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Osman Yousefzada’s exhibition: Timely exploration of displacement, integration, climate change



A three-part art exhibition crafted by British Pakistani artist Osman Yousefzada is running at the Victoria and Albert Museum in central London.

With one exception that refers to colonial buildings as spaces “divided according to race and class”, the descriptions about Yousefzada’s exhibition do not explicitly mention colonialism. 

Instead, the artwork focuses on aspects of the Pakistani, and wider South Asian, identity that exist apart from and in spite of British colonialism which, much like in many British conversations, often remains an unspoken but known spectre hovering just below the surface.

— Provided by author
— Provided by author

The theme that stood out the most was of integration. The integration, or lack thereof, of the inhabitants who migrated from modern-day India to Pakistan during partition. The integration of traditional aspects of South Asia identity and history within the forming of a new Pakistani identity and the tension or compatibility between the two.

While the theme of colonialism was not often explicit, it is naturally difficult not to reflect on it. The V&A, named after the very monarch once declared the ‘Empress of India’ and her consort, seemed the most appropriate place in the UK for an installation depicting the themes of partition. 

Education on the impact and aftermath of colonialism should strike at the heart of society and leave an indelible mark on our minds, just as this exhibition does. 

— Provided by author
— Provided by author

After all, it was within the context of the British colonial powers intensifying the communal tensions and animosity through divide and rule, coupled with fears for the preservation of the Muslim community in an independent, Hindu-majority India, that the demand for a separate Muslim homeland within South Asia originated. 

But, this exhibition reminds us that the Pakistani identity encapsulates so much more than this, with many of its aspects pre-dating or separate from what the British did in South Asia.

Three tapestries hang at one of the entrances to the museum. They depict figures described as “suggestive of ancient Talismanic figures, and storytelling,” inspired by a book called Falnama, which would later become the roots of tarot cards used in Mughal India among other places. 

— Provided by author
— Provided by author

The figures are also said to reflect those found at Mohenjo Daro, an ancient Indus civilisation settlement situated in Sindh. The striking relevance of this piece to the overarching themes appears to be that it contains figures who have a “long history of struggle who do not see themselves as ‘the good immigrant.”

The tapestries are an important reminder of the rich history of the land of Pakistan. It stands at the crossroads between diverse civilisations, cultures and religions during many different stages of history: a crucial challenge to the colonial mindset that believed it ‘discovered’ places and brought ‘civilisation’ and ‘history’ with it. Instead, each pre-existing civilisation represents a thread woven into this larger tapestry that constitutes modern-day Pakistan, influencing folklore, language, dress and music.

— Provided by author
— Provided by author

Another work in this challenging exhibition is a sculpture that looks like a tall stack of shelves, on which are placed household objects wrapped in fabrics or plastic.

Described as an “altar to female migratory experience,” it is a “tribute to the hidden women who were not able to or did not possess the codes to integrate in new lands”.

Indeed, its positioning within the stairwell feels like a nod to the fact that the female voice has been sidelined, not occupying the central stage of our attention. But women had their own experiences of partition, most upsettingly the well-documented kidnappings and rapes in addition to upheaval. 

But this sculpture, as an “act of agency in patriarchal spaces,” works to identify and remember those women. As the artist suggests, every unique fold and knot were “their marks of identity and ownership.”

— Provided by author
— Provided by author

The garden is home to a third part of the installation. To echo the fluidity of migration and change, the work consists of movable peerhi stools. In the centre are charpai beds made from salvaged fabrics and wood, the latter from what would have been pieces of colonial architecture which the artist describes as having been “dropped from vertical to horizontal axis, shifting the power dynamic from a hierarchical to communal architecture.” 

This felt like a lesson, that something quite beautiful and familiar has been salvaged from the ugly, unequal power distribution of colonialism, which South Asians have dismantled and, from it, reformed and remade their traditional items that have a history apart from the British. This would certainly be an emotive act of defiance and reclaiming.

The remainder of this section consists of a wooden vessel placed not on the water but on dry land, designed to symbolise “colonial expansion and present-day climate precarity.” 

While Pakistan has for decades been listed among the most vulnerable countries to climate change, this year’s heatwaves followed by extreme flooding hit home this point. A country that contributes relatively low carbon emissions is bearing the brunt of climate change, when former colonial powers, like the UK, have contributed more and yet suffer less. Displacement is not confined to the history books but a lived experience of today, with this year’s flooding causing migration, loss of life and the destruction of livelihoods. Unless swift action is taken by nations collaboratively to combat climate change, these experiences will become the new normal.

This exhibition plays a vital role in inspiring us to reflect upon the realities of displacement, integration and climate change by inhabiting our public spaces. It challenges the whitewashing of colonial narratives by providing an insight into the multifaceted traditions that thousands of years of history has fostered in the land that modern-day Pakistan inhabits today; traditions that not only pre-date British history in South Asia, but have survived it. And for all these reasons, Osman Yousefzada’s exhibition most certainly deserves a visit.

— Provided by author
— Provided by author

Running until September 25 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Yousefzada’s artwork was commissioned by the British Council as part of its ‘Pakistan/UK: New Perspectives Season,’ in partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Pakistan High Commission. It has also been supported by the ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation.


Pakistan gear up for historic clash against Saudi Arabia




AL-AHSA, SAUDI ARABIA: In a first, Pakistan will today take on Saudi Arabia in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for the first time in its footballing history, reported The News on Thursday.

The historic game will be played at the Al-Fateh Stadium at 7:30 pm local time.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia last played against each other in 1978 at the latter’s home which the Green Shirts were humiliated 6-0.

Jordan and Tajikistan are the other teams in Pakistan’s group.

These four teams will play against each other home and away, the top two nations will progress to the third round while the last two teams qualify for the third round of the 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers. Being a host country of the 2027 Asian Cup, Saudi Arabia have already qualified for the continent’s major showpiece event.

Pakistan team since its arrival in Saudi Arabi on November 11 has held six training sessions at the Al-Fateh Stadium’s reserve venue. They were joined by their foreign-based players who came in two different groups.

England-based winger Imran Kayani had joined the team in Islamabad and was part of all the training sessions held in the federal capital under English coach Stephen Constantine. The Whitehawk FC player is likely to make his international debut today.

According to team sources, overseas players Harun Hamid, Yousuf Butt, Abdullah Iqbal and Abdul Samad arrived in Saudi Arabia two days ago while Otis Khan and Rahis Nabi checked in at the hotel on Tuesday.

Coach Constantine on Wednesday said that they expect a tough match against the hosts.

“There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia are a tough side and we will try to make our best effort against them,” he said during a pre-match news conference at the Al-Fateh Sports Club.

He said that the time was short for preparation but whatever time they had at their disposal they tried to prepare well.

“We had a few good days here and a week at Islamabad and hopefully we will put in our best,” Stephen said.

He said that Pakistan will badly miss their defender Easah Suliman who has been ruled out for a few weeks due to an injury which he developed while playing in the Azerbaijan league. Constantine refused to disclose who will lead the side.

“When one is down the other comes to take his place,” he said.

The coach sees the game as a big opportunity for Pakistani players to attract foreign scouts.

“They have to play well and when they do well then definitely they may get offers from professional clubs but it’s a great honour to represent one’s country first,” Constantine said.

The second round matches will be held in three phases with the second phase and third phase to be held in March and June respectively.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia have injury woes of their own as Al-Hilal’s winger Salem Al-Dawsari was ruled out of both the games against Pakistan and Jordan due to an ankle injury.

Saudi Arabia’s Italian coach Roberto Mancini said that his team is ready for the show.

“It’s a first official game for us in the Qualifiers. We are ready and you know the first game is always difficult,” Mancini told the news conference.

“I think it is time to put youngsters in the team for the future because we saw many players in three months. And we believe that we have a good young players for the future and it’s important to give them a chance in the important game,” Mancini said.

“My target is to try to play good football. we started well but we played against tough teams and in future this team will progress well,” he said. Since taking charge as Saudi Arabia’s head coach last August his charges have lost three matches of the four they have played. He said that Saudi Arabia will not take Pakistan lightly.

Pakistan squad:

Goalkeepers: Yousuf Butt, Salman-Ul-Haq, Hassan Ali 

Defenders: Abdullah Iqbal, Haseeb Khan, Mamoon Moosa Khan, Mohibullah, Muhammad Sohail, Muhammad Saddam, Junaid Shah, Rao Umar Hayat, Muhammad Hamza Munir

Midfielders: Rahis Nabi, Alamgir Ghazi, Rajab Ali, Ali Uzair, Imran Kiyani, Harun Hamid

Forwards: Shayak Dost, Otis Khan, Fareed Ullah, Abdul Samad Arshad, Muhammad Waleed Khan, Adeel Younas

Officials: Stephen Constantine (head coach), Rogerio Ramos (goalkeeper coach), Claudio Altieri (performance coach), Muhammad Ali Khan (manager), Azam Khan (doctor), Muhammad Abdullah (physio), Haider Ali (media), Abdul Qayyum (masseur).

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Pakistan squad for World Cup 2023 announced




  • Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq unveiled squad. 
  • Hasan Ali replaces injured Naseem Shah. 
  • Pakistan enter mega-event as number one ranked side.

LAHORE: In a much-awaited announcement, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally revealed the 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. 

The announcement of Pakistan’s squad faced unexpected delays as the team management held consultations following a humiliating exit from the Asia Cup and the injuries faced by major bowlers during the tournament. 

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq unveiled the squad at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. 

Pakistans squad for ICC World Cup 2023. — PCB
Pakistan’s squad for ICC World Cup 2023. — PCB

Babar Azam will captain the team, while Shadab Khan remains the team’s vice-captain. Hasan Ali has been called in to replace pacer Naseem Shah — who has been ruled out from the tournament due to his shoulder injury. 

Ali, however, will be returning to one-day international (ODI) cricket after a year-long hiatus following his last appearance against West Indies in Multan in 2022.

“We were forced to make one change because of an unfortunate injury to Naseem Shah. We had a few injury scares in the recent Asia Cup, but I am glad to share that all the players are fully fit and are eager to perform for their country in the all-important tournament. I have received encouraging reports from our medical panel about Haris Rauf. He has started to (shadow) bowl at the National Cricket Academy and will be available for selection,” said Inzamam while speaking during a press conference today. 

“I have a firm belief that this squad can bring the World Cup trophy to Pakistan and make the whole nation proud with their incredible performances. It is time to get behind our team and provide them with the backing and support that they need.”

Babar Azam’s side enters the mega-event as the number one ranked side and enjoys the best win/loss ratio of 2.4 in this World Cup cycle for any side that has played the ODI format.

The ICC World Cup 2023 will take place in India with 10 teams fighting for the elusive title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final.

The Cricket World Cup will be played in a round-robin format, with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.

The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, which will be held in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.


Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafiq, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), M Wasim Jnr, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir.


Mohammad Haris, Zaman Khan, Abrar Ahmed.

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Shahid Afridi’s heartfelt note for daughter Ansha on wedding with Shaheen




Veteran cricketer Shahid Afridi Wednesday shared a heartfelt note for his daughter, Ansha, expressing his feelings over her marriage with Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The wedding ceremony took place in Karachi a day earlier.

Following their engagement two years ago, the couple had tied the knot in an intimate nikah ceremony held in February this year.

In an emotional and moving post on X, formerly Twitter, the former cricketer wrote Urdu couplets for his daughter.

“Aya tha ghar main noor abhi kal ki baat hai

Rukhsat bhi ho raha hai wo ankhon kay saamney

Dooba hua bhi hai terey baba ka dil magar

Umeed subh-e-nau isey ayi hai thamney,” Afridi wrote.

Along with the couplet, the former Pakistan captain shared two photos of himself with the newly wedded couple. In both images, taken from the back, Afridi is seen lovingly holding onto his daughter and son-in-law in a pleasant mood.

In one of the pictures, the former all-rounder is seen leaning towards Ansha, expressing his emotions of a father seeing his daughter off.

In the photo, Afridi’s daughter is seen wearing an intricately-designed red dress, embellished with gold zardozi and sequin work.

Photos from the wedding, which took place at a private wedding venue in Karachi, have gone viral on social media with Shaheen seen mingling with guests and fellow cricketer and Pakistan captain Babar Azam amid the joyous occasion.

The 23-year-old fast bowler arrived at the venue to receive his bride with his family, while the rukhsati (seeing off) ceremony was decked with a diverse guest list which included former captain Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, Tanveer Ahmed, and Sohail Khan.

The couple got married seven months ago in Karachi. However, Ansha’s rukhsati was put on hold until September. Their valima ceremony will, however, be held in Islamabad on September 21.

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