Stories published in September, 2019

Who will emerge victorious in the Arsenal-Manchester United clash?

Arsenal and Manchester United have always shared a memorable, long-enduring rivalry, one which acquired a new spit of fire during the tenures of Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson.  But that era has long since departed, and both Arsenal and Manchester United currently find themselves in a bit of a fix. The likes of Manchester City and Liverpool have raised the bar of the English Premier League (EPL), a bar which seems insurmountable for Arsenal and Manchester United. Both clubs currently sit outside the top four in the EPL table and, if either club truly harbours ambitions of booking ...

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Property for sale, unless you are a non-Muslim

It is no secret that Pakistan has an abysmal record when it comes to protecting religious minorities and ensuring that their rights are safeguarded. But legislation and government action can only do so much; ultimately, it is the attitude of the masses which will determine whether we as a nation wish to protect religious plurality or not. Thus far, that seems rather unlikely. A torrential downpour of blasphemy cases, forced conversions and the fleeing of religious minority groups from Pakisatn has only led to the increasing marginalisation of those who belong to a religious minority in the country. There is however a ...

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International Translation Day: Manto’s tribute to Leonid Andreyev

Today marks International Translation Day, a powerful reminder of the importance and vitality of translation in bridging gaps between and among various cultures in a fragmenting world where it is now the exclusive province of politicians to harp on about our differences; as well as educating and informing us about a culture, its language, its cities, people, morals and manners. It is a little known fact that the great Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto began his literary journey to stardom as a translator of English, French and Russian classics into Urdu. One of his little-known literary essays is an ...

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The psychology behind sexual violence

Countless women have been murdered in the name of honour and a number of girls are being avenged through rape for the crimes their male family members have committed. Underage girls are being married off to men thrice their age in compensation of any social embarrassment faced by the girl’s father or brothers. At the same time, there are constant reports of children being on the receiving end of sexual violence. A handful of perpetrators were caught when videos were circulated on social media, but most of them roam free. Sexual crimes and violence have been perpetrated against women and children in almost ...

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A sublime love

Her emerald eyes They glisten by the moonlight The satin dress The olive skin The auburn hair She is the rainbow of the night   She glides across the dance floor Capturing imagination far and wide She talks in song and smiles along She is every Romeo’s Juliet delight   Like fine wine she ages Every passing year more exquisite she seems Blame us not for being unable to resist Her beauty soaring like the falcon’s flight   She is rain In a dry, drab corner of the Sahara She is warmth In mother Russia’s icy dark December She is a heart To the savage who refuses to feel She is treasure To the swindler and his impulse to steal To a broken man She ...

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Should vaping be banned in Pakistan?

An outbreak of ‘vaping-induced lung injury’ has killed 12 people and affected more than 800 people during the past month alone and the numbers are still rising. This outbreak has served as a wake-up call for major health regulatory organisations leading to numerous warnings against these products. Around the world, more than 20 countries have either entirely banned or at least restricted vaping products. In Pakistan, despite reports of the widespread use of vapes among young people, this issue is yet to be addressed at a government and community level. The idea of vaping came about after Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik lost his father ...

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Why should Pakistan change its export policy?

In the current inhospitable economic climate prevailing in Pakistan, leading to rising inflation alongside a worsening trade and fiscal deficit, the nation desperately needs a solution to these growing list of problems. While it is fairly simple to understand that an increase in exports will benefit the economy, the method through which this can be achieved is a slightly more tricky question to answer. Exports will help pave the way towards economic prosperity by improving Pakistan’s Balance of Payment (BoP), but policies which try to lead Pakistan in this direction can only be implemented once we address the question: why does Pakistan have ...

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Unbelievable treats a sensitive issue in a very believable way

Presenting a sensitive issue like rape without sensationalisation and while offering utmost respect to the victims has always been difficult for the popular media. In my opinion, the way that such issues were portrayed in 13 Reasons Why is an example of how these issues can be used to make money. The recent Netflix original titled Unbelievable, however, takes the road less travelled.  Instead of merely touching upon the topic of rape for enhancing numbers and revenue, this sensitive series examines the real life trauma felt by rape victims. Based on a 2015 news article “An unbelievable story of rape”, this Netflix miniseries portrays ...

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Who will emerge on top after Afghanistan’s elections?

Amidst growing fears of violence during the elections, the people of Afghanistan will head to the polls September 28th to decide their future president. A country which has been riddled with war, tenuous stalemates, and terror since the Soviet invasion, finds itself having to now contend with an uncertain future because of the resurgence of the Taliban. The knife’s edge on which Afghanistan is precariously balancing at the moment received another shock recently when talks between the United States (US) and the Taliban collapsed. Donald Trump’s pledge to pull US troops out of Afghanistan seems to have fallen by ...

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Why is the Indian government ignoring all the economic red flags?

Owing to a “weaker than expected outlook” for domestic demand in India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that India’s growth rate will undergo a downward revision by 0.3% for the fiscal year 2019-20. As the Indian media and government keeps deflecting rising economic concerns, the massive economic slowdown that seems to impact a vast majority of the Indian public has led to the ringing of alarm bells in some quarters. The government statistics for the first quarter of the year (Q1) showed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5%, the lowest Q1 growth rate India has ...

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