Stories about government

Disaster victims are boring, lets cover Bollywood instead

Did you know that the estimated number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is around one million according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)? Did you know that another 1.5 million were affected by floods this year according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)? There are 1.2 million people in Pakistan urgently in need for winter items this season. I am quite sure that most people are unaware of these statistics. This is because the content on TV channels is driven by sensationalism which is essential to win the ratings race. Hence, we only ...

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Mustafa Kamal: Karachi’s superhero should return!

The Karachi we know today is nothing like the city many of us lived in a decade ago. In 2000, the local government system was introduced by former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, which was initially just an experiment. However, the way Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur made use of this opportunity to flourish and improve has no parallels; one cannot find similar examples anywhere else. When Karachi is discussed, one cannot omit the role of Syed Mustafa Kamal, as the mayor of Karachi, in its development. It has been almost four years since Mustafa Kamal has left office – and Karachi hasn’t been ...

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On the 5th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, let us take an oath

Five years ago, it was the worst of times for my neighbouring country. Mumbai, India’s commercial hub was under attack. The eve of November 26, 2008 was one of the bloodiest days for India. When the calendar marked November 29, the death toll exceeded 100 people.  Everything was deplorable. The entire Indian nation was mourning and rightly so. It was the worst of times for my country as well, as the whole Indian government and the media turned hostile towards Pakistan and built war hysteria. The attackers were reported to come from my soil. This was a shocking revelation. The after-effect of ...

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Don’t blame Imran Khan for your own mistakes!

Imran Khan seems to have become a lightning rod for mass criticism. Aisha Ghumman’s recent blog is yet another addition to an already overflowing list of complaints against Imran Khan. In a nutshell, she questions his promises spouted during the May 2013 elections, labels him and his tactics a failure, and demands his resignation from the party. Ironically, it is the attitude of the author and not that of Imran Khan which is more reflective of why we have refused to see meaningful political change in the country. Students of philosophy and Greek mythology are familiar with Sisyphus. He was a king but his actions ...

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Blocking NATO supplies: Imran Khan’s stance is for national security

Imran Khan has always been a personality admired by people. Starting from his cricketing days to his entrance into politics, people have only expected good from him. The  mercurial dynamics of politics in Pakistan have not affected his attitude and temperament much over the last 17 years; however, things seem to be experiencing a shift since his party has formed government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), earlier this year. Ideally, what we need to understand is that it is not possible to assume that a political party that has formed a government in a province is any different from the government ...

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Why is the value of the Rupee depreciating, your honour?

“Could you please explain to the committee the factors that have resulted in the sharp depreciation of the Pak Rupee recently? In addition, please enlighten the honourable members of parliament about the possible measures the government is likely to take in order to avoid this in the foreseeable future,” inquired the Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance. This was the moment I had been waiting for since the day I started my research associate-ship in Pakistan’s Upper House of Parliament, the Senate. I was, finally, about to see the executive being held accountable by the representatives of the people. The ...

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Lalas are fighting each other…but who is giving them weapons?

“Chachu, I heard three deafening explosions and I have been hearing gunshots for three days now! Dad is not even letting me go to school because of the terrible situation outside,” said my 12-year-old nephew, while calling me from his house in Chakiwara, a part of the gangster stronghold in Lyari. “This time Lalas are fighting with each other,” he continued. Lala, though a Balochi word meaning older brother, is ironically now used to refer to gangsters in Lyari. Once again, Lyari finds itself in the midst of a gang war, at the mercy of a handful of thugs who roam the streets, shooting sophisticated ammunition ...

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Skimpy clothing in Saudi Arabia? If you’re in a compound, sure!

I remember watching a movie a couple of years ago, called Kingdom, the plot of which centred around an armed assault on a Saudi Aramco housing compound. For those who are not aware of the oil and gas industry, Saudi Aramco is a Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company, which has exclusive rights of oil extraction in the country. At the moment, Saudi Aramco is the biggest oil exporter in the world. The movie Kingdom was released in 2007 and that was my first exposure to the life-style followed in the housing compounds of this company. Last week I got a chance to actually visit a ...

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Why should Sindhi be taught in all schools of Sindh?

The Government of Sindh recently announced that it would ensure that private educational institutions offer Sindhi language as a separate subject. The announcement went on to state that schools refusing to offer Sindhi would be fined or even have their permits revoked.  This announcement has led to predictable outrage. Some have argued that students who attend private schools have no use for learning a language that is ‘only’ spoken within Sindh. On the other hand, children attending public schools, given their financial background also have little practical utility for studying the region’s native language. This, in itself, is a false assumption ...

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A chat with a 21st century Pakistani patriot

Interviewer (I): Assalamu alaykum. My name is Sanjay. Patriot (P): Sanjay? Are you Indian? I: No, I’m Pakistani. P: How come? I: Well I was born and raised here. P: However, people of your belief are born and raised in India. Sanjay Dutt is an example. I: A large number of people of my belief live in Pakistan as well. Seen the white in our flag? P: Oh. That’s Odd. I: What do you think about Pakistan? P: I love my country. It’s a great country to live in. I: What do you like about Pakistan? P: I know the funded media is trying its best to ruin Pakistan’s image, but we need ...

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