Stories about ban

Basant is banned for the right reasons

I have vivid memories of Basant.  Everyone would be caught up in the spirit and festivities of the season. Maybe it’s because all one really needed to celebrate was a long string and a kite. And if you still couldn’t afford that, you could snatch one that’s drifting awayin the sky. But alas, the festival which once attracted tourists from far and wide to Lahore is now a thing of the past. Anger at the government’s ban The Punjab government’s decision to ban Basant sparked a hot debate on Twitter. Pro-Basant activists believe the onus is on the government to provide ...

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Time for Pakistan cricket to finally move on

On June 7, 2009 a love affair began. Pakistan cricket had supposedly found its new darling, its poster boy and its next big hero. But Mohammad Amir returned with disappointing the figures 3-0-31-1. The Oval witnessed England thrashing Pakistan in a round-robin match of the second T20 World Cup. However, onlookers and experts predicted a bright future for this young lad from the outskirts of Rawalpindi. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. On February 5, 2011 the International Cricket Council tribunal announced sanctions of 10, 7 and 5 years for Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and the young prodigy, the ...

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Tainted trio: The glass is half full

So what if Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned by the International Cricket Council and indicted on corruption charges by British prosecutors? Everyone knew it was going to happen but were avoiding it like an ex. Our thinking needs to be changed, and instead of being disappointed we need to see things in a positive way. We need to see the events that preceded the much-predicted verdict. Just as the verdict approached, Pakistan won their first Test series in over four years, their last victory was against the West Indies. And soon after that Pakistan also won ...

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Slackistan: Not coming to a cinema near you

The Pakistani creative and entertainment industry is in the line of fire yet again. Last week’s cause célèbre is incidental heroine Veena Malik, the Lollywood actress whose participation in the Indian reality television show Bigg Boss, has touched a raw nerve with Pakistan’s self-appointed morality brigade (media and mullah alike). She emerged from Kamran Shahid’s show Frontline as an ambassador for showbiz and entertainment. This week, we have been greeted with the news that Hammad Khan’s feature film Slackistan with an all-Pakistani cast will not be released in Pakistan because of the raft of objections and censorship demands from the Pakistani Central ...

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Why student unions are essential

Those who refuse to participate in politics are destined to be ruled by their inferiors. -Plato General Zia‘s ban on student unions in 1984 was akin to demolishing all medical colleges in the country and then bemoaning the fact that Pakistan lacks capable doctors. If you ban medical colleges, the doctors who will serve you are likely to be quacks, armed with fake degrees and no real desire to help those whom they profess to serve. Student unions are the nurseries of leadership. They hold debates between students from opposing parties. This helps create tolerance for differing viewpoints and helps students learn ...

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Why Slackistan and Harry Potter are not in the cinemas

I remember watching Dostana in the DHA cinema. I was probably the only person in the audience  grimacing more often than laughing. There were couples, groups of friends, entire families and aunties with kids in tow. A few seats away there was even a three-year-old. I don’t hate all Bollywood movies. I usually enjoy whatever Amir Khan is in (except Ghajini). I liked Namastay London, Jab We Met, Umrao Jan (the one with Rekha) and Devdas. Yet, I hated Dostana. Aside from the song “Desi Girl”, it did not have one redeeming quality. It represents the reason I shy away from watching Bollywood movies; the ...

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“Using a bazooka to kill a fly”: anti-Islam measures in Europe

When an assignment deadline is just round the corner, a reposeful Saturday morning transforms into a feverish study routine. On one such morning, I was heading towards the bus stop to catch the 9:00 am double-decker to my university, when the eerie sound of a vuvuzela stopped me dead in my tracks. A large group of English Defence League ‘hooligans’ were marching forth in my direction and it was not the annoying vuvuzelas which scared the hell out of me, it was the repugnant message on their placards, which read “All Muslims are terrorists.” As a Muslim, I could only ...

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Muslims banned the burqa before France

France’s ban on the niqab caused uproar among Muslims who felt that they were being targeted. More recently Shiv Sena’s idiotic demand to ban the burqa in India- after someone wearing a burqa stole a child from a hospital- attracted considerable attention from the media. Unfortunately, when steps that go against this religious freedom happen in Muslim majority states like Turkey and Kosovo, we remain silent hypocrites. While there was some talk about Turkey’s headscarf ban a few years back, I am surprised that I had never even heard of a year-old ban on headscarves in Kosovo. Perhaps this is because ...

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Burqa, babes and breast cancer

When I saw the video  of two women (one of them Muslim) walking around Paris veiled faces and bare legs, I couldn’t figure out what the purpose was. Yes, they want to bring attention to the burqa ban, but what is their stance on it? Regardless of whether I am for the ban or not my only thought was: well, they look silly, and the video certainly wouldn’t change my take on the matter. If their intention is to support freedom of dress, I suppose they are making a statement (along with creating a great photo op for everyone on ...

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Where is Mazhar Majeed?

On Sunday August 29, we were introduced to Mazhar Majeed, thanks to the oh so credible British tabloid, News of the World, as they cooked up and ‘revealed’ the story of the Pakistan cricket team’s involvement in spot fixing. Almost a month after allegations that turned Pakistan cricket upside down, Majeed, the main man or the middle man, is nowhere to be found. A realtor, a sponsorship agent some of Pakistan team members, owner of a football club and an alleged bookmaker as well. Impressive credentials, are they not? Yet, made a fool of. After an undercover reporter from a British tabloid allegedly spoiled Majeed’s bid to make millions on the last Pakistan versus ...

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