Stories published in August, 2018

‘Tis the season of sacrifice: No, we don’t want to come to work on the third day of Eid!

Eidul Azha is next week, and with our government recently announcing Eid holidays, citizens of Pakistan are unhappy, to say the least. The four-day break has been cut down to three days, making the Eid break range from Tuesday to Thursday (August 21-23) in its entirety, and the third day of Eid being a working day. Many citizens have voiced their concerns over this rather strange and abrupt holiday announcement, and rightly so. Retweet kar k iss notice pe laanat bhejein. #NaManzoor pic.twitter.com/v7YziRwTCH — Shahrukh (@shahrookhh) August 15, 2018 All across the world when people celebrate major occasions, holidays are given accordingly. The best example ...

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Clearly Imran Shah isn’t the sort of representative Imran Khan promised in his Naya Pakistan

I’m sure every Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member, in the leadership of Imran Khan, watched the full Rocky Balboa saga before initiating their election campaign. However, instead of only being inspired by the motivational rhetoric to push forward, a PTI MPA of the Sindh Assembly recently took his Balboa skills for a test… literally. As popularised by a viral video, in an altercation-turned-thrashing, Imran Ali Shah can be seen slapping the Senior Deputy Director for Coordination of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Dawood Chauhan. The reason being an alleged touch-and-go between both their cars. As a citizen of Naya Pakistan, I’m a ...

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Pakistan, a champion of making footballs, but not the game itself

The Middle East, notably the UAE and Qatar, is not just sponsoring European football clubs; it is also inviting them to occasionally play friendly matches in their home grounds. This is not only to promote football in the region, but also to promote their heritage amongst football fans. China, the Asian giant, is investing heavily in their football league by buying expensive players from top leagues of the world for their local clubs. Similarly, India has just successfully organised an Under-17 (U-17) FIFA World Cup this year, and is also following in the footsteps of China to improve their league. ...

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Trevor Noah’s comparison of Imran Khan and Donald Trump was mind-blowingly shallow

Trevor Noah is a funny man. In 2015, he replaced Jon Stewart as the host of The Daily Show – a highly reputable satirical show on politics. Previously, Noah had been very successful as a stand-up comedian, and had reportedly been Stewart’s first choice as the leading host of the show. But when it comes to Pakistan, the two men could not be further apart. Stewart’s Daily Show was known for its wide array of well-researched pieces, and even his comedic bits gave the impression that he knew what he was talking about. He was never all jokes and no ...

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Like him or not, Jahangir Tareen won the game for PTI

The saying that one man’s hero is another man’s villain was perhaps meant for Jahangir Khan Tareen. For the opposition and forces against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Tareen is a villain going around ‘buying’ the loyalties of legislators. For his own party, Tareen is a hero who, despite being disqualified for life by the Supreme Court, still works round-the-clock to fulfil Imran Khan’s mission.    Tareen’s wealth (and his airplane) has always been the focus for both the media and his critics. In particular, the way he approached the independent candidates for the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly after ...

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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again isn’t solid filmmaking, but then again it isn’t meant to be

With its feel-good vibes and irresistible nostalgic draw, Mamma Mia! won over audiences around the globe in 2008, leaving viewers so engrossed in having fun that they didn’t notice (or mind) that the ABBA jukebox musical wasn’t exactly a cinematic masterpiece. Its financial success – the film became the highest grossing musical of its time – all but guaranteed that a follow-up would eventually materialise, and that sequel (which also serves as a prequel) is finally here in the form of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Directed by Ol Parker, the film brings more of the same joyous energy that made its ...

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In the US-China trade war, Pakistan and the global economy will be the casualties

The year 2017 ended on a positive note, with some major economies leading the “broadest synchronised global upsurge since 2010”, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Markets reacted positively to the improved global economic outlook, giving rise to a flare of optimism in the investor community. Halfway through 2018, however, and the global economic scenario now paints a different picture. China just lost its spot to Japan for the second largest stock market in the world, amid rising tension over the trade war concerns between the two major superpowers. Donald Trump seems to be on board to fulfil his promise ...

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‘Sui Dhaaga’ may just be as good as or even better than ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’

When I read that Yash Raj Films was producing a movie starring Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan, I didn’t really care about it as I thought it would be just another mindless romantic comedy, with the same tried and tested formula Bollywood has been using for ages. However, soon afterwards, I read that Sharat Katariya, the man who helmed and wrote Dum Laga Ke Haisha, will direct the Dhawan and Sharma starrer titled Sui Dhaaga: Made in India. That turned my indifference into excitement. Dum Laga Ke Haisha was a movie I thoroughly enjoyed because of its unique premise, ...

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When the old Pakistan was a new Pakistan

Every year as August 14th peeks around the corner, it is tradition to see stories emerge of what is known to be the bloodiest and largest mass migration in history. Similarly, there have been many instances where I have been told the story of my maternal great-grandparents and their journey from India into Pakistan. Before the Partition of 1947, my great-grandparents, Syed Hasan Mian and Syeda Sardar-Bano, resided in Muzzafarnagar, India with their three sons and daughter. Mian, after receiving his degree in law from Aligarh University, was an advocate by profession and the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Provincial General Secretary in the Muslim League. His friendship with Ayub ...

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What independence are we celebrating?

Some 71 years ago, people from all over subcontinent left their homes and took roads laced with perils to reach the ‘land of pure’. What made them leave their lives behind to move to an unknown land where all that awaited them was a promise? No tangible shelter but only a promise; the promise of freedom. What is meant by this ‘freedom’ that caused the greatest migration of the century? Freedom or independence means the availability of the opportunity to exercise one’s rights, powers, desires and even faith. Yes, I put emphasis on faith because any country where any ...

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