Stories published in May, 2019

What happens to India now that Modi stays in power?

At the time of writing this piece, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is leading in 351 seats. This landslide victory belongs to Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for those who predicted the demise of the Modi wave did not realise how India’s electoral democracy works. When a magician like Modi – who knows the nuts and bolts of public perception – teams up with a shrewd election strategist like Amit Shah, together they create waves that win elections. If by divine grace they are blessed with an opponent as incompetent as Rahul Gandhi, such tides turn into ...

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Not finding oil reserves was expected, but PTI had to save face so it gave false hope

After a lot of anticipation, the news finally arrived a few days ago that the much hyped oil exploration off the shore of Pakistan has ended in failure. This attempt by Exxon Mobil has cost the Pakistani exchequer about $100 million. This failure marks Pakistan’s 18th attempt at trying to find oil in the deep sea, but this should not be a cause for concern as offshore drilling is considered to be a ‘high risk, high reward’ business with a small chance of success associated with each attempt. Moreover, although this attempt is a failure, experts are hoping that future ...

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#JusticeForFarishta is proof we did nothing after demanding #JusticeForZainab

Childhood is perhaps the golden period in every individual’s life, but not in Pakistan. Here, even the children are not spared in this world of lust and greed, and quite often they are the ones who become victim to the paedophiles and monsters that run free. On May 20th, police recovered the body of 10-year-old Farishta, who had been abducted, allegedly raped and then brutally murdered, with her body thrown in some bushes at the edge of Islamabad. Farishta went missing from home five days prior to this, and when her father Gul Nabi rushed to the nearest police station ...

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Made in Heaven shows modern India a mirror, and it’s beautiful, warts and all

The stories a society tells reveal a lot about its character, its maturity, and its willingness to look itself square in the eye and embrace the entirety of not just its beauty, but also its abundant blemishes. Indian cinema has been a window to contemporary India for a while now. It has produced some quality work but has also contributed a lot of pure mindless drivel. It has entertained, educated, and exasperated audiences the world over, but through it all, it has carved a place for itself, much like the country it represents. Traditionally, Indian content creators have been hampered by ...

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Is war between the US and Iran imminent?

Countries often behave like people, with the same psychological forces controlling and driving them. The United States (US) and Iran are no different. They are bitter rivals because of their differing ideologies but there’s something else at play too. From the very end of World War II, the US has tried to dominate the world’s political discourse and has dictated policies to every country it could get its hands on. From North Korea to Venezuela, the diktat has been the same – either accept our political supremacy or bear the consequences of not listening to us. Pax Americana is ...

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Yes, Chinese men are sham-marrying Pakistani girls, but CPEC is not to be blamed for it

After she finished her initial studies, her parents could no longer afford to send her to college to continue her education. What her father earned was not even enough to make ends meet. The family was living in a rented house in a slum-like dwelling. Sensing she should not be a burden on the gradually weakening shoulders of her father, she started seeking a job but was not successful at all. She was willing to do anything to ease life for her parents so they could focus on her younger siblings instead. Hira, the 19-year-old daughter of a Christian watchman from Sarai ...

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The age of Sana Mir in a man’s world

We have entered an age where women can be leaders in every field and research shows that women are outperforming men in many professions. Organisations are encouraging the employment of female bosses because 40 years of research have proved that women are better managers. The trends are also changing in a country like Pakistan, where more and more women are being given their rights and the liberty to choose their own profession. Yet, it seems that the field of sports still remains off-limits for many women in Pakistani families. But I believe that this mind-set won’t last long because we ...

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Chill out, PTI! It was just an iftar

An iftar gathering at the Zardari House in Islamabad has shaken the political corridors of Pakistan. On Sunday, almost 10 opposition parties including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) gathered for an informal iftar-dinner to devise a strategy against the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. Maryam Nawaz led the PML-N delegation which Hamza Shehbaz was a part of, proving Maryam has finally taken the lead role while Hamza will perform a role similar to what his father did for Nawaz Sharif. Nonetheless, this was a big show ...

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Game of Thrones: From great and glorious to passable and forgettable

Winter has come and gone for the first time since 2011, as an epic saga comes to a close and the band plays the outro to the fervent song of Ice and Fire one last time.  Game of Thrones is not just another TV show but a global phenomenon, and with millions of people watching throughout the world, expectations from the final season kept skyrocketing. Now that the finale has finally aired, we can discuss whether or not it was able to meet those expectations. The following are the highs and lows of the GoT’s final season: **spoilers alert** The highs: 1. Jon’s ...

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Wahab Riaz selected for World Cup squad – but is that a wise decision?

The inclusion of Wahab Riaz in Pakistan’s World Cup squad has triggered mixed views among Pakistani fans. The ones not in favor of Riaz have some solid reasons for their strong opinions. Bearing in mind Riaz’s track record, he is a gamble. If he plays well, great. And if he doesn’t, we’re doomed. Does he bowl fast? Yes. Is he accurate? Not particularly. He becomes more and more unreliable as the pressure mounts. Time and time again, we have seen him receive some serious punishment at the hands of batsmen. Pakistan finalises make-up of World Cup squadhttps://t.co/I4xFbvC5sF #WeHaveWeWill pic.twitter.com/tTdA8iC6Pj — Pakistan Cricket ...

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