Why the struggle for a secular Pakistan was doomed from the very beginning

Pakistan has always tried to portray itself as a beacon of moderate Islam. However, the fact of the matter is, Pakistan at present stands at the cusp of becoming a populist theocracy. After his victory in the 2018 elections, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted his intention to restore the country to the glory of ‘Riyast-e-Madina’ during the time of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Slogans currently being raised by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are somewhat similar to what the All India Muslim League propagated during the movement for independence; creating a state which gives Muslims supremacy. Therefore, campaigning in the name ...

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How an education campaign in Balochistan is doing what the state failed to do

The failure of the Pakistan government to ensure access to quality education for the people of Balochistan has already been well documented. While it may well be tempting to harp on about the repeated shortcomings on part of the state to establish a reliable education system from which the residents of Balochistan can benefit, it is perhaps equally important to shed light upon those individuals who have made it their life’s mission to do what the state has failed to do for years – provide quality education to the children of Balochistan. One such initiative is the Balochistan Education System (BES) ...

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Hooz Noor: Another reminder that we continue to fail our children

The sexual assault and subsequent murder of children in Pakistan has become a pandemic of biblical proportions. It is actively haunting the society and posing a significant challenge for the government. People expect law enforcement agencies to address the situation, but are they themselves ready to take responsibility and actively enact long lasting social measures that will protect our children? Recently, yet another spine chilling and gruesome incident of rape and murder was reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Nowshera district. This time, the victim was eight-year-old Hooz Noor. The assailants were identified and captured by the locals after which a ...

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Was Imran Khan’s Davos trip a success or a failure?

Nestled in the snowy Alps of Switzerland lies a quaint town that plays host to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting. For fifty years, Davos has provided a platform for the world’s political leaders, economists, academics, journalists and corporations to come together to accomplish an impossible task: “improving the state of the world”. From the outside, Davos seems like yet another stomping ground for the global elite. Their onerous mission entails a discussion on the eternal conundrums of economic inequality, political instability and social development. Members of civil society mingle with the heads of powerful organisations to shape ...

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How Pakistan’s fashion industry is polluting the environment

Modern day fashion retailers have adopted the phenomenon of ‘fast fashion,’ which is characterised by the quick turnover of designs that move at breakneck speed from the ramp to the stores and eventually, into the garbage bin. Retailers aim to increase profits by focusing on key elements of the supply chain with an emphasis on increased manufacturing speed at lower costs. The concept of fast fashion has resulted in a changing industry dynamic that boasts a quick response ideology that has inculcated the capacity and ability of retail brands to generate quick merchandise turnover. A popular Spanish retailer that has ...

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How long will Pakistan continue to ignore forced conversions?

The news of young non-Muslim girls being made to convert to Islam seems to have become a daily occurrence in Pakistan. Just last week, a young Hindu girl was kidnapped in Jacobabad and her family stated that this was done in an attempt to convert her to Islam. Yet, quite often these cases simply slip between the cracks and into the abyss which houses the various human rights abuses that plague Pakistan. One incident which grabbed the media headlines last year was that of two sisters from Ghotki, who were reportedly abducted and forced to convert to Islam. However, later ...

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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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How locusts and water scarcity are destroying Sindh’s crops

In the village of Lass, located in Tharparkar, Muhammad Essa Lund and his family reach their agricultural land at dawn. They bring their kitchenware along with them, which they use to drive locusts out of their fields. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident and represents the tragic tale of almost everyone who owns a piece of agricultural land in this region. Due to the locust invasion, the only primary school in the area has been closed down, labourers have been unable to travel to nearby cities for work, patients have had to postpone their visits to the local dispensaries, and shepherds have been unable to ...

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Is being a lawyer in Pakistan contingent upon one’s faith?

As Muslims, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we treat non-Muslims residing in Pakistan fairly and with dignity and respect. It is therefore imperative that we safeguard the rights granted and guaranteed to them by both Islam and the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Unfortunately, we have collectively continued to do the very opposite of this, thereby actively violating not only the injunctions of Islam, but also the vision of our founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. However, before divulging on the disservice we are doing to Jinnah’s legacy, we must reflect upon the important role our ...

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MQM-P continues to play a dangerous game of political charades

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) has played a very indecisive role in the country’s political scenario during the recent years. Their endless charade of intermittently joining and leaving their coalition partners continues to this day. Recently, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi resigned from his cabinet position, stating that the ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) had failed to fulfil its promises. While Siddiqi cited PTI’s lack of interest in the development of Karachi as the primary reason for his resignation, he did not ask his party colleague and incumbent law minister, Barrister Farogh Naseem to resign with him. In fact, Siddiqi, in a presser, said ...

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