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Pakistan yearning to watch Raees, says Mahira Khan

Mahira Khana's Bollywood debut film, "Raees", has not yet released in Pakistan

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Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan at Zindagi channel's press meet. Wikimedia

Pakistan, 4 Feb, 2017: Pakistani actress Mahira Khana’s Bollywood debut film, “Raees”, which has not yet released in Pakistan is keeping people waiting in the neighbouring country the actress said at a press conference here.

Along with Shahrukh Khan, Mahira the film’s leading lady, who couldn’t promote the film due to the ban imposed on Pakistani artists in India, joined in via video call on Friday

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The actress said: “Raees is releasing soon in Pakistan and believe me everybody is waiting for the film just like people had waited all over the world and I believe that it is going to do amazing business here.”

The “Humsafar” actress shared how her family reacted to the film. “The big fear was people will come to watch the movie and hoot for Shahrukh, not for me. When my family watched the movie, they were also screaming for him.”

“But the kind of response I received has been completely fantastic and I am very grateful,” she added.

Sharing the experience of working with King Khan, Mahira, 32, said, “I was nervous as hell. Sometimes I used to wish I wasn’t a big Shahrukh fan. It was scary but it got better, especially after we shot ‘Zaalima’. Working with him is a dream come true. Nothing short of that.”

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The actress who was seen grooving in the songs “Udi Udi Jaye” and “Zaalima” in the film, stated, “I’ve to rehearse a lot for the songs. The choreographers used to give me examples of the other great Bollywood actresses.”

Post release of the film, the “Raees” team is soon going to release another song of the movie which was edited to make short the length of the running time.

Directed by Rahul Dholakia, the film also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a pivotal role. (IANS)

 

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Pakistan Elected to UN Human Rights Council along with 14 other countries

The new members will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018

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UN General Assembly elect 15 new members of Human Rights Council. Wikimedia

United Nations, October 17, 2017 : Fifteen countries, including Pakistan, have been elected to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN General Assembly.

In a vote on Monday, Afghanistan, Angola, Australia, Chile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain and Ukraine were elected, a Foreign Office statement said.

They will serve a three-year term from January 1, 2018. (IANS)

 

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Shahid Kapoor Applauses Brother Ishaan for Bollywood Debut

By sharing a sweet picture with younger brother Ishaan, Shahid Kapoor took to Instagram for confirming the former's bollywood debut produced by Zee Studios

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Shahid Kapoor and his brother Ishaan Khattar. Instagram

New Delhi, October 14: Shahid Kapoor’s younger brother Ishaan Khattar is all set for his Bollywood debut with ‘Beyond the Clouds’ and Shahid is very excited about his brother’s upcoming and wished him good luck on Twitter.

The ‘Haider’ star took to Instagram and wished his brother by sharing a sweet picture of himself with Ishaan along with the caption,“How time flies. In 4 hours a new star is born. May you fly #beyondtheclouds Ishaan. Proud of you.”

Shahid Kapoor
Shahid Kapoor posted his wishes for brother Ishaan on Instagram.

Ishaan is making his acting debut with Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi’s next, which is said to be a story revolving around a brother-sister relationship. The shooting of the film, which was initially titled ‘Floating Gardens’ and has now been allegedly changed to ‘Beyond The Clouds’, starts in South Mumbai today. Interestingly, this is the same Majid Majidi project for which Deepika Padukone had done a look test.

The film has already premiered at the British Film Institute London Film Festival in the competition category.

Produced by Zee Studios along with Shareen Mantri Kedia and Kishor Arora, ‘Beyond The Clouds’ is a story based on relationships focused on human values.

-by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram.  She can be reached @tweet_bhavana

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Pakistan Electoral Body Bars Political Party Due to Terror Ties

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Sheikh Yaqub (C) candidate of the newly-formed Milli Muslim League party, waves to his supporters at an election rally in Lahore, Pakistan. voa

Pakistan’s Election Commission (ECP) on Wednesday rejected the registration application of a newly established political party with alleged ties to a banned militant group in the country.

Milli Muslim League (MML) has been disqualified to participate in the country’s state and general elections.

The electoral commission’s decision is said to be based on a request made earlier by the country’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, stating that Milli Muslim League is a front organization for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a U.S.-designated terror sponsoring organization in Pakistan.

“The government is vigilant and under no circumstances will allow any political party with a proven record of promoting violence and terrorism to spread their extremist ideology through democracy and political means,” Tallal Chaudhry, Pakistan’s minister of state for Interior Affairs, told VOA.

Saif Ullah Khalid, president of Milli Muslim League, dismissed the election commission’s decision and said the party will take the matter to the country’s judiciary.

Political wing

Milli Muslim League was established in August 2017 as a political wing for the controversial Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), which is believed to be a front organization for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group led by Hafiz Saeed.

Saeed was accused of masterminding Mumbai’s 2008 terror attacks that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

The U.S. government has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest. Saeed has been reportedly under house arrest in the eastern city of Lahore for the past eight months.

In September, during an important by-election in Lahore, when the National Assembly’s seat fell vacant following the disqualification of then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the newly launched MML backed an independent candidate who finished fourth in the race for Sharif’s seat.

At the time, Pakistan’s upper house of parliament strongly criticized the country’s election commission for allowing JuD’s political wing, MML, to participate in the Lahore by-election.

Some experts were concerned about the emergence of militant groups joining mainstream politics in Pakistan. They maintain that the political trend seen in Lahore’s by-election, where parties linked to militant groups are able to mobilize and generate sufficient numbers of votes within a very short period of time, as alarming.

“There should be a debate on this sensitive issue through social, political and media channels. By allowing militant-based political parties to integrate into mainstream politics, it will only escalate radicalization in the society,” Khadim Hussain, a Peshawar based political analyst, told VOA.

“There are people who believe with the merger of such militant groups into politics, we’ll provide them an avenue to maintain a political presence without leaving their extreme ideologies,” Hussain added.

Army’s support

Earlier last week, Pakistan’s army acknowledged they are mulling over plans to blend the militant-linked political groups into the mainstream political arena.

Some analysts side with MML, arguing the party should be allowed to participate in elections.

“I do not understand in what capacity the election commission has rejected MML’s application to register as a party,” said Ahmad Bilal Mehboob, the head of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT).

“Did they (MML) break any law? If not, how can you bar MML from entering the mainstream politics when they’re doing it through legitimate ways,” Mehboob emphasized.

Zubair Iqbal, a Washington-based South Asia expert, also raised concerns over the validity of the decision.

“This is how democracy works. … There are some extreme groups, some moderate groups and no one should be stopped because of their extreme ideologies,” Iqbal told VOA. “The extremist groups can be barred from entering into the politics only through people and democracy.”

“Unless these parties and individuals are allowed to participate in the political system they might never change their extreme ideologies and might continue operating underground which will prove to be more dangerous,” Iqbal added.

International pressure

In the past few years, Pakistan has faced escalating pressure from the international community for not being able to crackdown on militant groups enjoying safe havens in Pakistan and launching attacks in neighboring countries.

In his recent speech on the region, U.S President Trump put Pakistan on notice to take actions against safe havens in Pakistan. Pakistani officials deny the existence of safe havens on its soil.

Pakistan is also accused of being selective in its pursuit of terror groups. It allegedly goes after only those groups that pose a threat to the country’s national security, ignoring others that threat India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan rejects the allegations and reiterates its stance of having no sympathy for any terror group operating in the country.(VOA)