Stories about pakistan

We are fighting to protect India’s soul from a majoritarian regime

There were many question marks surrounding Narendra Modi when he was making a bid to become prime minister of India back in 2014. Would he be able to devote his attention towards the development of the country? Would his slogan ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ (together with all and development for all) translate into a reality? At the time, many went against their instincts and voted for him, confident that his past would not hinder the construction of a new beginning in Delhi. But few could have foreseen the dark turn the Modi regime would take in the years to come. Sometimes our worst fears really become a reality, and India today ...

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How can local MSMEs tap into the international market?

Although the importance of micro small medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) cannot be overstated, one is also forced to admit that creating an enterprise that contributes to the export potential of a country is a daunting task, especially for individuals. The prevalent culture involves importing goods from China and selling them locally at a premium price. Selling imported products in the local market is an easy and safe option primarily because foreign countries are facilitating the export of their goods through logistical support and secure payment mechanisms. Therefore, foreign goods are practically delivered at the doorstep of Pakistani businesses at ...

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How the obstacles to women’s mobility are crippling Pakistan

While the gender disparity which plagues Pakistan is by no means undocumented, perhaps the true extent of this gulf escapes us on a daily basis. The disparity becomes particularly stark when it is placed in a global context, as illustrated in the recently released report by the World Economic Forum titled the ‘Global Gender Gap Index 2018.’ According to the report, Pakistan is the second-worst country in the world when it comes to gender disparity, a title which should make it apparent that drastic reforms are needed in the country if we truly wish to become a nation which provides ...

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Corruption in Pakistan is not limited to politicians

In our society, corruption is commonly understood to be the giving or taking of money to commit an illegal act which furthers the interests of the payer and lines the pockets of the payee. It is also usually implicit that such interests are furthered at the expense of someone else’s or the state’s benefit. The bribe can be conveyed in the form of cash or an object of significant monetary value. Another generally accepted feature of financial corruption is that the recipients of bribes are persons in authority such as government functionaries or office bearers in non-government organisations or ...

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How effectively is Pakistan tackling the climate crisis?  

As Pakistan continues to grapple with the climate crisis, it is increasingly important that we as a nation turn our sights towards the future. As environmental lawyer Sara Hayat informed me, “Planting trees has huge benefits for the soil, air pollution, livelihoods of people. However, the tree tsunami must be supplemented by policy measures that curb global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the source. Carbon sinks are useless if no mitigation measures are being prioritised. Furthermore, Pakistan has the highest deforestation rate in the world per a Lahore High Court judgment. Don’t plant trees if you’re going to keep cutting them ...

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Locked wheelchairs: A look into Balochistan’s dilapidated healthcare system

“The wheelchairs are locked!” exclaimed one of the employees of Quetta’s dilapidated Civil Hospital as my ailing grandmother desperately waited in the car parked outside the medical superintendent’s (MS) office at the hospital. In a state of panic, we started running in search of a wheelchair or a stretcher so that we could take her to the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) ward but we failed to locate either. When we tried to reason with the employee again, he lamented that the staff is forced put everything under lock and key since people end up taking wheel chairs home with them. I ...

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How many times will Pakistan fall victim to mob mentality?

“But what is liberty without wisdom? And without virtue? It is the greatest of all evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.” These words of Edmund Burke, the 17th century statesman and member of the British Parliament, circled in my head while watching the horrifying images and depressing accounts of what transpired in Lahore on December 11th. At least three people died after a protest by a group of lawyers at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) turned violent; hospital property was vandalised, attendants tending to their patients were thrashed, a police van was set ablaze, ...

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Why are we not addressing the HIV epidemic seriously?

In April 2019, the media reported that there was a sudden rise in cases pertaining to human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) amongst the children of Rato Dero a small town in the backward province of Sindh. Unfortunately, this was only the tip of the iceberg.  During the next four months, a total of 30,192 people were screened for HIV, using WHO certified testing kits out of which 876 were found to be positive for HIV. Over 82% of those who tested positive were children. Dr Assai Ardakani, WHO Representative to Pakistan, speaking at an HIV awareness seminar, stated that over 85% ...

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Is geography the primary determinant of foreign policy?

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If you know a country’s geography, you can understand and predict its foreign policy said.” If we view the modern world through a lens of realism, we will notice that every nation-state is acting to ensure its survival. Principles of idealism can only exist in countries where national interests do not collide with the interests of powerful international actors. Major global events of the last decade indicate that Morgenthau’s and Mearsheimer’s realism has indeed prevailed. Throughout this article, I shall attempt to prove how the foreign policies of world players have revolved around their geographical placement. Western analysts portray ...

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Busting myths about water scarcity in Pakistan

By 2050, 5.7 billion people could be living in areas with severe water scarcity at least a month a year – that means almost six out of 10 people could be suffering from water shortages. This alarming report by the United Nations, presented last year, led to some much needed dialogue among world leaders. However, it has resulted in little change, and a nuanced discussion about water scarcity is often marred by the prevalence of certain myths regarding the water crisis in Pakistan, and around the world. For instance, many in Pakistan believe that desalination is the ultimate remedy which will cure water shortages ...

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