Stories about Switzerland

A paradise in peril: Destroying Naltar for the sake of promoting tourism

I had heard about the pristine beauty of Naltar since I was a child, but somehow had never made it to this remote valley, located around 40 kilometres from Gilgit. Perhaps a lot had to do with the fact that the road to the valley is barely passable by jeep, and it takes around two hours to get there from the Karakoram Highway. However, this month I finally made it to Naltar, and I was not disappointed. The bare Karakoram mountains, the rocky landscape and the dusty road was soon forgotten as we turned a corner and emerald green ...

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Criminalising abortions and miscarriages: Is America going back to the Dark Ages?

America is an exceptionally confusing place. Doctors in Alabama can now face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion, whereas people like poster boy Stanford swimmer Brock Turner face six months (three due to good behaviour) for being a rapist. Political party culture and conflicting ideologies have been the root of heated debates surrounding life, death, and the disturbing reality that 25 men can tell a woman what to do with her body in the 21st century, and a judge can write a law on abortion in God’s name in a country where church and state ...

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Cinque Terre: The heavenly villages of Italy

I suppose I should begin with a disclaimer: I have never been a ‘sea person’. My husband on the other hand, being a ‘child of the coast’, mocked me for my aversion towards oceans and beaches. Sometimes, however, destiny has a different plan for us than the one we expect. So one fine morning, we decided to drive, and drive we did! The Ligurian sea Starting all the way from Brussels to breathtaking Interlaken in Switzerland, then Como in Italy and finally heading towards the five enchanting villages of the Italian Riviera, known collectively as Cinque Terre ...

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Stepping into the void: A magical journey to the picturesque Swiss and French Alps

The mountains are calling and I must go – this is what I told myself while planning my summer vacation. Selecting Switzerland was a no-brainer, as it remains one of the most sought after and popular destinations for tourists around the world, thanks to its alpine peaks, mountain vistas and magical landscape. I started my European journey from Chur, reportedly the oldest town in Switzerland, and made my way to the Glacier Express, dubbed the world’s fastest slow train. This is a panoramic train which reaches Zermatt, a Swiss mountain resort, passing through spectacular lakes, enormous mountains and breath-taking landscapes. [caption ...

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Wanderlust: 8 cities, 20 days, and a life-changing trip across Europe

The earth is like a book; if you spend your entire life in your own country, then you’ve only read one page. Humanity has concluded, almost unanimously, that freedom is the fundamental right of every individual, yet they have understood it conservatively. To be fully free, you must wander, travel, eat and live – as you like and deem fit. However, given our cultural barriers, most of us are unable to realise or appreciate this freedom. Only exposure to and interaction with different people and cultures makes people tolerant and empathetic. To internalise and own the beauty you appreciate, ...

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With #SpainvsPortugal, we get to have dessert before finishing the starters

Imagine getting the chance to have your dessert before you are even properly done with the starters. Now that is precisely how the Friday night derby at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi feels like. The FIFA World Cup in Russia would barely be a day-old, when Portugal and Spain lock their horns to determine which one of the two Iberian rivals would proceed to the next round as the likely winner from Group B. With the reigning European champions set to go against the winners of the 2010 edition, group stage encounters cannot get any bigger than this. Historically ...

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Imran Khan is right, Pakistan should have more than four provinces

Whenever I make any comments about Pakistan having more provinces and smaller units, the reaction is always the same, “You want to divide the country? Are you a RAW agent or what?”  So when Imran Khan promised the creation of a South Punjab, it was a pleasant surprise to hear him say something intelligent for once. Imran made this promise recently as he welcomed turncoats from South Punjab into his party; defectors who enjoyed the perks and privileges of being MNAs for the past five years while saying nothing about creating a new province, until now. While supporting the demand by the Janoobi ...

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Why have we forgotten the long lost glory of the Punjabi language?

The thorny issue of “Pakistan’s regional languages face looming extinction” has been projected to the forefront in an AFP report carried, among others, by The Express Tribune and Dawn. ‘“There is not a single newspaper or magazine published in Punjabi for the 60 million-plus Punjabi speakers,” wrote journalist Abbas Zaidi in an essay, despite it being the language of the nationally revered Sufi poet Bulleh Shah and the native-tongue of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.’ The historical relegation of the Punjabi language comes from the cloud overshadowing the Punjabi stance in the 1857 War of Independence, paving the way for Urdu’s ascendance. The Punjabis meekly ceded the high ground moving house ...

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Can The Night Manager be as good as a small-screen James Bond?

The Night Manager is one of the many adaptions based on the work of the bestselling espionage novelist, John le Carré.  The Night Manager, the book, was published in 1993 and was brought to TV by BBC and AMC as a mini-series comprising of six episodes. This mini-series is directed by Susanne Bier, staring  Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine and Olivia Colman as Angela Burr. The Night Manager, adapted by the BBC and due to be screened later this yearPhoto: Mitch Jenkins/The Ink Factory/AM Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier, currently working as a night manager of a hotel in Egypt, is hired by intelligence agents for an exciting yet dangerous mission. ...

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Shah Rukh Khan’s career is now officially over

The longer you keep wine, the better it ages, becoming premium in value. However, when you age beer for too long, it goes bad. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out which direction Bollywood badshaah Shah Rukh Khan is heading. From 1992-2007, SRK had absolutely everything. He gave Bollywood one blockbuster after another. The evergreen Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) ran for a record 1,000 weeks as SRK emerged as the undisputed ‘King of Romance’. He was every director’s delight. From 1993 to present date, the father-son duo of the late Yash Chopra and current Yash Raj chief Aditya Chopra have only directed SRK. From 1986 to ...

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