Stories published in March, 2019

Why the time to invest in Pakistan is now

Being a capital market participant, I have seen quite a few ups and downs during the past decade. I have experience of evaluating a large number of companies listed at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). I believe, at this point in time, most of the listed companies are trading well below their fair price, thus, offering good return potential and strong dividend yield. Historically speaking, every time our stock market experienced a downturn, it bounced back with more power. Even though the downturns are often abrupt, recovery usually takes a while. Nonetheless, once our stock market comes out of crisis, ...

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In between the waves

“Please inform them in Lahore.” “Sure, Baba. Have a safe journey.” She said after tucking him into the window seat. ‘Seat #2’ it said in black. She was glad it was in the front. He won’t have to walk too much to get off. “Tell them that I’ll be there by 8:45pm.” “Sure, Baba.” She hugged him and ended up hugging part of the seat. She went to stand with her mother. The mother and daughter walked to the other side of the bus. Two eyes followed them, and as the bus made his daughter and granddaughter momentarily disappear, he brought his eyes to ...

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Questioning Obama and Trump’s policies, Ilhan Omar is bringing accountability to America’s doorstep

Ilhan Omar’s election to the United States House of Representatives earlier this year symbolises the complex nature of the American polity. As the first Somali-American to have entered Congress, her campaign victory is deemed a historic feat against the backdrop of the increasingly polarised and nationalistic political culture that has crystallised under the Trump Presidency. What’s more, Omar’s position in the House Foreign Affairs Committee has propelled her to engage in difficult debates that dominate her country’s political discourse and keeps her from shying away from a number of controversial issues, including the influence of the pro-Israel lobby American ...

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Can Late Night’s stellar cast save the film from an otherwise uninspired script?

When Late Night premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the critical consensus appeared to be generally positive, with praise directed at the movie’s heart and wit. Watch its new trailer though and you might be left confused why the film drew such favourable comments. The comedy drama tells the story of a talk show host, portrayed by the ever-terrific Emma Thompson, who is “a little old and a little white” and on the verge of losing her show. She hires a new writer, Mindy Kaling, a ‘woman of colour’ who revamps the show and helps revitalise the program. [caption id="" ...

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I dedicate this Pakistan Day to my grandfather, a PoW, and my father, a war veteran

Lieutenant Colonel Shuaib was posted in Bahawalpur, West Pakistan when he was informed of his new assignment in East Pakistan as G1 to a three-star General. This was in the late 60s, when tensions were high between the East and the West wing of Pakistan. As is usual with army postings, he packed up and left to report to his new posting. His family of six – a wife and five children – were supposed to follow him soon. As fate would have it, before his family could arrive and the house could be furnished with belongings that would later be ...

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Sherdil can talk the patriotic talk but doesn’t know where or how to walk

Patriotic films have managed to do well at the box office of late. Most recently, Parwaaz Hai Junoon came out last year and fared quite well. In fact, some theatres are still playing it, which obviously suggests that audiences are enjoying this genre. The most recent release in this genre is Sherdil, which has been in the limelight for a while now, mainly due to Pak-India tensions and the skyrocketing patriotism experienced by the country over the past month. Sherdil is Azfar Jafri’s fourth film after Siyaah, Janaan and Parchi. The film is written by Nomaan Khan and features Mikaal Zulfiqar, ...

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#SayNoToWar: Airstrikes, blackouts and bunkers – that was my childhood

Learning new vocabulary and songs on the first day of school is a part of growing up; it’s a part of childhood memories. When I recall my memories, they are a little unusual. They are of war; the war of 1971 when East Pakistan was attacked. The lyrics of some of the ‘askari naghme’ (patriotic songs) sung by Madam Noor Jehan, such as Ay watan ke sajeeley jawanon (O brave men of the country) were the first to be embedded in my mind. Words like anti-aircraft, missile, trenches and blackouts were some of the first ones I learned in the English ...

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Amber Heard vs Johnny Depp: Is the credibility of #MeToo and women survivors under threat?

Last week, actor Johnny Depp hit his former wife Amber Heard with a massive $50 million lawsuit, which alleges that Heard’s claims of domestic abuse against Depp were a “hoax” intended to “advance her career”. Not only is Depp arguing that his then-wife’s case was completely fake, he is also alleging that he was the victim of domestic violence. Depp’s lawyers claim to have a lot of evidence, including almost 87 video surveillance clips from around their home and testimonies of numerous witnesses including the couple’s friends and neighbours. Even though the court of public opinion has already demonised Heard ...

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The Art of Self-Defence: A diamond in the rough

Ever so often we find ourselves utterly enchanted by a film we know so little about. That diamond in the rough or that under seen Indie gem turns out to be one of the best movies we have seen in months and suddenly we question why we knew so little about that very movie. The upcoming film The Art of Self-Defence seems very much in the same wheelhouse. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg as a timid man, trying to learn to protect himself in the wake of a seemingly random but violent beating. The first teaser gives scant details regarding the plot ...

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Triple Frontier is a refreshing and authentic take on heist movies

It was almost a decade ago when Mark Boal, the writer of Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, penned a screenplay for Triple Frontier. Initially, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp were supposed to headline the movie, but as the years went by and development on the movie halted, both Hanks and Depp backed off from the project. In 2017, Netflix finally bought the rights to the movie and got the ball rolling. Triple Frontier or Tres Fronteras is the point in South America where the borders of Brazil, Peru and Columbia meet. The movie revolves around a group of former ...

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