June 20, 2013
 Ali Mustafa
TOPICS

In an explosive world: On making India a part of the Nuclear Supplier’s Group

On May 18, 1974, India conducted its nuclear test. It reaffirmed the international community’s fears that nuclear technology and materials provided for peaceful purposes can be used in nuclear weapons. In 1975, in order to curtail such gross misuse Canada, France, West Germany, Japan, Soviet Union, United States and United Kingdom got together and formed the Nuclear Supplier’s Group (NSG). The purpose was to regulate the nuclear trade so further diversions like India’s don’t take place. Forty years later the situation has changed. France, Russia, the UK, and the US are campaigning to make India a member of the NSG. The motives are simple; the huge ...

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Jinnah’s love for Balochistan

There have been times in the history of Pakistan when the founding father was manipulated, criticised, misquoted, used, abused and misused by different political parties for different political purposes. Not very long ago, a prominent political leader questioned Jinnah’s nationality. Fortunately the nation, as well as Quaid, survived the insult, and life moved on. However, never in the history of Pakistan was Jinnah disowned from his contributions towards an independent and sovereign Pakistan, nor made into an oppressive figure that haunted the corridors of Pakistan’s national history. Even the hard-headed Taliban never questioned Jinnah’s personality and his attitude towards Islam (though he was condemned by ...

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Another Ahmadi venture under fire: When will we learn?

Teacher to Akram and Aslam: You both failed the test because you were late for class. Why were you late? Akram: Sir, I was busy looking for my atthani which I lost on my way to school today. Teacher: What is your reason Aslam? Aslam: (Sheepishly): Sorry sir, but I was standing on top of his atthani, hiding it. Reading such knock-knock jokes on the last page of The Lahore is one of my fondest memories of growing up in Lahore. At the age of ten, honestly, I could not comprehend the literary, cultural and political content of the magazine. So of course, I was surprised to read that such an innocuous magazine ...

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Federal Budget 2013-14: More business friendly than people friendly

I still remember my Economics professor’s words, “The political cost of economic decisions is the worst nightmare for the policy-making circles particularly political parties and this is what plays the most significant role in budgetary allocations.” The federal budget 2013-14 has proved this statement correct. With the new political administration at the helm of affairs, the situation is surely somehow different than the past five years, though not an ideal one. A short glimpse of the budget document clearly shows that the budget is more business friendly than people friendly. We find that the government has focused on fiscal discipline, development, power generation, political ...

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Budget2013: Research and Development in Pakistan

The initial prognosis of the recent budget by pundits is positive, with the phrase “business-friendly” or some other variant prefacing their every breath. While that’s an italicised development from past years, let’s hope there is a noticeable change in the fields of research, development and technology as well. To say the least, Pakistan has had its share of intestinal economic and political disruptions. Incessant wars, military rule, flogged bureaucracy and corruption represent some of the determinants of Pakistan’s snail-paced economic growth. Recognising these factors, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar during his budget presentation speech invoked the word “development” 26 separate times, but ...

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Citizens of Lyari: Bloodied, miserable and begging for mercy

Ordinarily, Pakistan does not surprise me with the injustice that goes on in the country. I live in Karachi and am frighteningly used to instances of violence and bloodshed that the city is reputed for. The news, more or less every day, leaves me depressed, but for the past few days, my heart has been aching for what is going on in Karachi — especially Lyari. In four days, Lyari has seen the concentrated essence of what we call ‘Karachi violence’. Four were dead as of June 10 and 18 had been injured even before the sun set. With a ...

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What Anusha Rehman should do for Information and Communication Technology

PML-N has done well to appoint Anusha Rehman as the new IT minister. She has already been part of the national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain and what a marvelous opportunity she is looking at now – an opportunity to create thousands of jobs, help provide education, health and other government services at the doorsteps of millions of Pakistanis, increase software and services related exports by tens of millions of dollars, and generally catapult Pakistan to the 21st century! As an ICT professional, with 35 years in the field, I venture to say what the government should now do with ...

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When Intermediate students must fight just to take their exams

On Tuesday morning around 10am, with the sun in its full glory and waves of hot air making it impossible to stand outside, I was in the court room of the Lahore High Court awaiting my turn. As I stood there, I noticed teenagers, around 16-17 years of age, standing in the court room looking baffled. I wondered what reason had brought them here as this was certainly an unusual sight. My curiosity subsided when the reader of the court called out a case and a crowd, including these teenagers, paced towards the rostrum. These children were students of FSc/FA/intermediate, ...

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An eye for an eye: A death sentence to Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur, life to another

Shahrukh Jatoi and Siraj Talpur, along with two others, have been given the death sentence today. The harsh reality of murder has just taken its form and reactions across the board differ. Many people are pondering over whether or not this really is justice served. In my opinion, it is. As cruel as it may sound, I not only agree with the decision made by the court but laud their valour to resort to such a decision. Many feel this may be another instance of judicial activitism but this is, unfortunately, justice in its raw form. Some may argue that the sentence is ...

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Pakistan needs more men like Mirza Ali

In 1856 when Mount Everest was definitively identified as the world’s highest mountain what began was a series of early Everest expeditions, mostly led by the British, which, in 1933, included efforts to deploy the British Union Flag on top of the mountain by flying a formation of aircraft over the peak (an expedition funding by a British millionaires, Lady Houston) Since 1921 Everest has had over 4,500 climber visitors from over eighty nations. And while the first female ascent of the mountain was in 1975 by Japanese mountain-climber, Junko Tabei and the first Pakistani to scale the Everest was a ...

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