Stories about Pakistani government

Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness (and cheap CNG)

Fifty years after the discovery of then-one-of-the-largest-natural-gas-fields, the people of Pakistan wait in endless lines and go from one station to another for re-fuelling their CNG tanks or switch on and switch off their stoves in anticipation of a flicker. The energy which was supposed to illuminate has become the source of a dark tug of war between different stakeholders. Discovery of natural resources can have a very beneficial effect on society (Norway) or may result in civil war (Angola). Our outcome will depend on efficient management of these resources. In our case, availability of natural gas has tremendously benefited a sizeable section of society ...

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Pakistan’s consulate in Dubai continues to make Pakistani expats suffer

On November 2, Gulf News ran a report about the problems being faced by the Pakistani expat community in Dubai due to the delay in processing of passports by the Pakistan consulate in Dubai. This report came a day after my brother was rudely turned away by the officials at the same consulate when he went to apply for the passport of his new born daughter. He was told to drive 150 kms to Abu Dhabi and apply for his daughter’s passport at the consulate there because the Dubai consulate had stopped accepting any new passport applications as it already had a backlog of over ...

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Kasab coverage in the Indian media

Unlike the Pakistani media that reported the hanging of Ajmal Kasab sparingly, the Indian media featured the story very prominently all day yesterday. I can vouch for the fact that for Indian television and online journalists it was a busy field day. Literally, all angles of the story were covered – the actual hanging, the mercy petition, 26/11 survivors, 26/11 martyrs and Kasab’s last wish. One of the reasons that got many elders in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi to watch television news was the invincible dumbing down spirit that India TV, a 24 hour Hindi news channel, exhibits time and again. ...

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Public transport woes

I like travelling by public transportation. It’s an entirely subjective declaration for which I don’t find a lot of support. A major part of my public transport experience is based on intra- and inter-city travel in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The public transit system here, much like everywhere else in Pakistan, is not run by the government. Rather, it’s owned and operated by private transporters. I’ve been a commuter for almost seven years now. I still try to travel by public transport every chance I get. I have my reasons. The most common form of public transport in the twin cities is the ...

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Obama or Romney, Pakistan must make its own decisions!

Pakistan has always kept a special place in my heart. It is a place that I’ve studied intently throughout my studies, both at the university and post-graduate level here in the United States, and even more so as a journalist. But, my real education on the country has not come in the classroom under the tutelage of proclaimed experts but, rather, it has come from Pakistanis themselves. Over the course of more than five years of study, I have spoken with countless Pakistani students, journalists and academics, all either Pakistani-Americans or Pakistani nationals, and what I have learned as an outside ...

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The Baldia Town factory fire was not pre-meditated murder!

Is it a crime that someone in Pakistan generates Rs2 billion in annual revenues? If this said person pays taxes worth Rs20 million per year, why is he implicated under section 302, which is premeditated murder, if his factory faces an accident? Is it fair that a person providing direct employment to 1,200 workers, translating into 1,200 families, whose factory suffers from an unanticipated fire, is sent to jail along with his gatekeeper, accountant and senior staff? Who benefits from the fact that the owners are in jail today? And what happens to the 900 workers who are depending on finances from ...

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Invest in our children today, see them bring ideals to life tomorrow

In 1995, 12-year-old Iqbal Masih was murdered by a ‘carpet-mafia’ after having escaped from bonded labour. At the age of four, Masih was forced into child labour at a carpet factory after his mother could afford nothing else. When he ran away at the age of 10, his story was picked up by the international media and he soon became a worldwide symbol for the fight against child labour. Even after his death, Masih’s bravery, especially as someone who came from a difficult background, still lingers in the world. I happened to come across an anti-child labour protest around his ...

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We play the blame game while the Balochi’s suffer, why?

Balochistan is a gateway for the development of Pakistan. The treasures hidden here, if unearthed and utilised properly, can bring prosperity and help overcome the woes of both Pakistan and its people. The enemies of Pakistan are aware of this and through different tactics — kidnappings, killings and terrorist attacks — are fuelling lawlessness in the province. Their actions have sowed hatred among the Baloch people. All this did not happen overnight but took years, rather decades. It is a testament to the failure of our power hungry rulers, whether they are in the center or in the provinces. Not one ...

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Increasing call rates to Pakistan is plain cruelty

The recent increase in the calling rates for incoming calls to Pakistan has come as a rude shock to many overseas Pakistanis for several reasons. Firstly because there was no prior announcement of this revision in rates and secondly because the rate of increase which ranges between 300% to 800% is beyond anybody’s comprehension. It is being reported that this big increase is a result of the PTA’s decision to implement the International Clearing House (ICH) and is claimed to reduce illegal calls to Pakistan. This government has now become notorious for its illogical and poorly advised decisions but this increase in ...

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Political aims of the public: Know your civic responsibilities first

For most of us, politics is a dirty game of false promises on the part of the leadership. It is used to routinely obscure laws that protect the corrupt and shows the extreme ignorance of politicians. We have certain parameters set in our minds – so and so will be voted for, so and so will be ousted but the same faces will return again. Henceforth, and sadly enough, ‘us’ as a nation and ‘we’ the public, limit our ‘political’ responsibility to casting a vote and critically examining events for the next five (or ten) years, depending on who ascends the ...

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