Stories about donations

First the dam fund, now the ‘Lets Clean Karachi’ fund – what do we pay taxes for?

Two teenagers were riding a donkey cart full of garbage they had collected from houses towards a garbage dump located behind a ground known as Eid Gah in Karachi’s Gulberg Town. After reaching the spot, the boys emptied the garbage and the horrid smell forces passers-by’s to cover their noses.  Every month, representatives from a local governing body collect Rs100 from each house in Gulberg Town for the facilitation of garbage disposal. However, the waste material is neither disposed of nor is it recycled properly. Ultimately, no one knows where the money that had been collected from the pockets of ...

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3 lessons Pakistani politicians can learn from Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders announced his second shot at the presidency of the United States last Tuesday. In 2016, he lost to the then-candidate Hillary Clinton in a close contest that pitted ‘big money’ against ‘big people’. Later it was discovered that the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the organisation that oversees the nomination of the Democratic party, had heavily favoured Clinton when they were supposed to stay neutral. This left a sense of unfinished business for Sanders’ supporters who felt cheated by the DNC. Big money won that time, but this time it’s different. After announcing his run for presidency, Sanders has ...

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Stop globetrotting and look towards your IDPs this Eid, Mr Prime Minister

Last year, they were celebrating Eid in the comfort of their respective homes, surrounded by friends and family. This year, they will have to make do with whatever they can in their camps. Last year, they had new clothes to wear and new toys to play with. This year, the children will find themselves lingering around camps, not really sure of what to do. Many might not even be aware that it is Eid. Such is the plight of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan. Imran Khan announced that he will spend his Eid day with the IDPs. Although this is a great ...

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For IDPs, the light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train coming their way

The much-awaited operation to clean the north western part of the country has finally started. It will hopefully rid us of the disease that has infected our country and as a result, the locals will hopefully be able to live without the constant fear of militants and hovering drones. However, due to the intensity of the operation, residents have been forced to leave their homes and live as refugees in camps in their own country; camps that are merely making ends meet for them. Hussein Khan, once a resident of Mir Ali in North Waziristan and now living in the Bannu refugee ...

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Caught between conspiracies

Members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have decided to show solidarity with their leader, Altaf Hussain, by demonstrating their street power on May 25, 2014 in Karachi. The MQM chief has been under investigation, for money laundering charges, in London for nearly a year now. Though the UK authorities have been unable to prove the charges with substantial evidence, for the time being, Altaf’s accounts have been frozen. Like any other political party, MQM’s major source of income is through donations, which it collects from its supporters locally and around the globe. Altaf  Hussain, the party chief who moved to ...

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An open letter to the Sindh Chief Minister: Tharparkar needs you, Sir

Dear Sir, I wonder how you sleep at night, because I am, honestly, having a tough time sleeping peacefully these days. I have visited Tharparkar a few times. And every time I came back, it took me a long time to get the images of Tharparkar out of my system. You and your government, Sir, have visited one too many times. These people have voted for you and trusted you. I wonder how you get those images out of your system. I will not be unfair. So I have to say that visits to interior Sindh have told me enough to say ...

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When a mother has a son like you

He was 37; she was 18. They had known each other for just one year. She was a nurse in the dispensary run by him. Today, they are getting married in a simple ceremony. Rejected by seven girls a decade earlier, he had given up on the idea of marriage. But couples are made in heaven and this young nurse was the perfect bride for him. A fateful wedding night: After the function was over, they were heading home. I was somehow able to go along, invisible. They were near their dispensary just to check if anyone was waiting for medical ...

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How the One Rupee Project can help literacy

The One Rupee Project is an idea that provides a clear vision of making a self-sustainable Pakistan. The movement was started by Sarosh Waiz and some of his friends in an effort to help the sectors of education, skill development and entrepreneurship in Pakistan. The idea behind this movement is that a small donation given on a regular basis can make a big change. It thus, seeks a contribution of just one rupee a day, which will add up to Rs365 per year per person. This means that initially, if only 100,000 people are approached, the minimum funds generated will be Rs36,500,000. This sizeable sum ...

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Party campaigns: Where does their money come from?

Nearly all of us spend hours debating what our country needs, and almost every time we end up with the same list of priorities; education, eradication of corruption, job opportunities and other such basics. While I do agree that we require the above mentioned things, I also think that there is something else that we need on an urgent basis in our political system and which no one seems to be talking about it; campaign finance reforms. Even though it is the giant elephant in the room, I find it surprising that I have never come across a single discussion on it. For those ...

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Don’t close hearts because of Shamsul Anwar

The story ‘Waiting to receive pieces of daughter’s dead body’ aroused a series of vacillating emotions. Shock and horror washed upon the public after hearing Shamsul Anwar’s heart-wrenching and soul-shattering story, affecting everyone who heard of or read it. People lost sleep over the desperate father’s horrific state and many even reached out to help him as much as they could. Those emotions were then replaced by more shock, but this time layered with deceit and betrayal as it was revealed that Shamsul Anwar’s story was untrue. Aside from pointing out the obvious negligence and shoddy efforts of proper research on ...

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