of people. That’s the very reason influencers, celebrities, and even governments turn to Twitter at important events. There is no media outlet or portal on earth with the reach and opportunity for a viral ...

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For PM Imran Khan: A guide on how to fix the unfixable

There is a new sense of optimism in Pakistan. Many in the country are looking to the government of Imran Khan to reform the way the country works and put it back on the track of development and prosperity. The new government has signalled a willingness to think outside the box. This means trying to do what has not been done before. It means going against vested interests, the ‘rent seekers’ who have used their influence to accumulate power and enormous wealth. And finally, it also means going against established international ‘norms’ of behaviour as defined by the ‘Washington Consensus’. First ...

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Almost there, but not quite: Parwaaz Hai Junoon could not soar as high as it expected to

Haseeb Hassan’s Parwaaz Hai Junoon has been in the limelight for quite a while now. Ever since the trailer was released, the obvious patriotism of the film moved even the hardest of souls, but that was not all. The younger star cast, comprising of Hania Aamir, Ahad Raza Mir, Shafaat Ali and Shaz Khan, definitely made it more appealing. Add to that the social media sensation and forever Pyare Afzal in our hearts – Hamza Ali Abbasi – and you have a film the entire country could not wait to watch. The film, centred on the Pakistan Air Force, comes ...

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From “the special one” to “the bitter one”: Is Jose Mourinho a dead man walking?

The ‘special one’? No, not anymore. These days it would be more appropriate to call Jose Mourinho ‘the bitter one’, or perhaps the ‘the grumpy one’, and if we are perceptive enough to read the writing on the wall, the soon-to-be ‘fired one’. The Portuguese tactician has always been someone that rival fans wouldn’t quickly warm up to. When he first came to manage in England with Chelsea, he was still someone you could call charmingly brash and his early achievements at Stamford Bridge made sure his pride and a questionable style of play were being justifiably backed by some ...

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I resigned not because of my boss, but my co-workers

It is said that people do not quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. However, what I believe is that sometimes people quit not because of their boss, but due to a hostile work environment – or in my case, the bad attitude of some co-workers. Let me offer a disclaimer that I am not here to badmouth my former colleagues. Instead, I wish to share my experience, and my realisation that sometimes people are so competitive and callous in a workplace that they don’t realise how their bad attitude can affect a person’s mental health. It was last year ...

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Coke Studio: New season, new talent, new genres – but is that enough?

Coke Studio launched season 11 with Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge, and let’s just say our expectations were sky high due to this beautiful rendition. We were thrilled that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community was represented on such a prominent platform, like any other artist. They showcased inclusiveness by involving various cultural backgrounds, along with certain renowned and raw talent, leaving us eager for more. However, perhaps we spoke too soon. Let’s take a look at all the tracks that have been released so far, starting from the best to the worst, based on my preference. Episode one: Shikwa/Jawab-e-Shikwa It is courageous in itself that Coke ...

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PML-Q may be an underdog in this game of politics but their contributions speak for themselves

The “king’s party” is back in mainstream politics after a hiatus of almost 10 years. They have done much to rid themselves of this tag since Pervez Musharraf’s downfall. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) performance in Pakistan’s largest and administratively difficult province, Punjab, has been exemplary during the Musharraf rule, after both supported each other for almost eight years. After losing strong candidates, PML-Q has seen many lows but remained steadfast and persevered to now make a coalition with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). With PTI’s support, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was elected as Punjab Assembly’s speaker – the province he once governed as ...

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The diaspora of Naya Pakistan: The time is ripe for us to pay back to the motherland what is due

Some years ago, summer of 2012 to be precise, I hosted an informal morning tea for Maleeha Lodhi, and while discussing the upcoming 2013 elections, she said to me, “It is not the Pakistan that this diaspora may have left 20 years ago, it’s a different Pakistan. The public is more desperate, the crises are much more and the conscious awareness that every vote counts is on everyone’s mind.” Hence, to me, her statement implied that Imran Khan was going to be elected prime minister in the 2013 elections, but history tells us a different tale. Imran fell, and with ...

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With a wafer-thin yet bipolar plot, Load Wedding cannot decide what it wants to be

With films like the Na Maloom Afraad series and Actor In Law under his belt, Nabeel Qureshi has not only entertained audiences but has also pulled off three of his ventures thus far. It won’t be wrong to say that Qureshi is a filmmaker for the masses, with Na Maloom Afraad being a genuine entertainer, whereas its sequel – loaded with toilet humour – also received appreciation, though not as much as the original. So what happens when a director known for mass entertainers tries something new and moves towards a different genre, with a film that centres on a ...

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