Stories published in May, 2019

We praise working mothers like New Zealand’s Jacinda Arden but criticise our own

The past few years have been remarkable when it comes to the world accepting working mothers. Yuka Ogata, Larissa Waters, Jacinda Ardern and our very own Mahjabeen Sheran are all working mothers and politicians who made history by reminding the world of how women everywhere balance motherhood alongside a busy career in a way that fathers never have to. When 42-year-old Ogata brought her baby boy to the Kumamoto City Assembly in Japan in 2017 – her way of highlighting the difficulties faced by working mothers in the country – it led to her receiving a written warning from fellow members for ...

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After 14 long years, will Liverpool finally lift the Champions League trophy?

The 2019 Champions League final in Madrid will be reminiscent of the English final of 2008 when Manchester United beat Chelsea in Moscow to lift the trophy. However, this time around, Liverpool are contesting for their sixth European crown and only their north London rivals, Tottenham Hostpur, stand in their way. It may come as a surprise to many that Mauricio Pochettino’s men have qualified for the final of Europe’s biggest club competition but there is no denying that the Lilywhites have been in a sublime form this season. On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp’s side have reached the ...

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The fall of a dynasty: Does Congress still have a future in Indian politics?

As the results of the General Election tumbled in a week ago, concern gave way to questions among the more sceptical. What will this brute majority portend for India? Will we see a ramping up of religious rhetoric and a stronger push for a Hindu Rashtra? Will we see the process of undermining institutions continue? Will we keep witnessing the derision of experts, leading to disastrous policy decisions like demonetisation? And so on. One of the most important questions that emerged from this result, however, is about India’s opposition parties, particularly the Indian National Congress (INC). What does the Congress do ...

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A paradise in peril: Destroying Naltar for the sake of promoting tourism

I had heard about the pristine beauty of Naltar since I was a child, but somehow had never made it to this remote valley, located around 40 kilometres from Gilgit. Perhaps a lot had to do with the fact that the road to the valley is barely passable by jeep, and it takes around two hours to get there from the Karakoram Highway. However, this month I finally made it to Naltar, and I was not disappointed. The bare Karakoram mountains, the rocky landscape and the dusty road was soon forgotten as we turned a corner and emerald green ...

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The night before Pakistan’s World Cup game

After four years of waiting and 27 years of reliving our past glory, now the moment to repeat history is finally here. I lie in my bed, engulfed by the darkness and silence. Sleep should be around the corner but it’s not. I can hear the clock ticking. Each tick is a second closer to the start of Pakistan’s World Cup campaign and that will keep me awake for the rest of the night. I am one of ‘those’ fans. Pakistan cricket has beguiled us for years and our love affair with the World Cup began in 1975. Our foray ...

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The ‘victim card’: why Pakistan remains a dangerous country for women

The rise of the #MeToo movement not only broke barriers internationally, it also created waves within Pakistan and encouraged women to speak up against their predators and abusers. Today, Pakistanis are more ‘woke’ than they have ever been. Gone are the days when women-centric issues were ridiculously hushed in the name of preserving ‘honour’. The concepts of ‘patriarchy’, ‘misogyny’ and ‘consent’ have finally made their way through to being publicly discussed, questioned and rebuked. However, things are nowhere near good enough yet. Pakistan is just awakening to the seriousness of harassment and abuse and how often this leads to rape, murder ...

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Lessons PTI can learn from BJP and its landslide victory

For many, the two-nation theory (TNT) is a matter of history rather than a contemporary and ongoing political phenomenon. If the plebiscite demanded by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 was implemented, if Pakistan was not facing hostile provocations from India and its allies in Kabul, if India was at peace with itself in terms of ending communal violence, if India was not pitting Iran against Pakistan, and if Bangladesh and Pakistan had healthy relations, then perhaps the TNT could be viewed as an historical accomplishment. Because the aforementioned issues are far from being solved, and moreover, due ...

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Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini: A father’s lament of the barbarity we call human beings

“My dear Marwan, I look at your profile, In the glow of this three-quarter moon, my boy, Your eyelashes like calligraphy, Closed in guileless sleep. I said to you, ‘Hold my hand. Nothing bad will happen’.” These are a few verses from the context of Sea Prayer, the fourth book by Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini is a well-known author of three books, including the international bestseller The Kite Runner, and is the Goodwill Ambassador to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Sea Prayer is a 40-page book, or rather, a free verse poem beautifully complemented by Dan Williams’ illustrations. It can best be described as a ...

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Why are people hating on Batwoman before it’s even released?

Batwoman is all set to join the CW superhero family with her own show later this year, and the whole thing has somehow become way more controversial than it should be. Australian actress Ruby Rose stars as the protagonist Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin, who takes over Batman’s mantle to protect Gotham as a vigilante. A quest to save her kidnapped girlfriend spurs the street fighter to don Batman’s very long cape (The Incredibles’ Edna would clearly be disappointed) and fight for justice. Photo: IMDb Seemingly the show is as overly dramatic as everything else in the Arrowverse, ...

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Will PayPal never come to Pakistan?

Pakistan’s financial sector received yet another shock recently when it was revealed that PayPal, which the present government was keen to introduce here, had declined to come to Pakistan citing internal issues. PayPal is a banking channel which acts as a middleman for payments between two parties. After signing up on the platform, a customer is supposed to link their bank account, credit card or debit card to PayPal. Once the procedure is complete, the customer pays or receives money, having the option of keeping the amount in their PayPal account or transferring it to their bank account. Former finance minister ...

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