Stories published in March, 2019

A whole new world indeed: Disney’s new Indian-esque Aladdin has left us confused

After leaving viewers less than impressed with the initial teasers for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin, Disney appeared to have upped its game with the full-length trailer for this fantasy revisit. We might not be in masterpiece territory just yet, but things are certainly starting to look a lot more promising for this film, directed by Guy Ritchie. The production, which has been mired in controversy ever since its inception, primarily for its casting choices, finds the studio continuing its trend of turning their animated classics into live-action adventures. We return to Agrabah, as the CGI-filled spectacle reunites us with street ...

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Is Marvel another tool for the US to project its power?

One major pop culture phenomenon taking over the world today is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Based on comic books created by Stan Lee in 1961, the MCU has come out with several movies, TV shows, short films and digital series since 2008, with its films alone generating revenue of over $17 billion worldwide. I have been an absolute fan of both the comics and the movies for almost seven years now, primarily because the MCU combines action, drama, science fiction, romance, friendship, history, diversity, extra-terrestrial life forms and politics in a single platform. That being said, I am also a ...

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Zidane’s homecoming is the fairy tale twist that Real Madrid craved, but will there be a happy ending?

When Real Madrid come knocking, few can say no. Even when you’re a manager who walked away only nine months ago from the club you love because “something needed to change”. Head coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid is thrown in the air by his players during celebrations at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium following their victory last night in Kiev in the UEFA Champions League final, on May 27, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Getty Zinedine Zidane is back at Real Madrid, the club where he won nine trophies during his previous three-year stint. The love Zizou ...

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As a person who was almost radicalised, I urge Britain to accept Shamima Begum

The events of 9/11 were not restricted towards the US only; they changed the whole world, including the thoughts of my generation. I was merely an 18-year-old who had recently finished college back then and was looking forward to pursuing journalism. This was not the era of electronic media in Pakistan, so the only way we could get updated was by relying on cheap newspapers. With the kind of content I went through during the first couple of years of the Afghan war, anyone my age would have easily fallen prey to the menace of extremism and militancy. And ...

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Mother of all U-turns: Why is PTI protecting tax evaders instead of punishing them?

I suppose we should have expected it, given the number of U-turns the government has already taken. Finance Minister Asad Umar reversed a good tax-collecting measure introduced by the previous government, a measure that would have brought many tax criminals into the net. Instead, bowing to the pressure from the powerful auto industry, he has allowed non-filers to buy vehicles of all sizes. Non-filers, it should be noted, do not pay income tax nor do they file tax returns. By law, they should be punished. Instead, they are allowed to pay just 0.6% tax on the amount they spend to ...

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Captain Marvel is merely a fun pit stop to a promising Endgame

Carol Danvers (played by Brie Larson) is a game-changing addition to Marvel’s superhero canon. One wonders why the movie does not feel as momentous as it should. There’s much to admire about Captain Marvel. It’s a cookie-cutter superhero film, but with a female lead as its primary variant. Carol as Captain Marvel is breathtakingly unique among the comic series’ women characters. Unlike Mystique, Black Widow or Jean Gray’s Dark Phoenix, there is no reference subtle or explicit to Carol’s sexuality or feminine guile. The blockbuster passes the oddly elusive Bechdel Test with flying colours – which means there are at least ...

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“Patriarchy ka janaaza”: The outrage is proof that we need more Aurat Marches

I’m marching through the streets of Karachi, I’m marching through the streets of Karachi. My feet connecting with the cold hard concrete of Saddar, I feel my heart beating. I’m pumping my fist in the air, I’m waving my poster side to side, I’m feeling safe, I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m screaming “Azadi” at the top of my lungs. I’m looking around. Documenting this moment for today, For every day, For all my tomorrows. – Aurat March 2019. Last Friday was International Women’s Day, and to spread awareness about the Aurat March, #WhyIMarch was trending on Twitter and various other social media platforms. Women shared their truths and spread the ...

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Alive on a political ventilator, can the PTI government really gamble with Nawaz’s life?

There is no question that Nawaz Sharif’s health is rapidly deteriorating. Even a board of doctors at the Jinnah Hospital advised him to get an angiography, which he of course refused. Apart from heart-related problems, Nawaz also has diabetes and kidney problems. His personal physician, Dr Adnan Khan, has told this writer on many occasions that Nawaz immediately needs intensive care, and will perhaps need to go under cardiac catheterisation and possibly a coronary intervention. However, Nawaz’s refusal to be shifted to any hospital is a sign he is not ready to trust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government again. ...

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From Mourinho to Solskjaer: A tale of Manchester United’s stunning comeback

The Manchester United caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has won 14 out of 17 games in all competitions; his only defeat coming against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the first leg at Old Trafford. He was appointed only as caretaker in December following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. Given the below par performance of the team under Mourinho, it is unthinkable that the same team is now flourishing under the new management. No one gave Solskjaer any real chance given the abysmal situation of the team, but the numbers speaks for themselves. A former United man, for him this is not ...

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Why Israel is pushing for Pakistan and India to go to war

On February 27th, Israeli news publication Haaretz reported that India’s Air Force had used Israeli-made bombs in its recent Line of Control (LoC) violation against Pakistan, citing local news websites which had been briefed by Indian security sources. The reports allege that ‘five Mirage jets armed with Israeli-made Spice 2000 smart missiles attacked what New Delhi says was a terrorist training camp’ in Pakistan. While quietly hidden by the mainstream media, it actually transpires that Israel is a key weapons supplier to the Indian Army, with its current relationship estimated at approximately a billion dollars each year. In fact, India has ...

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