Stories published in November, 2018

Understanding encroachment and why its end will be a breath of fresh air for Karachi

The city of Karachi is left with a handful of neighbourhoods where encroachment is not an issue yet, namely the Defence Housing Authority, Malir Cantt and few other housing societies. Rest of the city is plagued with encroachments involving roadside restaurants, car showrooms, push cart vendors, illegal settlements and so on. Sometimes hard decisions need to be taken in order to address an issue that was hard to approach earlier. People will be displaced, businesses will be shutdown and many will go jobless but in the longer run, malpractices and violations will come down significantly. Rule of law can only ...

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Why is Pakistan’s information minster so misinformed?

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has come across yet another controversy after he was banned from entering the upper house by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. Speaking on the floor of the house, not only did Chaudhry accuse Mahmood Achakzai of corruption and of making anti-state statements, he also accused the former governments of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for embezzling funds given to Balochistan during the last 10 years. This ended up disrupting the senate session, as Achakzai’s Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), PML-N and PPP retaliated by levelling accusations at Chaudhry. The ...

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From Cartoon Network to DC: Titans is a dark and gritty superhero show done right

As someone who watched Teen Titans on Cartoon Network religiously, I was delighted when I first heard that DC was developing a live-action TV series based on one of my favourite cartoons. I was excited to watch Robin, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy team up and take down bad guys while also poking fun at each other. The fact that Greg Berlanti, the man behind shows like The Flash and Arrow, was developing the live action adaption of Teen Titans was the cherry on top. I was hoping that the TV series will have a humorous approach fused with ...

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All Shahid Afridi did was ask us to look in our own backyard and do more – what’s wrong with that?

Shahid Afridi, though not new to controversy, turned into a bête noire recently when a video went viral of him suggesting that Pakistan doesn’t want Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) since it can’t even manage its own four provinces. He said that IoK should also not go to India and should rather be an independent entity. He further added that its occupation should end since it’s resulting in the loss of countless innocent lives. This statement, however, landed him in hot waters since many Pakistanis took offence. Pakistan ko Kashmir nahin chahiye – uss say apnay soobay nahin sambhal saktay: Shahid Afridi in ...

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‘Not so fantastic’: The Crimes of Grindelwald wanted to be so much in such little time

I wouldn’t call myself a massive Potter-head, but I am definitely fond of the franchise that was weaved around everyone’s favourite bespectacled wizard. I have read all of the books and watched every single movie from the Harry Potter franchise, and while I will not place these eight visual instalments amongst the pantheon of cinematic greats, I will definitely label them as a great night out at the theatre, especially since I want to stay on good terms with my daughter Zoya, who is a Potter-fanatic. So when JK Rowling and Warner Bros Pictures decided to expand the wizarding ...

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Master of U-turns, leader of none

A few days ago, a statement made by Prime Minister Imran Khan started to generate a lot of interest on all media forums. Imran, who is also satirically called “U-turn Khan” for his habit of retracting his lofty statements, tried to defend this practice by stating that a true leader always takes a timely U-turn. Elaborating, he then came up with the analogy of Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte’s fatal decision to continue their advance into Russia instead of taking a U-turn, an error which resulted in heavy casualties. According to Imran, “One who doesn’t take decisions according to the demand of ...

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Therapist diaries: Three great lessons I have learnt from kids with autism

Spending time with kids and adults with autism covers most of my time, and it is the best part of my day. Being a therapist, it shouldn’t be my motivation to look forward to spiritual or emotional gain from the people in treatment – it’s alright if this happens naturally. Those who work around people with autism know how a person’s rigidity and conventional thinking can be challenged by them, and the same happened to me. I had to push my boundaries and set conventional thinking aside for a while, leading to a journey of immense inner growth. Our pop ...

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For Neelum, life was only just beginning

Neelum sat by the window as rain spilled from an ashen sky. From the window, she saw a little girl, almost the same age as herself, scuttling in the rain with her father. She laughed as rain poured over her and her eyes twinkled happily. Neelum watched the little girl scurry down the street, with her father holding her hand protectively. Tears pooled in the corners of her eyes, and she crawled back into her grief of being an orphan. It was night, and the sky was full of stars. Neelum’s parents still hadn’t come back home. She felt sick with apprehension. ...

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This win is not just for Acosta but for all journalists purged for freedom of speech and press

As journalism comes under threat in all parts of the world, one is forced to question the role of the ruling governments in the treatment of media and its personnel. Hundreds are being fired in Pakistan, being told “their services are no longer required” as part of a downsizing. However, journalists in the United States face different hostilities. A CNN White House (WH) correspondent, Jim Acosta was recently humiliated in the US for asking President Donald Trump questions on his campaign regarding the midterm elections in the country. Following the elections, the president orchestrated a news conference to address the ...

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The Grinch: A memorable story’s unmemorable (and uninspired) adaptation

Illumination Entertainment clearly has a thing for anti-heroes. The animation studio has practically established itself on the popularity of Gru and the minions, making billions by telling tales of the lovable super villain and his endearing helpers. And now, their love affair with sympathetic villains continues in The Grinch, yet another adaptation of Dr Seuss’s well-known Christmas classic. Based on the 1957 book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by the ever-popular children’s author, the movie retells a story that has already made its way to the screen twice before – in the form of a (beloved) 1966 animated television holiday special and a ...

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