Stories published in November, 2018

Another season of waiting: The (mis)treatment of Aamer Yamin, Pakistan’s answer to an all-rounder

We often hear of the injustices served to many players in Pakistan cricket, but no one really speaks about the way Aamer Yamin has been mistreated by the board thus far. I’ve always been a big fan of Yamin. He caught my eye a few years ago after he scored a double century in domestic cricket. At the time, Pakistan hardly had any fast bowling all-rounders, and I felt he was the man to fill the void. His batting first-class average has always hovered around the 40 mark, and his bowling average has always been under 30. Both are good ...

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Suhai Aziz Talpur: Celebrated worldwide but mocked in her own country?

A week ago, three armed men attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Before they could reach the diplomatic staff inside, the militants were killed in a police operation led by SP Suhai Aziz Talpur. The encounter also resulted in multiple casualties, including two visa applicants and two policemen fighting on the frontline. From CNN to Reuters, the news made rounds worldwide. Talpur is being glorified as the daughter of Pakistan, representing the face of bravery and women power. Restoring Talpur pride, her pictures are being juxtaposed alongside Faryal Talpur, who is currently embroiled in a money laundering case. Chinese media too is in ...

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Buzdar, Khan, Sarwar or Elahi – we still don’t know who is running Punjab

The truth has become the rarest commodity, hasn’t it? Take anything ranging from religion, politics or economics and you will find media cells and experts trying to manipulate public thinking. In Pakistan, well-educated individuals are hired as media consultants, spokespersons or advisers but their job is not to formulate people-friendly policies, rather the core purpose of their appointment is to defend the indefensible. Dr Shahbaz Gill is the latest example of such individuals. Fahd Hussain wrote an interesting op-ed almost a month ago titled Who is running Punjab? At the very outset, Husain observed that: “From Rawalpindi to Rahimyar Khan and from Layyah to ...

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Ralph broke the Internet and with it our expectations

Six years after charming us with the thoroughly entertaining Wreck-It Ralph, Disney revisits the world of the much loved 2012 tale in Ralph Breaks the Internet, a cute but uneven adventure that reunites us with familiar characters from Disney’s many franchises. Instead of sticking with the original setting of arcade video games, the action has now moved to the Internet. After their attempt to have a new adventure within Sugar Rush goes awry and leaves the game unplugged, Wreck-It Ralph (John C Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) have to go off into the Internet via the arcade’s newly installed WiFi router ...

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Sindh may lack basic amenities but its women surely know how to break glass ceilings

From the very moment they are born, our girls are taught they are dependent upon the men in the family. As the girls become women, they grow up believing they need their fathers, brothers, husbands or sons to look after them and protect them. However, most Pakistani men are unfortunately good at depriving women of their social rights under the garb of religion or culture. Women are often denied an education or the chance to gain employment, deprived of their due share in inheritance, and even killed in the name of honour under the guise of “protection”. Amidst all the ...

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Another life lost to depression and yet we don’t consider mental health a grave issue?

Mental health should now be the top priority of every person wanting to function fully and maintain a healthy life. However, most of the world does not take this need seriously, and Pakistan is no exception. The country at large remains unaware of the importance of sound mental health, and while certain campaigns do address such issues, they mainly cater to a particular class. Bullying, depression, anxiety, and hundreds of other psychological conditions aren’t taken seriously here, as people believe they will disappear on their own or by prayer, or else the person will be treated harshly or ...

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The war on Twitter: Did Imran Khan just school Donald Trump on foreign policy?

In the one-on-one tirades between state premiers that now often substitute bilateral exchanges between nations, I tend to find free entertainment. However, when President Donald Trump recently poked Prime Minister Imran Khan by once again downplaying Pakistan’s role in the War on Terror, and the latter took the cue to respond with a fitting rejoinder, it wasn’t the average Twitter war that ensued. Before getting into what exactly catalysed the quick escalation of this heated exchange, something needs to be set in stone. Trump has become the face of the rapidly emerging ‘Twitter politics’, having personally typed many of the ...

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Power to the people: The Kartarpur corridor has done what 71 years of dialogue could not

The symbolism is too significant to be missed. When India was observing the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks on Monday, Indian leaders were cutting across party lines and laying the foundation for the Kartarpur road corridor in Gurdaspur, Punjab. This is perhaps the first time after Partition that both India and Pakistan are working together to complete one project: a corridor that connects both sides of the border and leads to the shrine of Guru Nanak Saheb. The corridor does not only have religious symbolism, it carries a lot of political weight that has the potential to rewrite the geo-political ...

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Walk it like you talk it: What (little) did PTI achieve in its first 100 days?

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has finally completed its first 100 days in power. While the number itself is insignificant to judge any government’s performance, it was Imran Khan and the rest of PTI that created the hype over the 100-day agenda to begin with, even before the party won the General Elections. It was perhaps this promise and this plan that played a role in the PTI winning the elections. However, contrary to expectations, these 100 days were not smooth sailing for the PTI. On the contrary, they were marked with controversies, cases in the Supreme Court, U-turns, ...

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Robin Hood is dull, incoherent and fails miserably on every level

The Robin Hood story needs no introduction, having already been immortalised by British folklore and novels alike. However, on the big screen, the story of the arrow wielding outlaw has not been as successful. Barring the 1973 animated take which, at least for me, stands out as a nostalgic childhood classic, there have been numerous commercial and critical flops: be it the 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner, Mel Brooks’ satirical take Robin Hood: Men in Tights, or Ridley Scott’s well-meaning but ultimately disappointing Robin Hood from 2010. The latest iteration attempts to supposedly serve as a hip and radical re-invention of the ...

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