Stories about Imran Khan

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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How to ensure access to education during the COVID-19 lockdown and beyond

As academic institutions close across the country, Pakistan’s already weak educational infrastructure has been thrust into yet another challenge. With pre-COVID-19 statistics indicating around 22 million out of school children, countless ghost schools, and an abyssal literacy rate, the closure of schools and postponement of examinations are significant disruptions. To mitigate this disaster, the government has announced the launch of education based television channels in collaboration with Pakistan Television (PTV) and other education service providers. This move would be the first step in the right direction, with future steps potentially leading to mobile applications that are engineered to work ...

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How to tackle increased domestic abuse during COVID-19

The fact that I am able to write this has a lot to do with my privilege to do so. As I write this, I sit on my dining table in the living room at home with my family members scattered in different corners; everyone is busy doing something or the other, without necessarily fearing nor contemplating whether our lives are at risk of domestic abuse. For some people, however, their home is not as safe of a place as it is for others. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unwavering impact on the increasing rate of domestic violence. ...

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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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Pakistan can’t afford a political crisis during a pandemic

Within a fragile and deceptively undulating ‘democratic’ landscape, politics and politicians in Pakistan have consistently maintained a rather adversarial character. In fact, at any given point in the erratic democratic history of the country, all leading national political parties have shown their tenacious adherence to adversarial politics. Perhaps, this is the only kind of mainstream politicking that party leaders are capable of doing in Pakistan. What unraveled in the wake of COVID-19 crisis was no different, a severely adamant inability of the country’s political leadership to conduct consensual politics. Spain or Senegal, no matter how rich or poor the economy, presently ...

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What someone with a disability wants Fayyaz Chohan to know

Savoyard philosopher, Joseph de Maistre has been quoted, saying, “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” Indeed, leaders do mirror the qualities of a nation. The intellect, gestures and mannerisms of men and women in power reflect a nation’s character and so, the civility of Pakistani society may be judged by the problematic mindset of a spokesperson that is supposed to represent the country’s most populous province. The subsequent apathetic response by the state also speaks volumes about the polluted ethos that characterises certain sections of our society. Thus, in light of the aforementioned sad state of affairs, I felt obliged to express ...

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On the front lines of the coronavirus battle: A Pakistani doctor’s tale

If we were in the middle of a military war, a media campaign against active-duty soldiers would be considered ‘distasteful’ at best, if not outright ‘seditious’. On March 16th, two doctors in Islamabad were shifted into isolation for treating a patient suspected of COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection. These doctors who put the patient on the ventilator were not equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). Basic PPEs may include face masks, surgical gloves, aprons, and gowns. In a different war, these doctors would have medals being pinned to their chest. But in this crucial war for public health and safety, such healthcare professionals ...

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The case for Imran Khan’s coronavirus speech

In most of my conversations about the political state of affairs in Pakistan, the consensus is often on two topics: a) critique of the performance of the Imran Khan-led government over the past few months, and b) an appreciation for Khan’s oratory skills after most, if not all, broadcasted speeches. In an age of populist politics, political divisiveness, online echo-chambers, there are few global leaders who have the unique capability to make people listen to them beyond the divides of politics, class, and religion. After listening to his speeches, I often go online and find people mentioning how they fall ...

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Lessons Pakistan should learn from America amidst the coronavirus panic buying

A few weeks ago, when the coronavirus was largely affecting mainland China, a friend of mine called me from Pakistan and complained about the sudden shortage of face-masks in Pakistan. He said, “We are a completely uncivilised society with no regard for any ethics or morals. You are lucky that you live in a morally upright nation (America).” At the time, I agreed with his assertion and thought that I could easily compare the two societies since I have spent a considerable amount of time in both the countries. Most of my personal as well as professional life was spent in ...

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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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