Stories about pakistan

Can Pakistan reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution?

The fourth industrial revolution or 4IR, for short, is altering human development through the advent of rapid-progressive technology. The Internet of Things (IoT), AI powered computers and big data are just some of the manifestations of this technological transformation. In simple terms, the 4IR is the amalgamation of the digital, physical and biological aspects of our daily lives. This was preceded by a digital revolution which primarily involved computers and information technology. What differentiates 4IR from its predecessor is the speed of the relevant technologies and its expansive effects on our day to day lives. Unfortunately, developing economies such as Pakistan ...

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Understanding Pakistan’s sexual harassment law – Part II

This article is part of a series which will try to answer several questions surrounding the law on sexual harassment in Pakistan. The aim is to allow people to understand what the legal regime on this issue is, how it works, and what needs to change. Read part one here. ~ In my previous article in this series I wrote about how section 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code makes sexual harassment a criminal offence. However, as I argued, structural patriarchy in terms of the court system and the police pose obstacles for victims of sexual harassment from coming forward. To conclude ...

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Hamza Ali Abbasi: The born again Muslim

A few days ago, actor Hamza Ali Abbasi shared a video on social media to announce his decision to quit show-business and pursue a form of Islamic activism instead. In the viral video, Abbasi narrated his personal journey stating that he went form being an atheist to a devout Muslim. Adopting a ‘philosophical’ tone, he spoke about his early youth and quest for understanding the “existential” questions which occupied his mind. He discussed how he had initially become an atheist because he had been unable to find satisfying answers to those questions at the time, but, later on, an engagement with science ...

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The liberal and the ‘liberally corrupt’

During Imran Khan’s recent outburst, when he mockingly mimicked Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, he referred to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman as a man who is not a liberal but is instead “liberally corrupt.” Calling an opponent corrupt is nothing new for Imran, however, being branded a liberal today is almost perceived as an affront. Thus, Bilawal swiftly tweeted and declared that he is not a liberal but a progressive and ideologically inclined individual, in his own words “taraki-pasand aur nazriyati.” This begs the question as to what is the barometre by which one gauges liberalism, and if both these leaders do ...

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A visiting Indian delegation opened my mind and heart

When all eyes were on Kartarpur Corridor’s landmark inauguration scheduled for November 9, a day before the main event (on November 8), a group of Indian journalists crossed into Pakistan via the Wagah Border. They were in Lahore to attend the opening ceremony of the corridor ahead of the 550th birthday of Baba Guru Nanak on November 12. Baba Guru Nanak is also respected among the Muslims of Pakistan because of his teachings on humanism and unity, and against separatism and barbarism.I was the part of a team tasked with hosting the Indian journalist delegation and it was a riveting experience ...

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Private healthcare in Pakistan – costly, unregulated and predatory

The former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar was not wrong when he said, “Only the rich have access to healthcare facilities in Pakistan.” Of the innumerable crises Pakistan is facing today, healthcare is probably one of the most serious ones. The right to healthcare is a basic human right of every citizen, enshrined in United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 12 of 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  Pakistan is a signatory to both. Yet, it has all but abdicated its responsibility in providing basic, let alone quality, healthcare to its citizens. There ...

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India’s Kashmir propaganda: A leaf out of Israel’s book – Part 2

This article is the second piece in a two part series which adopts a historical perspective in order to analyse just how closely India’s actions in Kashmir over the years have mirrored Israel’s policies in Palestine. Read part one here.  ~ Attempts to hide occupation, annexation and war crimes behind a shroud of ‘legality’ ‘The British gave us Palestine’ is a common Zionist refrain, citing the Balfour Declaration. Yet another example of brittle Hasbara backed only by powerful Zionist media influence, the 1917 Balfour Declaration held no legal validity since Palestine at the time Lord Balfour made his ‘promise’ to Lord Walter Rothschild ...

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How a garbage epidemic is choking the Baltoro Glacier

The northern part of Pakistan is known for its scenic beauty, tall mountains and cold climate. These very attributes have draw tourists from across the world to the region for more than a century. These visitors include those wishing to get away from the hustle bustle of the city as well as mountaineers and trekkers looking for adventure. Among the various attractions of this area, the Baltoro Glacier stands out prominently since, at 62 kilometres, not only is it the longest glacier outside the polar region but it also leads to Concordia, where Baltoro and Godwin Austin glaciers meet and ...

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Will imported tomatoes help tackle rising prices?

In an attempt to tackle the rising prices of vegetables and fruits in Pakistan, the government finally caved in on Wednesday and allowed for tomatoes to be imported from Iran. The Pakistani masses have been bearing the brunt of the nation’s economic woes, but that burden has been worsened recently after the prices of tomatoes began to rise due to faulty economic polices and bad weather which adversely impacted harvests. But perhaps this desperate reaction to reach to Iran for some much needed tomatoes was the result of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh’s, the prime minister’s financial adviser, much ridiculed gaffe earlier in the week. One ...

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Why is a bomb on display at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib?

The opening of the Kartarpur corridor represented a truly unique moment for a region which has suffered great tragedies and unbridled hostilities at the hands of national and religious prejudices. The manner in which the opening ceremony was conducted and the warmth with which Sikh pilgrims from across the border were welcomed into Pakistan represented the very ideals we as a nation should aspire towards – religious, ethnic and international inclusivity. It is therefore unfortunate that this site of tremendous religious significance is being used to tout a message which simply does not belong there and sticks out like a sore ...

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