Tag: Life


Celebrities talk about Independence Day

“If you really want to demonstrate your love for the country then show it by giving something of yourself to your countrymen, by changing yourselves and your environment just a little, by creating something wonderful that will help Pakistan grow.”


Pakistan has been suffering for quite a while and whenever we seem to have lost all hope for the nation we are reminded on the 14th of August of the purpose and dream on which this nation was built.

This year DNA talked to some of your favourite celebrities and found out what they love about this nation.

munid nawaz

Munib Nawaz, Fashion Designer

“The people of Pakistan have to make it what we intended it to be.”

14 August 2016 plans: Thinking of taking my family out for a little museum visit.

Childhood memories associated with the Independence Day:  typically decorating the flag around our house and car also proudly wearing the badges to school.

Hopes and dreams for the country: There are 200 million stories each day that make up Pakistan. Let’s make them happy stories. Let’s make Pakistan a place that unites us under more reasons than those that divide us.  My dream for Pakistan is a place where Islam is used for peace instead of terrorism, where politicians are used for public service instead of the public serving them, where our national resources are used for the improvement of the public instead of public representatives, where other people’s moralities are not discussed on nationwide television but their good deeds. I dream of a Pakistan where Pakistan is the priority and responsibility of its people.

   sara khanSamra Khan, Coke Studio Singer

Be grateful for our homeland and try to make it a better place every day, in whatever big or small way possible.”

Plans: I will be dressing up in white and green. Since we live in Dubai we will be decorating our place with green buntings and lights because I want my daughter to feel the independence spirit as much as possible.

Childhood Memories: Whenever I listen to songs like ‘Sohni Dharti’ or ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’, it takes me back to my childhood. Our excitement to go buy decorations for the house, setting up our terrace, showing off how tall our flag was mounted on the roof, wearing that special green flag badge throughout the week at school, collecting stamps and stickers, Ah! Simpler days!

Hopes and Dreams: I hope and dream of a peaceful Pakistan and that the world sees our country as more of its goodness than the negative side.

“I used to dream for Pakistan but I no longer do so. Instead I am too busy staying awake and making those dreams a reality.”

Ali RehmanAli Rehman, Actor

“A place is only as good as the people that live in it.”

Plans: I will be promoting Janaan in Dubai celebrating Pakistan and Pakistani Cinema.

Childhood Memories: The Independence Day march and the jets flying over the city leaving behind loud sonic booms.

Hopes and Dreams: Pakistan is one of the greatest countries in the world and I wish to see it prosper. I wish to see tourism grow and for the world to come and experience the beauty of our country.

Armeena KhanArmeena Khan, Actress

If you really want to demonstrate your love for the country then show it by giving something of yourself to your countrymen, by changing yourselves and your environment just a little, by creating something wonderful that will help Pakistan grow. Above all else I want you to promise me that you will stay safe and the morning of the 15th is happy for your families.”

Plans: I will be promoting my film Janaan.

Childhood Memories: I distinctly remember the Aeroplanes and Air Shows, uniforms and parades and of course crowds and flags. I remember a lot of energy and people being happy, celebrating, car horns and lots of colours.

Hopes and Dreams: I used to dream for Pakistan but I no longer do so. Instead, I am too busy staying awake and making those dreams a reality. In my own little way, I am helping contribute to the economy, helping to create a better quality of the cultural product for export and I’m actively helping to change the image and brand for Pakistan on the International stage. Along with my fellow actors and actresses, we are making these come true. Dreamtime is over its work time, folks.

Through the course of my work the people of Pakistan have exasperated me, frustrated me, laughed and cried with me but above all, they have never failed to surprise me. There is a power that sleeps here in the hearts of these people. It is immensely creative, romantic, resilient, expedient, and restless and it will shake the world when it awakes. I have seen the People at their best with my own eyes. They overcome obstacles, they get up after being knocked down, and they keep going and invent beautiful solutions all the time. If we could get the obstacles out of their way then just watch this country grow. The people are unstoppable.


Bilal Khan, Singer

Let us all become concerned citizens and question everything around us with an open mind. The only way forward is through being smarter and evolving as individuals.”

Plans:  I’ll be performing a concert in Seoul, South Korea on 14 August.

Childhood Memories:  Putting a really big flag up a few days before and watching TV early morning with all those Jashan e Azadi adverts were some of my favourite things on the Independence Day.

Hopes and Dreams: To see a country where children feel safe and hopeful about their future.

MNR (2)

Mohsin Naveed Ranjah, Fashion Designer

It saddens me to see our flags being crushed on the roads beneath us after the Independence Day”

Plans: Will wake up early on 14 August to watch the Independence Day parade. It gives me goosebumps every time.

Childhood Memories:  The small flag badges, flag strips and flags all over my house and city typically remind me of my childhood.

Hopes and Dreams: I believe we have a very bright future ahead of us; I have to wear sunshades.

Faran Tahir (2)

Faran Tahir, Actor

Let’s all genuinely work for peace and mutual respect. Let’s stand up against injustice against anyone and everyone. Let’s show kindness, understanding and respect for every soul on earth.”
Plans: No specific plans for the 14th. That’s one drawback of living abroad. If I was in Pakistan would have spent it with family.

Childhood Memories: Noor Jehan’s Qaumi songs.

Hopes and Dreams: That we can get over divisiveness and truly appreciate each other beyond sectarian, provisional and class lines.

Originally published in Pakistan Today 

This is a piece of Satire

Machine can detect sect, ethnicity and Muslim-ness of the target

Riyadh: To cater to the macabre spike – highest in the past two decades – of the beheading of terrorism offenders in the country, head of the execution committee has instructed local engineers to construct a special machine, Khabaristan Times has learnt.

“We believe in progressing with the world, introducing new technologies has always been a dream of mine”, said the head of death penalties in Kingdom of Saudia Arabia (KSA), while talking to Khabaristan Times.

The latest technology will involve students of universities along with renowned engineers and architects of the region who have been called on gun point to constructs the death machine.

According to sources, “The beheading machine will be one of its kind. The first test subjects after it will be done will be its makers. As you know it should stay one of a kind.”

The machine will give relief to the rippers and other hospital staffs who have been working really hard to clean the mess created. Reports further suggest that the machine will have the ability to detect the sect, country of origin and the way he prays if a Muslim.

“It will also keep count of the number of beheadings and the reasons because frankly, KSA has lost count,” said a Saudi Official.

Engineers working on the project reveal that the machine would behead the accused by just pressing a button and the body will be thrown directly into a grave created just below the machine.

“The idea is in the process and will be completed in a month until then the execution will continue as usual as we do not want to waste time,” said a South Asian engineer.

“147 or more have already been sentenced to death this year,” says the head of death penalties KSA. “Inshallah the number will double next year.”


Originally Publish in Khabaristan Times



ITP latest season to rocket theatre expectations in Pakistan

With all the art festivals happening in Pakistan, the notion that art is not imperative in this country is easily dismissed. But, Independent Theatre Pakistan (ITP), the country’s first ever ‘registered’ theatre company, tells a different tale.

“The arts council is not investing in the youth. We usually see innumerable literature festivals with the same hegemony,” Azeem Hamid, the founder of ITP and creative director, tells Pakistan Today. “Though it’s not wrong to remember our pioneers, there’s a definite need to raise the curtains on the youth’s talent,” he opines.

Hence, highlighting the need of the hour and to bring the youth’s flair to life, ITP is hosting its latest season, Teen Kahaniyan, from November 30 to December 3 at Al-Hamra Arts Council. ITP has done 12 plays since its inception in 2012, both nationally and internationally.

Their motto BUZKASHA is a word fashioned purely to translate and comprise all of ITP’s professionalism and passion. “We wanted ITP to stand out, hence this self constructed motto which means to enthral, to act, to perform,” Azeem explains.


The fact that the ITP is the first-ever registered theatre company in Pakistan (others are either NGOs or event management companies) illustrates clearly that the love for theatre isn’t actually as thriving as one might think.

ITP, through its theatre, not only wants to play with emotions but also aims to bring back, Pakistan’s culture, thought-provoking ideas and a reason for change. The importance of theatre lies in its power to influence, interact and force it leaves with its live audience.

Ayehsa Mohsin, a theatre graduate from Canada and ITP’s director of script content and analysis, also feels that the theatre is thought of as just a mere hobby, and the interested performers because of lack of resources cannot pursue their passion as a career, “There is immense talent in Pakistan, but it is only the lack of resources, finances and almost zilch curricular help that create a lot of constraints.”

ITP has also been conducting various workshops in public and private sectors of the country to perk up the love of art in the youth.

Mehreen, the artistic director of ITP, told Pakistan Today, “We developed a core team of about 30 people; we wanted to start a systematic, well coordinated company that would represent Pakistan’s creativity and help strengthen the roots of theatre through the upcoming generation.”

Teen Kahaniyan is a set of three short stories, written by three different playwrights. Two of the acts are adapted from the writings of renowned Pakistani writers, Manto and Najam Hosein Syed, while the third is an original play by Ayesha Mohsin, who will be debuting as a theatre director in Pakistan through ITP.

Azeem claims to have legally obtained the rights to all his adaptations, for the love of theatre in a righteous way. “ITP’s ideology is to represent Pakistan worldwide; I want to show the world our capabilities and that we aren’t mere photocopiers. I am building a path, though a hard one but the right one for theatre and my followers.”

Although the three acts are very different from one another, they revolve around the same theme, i.e., to find one’s self, individuality and identity in realism. Each act will be played in a span of 25 minutes.

To add to the extravagance of theatre that is missing in Pakistan, the acts will be performed on elaborate sets, complimenting the acts, using the stage to its fullest and helping the audience better comprehend the director’s vision.

Because the theatre is not thought of as a subject, ITP wants to fill in the gaps through its effort. “A lot of things are missing in Pakistan, technical aspects, visual thinking, and jargons. This is still a niche that ITP is targeting. We are educating our audiences and our talents,” Azeem says. 



Directed and written by Ayesha, Bu, is the representation of our society. The play written by Ayesha seven years ago, before her studies, is her vision of how society has transformed into a monster.

Bu revolves around two characters: Amir and Ali, both of whom work in a shoe stock room. They are cramped by filthy shoe racks, a world which only exists within the walls of stacked leather shoes. The location, genre and era of the play are fictional. Both the characters are cut off from the outside world until someone from out there confronts them.

Ayesha expresses her expectations of Bu, “I want the audience to feel the impact with the sort of questions I have raised in the play; they might as well have sleepless nights but I want them to think about it once they leave the auditorium.”

The cast consists of Saddam Khan, Alee Hassan Shah, Nabeel Khan; all of whom are theatre and commercial actors. They unanimously think that theatre is the gym of an actor; it is the only way to touch people’s thought and lives.

“Working with Ayesha was a great experience; she introduced us to different theatre activities and exercises. Taught us a lot of theories that we had been practicing previously but weren’t aware off.” Nabeel Khan, who is a manager at a media house, told Pakistan Today. 


 Sammi Di Vaar

This act is a conversation between a fakir and a young girl, Munni, set in the 1920’s. The discussion is between two generations worlds apart, with many a twists and turns. The two roles are being performed by veteran actor Rashid Mehmood and a newbie, Shafaq Yousuf.

The peculiarity of this act is its language, i.e., Seraiki, one of the sweetest dialects of Punjabi but what makes it hard is that it is set in the 1920’s Seraiki and not in the contemporary version of it.

Mehreen explains her pick as, “I wanted to broaden the horizon. Revamping theatre by introducing this unique piece of culture and art was an easy selection for me. People will definitely observe many more traditional touches through our plays in the future too.”

The language may be hard for the viewers to understand but they are not the only ones, “When I was handed the script all I asked Mehreen was, what is this?” Rashid Mehmood, who is doing a stage play after 36 years, remarked while talking to Pakistan Today.

On his hiatus before rejoining theatre, Mehmood shares, “Commercial acting became easier and the theatre happening in Pakistan did not attract me. After watching Mehreen obsession for her work I was convinced I am acting in a far better and proficient environment than ever before. This might sound bizarre but it is true.”

Acting is a ever learning process, reinventing and relocating one’s talent is its fuel: Rashid Mehmood did just that even after four decades of an acting career. “I had to learn Seraiki, rehearse a lot and match their energy. It was a hectic task but it was satisfying!” Mehmood says.

For Shafaq, this is her first play and that too in a language somewhat unfamiliar “This might very well be in Chinese, but I feel honoured to be paired with a renowned name, and to be taught by foreign graduates in this field,” says the newbie.

Mehmood adds his expectations for the play, “The thing about theatre is that even if you do not identify with the language, the actors’ job is to make you feel the play in your veins; our words will travel through ears and settle in every heart and soul, I am confident.”


 Badshahat Ka Khatma

Originally written by Saadat Hasan Manto, this was the first ever Urdu literary piece Azeem read. “The day I read it I knew I wanted to direct a film on it, which may be far at the moment. So, why not a play!”

The story is about an unemployed man, Manmohan, played by Mukarram Kaleem, who has been homeless for the better part of his life but lately with some luck landed at a friend’s office.

Mukarram, who is a well-known commercial actor and anchorperson by profession, fitted the role impeccably, “I illustrated Manto’s description of Manmohan and to my surprise it resembled Mukarram. That was it!”

One day, Manmohan, receives a call from a woman, played by Sana Khalid, who has dialled a wrong number but they strike up a conversation. The events that unfold after the call will keep the audience hooked to their seats making them wonder between reality and mirages.

Muakkaram, who last did a stage play in 2012, feels that the play will be very applicable to all and Azeem’s tailoring of Manto’s story convinced him on this, “Manto had always tried to mirror the realities of the society, this play has been done on an immensely professional level and the audience will definitely be taken by storm.”


The season will commence from Lahore and will travel to Karachi, Islamabad and then internationally to Singapore and Bombay. “This is part of our elaborate plan to make theatre mainstream; one city at a time, some people at a time,” Azeem shares.

The future of ITP is even more amusing and thunderous. Azeem tends to introduce the Broadway culture to Pakistan after the end of his current season, with the ‘Hippy Culture’, “Once a month Pakistan’s very own brand of broadway! My first will be ‘Chicago’ in Urdu, set in the 1960’s Karachi,” Azeem shares his secret and excitement with Pakistan Today.

Watch this space for the reviews of Teen Kahaniyan by Pakistan Today soon.



Originally Published in Pakistan Today