With PTI now in power, will young doctors in Punjab finally be free of CIP?

Doctors in Pakistan have always managed to be a regular part of the headlines for debatable reasons. Besides facing career and image building challenges, the doctors community has also suffered at the hands of certain health policies, the infamous Central Induction Policy (CIP) being the most notable. The foregoing Punjab government claimed that only blue-eyed candidates were inducted in post-graduate training programs in public hospitals across the province. To end this putative monopoly and to establish a system based on merit, the former Punjab chief minister introduced the notorious CIP, which although was put forward in good faith but turned ...

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Is Saudi Arabia “taking over” Pakistan?

Earlier this year, when the election campaign in Pakistan was running at fever pitch, I found myself listening to an old classic by The Who. The song was Won’t Get Fooled Again and the line that got me pondering was “meet the old boss, same as the new boss”. I shuddered when I heard this line while watching parties push their candidates. It was literal horse-trading as politicians scrambled to capture the number of seats required to secure the government for themselves. We are barely a few months into the new government and people are already questioning and debating the current government’s decisions. For example, take the ...

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#MeToo, the cause of many sleepless nights for men

It’s been a year since the #MeToo movement took the world by surprise and storm, changing the way we see the world as brave voices unmasked the predators among us. But the past year has offered us all a mass of contradictions. On the one hand, countless women have spoken up and we’ve seen allegations against more famous men than ever before. However, at the same time, nothing concrete has happened. It’s almost as if women speaking up against men do not really achieve anything, as men always have each other’s backs, and more often than not sadly, women ...

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We can go to the IMF for loans all we want – it still won’t fix the economic crisis

With the rupee falling against the US dollar, the stock exchange crashing, and foreign currency reserves hitting a new low, it is not out of place to suggest that Imran Khan’s government has been unable to hold a firm grip over the economic crisis. They may have deteriorated the situation further with the hike in electricity and gas tariffs, which has badly affected the middle and lower middle class as the prices of essential commodities is also on the rise. Then, of course, there was the perpetual indecision over going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), only to finally ...

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Made in Pakistan: Why exporting apparel is the answer to Pakistan’s rising trade deficit

While buying a jacket from an international clothing brand in Pakistan, I was mildly surprised to find the tag ‘Made in Bangladesh’. Until recently, I was under the impression that these clothes were still manufactured in Pakistan. After all, we do export textile, which is simply raw fabric. Apparel is just one step ahead of textile, with value added to the fabric by converting it into readymade garments. Then why we are importing apparel from Bangladesh when we have a huge textile sector at home? And what lessons can our deteriorating economy learn from Bangladesh’s apparel exports? Due to a massive ...

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Because ‘court is no place for women’

For most female legal practitioners in Pakistan, sexism and misogyny are an unavoidable occupational hazard. It usually begins during their very first job interview when they are asked questions that no male employee is asked and are actively discouraged from pursuing a career that they have worked hard to earn a degree in. “We don’t encourage women to go to court,” is what a partner at one of the biggest law firms in Lahore told a female colleague of mine during a job interview. You could be the most eloquent orator that this country has ever seen, and they’d ...

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From ‘unity, faith, discipline’ to ‘faith, faith, faith’

“O, what a fall was there, my countrymen! Then I, and you, and all of us fell down, whilst bloody treason flourished over us…” These enduring words of Shakespeare describe best the cruel hand dealt to Pakistan, by internal and external forces alike. One is filled with an innate feeling of dejection when one observes how with the passage of time, our societal ethics and standards tumbled in almost all walks of life. Pakistan is amongst the few unfortunate countries that have regressed, not progressed, with time. Let us start with governance. We all have read the bleak history of the ...

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If PTI believes in democracy, asset declaration of public servants should be public knowledge

As per a report of Transparency International, it can be said without the risk of contradiction that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, unfortunately, does not enjoy a desirable position on the global list of countries in regards to corruption perceptions. For the year 2017, its survey shows that Pakistan ranks at 117 out of 180 countries. The present government of Pakistan has a greater responsibility to address this menace, especially since they have risen to power because they held the previous government accountable for their real or perceived corruption. But so far, they have not initiated anything in this regard. In my opinion, one ...

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Pakistan’s black economy: The case of curbing the non-filer

As the government is mulling over sustaining the curbs on non-filers to buy automobiles and property that costs over Rs500,000, the time is ripe to make a case against the non-filer category. Any scheme that is directed towards eliminating this category will undoubtedly face a strong backlash from the non-filers. They would probably argue that making everyone a filer is unnecessary in a country where 24.3% of the population is living below the poverty line; it would introduce unwanted hassle of documentation for businesses and it would waste their man-hours doing tax calculations. Moreover, it would incur costs of ...

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The good guns of Balochistan: Why fighters like Nawab Din Bugti dropped their pens and picked up guns

“No one likes to pick up a gun instead of a pen, until one is forced to save his family and honour,” Nawab Din Bugti, a guerrilla commander in the Bugti Aman Force (BAF) turned member of the Balochistan Levies, replied to a question about why he did not complete his education and picked up a gun instead. Nawab in the BAF A muscular man with a thick, black and curly moustache, though not very tall, Nawab talks with a smile on his face until he starts talking about his enemies, whom he recognises as the goons of ...

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