Stories published in August, 2019

The world will not forgive ‘Captain Chainsaw’ if the Amazon continues to burn

The fires in the Amazon rainforest have been the current topic of discussion this past week on social media, as people share photographs and outrage over the destruction of the ‘lungs of the earth’. However, a lot of the information is not exactly accurate, including many outdated pictures that have gone viral. Some Brazilians also feel that there is some sort of conspiracy against their new government, led by their right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, especially since he has dismissed the scientific consensus about climate change, calling it a hoax. Given his allegations of a “fake news campaign built against our sovereignty,” perhaps the best ...

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How Ben Stokes became an Ashes legend

A thrilling end, drama and suspense is something we generally associate with Pakistan cricket. However, it is England who have provided us with that lately with two of the best games in cricketing history within the span of a few months. And, funnily enough, the main architect of both these matches was Ben Stokes. When England were handed the task of chasing down 359 runs in the third Ashes Test, most thought it was impossible, especially since England were bowled out for a paltry 67 in their first innings. Moreover, the pitch seemed unbelievably difficult to bat on because it continued ...

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The joke that was Mustafa Kamal’s appointment and suspension

It has been a while since the disintegrated factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have been involved in mudslinging with regards to every issue related to Karachi. The recent episode between the incumbent Mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar and former mayor of Karachi, Mustafa Kamal took an interesting turn when the former appointed the latter and within 24 hours suspended him from the voluntary position of Project Director Garbage. The entire fiasco began when Kamal claimed that he could clean up the city of Karachi within 90 days if he was provided with the resources and funds which the Karachi Metropolitan ...

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Lady and the Tramp: Another lazy, opportunistic adaptation

Disney may be raking in billions of dollars with its live-action remakes of animated classic movies, but this string of lazy, opportunistic adaptations isn’t doing much for the company’s image. While these projects have displayed the company’s visual wizardry, the media giant has yet to produce a new iteration that was truly essential. With each unnecessary revisit, Disney seems increasingly uninspired and creatively vacant, reliant primarily on the powers of nostalgia to draw in an audience. This year has already seen the release of three such ventures — Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King — none of which have ...

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Widowed, divorced, unmarried: Taking cue from Bangladesh’s amended marriage laws

Since 1961, Bangladesh’s Muslim marriage laws required the bride to select one of the three options on a marriage certificate: widowed, divorced or kumari (virgin). Whereas, grooms had no similar requirement. However, earlier this week, Bangladesh’s highest court overturned this extremely medieval law. Now, not only will the word ‘virgin’ be removed but marriage certificates will also require grooms to select their marital status as either unmarried, widowed or divorced. This monumental step wasn’t easy for the lawyers and activists involved in this case. It took five years for the court to hear their petition. And while they issued a brief verdict straight ...

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More than just an actor: In conversation with Sheheryar Munawar

While viewers in Pakistan know Sheheryar Munawar as a leading man and as one of the bright new faces of Pakistan’s resurgent film industry, many may be unaware of the work he carries out behind the camera. We have seen Munawar act in a string of successful dramas and films, but do we know him well enough as a filmmaker? In this interview, Munawar talks about what keeps him motivated, what the future holds for him, and if he’ll ever be donning the director’s hat. Photo by author Parey Hut Love has emerged as a critical and commercial success. How does ...

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Will a 30-minute demonstration every Friday actually help the Kashmir cause?

Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been under lockdown for more than three weeks now. Narendra Modi’s desire to annex the territory was already made clear during his election campaign, and thus many have been asking why Islamabad was unable to pre-empt this. But given that Modi’s move on the geopolitical chessboard caught Islamabad off-guard, the question arises: how should Pakistan respond? Perhaps by rallying on the streets for 30 minutes. In a recently televised address, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he wanted the people of Pakistan to come out onto the streets for half an hour every Fridays in order to stand in solidarity ...

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Misbahul Haq can be a fantastic batting coach but cannot be the head coach

Although it looks like Misbahul Haq has emerged as the prime candidate to become the next head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, I don’t think he is the right man for the job. While Misbah was a decent captain, I felt he hardly introduced any new players during his tenure. The likes of Haris Sohail and Babar Azam were ready to play international cricket while Misbah was captain, but he didn’t allow them to make an entrance, instead relying on the old guard. Misbah consistently preferred safe and ‘conservative’ players over slightly more exuberant cricketers. But I do still ...

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#CleanPakistan: A plastic ban with no alternatives

Every now and then, Naya Pakistan surprises us from its bag of wonders. Every new policy is a roller-coaster turn. While one is still gasping from the last swirl, the next one is even steeper and more unpredictable. The recent drive to de-plasticise the capital territory is the latest.  Although going plastic-free had been on the cards for some time, its implementation plan seems to have been not. The Ministry of Climate Change announced plans in early August to abolish the manufacture, sale and purchase of plastic bags in the capital. The local administration too announced to make Islamabad plastic-free ...

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Kashmir – a land marred by betrayals

The once heavenly abode of the Mughal kings, one of whom famously called it “paradise on Earth” – Kashmir today lies in tatters. It remains divided in bits and pieces. Its people seething in desolation and broken by the latest insult in a long list of insults. Dejected and disheartened by the apathy the world has shown while their political, cultural and religious identity has been assaulted and snatched. It has been 21 days since Article 370 was scrapped and an unprecedented communications blockade was put in place; practically insulating Kashmir from the rest of the world. Close to eight ...

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