Stories about pakistan

The curious case of Pakistan’s dependence on Indian pharmaceuticals

As relations between India and Pakistan soured as a result of the Kashmir crisis, Pakistan stopped all trade with India. Some even went so far as to prophesise that this in turn would wreak havoc for the Indian economy. It appears that such measures are usually taken in a sudden burst of nationalist fervour, and usually ignore Pakistan’s economic realities. The simple truth of the matter is that many sectors in the country are unable to sustain themselves on domestic products alone; case in point the lifting of the ban on Indian pharmaceuticals.  Under Imran Khan’s orders, Pakistan had suspended all ...

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Property for sale, unless you are a non-Muslim

It is no secret that Pakistan has an abysmal record when it comes to protecting religious minorities and ensuring that their rights are safeguarded. But legislation and government action can only do so much; ultimately, it is the attitude of the masses which will determine whether we as a nation wish to protect religious plurality or not. Thus far, that seems rather unlikely. A torrential downpour of blasphemy cases, forced conversions and the fleeing of religious minority groups from Pakisatn has only led to the increasing marginalisation of those who belong to a religious minority in the country. There is however a ...

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Who will emerge on top after Afghanistan’s elections?

Amidst growing fears of violence during the elections, the people of Afghanistan will head to the polls September 28th to decide their future president. A country which has been riddled with war, tenuous stalemates, and terror since the Soviet invasion, finds itself having to now contend with an uncertain future because of the resurgence of the Taliban. The knife’s edge on which Afghanistan is precariously balancing at the moment received another shock recently when talks between the United States (US) and the Taliban collapsed. Donald Trump’s pledge to pull US troops out of Afghanistan seems to have fallen by ...

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The day climate change finally made it to the front page in Pakistan

Before September 20th, the last time I marched for the climate was a decade ago outside the venue of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. It was a cold, dark day and there had been skirmishes with the Danish police. It was a depressing march and as protestors huddled around bonfires made of banners, I thought it a fitting end to a summit that had failed to deliver a climate deal. The world had not come together to cut carbon emissions as we had all hoped. In fact, key governments bought themselves a few more years until the Paris Agreement. ...

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Where does Imran stand in the Trump-Modi bromance?

“Houston, we have a problem.” Well, not really. It’s more like, “Pakistan, you have a Modi problem.” The ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event, touted as a celebration of the culture and unity of America and India, was nothing less than a grand advertisement and exhibition of the Donald Trump-Narendra Modi bromance – the likes of which one has hardly ever seen before. The gathering that managed to bring almost 50,000 people to the NRG Football Stadium in Houston, Texas was a radical development on so many different levels. The attendance of luminaries from all sides of the political spectrum – Ted Cruz, ...

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Spilling tea with Shah Mehmood Qureshi: India, Kashmir and the looming ‘accidental’ war

On an unusually warm Sunday afternoon for late September, the lobby of the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) owned Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan is abuzz with Pakistani diplomats and American dignitaries; including Senator Lindsey Graham and Zalmay Khalilzad, the architect of the American-Taliban peace deal. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi are also in New York City for a packed week of diplomacy, with a particular focus on mission Kashmir, in the build up to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings. On the eighth floor of the Roosevelt, I sat down for an exclusive interview with ...

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Is culling dogs the solution to Sindh’s rabies crisis?

Twelve-year-old Mir Hassan Abro died in the arms of his helpless mother last week because the hospital where he went for his treatment had no anti-rabies vaccines available. While Abro’s death is only the latest incident representing the poor state of affairs in Pakistan’s healthcare sector, it is also a stark reminder of the sheer volume of rabies cases which Sindh is afflicted with. The shortage of anti-rabies vaccines continues to compound and further aggravate a problem which could be resolved if the state and the provincial governments ensured that hospitals in Sindh were better equipped to deal with the growing number ...

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It took 14 years, and a tweet, to finally recognise Pakistan’s first female umpire

It’s strange that when we talk about a certain sport, the first entity we think about is the player, not acknowledging the set-up that gives that person the status of a player. This set-up includes the management, ground staff, the scorer and even people who serve drinks, each role an important part of a player’s career. It’s never the effort of one individual, it’s always team work.  While watching matches, how many of us take the time to feel the pain of team members who get overshadowed by the players and the game itself. Despite being a fan of sports and ...

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Will the people of Kashmir accept India’s version of ‘normal’?

The word ‘normalcy’ is the most used and abused term in India today. Never before has this nation been so obsessed with these three syllables. Forty five days after the revocation of Article 370, Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) still remains paralysed, the majority of political leaders are in detention, civil society activists are under scrutiny, and the media has been asked to become the handmaid of the government. Under this backdrop last week, while hearing petitions filed with regards to the situation in Kashmir, the Indian Supreme Court asked the state to “restore normalcy” in the region as soon as possible. ...

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Forcing schoolgirls to wear an abaya is not the solution to harassment

The clothes that women wear in Pakistan have never been a matter of sartorial preferences or aesthetics alone. The length of the kameez, to the donning of the hijab itself has always been at the heart of a debate that encompasses matters as diverse as gender politics and women’s rights to female visibility and reclamation of public spaces. Even in Pakistani dramas, the morally upright woman is always shown to be dressed ‘modestly’ while the one who is ‘morally loose’ will be shown wearing jeans or a top. Therefore, on the face of it, the Haripur district’s education office’s decision ...

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