Stories about Canada

Pakistan did not need to pick a side in the Canada-Saudi Arabia conflict

I had the pleasure of visiting the Pakistani consulate in Toronto the other day to renew my passport. Every time I enter the consulate, it’s like I am transported back in time to a bureaucratic government office in Islamabad in the 90s. Passport renewal process in Pakistan has been improved and streamlined yet our consulates and embassies still operate as if this is Nawaz Sharif’s first term in office. But I digress. I was seated next to a bearded gentleman who was also there to renew his passport. We struck up a conversation and I found out that this man ...

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The desire for change: A new Pakistan does not mean a better Pakistan

I began writing this in the morning after the 2018 Pakistani General Elections. This was my third time voting in an election, and my first time voting in Pakistan. On Election Day, I was moved. The morning after, I felt uneasy. I woke up to the headlines heralding Imran Khan as the prime minister of Pakistan amidst strong allegations of rigging. Not feeling particularly loyal to any party, and knowing with a level of certainty that the candidates I had voted for would not win – and they did not – I wasn’t keen on staying up all night biting my ...

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Cake: The tension between those who stayed in Pakistan and those who left for greener pastures

South Asians are an emotional people. We live and die by theatrics. Our visual and sound mediums are adored by worldwide audiences. Not just that, but we tend to weave emotional juggernauts into our everyday life, regardless of the situation. Given our emotional tendencies, more often than not, our cinema capitalises on tugging at our heart strings in order to make a hit movie. Such was also the case with the recent movie Cake. There have been dozens of reviews written about the movie in the local and international press, hence I won’t bore you with one more. What I do ...

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Why did Modi not receive Justin Trudeau himself with his customary hug?

As liberal democracies and countries that don’t have grating disagreements on international affairs, India and Canada should have historically shared a cordial relationship. Since the turn of the century, with India’s ties with the US strengthening and a certain geopolitical convergence emerging, India and Canada had sought to transform their relationship to a strategic partnership.   However, as Justin Trudeau’s recent visit to India has shown, this relationship has been and continues to be strongly influenced by the Sikh diaspora in Canada. Reports suggest that the disagreements with the visit began with the planning of the trip itself. While the Indians wanted a short trip focused on ...

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Irfan Bhai and his solar eclipse

“I really need to beat Amir’s high score,” I said to myself as I played another round of Temple Run, not realising my battery had drained down to 5%. My phone got warmer and the LED light on my screen began to blink red. I turned on the battery saving mode and slid my phone in my pocket. I looked out my car window only to realise that the car had not moved an inch. I guess I’m just not used to Karachi’s traffic anymore, and a 20-day visit is not even minutely enough to adjust to it. After being thoroughly engrossed in ...

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Justin Trudeau, Mohammad Bin Salman and Kim Jong Un: Three leaders with the potential to either make or break the world

In today’s global political scene, we can see three young world leaders from three very different countries, political systems and cultures for which the term ‘Greenhorn’ could be used. The three leaders I am referring to are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, newly appointed crown prince of Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS), and the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un. Trudeau, MBS and Kim have each been at the centre of the world stage in recent days, but each for very different reasons. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo: AFP Justin Pierre James Trudeau Born on December 25, 1971, Trudeau is the 23rd and current PM of Canada and ...

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Dear abba, thank you for your unwavering faith in women

My parents were faced with a rather arduous challenge when they had children; raising a stubborn young girl amongst three mischievous sons. Naturally, the girl would grow to measure her actions against her brothers’ and compare her privileges with theirs, the only siblings she had, whether her parents liked it or not. Now you can imagine how frustrated an average Pakistani father would be by a daughter that wants to make her own rules and who has a self-worth equivalent to an average Pakistani boy’s ego. However, my father is not the average Pakistani father. He grew up like I did, the middle child ...

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Maybe Humpty Dumpty was never meant to be put back together again

People believe falling makes you stronger. These people were clearly never witness to the Great Ski Hazard of 2002. Let me elaborate. I grew up in Canada. When I was in the fourth grade, my school had the bright idea to take a bunch of clueless, over-excited nine-year-olds on a ski trip. Naturally, I was ecstatic. At the time, I never thought twice about slipping and sliding down snow-covered hills with two measly pieces of wood stuck on my feet. I didn’t grasp just how daunting the prospect of skiing would be until I stepped off the bus at the resort. I remember my stomach ...

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When determination trumped disability at the Special Olympics Winter Games

Recently, Pakistani athletes bagged an impressive total of 16 medals (three gold, seven silver and six bronze medals) at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. These games provide a great platform for athletes with disabilities to showcase their talents on a global stage. The games were initiated in 1977 and have been held every four years since then. The recently concluded event in Austria was the 11th edition. However, this was only the second time that Pakistani athletes participated in this competition. The Pakistani contingent comprised of 12 athletes: Huzaifa Qazi, Muhammad Hamza Aslam, Hameezuddin, Usama Aziz, Muhammad Abdullah, Pervez Ahmad, Sabahat, Fatima Amir, Farah ...

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Monsieur Trudeau and Trump played their cards well

Monsieur Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada and Mr Donald Trump, president of the United States of America, met face-to-face in Washington on February 13, 2017. This meeting affirmed that their nations’ bilateral relationship would be unaffected by different policy positions. President Trump said: “America is deeply fortunate to have a neighbour like Canada.” Prime Minister Trudeau confidently stated: “No neighbours in the entire world are as fundamentally linked as we are.” Monsieur Trudeau publicly declared the steadiness of the Anglosphere applecart club which comprises of the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Club rules recognise complete domestic sovereignty with “fundamentally” interlinked, interdependent foreign policies led, though not dictated, by the United States. Common ...

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