Yes, what Aziz Ansari did was wrong, but is it #MeToo?

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, we now have another star to add to the blacklist of men who have been accused by women: Aziz Ansari. It is a huge disappointment to say the least, not only to South Asians excited by positive representation in media or fans of Ansari’s comedy, but also to feminists and advocates of the #MeToo movement, of which Ansari, a self-proclaimed feminist, is part of. Ansari, who wore a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes as he accepted an award for his show, Master of None, counted himself amongst the people supporting ...

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I wanted to earn the ‘Lashari’ surname, and studying abroad in HEC Paris helped me achieve just that!

“Are you related to ‘the’ Lasharis?” This is an inquiry that follows the moment anyone is introduced to my full name. What I am really being asked is if I am in any way related to Kamran Lashari – my father, and arguably one of the most popular and respected bureaucrats in Pakistan, known for bringing innovation and zing to city development. Or perhaps they mean my eldest brother, Bilal Lashari, the country’s most successful and celebrated film director. Or do they mean Omar Lashari, my Cornell educated, financial analyst brother? This would always be a source of pride, if only ...

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From Donut Burger to Waffle Chicken, 6 inventions at Karachi Eat 2018 that made it worth the hassle!

Karachi Eat 2018 started and came to an end with a lot of hype, by being bigger than ever with over 100 food brands selling mouth-watering edibles. The event turned out to be the most hyped and crowded (and also rather elite) thus far – a good way to start 2018. Though social media was full of rants against the mismanagement and long queues, there were many who expressed complete satisfaction with everything, especially once they got in. It seemed as if the secret to happiness with the food festival lay in the timings of ones entrance. Those attending ...

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Seeking #JusticeForZainab in a land where mindset might change but inherent nature will not

We all saw Zainab’s funeral on our television screens. Some of us were there as well, witnessing her cold body wrapped in a white cloth with a green cloth bearing verses from the Holy Quran. Then we read the ticker on all news channels that informed us of her burial in a local graveyard. All of this compelled me to envisage the pre-Islamic age of ignorance of which one of the prime features was burying newborn girls alive. Many believe that both of these are two isomers of the same ignorance that comprises philistinism, unawareness, barbarism, inhumanity and ruthlessness. Although ...

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Dadi jaan was a warrior, wrapped in six yards of silk

Amidst the cacophony of uncontrollable sobs, wails and tear stricken faces, she lay there peacefully, lifeless and listless, shrouded in layers upon layers of pale white cloth, oblivious to the void she had left us with. An unfathomable sight for me, for I had spent my entire childhood admiring the grace and modesty with which my grandmother, Asiya Khanum, carried her colourful banarsi saris, those elaborately designed and intricately embellished pallus, the effortless ease with which she went about her daily chores even with six yards of fabric wrapped around her petite waist. I can’t recall anyone being on their ...

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Pervez Musharraf claims he gave women their rights, but then mocks Bilawal Bhutto Zardari by calling him a “woman”

“Bilawal jo nahre laga raha ke auraton ke tarah. Sub se pehley tu yeh keh aadmi ban ker dikhai aur phir  nahre lagwai.” (Bilawal is raising slogans like a woman. First he should become a man and then raise such slogans.) These lines from the latest video from General (retired) Pervez Musharraf really hit me hard. As of late, I am becoming used to Musharraf sprouting nonsense, but this was very uncouth and ill-considered and below his usually extremely low standards. After all, Mr Musharraf, the former dictator and Pakistani “educated” urban middle class’s favorite political leader after Imran Khan, has lately been ...

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I spent my 30th birthday trying to prove that no mountain is high enough for Pakistani women to climb

I have always loved mountains from afar, but never thought that one day I would be ready to actually climb a mountain for real. I have never been a mountaineering aficionado, nor did I have any prior experience of mountaineering or technical trekking. Yet, as my 30th birthday approached, my adventurous-self decided to be part of an expedition to climb the Baaushal Peak, which stands at 5,720 metres approximately.  Celebrating my 30th  on a mountain top in the majestic Karakoram Range of Pakistan seemed like a good idea at the time. It is also interesting how I became part of this group of brave ...

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Justin Trudeau celebrating Ramazan in Canada is praiseworthy, but PIA celebrating Christmas in Pakistan is appalling?

Everyone is aware of the fact that Christmas is a festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is not only a day of celebration for Christians around the world but over time, it’s celebration has become a global festival, being regarded as a symbol of joy and togetherness, not just religion. It is a day where families and friends get together and give each other gifts, quite similar to Eid, where Muslims get together and give each other Eidis and celebrate over food. However, celebrating Christmas in Pakistan has become a debate over the past decade. Many Pakistanis take offence when a Muslim wishes someone ...

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Jerusalem, Sadiq Khan, and the right to call a place ‘home’

Earlier this month, two major incidents captured the world’s attention. Both are in dissimilar contexts and with starkly different repercussions, yet both unified by the sentiment of belonging, and a notion that was once familiar but is now complex – home. The first event was the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the US, whereas the second occurred with a few words uttered by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, during his visit to Pakistan. When asked by a BBC reporter if coming to Pakistan felt like coming ‘home’, he promptly replied, “No, home is South London, mate.” On one hand, for Palestinians, their wounds were reawakened ...

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I wanted a son but we had a daughter

Growing up as a person of Indian descent, it is ingrained in you that when it comes to having a child – a boy is better than having a girl. Deeply rooted in cultural beliefs, the context for this line of reasoning is purely archaic and comes from long-established religious and cultural practices in India. Where having a daughter is considered to be a burden in low-income segments of the population, specifically when young girls come of age and are to marry. Parents of daughters are then confronted with a slew of financial implications like paying for a wedding and ...

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