Irtiza Shafaat Bokharee

  • TLast weekend, I suffered from a repeated occurrence of an excruciating toothache, resulting from a slight overgrowth of the tissue in the growing wisdom tooth. Those who have experienced a long night of toothache woes might be able to relate with the gravity of the issue. Contemporary analgesics ...

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  • TThe World Cup final between underdogs New Zealand and hosts and favourites England was an exceptional end to a wonderfully competitive tournament. One might run out of superlatives to explain a game which got tied twice - first in regulation time, and then in a Super Over. Who would’ve thunk? ...

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  • TAs the World Cup moves onto the semifinal stage, all the four teams initially listed as top favourites have managed to qualify. Top ranked India will play fourth placed New Zealand, while second ranked Australia play third placed England. Pakistan miss out, although they can take heart from their ...

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  • TAs the cricket World Cup enters its latter stages, Pakistan does not have things in their control with how the points table stands. They depend on other results. The lacklustre loss to India severely dampened the mood of Pakistani supporters. India’s balanced squad spurred on by its ...

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  • TThere are multiple ways in which Pakistan’s fortunes at the World Cup can be assessed after they upset tournament favourites, England, last week. Unpredictability reigns supreme. The God factor intervened in what could possibly have been a potential victory against Sri Lanka as the rain ...

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  • TInteresting threads are developing with the cricket World Cup in full swing after a week of competitive action. Bangladesh operationalised the first big upset by defeating the South Africans in a clinical manner after putting on a hefty 330/6 in the first innings with their bowlers doing just about ...

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  • TThe cricket World Cup is right around the corner and as has been the case in post-2003 World Cup settings, the Pakistani cricket team rank as outsiders. Generally deemed too erratic and unpredictable to sustain a cup run, the Pakistani squad has not been stable over the last two years, and the ...

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  • TThe current PTI government needs to consolidate democratic norms, and part with its short-sighted style of bypassing parliament. In an unprecedented fashion, the PTI government instituted direct elections of local government heads in KP and Punjab, which is a step in the right direction. However, ...

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  • TOne fateful decision by the Saeed Anwer-led Pakistan outfit to send pinch-hitter Shahid Afridi at one-down at Gymkhana Club, Nairobi, in October 1996, completely changed the contours of Pakistani cricket. The leg-spinning all-rounder smashed the world’s fastest century in the one-day ...

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  • TThe dynamics of the music dissemination process have been completely altered by rapid technological advancements, and the open-access to various social media outlets which has ensued in the last two decades. The results are manifold and various dimensions call for a serious investigation which can ...

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  • T“If culture was a house, then language was the key to the front door, to all the rooms inside,” suggests Khaled Hosseini, the famous Afghan-born American novelist. In strictly formal contexts, as well as amongst middle-classes and upwards, the fact that the use of Punjabi language has ...

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  • TA concerted socio-political struggle for the reclamation of the rights of women and other marginalized genders, leading to their emancipation from a lop-sided order and an explicitly/implicitly violent state of affairs, is a dire need of the hour in Pakistan. The Aurat March 2019 was a much needed ...

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  • TIt is an understated reality that political governments have an extremely hard time trying to translate their initial policy promises successfully into practical solutions, in the Pakistani context. A chequered legacy of military rule, amongst other factors, has acted as a facilitator for curbing ...

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  • TIt is midsummer in Pakistan, and for the last decade, that has meant that television screens and social media spaces are filled with the customary onslaught of corporate music shows. Coke Studio released their yearly promotional number, a hopscotch rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s legendary ...

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  • TThe eastern classical music form relies heavily on myths and rituals. It often baffles modern audiences when they are told tales of “ragas” (roughly, very particular notes or melodic movements, or distinctively phrased melodic sequences, which delight the listener) being able to effect ...

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  • TAs the customary grief and adulation which accompanies the demise of great public intellectuals and human rights warriors such as Asma Jahangir starting pouring in from all sections of the Pakistani, South Asian, and international society, many noteworthy points of deliberation emerged which need ...

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  • TThe sheer naiveté, or miniscule intellectual quotient, of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his elite coterie of advisors, was exposed, once again, when the Danish School project was announced, and later, operationalised, with minimal success. The basic normative ideal upon which the ...

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  • TIn the context of the health of the democratic consolidation process in Pakistan, the shockingly brutal assassination of the two-time elected Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, in mysterious circumstances in Rawalpindi at the tail end of 2007, was a devastating event, with injurious consequences. The ...

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  • TOne of the more typical takedowns of contemporary vocal recordings is the auto tune argument. While the use of auto tune has become all the rage, and can be used to discredit or delegitimise singers, few actually understand the intricate processes behind autotune and pitch correction, specifically, ...

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  • TWhen an English daily erroneously classified Ustad Fateh Ali Khan (UFAK), one of Pakistan’s prime exponents of the “khyal” vocal form, from the Patiala lineage, as a “qawwal,” it was both infuriating, for classical purists, and embarrassing for music practitioners, to ...

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  • TAli Sethi’s rendition of the Ahmed Faraz/Mehdi Hassan classic, “Ranjish Hi Sahih,” in Coke Studio Season 10, has polarized public opinion on social media spaces. Music criticism, as a form of serious inquiry, is a task fraught with roadblocks, considering the subjective nature of ...

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  • TAamir Zaki’s untimely demise literally broke my heart. But this is not going to be a sob story – a trap many critics fell for while writing his obituaries, and I aim to celebrate his sheer genius instead. For children from the 90s, his music was literally our first taste of blues rock ...

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  • TImran Khan managed to draw massive crowds at protest rallies around the 2013 General Elections but that support could not be translated into the numbers game in the National Parliament. His dream to become Pakistan’s Prime Minister still remains unfulfilled after over two decades of active ...

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  • TPolitics, most certainly, is the art of the possible. In a nascent democratic setup like Pakistan’s where the extra-constitutional preponderance of the military establishment over civilian spheres has been the historical norm, the space allowed for democratic politics is meagre, at best. Add ...

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  • TAllow me to situate myself as honestly as it is possible in my socio-political circumstances before I can problematise sex positive feminism, especially how its operationalisation in the apparent “third world” is understood. I am a male, belonging to a relatively privileged section of a ...

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  • TIf you are a Shi’a, by virtue of birth or if you adhere to Shi’a theological dictates, you find yourself in a rather tight spot. Anti-Shi’a bigotry is at an all-time high. Everybody is suddenly curious as to why the Shi’as self-flagellate (beat up their chests, rip apart ...

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  • THuman beings, by and large, are not a very gracious lot. In an outrageously large number of historical instances, they have lived up to their potential of acting in contemptuous and downright brutal ways against fellow human beings who, by sheer chance, happened to be born in what was perceived to ...

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  • TFor a novice (ataayi) like me, navigating through the intricacies of the eastern classical music tradition will seem like a daunting task, especially in Pakistan. The disappointing lack of formal institutions geared toward imparting knowledge on the subject and meagre opportunities for music ...

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  • TThere should be no shame attached to reconciling with the reality that Islamic identity in the 21st century is not monolithic. It is a polylithic mosaic and no matter what Zakir Naik et al would want to have you believe, this fact remains unchallenged. Paradoxically, the position that there are no ...

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  • TThe theme that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was one of the most powerful leaders of Pakistan persists across many Pakistani textbooks and seminal works in constitutional and political history of the country. It is claimed that he was powerful enough to be able to alter the nature and direction of state ...

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