Stories about patriotism

Patriotism, pride and the Pakistan Air Force – Sherdil is the movie we needed right now

Azfar Jafri is one of those Pakistani directors who seems to love experimenting. He started with Siyaah (a horror film), then Janaan (a love story) and then Parchi (a comedy-crime film). All of these films had drastically different genres. Now, Jafri brings us Sherdil, which focuses on yet another genre – an action film focusing on fighting for the sake of the country. The trailer of Sherdil released just last week and is already receiving mixed responses from the viewers. Sherdil is about the lives of people associated with the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The film features Mikaal Zulfiqar, who is playing the ...

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From honouring our martyrs to a mere date on the calendar – have we forgotten the importance of Defence Day?

It was August 14th a few weeks ago, and with the newly elected government, Independence Day was fervently anticipated this year. People rejoiced over Naya Pakistan and await the change that was promised. A little over three weeks later, Pakistan commemorates Defence Day ─ now just another day, for so many of us across the country. Just over two decades ago, Defence Day used to be an annual public holiday. It ceased being so, when the then government categorised September 6th as a counterproductive day off; I believe this was circa March 1997. As we speak, the only sign of the importance of ...

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Almost there, but not quite: Parwaaz Hai Junoon could not soar as high as it expected to

Haseeb Hassan’s Parwaaz Hai Junoon has been in the limelight for quite a while now. Ever since the trailer was released, the obvious patriotism of the film moved even the hardest of souls, but that was not all. The younger star cast, comprising of Hania Aamir, Ahad Raza Mir, Shafaat Ali and Shaz Khan, definitely made it more appealing. Add to that the social media sensation and forever Pyare Afzal in our hearts – Hamza Ali Abbasi – and you have a film the entire country could not wait to watch. The film, centred on the Pakistan Air Force, comes ...

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From a politician to a statesman: In an era of dirty politics, Imran Khan’s speech was a breath of fresh air

I started following Imran Khan when he used to be that kid who had a penny in his pocket but wanted to buy everything at the grocery store. He had one seat in the parliament, but he roared his opinions like one was more than enough. From one seat in the parliament for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to winning five seats as ‘Imran Khan’ alone, he has come a long way. All eyes were glued to the television screens when he first addressed the nation as the prime minister in waiting. Challenges awaiting Imran and his party are piled up like ...

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Parwaaz Hai Junoon will ensure every Pakistani is an emotional, patriotic mess this Eidul Azha!

Parwaaz Hai Junoon has been making rounds and creating buzz since its first teaser was released to the public. From what is evident through the recently released trailer, the film looks like a fresh breeze of uniqueness for multiple reasons, and seems nothing like what we have been offered so far by the Pakistani film industry. Let’s see what makes this trailer fly high! The preview revolves around the lives of cadets in the Pakistan Air Force, focusing on both their personal lives as well as their strong patriotism towards their country. It banks on friendship, romance, nationalism and sacrifice. There seems to be a ...

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Why is the Wagah border ceremony a competition of nationalism?

It has been 70 years since India and Pakistan emerged from a single, coherent geographical unit as two sovereign nations, and both states do their best to remember and reaffirm this. Every day at around 4:30pm, the Wagah border prepares for a unique ceremony, wherein the soldiers stationed at and near the border gates on both sides re-state the identity of India and Pakistan as sovereign nations, while their people cheer for them. As the dusk sets in, it is time to lower their respective flags, but both countries do so by giving a warning to each other. The gates ...

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71st Independence Day special: The evolution of Pakistan’s national song

In the last 70 years, the Pakistan national song has evolved through various governments, wars and music styles. We trace this evolution by reviewing a plethora of national songs from 1947 till the present. Sar Zameen-e-Pak: The first anthem (1947) Very few know that almost seven years before Hafeez Jalandhari’s Pak Sar Zameen was officially adopted as the country’s national anthem (in 1954), Pakistan already had an anthem. Today, it is all but forgotten, despite the fact that it was the first song played by Radio Pakistan when the station began broadcasting at the stroke of Pakistan’s creation in August 1947. The anthem ...

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O’ Father, your prophecy lives on no more

O’ Father, your prophecy lives on no more. The men with daggers for hearts walk the blood-soaked streets free and alive, With eyes colder than the Kashmir winds and veins warmer than Thar, they thrive, And all your children can do is close their eyes as the blood seeps into the roots, and from society, they drive. The women afraid of walking into the vegetable store, of all ages, Succumbing to the prying eyes, the filth that lay within the savages, They yell and scream, yell and scream, into the newspaper pages, And all your children can do is turn it over as a mere casualty in the inevitable collateral damages, O’ ...

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“So, what’s Pakistan like?”

The old man had the most startling blue eyes, the kind that glittered in a wizard-like way. He was a contractual worker fixing some room in the building where I work, and I met him in the kitchen over my morning coffee. He asked where I’m from and widened his eyes. He didn’t comment on how good my English is, but how American my accent is (which I take no offence or pride in – it’s not the two years of Master’s in St Louis but all those American movies and TV shows I watch). And then he asked me ...

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It is time for Trump to say, “I won the campaign, guys, you can stop the racism now!”

Donald Trump ran an unscripted and an unpredictable presidential campaign and took American politics to an unchartered territory, one that was hideously troubling and rocked the very core of our value system. What Trump’s inflammatory message did script, however, was a very predictable future – a fiery and fierce future, one that will bring out the worst in people, wake up the sleeping demons and cause a socio-political stir of schizophrenically unprecedented proportions. It is painful to witness the plight. It’s apocalyptic just to think that we, as a nation, by electing Donald Trump as president, have decided to put ...

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