Stories about time

First execution in 6 years: Government plays with Shoaib’s life

Pakistan ranks sixth in the total number of people it executes after China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States. According to Amnesty International estimates, there are more than 8,500 prisoners on death row in Pakistan. The only legal method of killing a condemned prisoner is hanging them till their neck breaks.  According to the International Commission of Jurists, Pakistan is ‘part of a dwindling minority among states which have retained the death penalty and carry out executions’. However, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s policy on the execution of death sentences is still at best – unclear. An order issued by former president Asif Ali ...

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Either pay attention to K-P or resign, Imran Khan!

A Sikh trader, Harjeet Singh, was killed in Peshawar. This was the fifth target killing of Sikh traders living in Pakistan; in 2014, two Sikhs were killed in Charsadda and two were killed in Peshawar. But the reaction to Harjeet Singh’s murder was very different. Sikhs have been living in Pakistan since the 19th century when Peshawar and Punjab were under the rule of Ranjeet Singh. While many other minority communities left Pakistan after the partition in 1947, a number of Sikhs stayed back and considered themselves safe in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA). However, after the recent killings, the scenario has ...

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If not sanity, let democracy prevail

Aristotle once said that democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. To realise that very dream in my country of birth, I solely travelled across the continents to vote in the 2013 general elections. Pakistan, for the first time, was holding elections since its independence under civilian control and I, for the first time knew, who to vote for. For all the right reasons I decided to vote for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Imran Khan. I pinned all my hopes on him, who swore to live by all the democratic values. But, just after ...

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7 signs you’re going through a ‘quarter-life’ crisis

When you’re in your 20s and early 30s, you feel like you are stuck somewhere in the middle. You feel confused and agitated, more so because this is the time you start to analyse how you imagined your life to be and how it has actually turned out. If you feel like this, then don’t worry; you’re going through a quarter-life crisis. Here are some of the most common symptoms of this crisis: 1) Every day you log on to your Facebook account and you see: “Sara got engaged to Akram” “Bilal married Eraj” “Mushtaq is on his honeymoon with Sukaina” Almost all of your friends are either ...

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Umar Akmal: From child prodigy to cricketing enigma

Umar Akmal came onto the international cricket scene when the national team was surrounded by catastrophe. Rebellions, groupings, match-fixing and a loathsome competition for captaincy were the highlights of the Pakistani side. This was a mini flashback of the 90s, when the captaincy changed hands every time the team played badly and instability became the norm of the team. Akmal forced his way into the debris of one of the most colossal batting orders in the history of Pakistan’s cricket, on the back of the Australia A tour of June/July 2009. He had a walloping start in international cricket; just in his third game, ...

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Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ will challenge you intellectually

French writer cum director Luc Besson, whose work includes The Fifth Element, The Lady, The Professional, La Femme Nikita and Taken, is back to captivate the moviegoers with a high-concept hypothetical thriller – Lucy. It is a compelling hybrid, graced by volatility and lots of violence, intermingled by surreal bedlam that will challenge you intellectually. The creative inspiration of Lucy is based on a philosophical point of view that humans use merely 10 percent of their brain capacity, and if someone unlocks the rest of this cerebral capability, they will ultimately develop superpowers. Lucy is a story of an American woman, Lucy, played by Scarlett Johansson, studying in Taiwan, who is forced to ...

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Wagon-wheel pasta: A little taste of Tuscany on your Pakistani plate

So if you are amongst 95% of the people of the world, you are probably intimidated by cooking. So was I, once upon a time. To look at a well-cooked dish was like looking at the great pyramids; fascinating and intriguing, but a mystery as to how it was built. But watching Nigella Lawson cook, who made it look like a piece of cake, inspired me to start cooking. And to avoid any complications, I started developing my own simple recipes. And if I can cook, trust me, so can you. Unless you have a cooking-phobia and faint upon stepping into ...

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Stop blaming the mother for everything!

The city of Jhang is well known to most Pakistanis due to its affiliation with the Heer Ranjha legend. Located on the east bank of the River Chenab, Jhang has produced people of immense worth, the list of whom is topped by the sole Nobel Laureate of the country, Dr Abdus Salam. However, not many Pakistanis are aware of the head-shaping tradition that originates from this part of Punjab. Having spent a considerable time of my life in my paternal city, Jhang, I’ve witnessed one practice that hasn’t changed the slightest over the course of time: the exercise of shaping a newborn’s head. The locals ...

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#PyareAfzal versus Nawaz Sharif’s speech: And the winner is…

Last night, while Pakistani men were anxiously waiting for the premier’s speech, to be aired at 8pm, the women had a completely different, and might I add ‘dramatic’, agenda to grab hold of the TV remote. Coincidentally, the prime minister’s speech took place at the same time when the series finale of Pyare Afzal – which could safely be dubbed as one of the most widely watched television serials of all time – was to be aired. On one hand, this diffused the political tension for the fans; on the other, it became a reason for family discords over the TV remote and ...

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Younus Khan: Rekindling the charm cricket once had

Fans of Pakistani cricket were not able to watch their team playing at an international level, but enjoyed the same emotional feelings through other sports; at the biggest stages including FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. Aged and youngsters recalled the emotions shared by Pakistani cricket players in the form of nail biting and enthralling performances, engulfing the feeling of joy, which is the main objective of sports. Coming back to cricket, however, the expectations were high because it was a test for cricket to prove that it does not lag behind the world’s leading sports, where excitement, skill and competition matter the most. Despite ...

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