The comeback after the setback: The ‘silent’ return of Maryam Nawaz

There is an ongoing debate in certain inner circles regarding the possibility of Maryam Nawaz being ‘re-launched’ into politics sometime soon. Some of these people are of the view that she is currently inactive, which is actually not true – Maryam is still very active in the decision-making of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). However, she has not made any public appearances or used her famous Twitter account as of late.  The PML-N has planned a convention on December 30th to commemorate the foundation of the All India Muslim League on the same date in 1906. Both Nawaz Sharif and Maryam are expected to attend and ...

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Declared ‘intangible’, the heritage of Kalash is over 3,000 years old – but will it survive the 21st century?

‘Ishpata Inn and Restaurant’, says the sign to a roadside hotel in Bumburet Valley in the Chitral district. Ishpata means welcome in the Kalasha language spoken exclusively by the endangered Kalash people, an ethnic group that has lived in three secluded valleys of these towering mountains for centuries: Bumburet, Rumbur and Birir. There are only around 4,000 Kalash villagers left in Chitral. They are one of the last peoples of western Asia to retain their aboriginal culture and have survived many waves of invaders, refusing to convert to Islam. Their neighbours across the mountains in the north-western region of ...

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Why the chicken can never cross the road to Naya Pakistan

On November 29th, the leader of the nation walked up to the stage to a standing applause in an elaborate ceremony celebrating the achievements of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first 100 days in government, and to set the agenda for the hundreds of days ahead. The speech lasted for the better part of an hour, with its more nuanced prescripts perhaps being dominated by the ‘chicken plan’ in the media cycle. PTI government's briefing on first 100-days begins in Islamabad Posted by Express Tribune on Thursday, November 29, 2018 The suggestion that the provision of five chickens each to rural women as a ...

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Perhaps pick another venue for IDEAS 2020?

The 10th edition of International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) 2018 kicked off in Karachi on Tuesday, November 27th. Reportedly, 50 countries participated in the expo and around 522 exhibitor stalls were set up to showcase defence equipment. Given the diminishing global image and depleting standing of Pakistan, it was undoubtedly an honour for our country to host such an astounding international event which surely elevated the country’s stature in the world. Notwithstanding the success of the event itself, IDEAS inflicted an immense magnitude of discomfort to the public due to its ill-fitted location in the city, coupled with the poor management. ...

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Who will invest in Pakistan if its head of state constantly highlights its corruption and desperation?

Prime Minister Imran Khan, after taking oath, has so far been on six foreign trips despite initially stating that he would not go on any foreign trips for the first three months. Perhaps given the economic dire circumstances, these trips were inevitable. The extent of success of these trips, with respect to obtaining economic aid and attracting investment, is still being debated in the national media. However, another thing which is under discussion is the way prime minister conducted himself on these trips. Like all rulers, Imran has also tried to market Pakistan by pointing towards its large young population, ...

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Sindh may lack basic amenities but its women surely know how to break glass ceilings

From the very moment they are born, our girls are taught they are dependent upon the men in the family. As the girls become women, they grow up believing they need their fathers, brothers, husbands or sons to look after them and protect them. However, most Pakistani men are unfortunately good at depriving women of their social rights under the garb of religion or culture. Women are often denied an education or the chance to gain employment, deprived of their due share in inheritance, and even killed in the name of honour under the guise of “protection”. Amidst all the ...

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Tahir Dawar’s brutal murder and the possible existence of IS in Pakistan is a wake up call

Squeaking with laughter while speaking to a journalist, then concluding with a sardonic snide, Iftikhar Durrani, Imran Khan’s spokesperson, claimed with confidence that SP Tahir Dawar was “safe” in Peshawar on October 28th. Unfortunately, however, with the recent discovery of the policeman’s dead body, that arrogant snide should only linger as a haunting memory for the prime minister’s top aide. The note from the Islamic State (IS) found alongside the late SP’s body is what makes matters worse than one could potentially begin to imagine. The latter being so, specifically because the government has repeatedly claimed that neither IS nor any direct ...

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Why is Pakistan’s information minster so misinformed?

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has come across yet another controversy after he was banned from entering the upper house by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani. Speaking on the floor of the house, not only did Chaudhry accuse Mahmood Achakzai of corruption and of making anti-state statements, he also accused the former governments of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for embezzling funds given to Balochistan during the last 10 years. This ended up disrupting the senate session, as Achakzai’s Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), PML-N and PPP retaliated by levelling accusations at Chaudhry. The ...

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Master of U-turns, leader of none

A few days ago, a statement made by Prime Minister Imran Khan started to generate a lot of interest on all media forums. Imran, who is also satirically called “U-turn Khan” for his habit of retracting his lofty statements, tried to defend this practice by stating that a true leader always takes a timely U-turn. Elaborating, he then came up with the analogy of Adolf Hitler and Napoleon Bonaparte’s fatal decision to continue their advance into Russia instead of taking a U-turn, an error which resulted in heavy casualties. According to Imran, “One who doesn’t take decisions according to the demand of ...

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One would expect dhabas to have substandard food, not high-end restaurants charging premium prices

In the aftermath of the tragedy in which two kids died after dining out and their mother remains hospitalised, what more can be said except that now eating out in Karachi is killing our children. The plague of substandard food has been upon us for quite some time now, from donkey meat and rat meat to dog meat being sold in markets and cooked by restaurants.  Even the sale and use of cooking oil made from the arteries of dead animals hardly comes across as a revelation now, especially since a popular crime show did multiple episodes focusing on this deplorable ...

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