Stories published in May, 2019

Pakistan is not ready for a tourist influx

They say that desperate times call for desperate measures. Pakistan is in an economic crunch at the moment, and with limited options available to bail itself out, the tourism industry could be the much needed light at the end of the tunnel. The recent surge in travel bloggers visiting Pakistan on sponsored trips shows the eagerness of the current government to refurbish Pakistan’s international image. However, this begs the question, does the government have any concrete plans to support the tourism sector beyond just charging a drone and flying it over the mountains? Like any other industry in the world, ...

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Aamir Liaquat as Burhan Wani is not only artistically insensible, it’s also quite disrespectful

From religious talk shows to the National Assembly, is there no limit to where an over-abundance of self-confidence will carry a man in Pakistan? After all, Aamir Liaquat has now announced that he will be playing the titular role in Ayub Khosa’s upcoming biopic about Burhan Wani, the fallen commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and a Kashmiri freedom fighter. The filmmaker himself has yet to confirm Mr Liaquat’s announcement. If true, one wonders if the delay is the result of him waiting for a more opportune moment, or whether he is simply sitting quietly in a dark corner examining his career choices. ...

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“A Moses without manifestation, a Christ without a cross”: Karl Marx as remembered by Wamiq Jaunpuri

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” – Karl Marx Europe in the 19th century gave birth to two thinkers who changed everything about how we see the world. One was Charles Darwin. The other was Karl Marx, who was born 201 years ago today. Darwin discovered the law of evolution of plants and animals (the law of natural selection and survival of the fittest), while Marx sought the law of evolution of human history. Darwin’s discoveries sparked a revolution in the scientific world, while Marx’s discoveries illuminated the pathways to ...

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The Silence is nothing more than a cheap knockoff of A Quiet Place

It would seem rather obvious that attempting a cheap knockoff of a well-made, successful film merely a year after its release is not the best of strategies. Clearly Hollywood didn’t get that memo. Almost exactly a year after A Quiet Place arrived in cinemas, Netflix has unveiled The Silence, a movie which follows pretty much the same premise, albeit a lot more shoddily. Just like the John Krasinski hit, John R. Leonetti’s thriller is set in a world which is under attack by creatures that hunt by sound and tells the tale of a family with a hearing impaired teenage ...

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Will redesigning Sonic the Hedgehog fix what looks like a terrible adaptation?

When it comes to video game adaptations, it has to be said that Hollywood has failed miserably at cracking the code. For some reason, the producers and money men in Tinseltown can’t seem to understand what it takes to take a narrative that has been very successful with a particular video game and make it work as a feature length film. The list of bad video game adaptations has gotten pretty long at this point, with several big screen adaptations already in the pipeline. By the looks of it, the list may only get a little longer with the ...

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Who faced the music better: Meesha Shafi or Ali Zafar?

This week saw yet another development in Pakistan’s first #MeToo case: Ali Zafar spoke directly to the media for the first time since he filed a defamation case against Meesha Shafi for accusing him of sexual harassment. Zafar confidently told the media that Meesha’s case has been dismissed and he has been proven innocent by the court of law. This is blatantly untrue. In fact, it is a vicious way of misleading common people who are unaware of legal proceedings and only believe what they hear Zafar say on the news. What is actually happening? Firstly, according to Nighat Dad’s statement, Zafar has ...

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The 1979 World Cup and the love affair that ensued

Many cricket fanatics may be blissfully unaware that the advent of ODI cricket was a complete accident. In 1971, Australia and England were scheduled to play a Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but the first three days of play were abandoned following heavy downpour. In a surprising move, the two sides played the first ever limited-overs match, with each innings lasting 40 overs and each over consisting of eight deliveries. Australia ended up winning the match by five wickets, but little did they know that their attempt at trying to salvage a few hours of play would ...

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Apart from planting trees, what is Pakistan doing to fight climate change?

This week, the House of Commons in the UK became the first parliament to declare an ‘environment and climate change emergency’. The symbolic move, recognising the urgency to tackle the climate crisis, was largely the result of a mass movement organised by the new group, Extinction Rebellion. This group, led mostly by young people, says that time is running out in order to limit global warming to 1.5C and thus demands that solutions be implemented. Supporting them is Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old school girl from Sweden who started the #SchoolStrike4Climate, inspired a global movement and has now been nominated ...

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Why is the copy culture an ingrained part of education in Sindh?

The culture of mass copying is thriving in Sindh, eroding its education system over the past several decades. As usual, those who suffer the most are the poor students from outlying areas, where access to education is negligible.  Why is this menace still in practice, despite the various legislative and administrative initiatives taken by the Ministry of Education? Legislatively, Sindh was among the other provinces that adopted a bill ensuring the right to education for all in order to claim political fame. Administratively, the Sindh Education Ministry installed a biometric system – the first of its kind in Pakistan – with the aim ...

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Raw and poignant, A Place for Us beautifully sheds light on familial love

It had been some time since I cried while reading a book. And A Place for Us changed that. Fatima Farheen Mirza’s dazzling debut novel tells the story of a South Asian Muslim family living in America. The family members find themselves torn between discovering their individual selves, while also grappling with their respective roles within the family. As a result of living in a deeply polarised American society, the characters in the novel are in a constant battle with themselves, their family and the world around them, each looking to find relevance, liberty and peace. Interestingly, one of the main talking ...

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