Stories published in February, 2019

Cold Pursuit is not just Taken set in snow – it’s so much more!

In 2017, Liam Neeson gave us quite the scare when he said in an interview that he was going to retire from being an action hero even though he was being offered a tonne of money for playing such roles. This statement of his obviously meant that his January 2018 release, The Commuter, was going to be his last action film. Being a huge fan of the guy with a very particular set of skills, I watched The Commuter as soon as it released and I surely enjoyed it. But by the time the movie ended, I couldn’t help but feel sad as I ...

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Caught in the middle: Pakistan’s position in the US-China power shift

China’s rise has triggered a myriad of debates among political and academic commentators alike. Will it be peaceful and rely solely on America’s decline? Or will the changing structure of the international arena inevitably be riddled with war and violence? As the aforementioned thoughts become the subject of repeated discussions, another problem closer to home becomes more and more pressing: can Pakistan ride the ever-turbulent wave of great power rivalry, or is it playing dangerously close to the fire?  Developing trends in regional governance suggest that although American hegemony endures on the international scale, it is undoubtedly being subverted, as China’s global influence ...

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Something new, something different: 4 reasons to watch Laal Kabootar

The trailer of Kamal Khan’s debut Pakistani film Laal Kabootar recently released and it’s already making waves. The movie stars Ahmed Ali Akbar, Mansha Pasha, Rashid Farooqi and Faiza Gillani in lead roles along with Ali Kazmi. The film is produced by Hania Chima and Kamil Chima. From the trailer, it is evident that the story of the film is based in Karachi. It appears to be a crime caper thriller, a niche in which Pakistani cinema has not experimented much. The trailer of Laal Kabootar is receiving a positive response from people of all social classes and here are four reasons why it ...

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The PSL frenzy: With 7 matches down, which team looks promising so far?

Pakistan Super League (PSL) has played a pivotal role in the restoration of international cricket in Pakistan, albeit partially. This year, eight matches will be played in Pakistan and hopefully after their success, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be able to convince more players around the world that Pakistan is a safe country to host cricket matches. The fourth season of PSL commenced on Valentine’s Day. Till now, every team has shown their muscle on the field. The tournament is still in its early stages, with only seven matches played; however, we can still try and predict each team’s future ...

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Dear India, here are 7 enlightening lessons to end the blame game. Sincerely, Pakistan!

The Pulwama attack was an unfortunate tragedy and an act of terrorism; one that should be investigated and the perpetrators held accountable. However, it seems that India is more concerned with upholding its anti-Pakistan narrative for a political agenda than actually trying to get justice or finding a solution for the Kashmir issue.  The already tense dynamic between the two countries has escalated quickly and relations seem worse than they have been in a long time. But while Pakistan tries to use diplomacy and backchannels to call for peace, India seems to be too busy beating the drums of war. ...

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Influenced by India, is Iran projecting its anti-Saudi frustrations onto Pakistan?

Hours before a plane carrying Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de-facto ruler Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), along with a Saudi delegation of 200 men, landed in Islamabad, Iran formally summoned Pakistan’s ambassador in Tehran. According to Iran, the summoning of Pakistan’s ambassador had nothing to do with MBS’ visit to Pakistan, during which Imran Khan’s PTI government looks to secure lucrative investment deals with the cash-rich Kingdom. Instead, Iran claims that the summoning was due to a suicide terror attack in the south-eastern Iranian hinterlands between the cities of Zahedan and Khash, which took the lives of around 30 elite Islamic ...

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Modi was all set to win the upcoming elections. Enters Priyanka Gandhi

Politics is the prisoner of context and timing. The entry of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra into mainstream politics in India comes at a time when Indian politics senses a new opportunity that is beyond the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With the main opposition Congress winning three important regional elections recently, the party sees a beginning of a new momentum which has been missing ever since its worst ever performance in the last General Elections in 2014. The victory in the regional elections consolidates the positions of the party president, Rahul Gandhi, and also heralds him as a prominent face of the ...

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Mystery, thrill and Amitabh Bachchan, Badla promises to be as spectacular as Teen

Over the years, Amitabh Bachchan has appeared onscreen with many leading ladies. Who can forget his pairings with Zeenat Aman, Parveen Babi, Rekha, and many other leading ladies of Bollywood? To his credit, he’s kept going strong and still commands a sizeable pull at the box office. After the success of Pink, it looks like Bachchan is forming a new hit pairing with the immensely talented and significantly younger Taapsee Pannu, albeit not of the romantic kind. A second movie, Badla, featuring these two actors is set to release this year. There’s once again a legal angle to the plot ...

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Alita: Battle Angel is not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a visual spectacle

Western adaptations of Japanese manga have largely been commercial and critical disappointments (Scarlett Johansson, anyone?). But that hasn’t deterred Hollywood from continuing to explore the genre and trying to tap into its worldwide fan base. The latest effort to do so comes in the form of Alita: Battle Angel, an adaptation of Yukito Kishiro’s Gunnm series. With the filmmaking effort of writer and producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez, the movie is set in a dystopian future where the world has been left ravaged by war. The population is divided into two factions: the privileged, who live in the floating sky city ...

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More sinister than meets the eye: Connecting the dots behind the Pulwama attack

Every time a state is attacked by some non-state actor, the main casualty after the number of lives lost is the truth, which is usually the case when a lot of noise is made after an attack to find an easy target to blame for one’s own mistakes. Realities are subtle. In India, every ill of the society, every negative result of their foreign policy and military adventurism can just be dumped on Pakistan. These laughable tactics are too old, too boring, and have the least substance, just like Bollywood movies. This time blaming Pakistan is not just to sanitise India’s ...

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