Stories published in August, 2019

Raja Changez Sultan: the sage artist behind the canvas

When I sat down with Raja Changez Sultan to talk about his journey as an artist and a poet, I was already in awe of him. I had been following his work, both poetry and painting, for many years. Seven years of my life were spent sitting under a beautiful large azure green and vivid blue canvas from his Himalayan Odyssey series. The beautiful canvas that hung on the wall of the international donor agency where I worked at that time was a welcome relief in that drab, grey, reticent building. “It has been wonderful for me. You live ...

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Maleeha Lodhi: Spilling tea with the architect of Pakistan’s diplomatic coup at the UN

On a bright Sunday morning, right after Pakistan managed to raise the Kashmir issue at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting – despite India throwing everything and the kitchen sink to stop it – we sat down for a conversation with UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi at her official residence on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. We unpacked how Pakistan managed to orchestrate the UNSC meeting after five decades, what’s next for Pakistan at the UN, and what a typical day in her life looks like during these extraordinary times. “The fact that the UNSC meeting took place showed that ...

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The Qandeel Baloch story: Using the law of forgiveness as a license to kill

In some surreal news, Qandeel Baloch’s parents have taken steps to essentially cancel her case. Should they be successful, Qandeel’s story will most likely take the same disappointing direction as those of countless other innocent women who fell victim to a deafening patriarchy. According to an affidavit filed with the Multan courts, Qandeel’s parents have asked the court to not only dismiss the murder charges against their sons, Waseem and Aslam Shaheen, but have also requested to the court to wrap up the case as soon as possible. This is because not only have they forgiven him, but they also believe ...

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A nightmare for the LGBTQ community, there is a lot going wrong with ‘Adam’

Every now and then, efforts are made by filmmakers to produce a movie representing the LGBTQ community as accurately and unbiasedly as possible. However, very few of these movies fulfill their aim while also being politically correct. Adam, based on its namesake novel, is a prime example of this case. Released recently on August 14th, the film has already managed to garner quite a lot of criticism, a trending hashtag against it and a petition to boycott it. Marketed as ‘one of the most exciting LGBTQ films of the year’, Adam is, in fact, a classic exemplar of what exactly a ...

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While Klopp is surely a winner, the Best Player Award is a race between Salah-Dijk-Kane

The upcoming Best FIFA Football Awards will take place in Milan, Italy on September 23rd, and the ceremony will allow fans from all over the world to vote for their favourite players and coaches.  While Cristiano Ronaldo and Luca Modric have previously lifted the Best Men’s Player trophy in 2017 and 2018 respectively, this year could perhaps see a new winner. Similarly, the draw which features the Best Men’s Coach could also result in a previously uncrowned coach taking home the award. Best Men’s Player If there is one player in the world who deserves this award more than anyone, it’s Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk. The big Dutchman had a ...

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Remembering Pakistan’s sacrifices for securing Europe’s freedom

In the November of 1989, ordinary Germans began physically tearing down the Berlin Wall whilst the soldiers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) stood by doing nothing. Throughout Europe, communist regimes that had been imposed on largely non-consenting populations were falling. The global media remarked that all of this happened without a shot being fired, the exception being Romania where two shots were fired — one into the head of the dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, and one into that of his wife. However, this seemingly neat and tidy story of how communism fell in Europe is rather illusory, because throughout the 1980s, there was ...

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What happened to Trump’s Kashmir mediation offer?

As Pakistan roils with anger at India’s brazen dismantling of Article 370, the US has remained impassive, disengaged, and has failed to truly recognise, let alone show an active interest, towards the regional gravity and international implications of this tectonic disruption. Understanding that media wars now mobilise international political opinion, (consider both the gilet jaune movement in France, and the weeks-long protests in Hong Kong) India’s absolute isolation of the people of Kashmir is an emphatic prelude to Narendra Modi’s intentions. But it seems that the American top brass is willing to turn a blind eye towards Modi’s antics in ...

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Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: an immaculate love letter to cinema

A modern fairy tale tribute and homage to the golden era of Hollywood’s final moments, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set in the tumultuous summer of Los Angeles in 1969 and loosely revolves around the notorious incident of  the Manson family murders. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. The role of the hero, Rick Dalton, is played by DiCaprio while Pitt plays Cliff Booth, the former’s longtime stunt double and devoted friend. Rick, once a prominent star of the cowboy series, still harbours aspirations to play the hero ...

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A mother’s bitter past

Every time I see your face, It reminds me of my past fate. The rush of love I have for you, Overweighs the pain I feel seeing you. Your eyes remind me of someone, A person whom I thought was ‘the one’. The way you walk makes me revisit that day, When you took your first steps and made your parents gay. Your dad and I celebrated having you, And framed every memory like a permanent tattoo. Now as you grow up, you might miss your dad, But I promise to stay close and hold your back. To bring you up and provide the best for you, I swear to be both ...

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The system of government in Pakistan: democracy or hypocrisy?

From theocracy to monarchy, from monarchy to imperialism, from imperialism to nation states, the methods of governance have been transformed several times. They have passed multiple stages in an attempt to find the way of governance best suited for the interests of people. However, due to selfishness and the ever-present lust of power, none of these methods proved to be successful. In fact, these systems went from religious to hardliner, monarchy to oligarchy and imperialism to colonialism. After the failure of numerous government systems, nation states emerged. They arose with the slogan of democracy as a global system of government; ...

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