The 14th edition of Asia Cup begins on September 15th in the UAE, making this the third time the tournament will be held there. This time, Pakistan, India and Hong Kong are together in Group A, while Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are in Group B. Despite having lost its ODI status earlier this year, Hong Kong qualified by defeating the UAE in the qualifying final. If somehow both teams manage to make it to the final, then this tournament potentially includes three Pakistan versus India matches. However, the million dollar question remains: will it be India or Pakistan ...Read Full Post
As far as the T20 format is concerned, Pakistan cricket has been on a roll since September 7, 2016, under Sarfraz Ahmed’s leadership. After a disastrous T20 World Cup in 2016, when Shahid Afridi and his men failed miserably and couldn’t qualify for the next round, Pakistan were under a tremendous leadership crisis. Enters Sarfraz. He was handed the captaincy and his first Test was against England, where Pakistan was coming in with a 4-1 defeat in the ODI series. However, we witnessed a complete turnaround as Pakistan comprehensively beat the pioneers of cricket with a nine-wicket triumph. Since then, ...Read Full Post
In one of the old dictionaries I’ve been using since my school days, the definition for ‘forced marriage’ is: “A marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will.” Growing up in Britain and in an Asian community, I’ve heard countless stories of young girls – at the young age of 16, even before they’ve received their exam results – being taken abroad for a ‘family holiday’, only to discover one evening that the very next day was their wedding. It even happened to one girl I ...Read Full Post
I recently had the chance to visit Lesvos, a tiny Greek island located a few kilometres from the Turkish Riviera. This picturesque island, which was once a tourist heaven, is now commonly referred to as the refugee island, given the high influx of refugees since 2014 following the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Whilst there as a volunteer, much of my time was spent realising how borders can sometimes prove fatal. As I visited the shores of Skala, I could see Turkey through my binoculars. While many refugee boats arrive weekly from Turkey, at one point in 2015, an average total ...Read Full Post
Several years ago, I chanced to visit India for a conference. Our immediate destination after crossing the Wagah-Attari border was the Jallianwala Bagh, followed by the Golden Temple – the two famous destinations that appear when you Google “sites to visit in Punjab”. For those living in Lahore today, touring these sites, which are located at a mere 50-kilometre distance, is next to impossible given the visa restrictions. Crossing the border I was excited of course, but at the same time, I was lost in my thoughts. In their teen years, my grandparents had made the decision of ...Read Full Post
Having played the shorter format of cricket for quite some time – with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and West Indies’ tour of Pakistan – the national team and its audience have been craving the long and real form of cricket since last October. Currently, Pakistan is sitting comfortably at the top of the T20 International table, and if anything, this is evidence we’ve been indulging in this format for far too long. When it comes to ODI and Test cricket, the men in green are lagging far behind their real potential, as at the moment, Pakistan is ranked ...Read Full Post
India-China relations have continued to be plagued by mistrust, ever since the 1962 Sino-Indian border war. India was caught unaware by the surprise attack, especially when it had espoused the Chinese cause at the international forum. Then Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, even went to the extent of supporting China’s membership of the United Nations Security Council at India’s expense, since it is believed to have been offered a permanent seat as well by the US and the Soviet Union. The war came as a severe jolt to Nehru, who had always believed in strong India-China relations. Consequently, the ...Read Full Post
There is one thing about Indian Muslims that just can’t be denied – most of them are poor. They don’t earn enough to be able to go on vacations to other countries. Most of them wish to go for Hajj to Saudi Arabia, and this they are able to do only when they are very old; having struggled to save over many years for the journey. Of course, there are rich and literate Indian Muslims whom one occasionally meets (mostly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia), and when you talk to them, they are adamant that the population of Indian Muslims is ...Read Full Post
Silence of the lambs: Pakistan is doing its fair share for the Rohingya refugees, but what about India and Bangladesh?
One wonders what is more appalling – Myanmar’s systematic genocide of its Muslim minority, or the inexplicable manner in which the world stayed numb while a small country, wielding hardly any politico-economic clout in international affairs, went about openly violating all norms of international law. Let us forget about the world for a second, what exactly has the “Muslim Ummah” done to stop the killings of our Rohingya brethren? It is because of the inaction of Muslim governments in times like these that the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) is often referred to as “Oh, I see”. If Muslim countries had ...Read Full Post
Can Pakistan’s economic stability and businesses survive Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar’s disqualification?
In one of his first public appearances, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was reported to have said the following: “During my tenure, the stock market increased from 19,000 to 52,000.” So, is a rising stock market really a barometer of a strong democracy or just a number game for a selected few? We surely cannot say at the moment. To all the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) sloganeers, Nawaz is gone, but is prosperity, not tabdeeli (change), around the corner? Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was primarily the only major political party that was known for their pro-growth temperament. Despite never being able to complete their full term, businesses cheered on the so-called economic focus ...Read Full Post