Showing posts from August, 2012

Women’s role in development

Courtesy:-  Hashim Abro Indeed, the evidence on the status of women in rural Pakistani society is horrifying and shocking to the conscience. Articles 8 to Article 28 of the 1973 Constitution describe the Fundamental Rights which are to be available to all citizens, women as well as men wherever they may be, as well as all people temporarily or permanently in Pakistan. Articles 23 & 24 provide property rights. 

Welcome to Pakistan

Courtesy:-  Lets love Pakistan: a new resolution (VI) Whatever we are, we’re mighty proud of it—just like we should be Finally, after months of struggle and heaps of derision and negativity, I complete the challenge I laid out for myself last year: to compile  a list of 65 things  that make Pakistan so special. I don’t know if I’m taking much away from this seemingly futile exercise, but one thing is certain: in a small, feel-good way, I think it has served its purpose by rekindling that flickering flame of patriotism and respect for the one certain thing in my life that is my country, my home, my Pakistan. My dear Pakistan, may you live long and prosper. 51. The new wave of local English literati: Pakistan had always been blessed with some great Urdu writers, but the country has recently started churning out a rather impressive squad of young English authors that have accrued much local and international interest. They have won rave reviews the world over, and in o

The Two-Muslim theory

Courtesy:- Tahir Mehdi   I am not referring to sectarian differences within Islam as these are much more than two. Sects are not unique to our religion. All religions have these. The followers of one sect are not a completely homologous group either, as they may differ on other counts like economic class, cast, language, culture etc. These attributes have an impact on way people behave and act in spheres of economy, politics, culture and even faith. To me, it’s only natural to consider that all these factors make one what he or she is. So when someone says ‘Muslims of Indo-Pak subcontinent’ with reference to our history, does this refer to one unanimous, monolithic block of people with no shades and diversity? I think it’s a big folly to ignore how divergent the political interests and ambitions of Muslims were in the period that ended on this day 65 years ago. A reintroduction to these groups and how the new state of Pakistan responded to their political aspirations might hel

The Big Picture

Courtesy:-  Israeli persecution: History’s ironic repetition Is what the Nazi’s did to the Jews of Germany different from what the Zionists are doing to the Muslims of Palestine? A young man – a Palestinian national footballer – lay on a bed in hospital. His weak face partially hidden with an oxygen mask while the machine continues to beep every second, matching the thumping of this heart beat; zigzag lines on the screen drawing each second of life left within him. He is critically ill and fighting for his life. His diagnosis? A serious illness caused due to a prolonged hunger strike. Why was this hunger strike more important than his own health, you ask. The hunger strike was carried out as a form of protest against his detention at the brutal hands of Israel. It had been three months – since March 24, 2012 – that  Mahmoud Sarsak  had been refusing food. The 25-year-old was  one of  more than 2,000 Palestinians  held captive in Israeli jails demanding that Israel e

The way I see it

Courtesy:-  I may be a ‘gora’ but Pakistan is my home I love Pakistan; Its landscapes, its culture, and above all, I love its people I will soon be celebrating my 10th year here in Pakistan. It has been an incredible experience so far having travelled all four corners of the country, from Hunza to Jiwani and from Darra Adam Khel to Nagarparkar. I have enjoyed all the highs and lows possible and Pakistan would not be Pakistan if these highs were not unscalable, 25,000 feet mountains, and lows of ocean grade depths. Yesterday, specifically, has special significance to me as it was three years ago that I cemented my relation with Pakistan by  marrying  one of its most beautiful and smartest women. I still remember the photographer at our wedding who was waiting even after all guests had left for the  rukhsati  (bidding farewell to the bride by her family). His face dropped when we told him there would be no such ceremony as I had decided to embrace my extended family by liv

Welcome to Pakistan

Courtesy:-  I was there to witness the miracle of August 14, 1947 Naido argued with a colonel, saying that there will ‘never be a Pakistan’. He replied saying Pakistani will 'definitely' be It is  August 14  - a day that revives the memory of an extraordinary experience of a young girl, Zee Niazi, on the day of the inception of this beautiful country. The way that events moved at that time instills the belief that miracles do, in fact, happen. Zee got married to an officer in the then British Army, just before partition took place. Not being acquainted with an army lifestyle, her husband’s first posting came to her as a surprise. They went to Harbanspura by train. The future had already begun to look bleak for the newly married couple. They was no accomodation available and they stayed at Mount Hotel for some time. They were having trouble making plans because everything seemed uncertain. Financial worries were not the only dilemma; the couple had to put up with

Best Independence Day homage

Courtesy:-  Wajid Shamsul Hasan On the 65th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence best homage to the Muslims of the subcontinent who sacrificed all they had for the creation of a separate homeland under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah would be to sincerely rededicate ourselves as a nation to the ideals of the founding fathers.

US visit of ISI DG

Courtesy:-  Dr Raja Muhammad Khan August 15, 2012 General Zaheerul Islam, Director General Inter Services Intelligence Agency has successfully concluded his week-long US visit. It was the first US visit of Gen Zaheer as DG of ISI, since he assumed charge in March this year. 

Financing Bhasha Dam

Courtesy:- The Nation  August 15, 2012 Success of the Indian influence in the World Bank has stymied funding from the World Bank for the strategically crucial Bhasha Dam. The factor seems to have deterred Asian Development Bank from funding the Bhasha Diamer Dam which on completion would produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity. Against this backdrop, an emergency meeting was held in the Ministry of Water and Power chaired by Federal Minister Ahmed Mukhtar in order to explore new avenues for funding. The Minister directed WAPDA to submit a report on options and whether there are forthcoming international donors. Already facing a credit crunch, the Pakistan government is at a loss how to arrange for the cash. To boost its sagging fortunes, the impression was given by the PPP government that construction activity was underway. But as things stand we are not even at square one. It is beyond belief that it could have sat idle concerning a project of great national importance especially s

Polio persistence

Courtesy:-  August 15, 2012 News on the polio eradication front remains disappointing although reports indicate there has been a significant decline in the number of reported cases. During the recent days, two new cases came to light in Charsadda and Peshawar. The victims apparently caught poliovirus in the nearby Fata, which remains inaccessible to vaccination teams. Some 200,000 children in North and South Waziristan are said to be at risk of contracting the disease because the Taliban militants in the region have banned polio vaccination.  The situation is particularly bad in Khyber Agency's Bara tehsil which has remained out of bounds for vaccination teams. Sadly but unsurprisingly, out of 13 polio cases reported so far in Fata 10 happened in Bara. Unless these children are vaccinated, Pakistan will remain one of the world's three polio endemic countries - the other two being Afghanistan and Nigeria.  Speaking at a meeting on "Identifying the impediments to polio er

Photo feature: Not far from paradise

A ravishing view of the Kaghan Valley, located in the Mansehra District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.  The Himalayas and the Kaghan valley have inspired poets, musicians, painters, videographers and photographers through the ages. For me, the inspiration came last month, when my friends revealed they were planning a trip. At first it seemed farfetched, and then it seemed absurd because they wanted to leave within the next few days. Just as I was about to convince them that it was an impulsive and over-ambitious idea, I realised that if we don’t do it now, we probably never will. I was now sold to the idea of this trip. On July 13, 2012 we caught a flight from Karachi to Islamabad, from where we were going to drive further up north. After a two-day stay in Islamabad, we left for Murree, which is located at a distance of about 58 kilometres northeast of Islamabad. My last visit to Murree came in 2000, and I remembered the mountains being quiet and peac