Stories about London

Can Boris Johnson be Britain’s saviour?

Boris Johnson’s election to the premiership of the United Kingdom (UK) is a very peculiar exercise in democracy. Not only does the Conservative Party not command a solid majority in the House of Commons, but the electorate which appointed Johnson as prime minister consists of over 90,000 Conservative Party members that are far to the right of the average UK citizen. To add to this furore, we had Sir Alan Duncan pre-resigning from Johnson’s government and one can only expect a swathe of further resignations to come, further cutting the Conservative’s majority in parliament. Thank you all for the incredible ...

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Karachi will never be able to fill the void left behind by Ali Raza Abidi

I woke up to a text message from my mother on a lazy Wednesday afternoon on Boxing Day, December 26, 2018, advising me not to react after receiving the news of what had transpired in Karachi. I did not quite understand what my mother meant, until I swiped to the next message from my uncle asking me (and presumably a number of other people in his WhatsApp group) to recite something for the ‘late’ Ali Raza Abidi. Only then did it dawn upon me what my mother was talking about. The first thing I did after that was to ...

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Sky is the limit: My journey from Sargodha to the University of Oxford

When I was 12-years-old, I remember hearing about an institution known as the University of Oxford, but it felt too far away to ever become a reality. While I knew that if I worked hard I could probably get in someday, I never imagined the path life would take me through to finally get here. A path filled with adventures around the globe, and a chase towards learning from some of the world’s brightest minds. I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford, and received my Master’s through a program that allowed me to live in ...

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In conversation with the multifaceted Ali Zafar: “There is no better service than a Pakistani working in India the right way”

A global superstar at the moment, Ali Zafar is a man of all seasons. Not only is he multifaceted, having achieved success as a musician and an actor, but he also puts his heart and soul into everything he does. He has now made an incredibly successful Lollywood debut as well, as the producer and lead actor in this year’s Teefa in Trouble. In an exclusive interview, I learnt about Zafar’s current projects, Bollywood and marriage. You started singing at a very young age and have since established yourself as one of the leading contemporary singers in South Asia. What ...

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PTI’s citizen journalism: From the Sharifs and Junaid Safdar, to Reham Khan and Sahir Rehman

The advent of social media and access to smartphones dawned an era of citizen journalism. Anybody can make a video through their mobile phones and upload it on social media to inform the world about an event. We have seen such examples during the Arab Spring, when citizens uploaded pictures and videos of the atrocities committed against them. Students in Bangladesh are also currently using the power of social media and user generated content to update the world on their protest against traffic laws, and the government’s high handedness with them.  As with anything else, citizen journalism has its ...

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Despite everything, I will still vote for PML-N

When I moved back to Pakistan after completing my undergraduate studies in the US, I was not a supporter of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). In fact, my newsfeed was flowing so much with remonstrations about the ‘Jangla Bus’ (Green Line Metro Bus) that it was hard to even contemplate that possibility. One day, I decided to test out this infamous bus service, from Model Town to Lahore Fort, expecting to witness how utterly senseless the project truly was. Handed a yellow plastic token, I entered through the turnstile and awaited my ride. It pulled in and the doors parted with a ...

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If Nawaz Sharif wants PML-N to survive and win, he should go to jail

The Avenfield verdict did not come as a surprise to anyone – after all, almost every informed person in the country knew that Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz would both be found guilty and indicted in this case. Strangely, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir mentioned in his decision that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was not able to prove any charges of corruption and money laundering on both the accused. On the contrary, the court actually gave a verdict on the basis of insufficient proof submitted by Nawaz and Maryam in their defence. As per the decision, ...

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Is Trump’s secret relationship with Putin the only thing preventing another Cold War?

The world order these days feels more like a throwback to the Cold War era, as the UK and its allies take diplomatic action against Russia for its alleged role in the nerve toxin poisoning of a Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia. The UK’s western allies – especially the European Union (EU), the US, and members of NATO – have shown solidarity with London, expelling dozens of Russian diplomats. Skripal, a former Russian spy, was accused of selling Russian secrets to Britain, and was hence jailed. It was in 2010 that he, along with his daughter, went to ...

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Touching the ocean floor and feeling my heart beat in the clear blue Red Sea at Hurghada, Egypt

There is a phrase I often use to describe my very first scuba diving experience in Antalya, Turkey years ago, “Diving made me believe there is a God!” It was a surreal feeling, to connect with the majestic creatures at the depths of the ocean, with a feeling of absolute peace overtaking my relatively complex existence in the moments I spent underwater. The symbolism behind it alone is much deeper that we can ever imagine. Touching the ocean floor symbolises respect for nature, and thereby leads to a miraculous harmony with the oceanic life as they accept you in their space. ...

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Yaqeen Ka Safar is honest and original, and has changed the paradigm of Pakistani dramas

Drama Yaqeen Ka Safar is currently basking in the success of being Pakistan’s most popular drama at the moment. The plot of some TV serials begins to drag towards the middle, but in Yaqeen Ka Safar, each episode is a rollercoaster of emotions, leaving the audience at the edge of their seats, curious to know what happens next. Personally, this is the first time that I have watched all episodes of a Pakistani drama without fail. It is hard to come up with just one reason to explain the popularity of this incredible story. The drama begins with Daniyal (Shaz Khan) returning from London to Islamabad to try and serve as an ...

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