Stories about China

Justice in the time of corona (and after)

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic is a great reason for rethinking the provision of legal services and dispensation of justice in the country and rightfully so. The bar councils of their respective provinces in Pakistan have pushed for measures for the protection of its member lawyers, the judiciary, court staff and litigants who are having to appear in court for matters requiring or pending adjudication. Following suit, the honourable chief justices of their respective high courts, in their administrative capacity, have issued orders for enhanced measures to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.  Even though the ...

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How to get past the mismanagement of COVID-19 in Pakistan

Pakistan currently finds itself in a precarious situation – keeping itself afloat amidst a pandemic. The notion that the state is also inflicted with a fledgling economy, a weak healthcare infrastructure and a divided leadership, doesn’t do much to help the situation. In early February, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza chaired a meeting of the Coronavirus Emergency Core Group in Islamabad where he reassured the nation that sufficient measures had been put in place across healthcare institutions to prepare for an outbreak. However, at the time of writing, the number of cases has crossed ...

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Pakistan’s economic options during the coronavirus crisis

No matter what form of lockdown prevails in Pakistan, one thing is for sure, it will hurt the economy at large with the poorest households being affected the most. As the pandemic pushes the world towards a recession, thousands may lose jobs. According to the last census, a majority of our population, particularly those living in rural areas, earn around Rs 5,000 or less, which already greatly reduces the purchasing power of such households. Most daily wage labourers, both skilled and unskilled, are the most vulnerable and may slip further into destitution during the lockdown. Let us try and estimate ...

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Does coronavirus have a parasitic relationship with democratic systems?

“If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? … One option is the use of a military that’s able to plan and move.” The above-mentioned quote, although relevant and relatable in its content, is, in fact, a dated address, given by President George Bush 15 years ago. Since the Avian Flu of the 2000s, thematic concerns within the politics of outbreaks have not evolved a lot. Thus, equating a national health emergency to a state of war is not a semantic ...

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Sindh coronavirus lockdown: The unfamiliar sight of leaders, leading

We often see the chicken and the egg problem in political systems; chronically bad leaders and a cynical populace coexist in mutual contempt. In this scenario, if a leader tries to do good, the population is ill-equipped to recognise it because, like a snarling, abused street dog, it has known only ill treatment and neglect. Such has been the case in Karachi during the recent weeks. Unused to leaders leading or, indeed, fulfilling even the basic requirements of governance, Karachiites have been treated to the unfamiliar sight of the Sindh government taking proactive measures against the COVID-19 menace. From the prescient decision ...

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US, China and the peculiar race for the coronavirus vaccine

Usually competition among businesses benefits the consumers, but there are some that actually harm them. For example, there existed a severe competition and rivalry among the various American intelligence agencies before 9/11. The chief rivals were the CIA and the FBI. Both jealously guarded their secret intelligence that they refused to share with the other. Two of the 9/11 terrorists had arrived in Los Angeles in January 2000. The CIA knew of their presence in the country and also knew of their plans to do something nefarious. But it did not share those details with the FBI. We saw ...

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Should Pakistan be investing in carbon capture? – Part 2

This article is the second in a two part series which looks at Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and talks about the efficacy of using it to reduce our carbon footprint. Read part one here.   Public engagement with regards to the efficacy of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is important because it can mitigate the opposition to the development of the largely untapped technology. However, to achieve this, a greater and more meaningful collaboration between engineers, politicians and social scientists is required. Such meaningful interdisciplinary engagement will overcome the bias that may exist amongst various disciplines for the misunderstood carbon ...

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The scenario for Afghanistan after the US-Taliban deal

The tentative deal signed on February 29, 2020 between the United States (US) and the Afghan Taliban after almost two decades of war hinges on a successful execution of four main points. Firstly, America has to gradually withdraw its troops from Afghanistan over the next 14 months, with 5,600 troops to leave the country within 135 days. Secondly, the Taliban and the Afghan government (which was not a party to the deal) must open direct talks, which will be preceded by the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners currently held by the Afghan government and the release of 1,000 prisoners in Taliban captivity. Thirdly, the Taliban ...

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What helped me get through a coronavirus quarantine in France

Thousands of people around the world are either going into quarantine or self-isolation to minimise the potential spread of COVID-19. This includes those who have been isolated after testing positive for the infection and those who are suspected of contracting the virus after coming in contact with a carrier. The first group of Pakistanis who experienced quarantine were students caught in the crisis right at the start of its outbreak in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Their desperate calls for help through social media and electronic media provided the first glimpse of how daunting it can be to experience ...

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Should Pakistan instate a travel ban against coronavirus emergent regions?

In its final year in office, the current Trump administration has instated a 30-day travel ban extending to Europe and to its ally the United Kingdom (UK), supplementing the already existing bans on China and South Korea. Blaming the large number of new clusters in the United States (US) as a result of travel from Europe, President Donald Trump moved to present a resolute US front against the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared to be a global pandemic. On the other side of the Atlantic, here in the UK, Prime Minister ...

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