Stories published in November, 2018

A blue House and a red Senate with an orange President – where does America go from here?

The November 6th midterm elections was perhaps the most contentious and bitterly contested event in modern US history. As BBC aptly put it: “Though his name is not on the ballot anywhere across the US, make no mistake – these elections are ALL about Donald Trump.” The outrageous and mind-boggling campaign run by the Republicans essentially put everything at stake including America’s pride, status as a global power, and standing as the beacon of hope for millions of people around the globe. Trump’s one-man show tried its best to poison his mostly ‘white’ base against people of colour. His unhinged messaging ...

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No, the balance of payments crisis is not over – all because PTI did not do its homework on China

Imran Khan’s recent visit to China has now become the most discussed topic in drawing rooms, in the media and in the business world. This was touted as a monumental visit, given that this was the premier’s first visit to China, Pakistan’s most important friend and a significant player on the geopolitical front. With the current financial crisis in the background, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was also looking to get an immediate loan from China for economic assistance. This visit would thus determine the relationship between Pakistan’s new government and China, and set the tone for the next ...

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Halloween: Like they say, 11th time’s the charm… almost

I don’t really blame fans of the Halloween franchise. Back in 1978 when the original first came out, I can perfectly imagine how the movie could have scared the living daylights out of the audience. The slasher film genre was a total novelty and watching a violent psychopath stalking and slashing a bunch of innocent people, usually teenage girls, could have been a satisfyingly terrifying experience. But this is 2018 and ever since the first Halloween movie, with Michael Myers as the ‘slasher-tagonist’ came out, we the audience have had a chance to watch at least half a dozen of ...

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In Naya Pakistan, we give great speeches… but that’s about it

It will not be an overstatement to suggest that the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi on the charges of blasphemy against her was a historic moment for Pakistan, one that will not be forgotten anytime soon, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. The entire country was brought to a lock down once again, as anti-state actors (they cannot simply be called protestors) questioned and protested a verdict reached by a bench of judges deeply familiar with the intricacies of the case and actually qualified to judge them. As the country waited for the government of Naya Pakistan to ...

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Real estate, the new mafia: How can we fix Pakistan’s housing market?

The new Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s priority is housing. Providing five million houses would certainly pick up the economy since around 40 industries would be throttled up to meet the demands of around five million houses. This is indeed commendable. Even though the target of five million houses seems a bit far-fetched, one could argue that setting up a lofty goal would actually keep the government on its toes. Even achieving a small percentage of the mighty five million would be a relief for the homeless and relevant industries. For the purpose of land for this scheme, government is eyeing ...

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PakvsNZ: T20s proved Pakistan is a good team, but the ODIs will determine if it is a great one

Earlier this week, Pakistan triumphed over New Zealand in the T20 series with an impressive 3-0 victory. Good teams will look at such a performance and think they have all their bases covered. But in order to be a great team, one would have to look at how to improve this performance and excel in all areas. There is no doubt Pakistan absolutely dominated the series, but there remain a few glaring issues which need to be ironed out going forward, most notably our batting order. Firstly, in order for Sarfraz Ahmed to be effective, he must not bat anywhere below ...

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Dear private schools, I am a parent but not an ATM

The Constitution of Pakistan has, via Article 25A, made it mandatory for the government to provide free education to all citizens who cannot afford to go to school otherwise. However, implementation of this clause has never been enforced in letter or spirit, allowing the private sector to take advantage of the growing gap between private and public schools.   Now, be it rich or poor, people from all strata of society are sending their children to private schools irrespective of the teaching standard of such schools. Operating a school has become one of the most profitable businesses in the country, and ...

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Bohemian Rhapsody is a disgrace to Queen’s genius and to Freddie’s legacy

As the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody commences, a young Freddie Mercury (portrayed by Rami Malek) approaches the members of Smile – a local band he admires and whom he has just seen performing at a club – and shows interest in joining the group. Too bad, he’s told; he’s five minutes too late. But their lead singer just quit so the band is effectively over unless they can find a new vocalist. Well, they’re in luck! Freddie belts a few lines from one of their songs and proves that he’d make a terrific new frontman, his overbite notwithstanding. Oh and just before ...

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With the King of Bollywood in an avatar never seen before, Zero has the potential to become a hero

On his birthday, Shah Rukh Khan released the trailer of his much anticipated film, Zero. The wait was certainly worth it.  Ever since the release of the trailer, fans have gone wild with excitement. Directed and written by Aanand L Rai and Himanshu Sharma respectively, the three-minute long trailer shows the journey of Bauua Singh (Khan), a vertically challenged man looking for a bride. Then there is Anushka Sharma who is essaying the role of a scientist with cerebral palsy while Katrina Kaif plays the role of an actress struggling with alcoholism. Bauua lives with his abusive father. His one dream in life ...

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Procreation as a form of oppression: Why I don’t want to have any children

I have always been repelled by the idea of having kids of my own. It has always felt like too much responsibility for a non-committal person like myself. However, many of my friends seem puzzled by this decision of mine. “But you treat children as a therapist, and you’re quite good with them! What’s the problem then?” they ask. But does someone have to hate children in order to not want to give birth to them? You can be exceptionally good with kids and still not want any of your own. However, it’s always hard not to notice the look ...

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