Stories published in December, 2018

From Gilgit Baltistan to New York: Leo was lucky to escape the death cells that are Pakistan’s zoos

On a random Wednesday morning, I ended up strolling inside the Bronx Zoo in New York. Don’t ask me what I was doing at the zoo on a weekday, but I’ll tell you this: Wednesdays are free for visitors. Yes, this was a cheap move, but I was actually only having a stroll to see if this is a place I can bring my younger nieces to, should they visit me coming summer. At the Bronx Zoo, I met another visitor from Pakistan that I wouldn’t have imagined I would meet even in my wildest of imaginations. Hold on to your ...

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Manchester United got 99 problems and Jose Mourinho was just one of them

Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Manchester United. His time at United came to an end after two and a half years in charge. It was an impending axe that was bound to fall on the fervid manager after the dismal performance of Manchester United this season, which is United’s worst start in 28 years. The defeat against Liverpool proved to be the final jolt required to oust Mourinho. A dejected looking Jose Mourinho the head coach / manager of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United at Anfield ...

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It’s only been 6 months and Islamabad International Airport is already falling apart

The newly built Islamabad International Airport is yet another example of how poor planning continues to add rust to the public exchequer. Despite the nation’s capital being in dire need of a better airport, the new building has failed to deliver in every aspect. Since its inauguration in May this year, it has seen a plethora of structural flaws that have revealed it to be less of an airport and more of a health hazard. To start with, years before its inauguration, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) accepted flaws in the design of the runways due to which multiple ...

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COP24: Time is running out and this may be our last attempt to save our planet

The UN Climate Change Conference 2018, or COP24 as it widely known, started with a bang and ended with a whimper two weeks later in Katowice, Poland. The bang came at the high level opening ceremony on December 2nd where celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sir David Attenborough warned negotiators that “time is running out” for the world to take action to control global warming. Unfortunately, their warnings were not taken seriously as the Paris Rulebook that was finalised at Katowice on December 15th actually ended up watering down the Paris Agreement, especially in terms of finance, loss and ...

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The best of the best from Tinseltown: And the ETBA goes to…

As the year winds to a close, and the awards season begins to honour the best films of the year, there seems to be an ever-growing disconnect between what the people expect and what awards shows like the Oscars deliver. The Oscars are meant to be a night on which the most important films of the year are honoured but what about the other unimportant but highly watchable films that Oscar voters simply don’t care about? What about the genres that the Oscar voters simply don’t consider important enough and look down upon? Well, this list aims to provide ...

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Model Town, a child in Lala Musa, and now a cameraman – PML-N’s ‘Gullu Butt’ culture continues

The recent attack on a cameraman of a private news channel, in which he was assaulted by Nawaz Sharif’s chief security officer and stricken in a fashion that could have easily proven to be fatal, was no less than an act of attempted murder. In the wake of this assault, two things have become incredibly clear. Firstly, that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) thrives on influence generated by a brutal exercise of authority. Secondly, that Nawaz isn’t just a corrupt politician – he is a purveyor of our culture of violence, no different than the likes of the infamous Altaf Hussain. PML-N ...

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Do we have the right squad for the #PakvsSA Test series?

The last time the Pakistan Test team toured South Africa was in 2013, the year Pakistan, to everyone’s surprise, lost the Test series. The main problem was with the batting which seriously failed to live up to peoples’ expectations. Almost six years later, not much has changed, aside from the exclusion of Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq. This time, Pakistan has a slightly younger squad, with Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman at the forefront. In spite of the younger players, the Pakistan team batting line-up still remains a major concern. Pakistan’s recent Test form hasn’t been great. In Pakistan’s last two ...

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From ‘possessed’ to the ‘crazy ex’, do Bollywood horror movies have a gender stereotype problem?

Bollywood cannot be credited with producing the most sensitive of films, and although there has been a welcome change in the recent past, there is still a long way to go in terms of appropriate and sensitive representation across genres. While genres such as romance and comedy are actively dissected regarding how they often portray skewed gender relations on screen, one genre which probably needs to be spoken more about is that of Bollywood horror films. The roots of horror as a genre in mainstream Indian cinema can be traced back to the Ramsay family production during the latter half of the ...

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How the US pushed Pakistan into the arms of China and Russia

The US has always had a curious but quietly spoken relationship with Pakistan. At one point, Pakistan was the third largest recipient of US foreign assistance, receiving over $3.5 billion from the US in 2011 alone. While this aid has been steadily decreasing since the aforementioned peak in 2011, US-Pakistan relations took a sharp turn for the worse at the beginning of this year when US President Donald Trump decided to herald in the new year by launching a Twitter tirade against Pakistan. The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 ...

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The road not taken: Going to Cambridge or getting married

In Pakistan, and in my native language Urdu, woman translates into aurat, which comes from the Persian awrah, meaning “parts to be protected”. Literally, too, in my present Muslim, closed-knit, patriarchal society, women like me are guided — by their fathers, husbands, brothers, sons — to be protected from threats against their body and family honour. While these men encourage “western” trends to an extent — like education at reputable schools, recreational sports, or even temporary employment — cultural traditions halt these prospects after marriage. You are born, our men tell us, to marry fast, and vouchsafe both yourselves and your future daughters ...

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