Zeeshan Shah

Zeeshan Shah

The writer is a Director at a leading advocacy institute and a radio broadcaster based out of Karachi. He tweets as @zeeshan82445998 (twitter.com/zeeshan82445998)

Tackling Karachi’s energy crisis

Karachi is the economic power-house of Pakistan, yet the city is facing a massive energy crisis which needs to be tacked on an urgent basis. To remain viable in the coming years as the highest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), a strategic energy road-map for the city needs to be drafted under a comprehensive framework. How we prioritise our actions and create the right benchmarks is crucial. To enhance technological expertise within the sector, we need four components to be simultaneously inter-connected: human resources, research, development and investment. Providing incentives for the private sector must be the top ...

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Why does child labour continue to plague Pakistan?

The Pakistani population has multiplied rapidly in the last few decades, lack of efficient administration by subsequent governments and failure of policy implementation have plunged a sizeable number of our population into poverty. In a developing country, a rapidly growing population and administrative deadlocks can adversely affect all segments of the society, particularly children belonging to low income or no income households. The result is an increase in child labour, along with an ever growing number of children being pushed to the streets so they can financially contribute to their households. According to Pakistan’s first Child Labour Survey conducted ...

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Will the ICJ ruling lead to real change for the Rohingya?

While the horrific treatment of the Rohingya in Myanmar has been repeatedly condemned by many quarters and also resulted in various protests across Pakistan, the simple truth of the matter is that such atrocities can not be addressed by simply staging a march or shouting from the rooftops. Any issue of international concern has to be tackled through the channels and mediums available so as to ensure that long-standing and enforceable measures can be implemented in order to tackle the crisis under question. Hence, while many simply chose to voice their outrage, Gambia chose to take action. The small West ...

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China coronavirus: Is Pakistan at risk?

As the coronavirus forces the authorities in China to place 12 cities under lock-down, including the reported epicentre of the virus – Wuhan, just how wide-ranging the ramifications of this virus can be are slowly coming to light. While China attempts to grapple with this worsening health epidemic, it is quickly becoming evident that this is not simply a problem which will remain confined within the borders of China. Thus far, more than 800 cases of the coronavirus have surfaced in China and 26 individuals have already lost their lives due to it. But fears of the virus spreading have only been ...

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Sustainable development goals have to take centre stage for Pakistan at Davos

As world leaders prepare to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, it seems that the issue of building a sustainable future will take centre stage at the summit. This year’s theme for the WEF is “Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world”, hence emphasising the urgency with which leaders across the globe need to address one of the most pressing issues the planet is currently facing. After the bush fires in Australia, volcanic eruptions in the Philippines, floods in Jakarta, mass burning of the Amazon rain-forest, famine in Zambia, water scarcity in Mexico and dangerous weather patterns in North America; leaders ...

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What does the future hold for PIA?

In the 1960’s, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was arguably one of the world’s finest air carriers. Today, it is a shadow of what it was, primarily because it has been cut down by persistent and elongated maladministration, negligence, nepotism and corruption. The current state of the national carrier is a far cry from its glorious past, where tourists used to write rave reviews regarding its staff, service and in-flight entertainment. Ironically, PIA also provided training facilities to several airlines in the 1980s and played a noticeable role in their start of operations, none more so than modern day ...

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Is climate change impacting our mental health?

Numerous studies have been conducted in an attempt to gauge the adverse effects of climate on human development. One of the many unfortunate facets of climate change that are currently being explored is the impact it has on mental health, particularly with respect to that of our children and future generations. Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in natural disasters, owing to rapid climate change. A non-profit organisation, Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, looked at numerous studies and determined that there was a clear pattern which demonstrated climate change had resulted in weather related disasters becoming far ...

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Why are we not addressing the HIV epidemic seriously?

In April 2019, the media reported that there was a sudden rise in cases pertaining to human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) amongst the children of Rato Dero a small town in the backward province of Sindh. Unfortunately, this was only the tip of the iceberg.  During the next four months, a total of 30,192 people were screened for HIV, using WHO certified testing kits out of which 876 were found to be positive for HIV. Over 82% of those who tested positive were children. Dr Assai Ardakani, WHO Representative to Pakistan, speaking at an HIV awareness seminar, stated that over 85% ...

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Battling the human rights crisis in Kashmir 

It seems that PTI’s Kashmir narrative has, unfortunately lost some of its momentum on the international stage. The human rights struggle in Kashmir remains in limbo, as over eight million people in the region are still under a constant lock-down. The government’s policy in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been slightly marred by the lack of a subsequent follow through. Meanwhile, the Indian government has revealed the hidden demons of a society which is polarised beyond repair and a government which is furthering the religious divide in the country. The nation, already fragmented over claims of atrocities taking place inside its own geographic boundaries, has to be held responsible ...

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How Pakistan failed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

On November 20 1989, the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ was adopted by the United Nations, leading to the day coming to signify ‘World Children’s Day’ across the globe. The convention binds together countries and communities, a testament and a promise which states that children have the right to survive, live and develop; should be protected from violence, abuse and exploitation; and reserve the right to fully participate in the community that they are a part of. Yet, after 30 years, there is a dire need to revisit those principles in Pakistan. Despite the fact that Pakistan is a signatory to the ‘Convention on ...

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