Stories about poor

Dots & Dashes: All hands on deck

This winter too shall pass and spring come, manifest in its verdure and blossom, but without the cheer for the human heart. Poverty’s ugly grin spreads wider every day on the nation’s face and does not sit well with the warm smile the season of renewal brings. In another month and a half when the yellow jasmine start blooming in Islamabad and herald the onset of spring, prices of essentials would have gone up another 10 to 15 per cent and gas and electricity supplies further depleted forcing the closures of small industrial units, expanding the area of national enclosure ...

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Suicide – an easy practice in Pakistan?

Being privileged enough to have access to a number of wire services, I stumbled upon a rather disturbing figure: There were at least 10 suicides this week across Pakistan according to these sources alone. The reasons for suicide were varied. A 22-year-old swallowed poisonous pills due to a domestic dispute, a young man took his life after killing two women and injuring four others over a matrimonial dispute, a security guard shooting himself within the limits of Bahadurabad police station because he wanted to marry someone, and a youth committing suicide after being reprimanded by his parents in Sahiwal. The reason ...

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Blasphemy: Intellectualising murder

A brilliant investigative reporter recently deduced that 94% of blasphemy cases have been filed against Muslims. Congratulations on your ability to do simple fractions. The blasphemy laws have indeed been used to target Muslims, Christians and Hindus. What is your point? According to this gentleman, a paltry 130 people are languishing in jail under the blasphemy laws. Only 130? I mean, come on! More people die of hunger everyday in Palestine. Down with liberal America-lovers who don’t care about Palestine! Moving on. “Now, let’s have a look at the status of these eight Christians. Again the official data shows that only three are on ...

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Govt vs NGOs: Recognising good work

As most of us move on with our lives, the struggle for our country’s IDPs is far from over. With pressing issues such as which of the Muslim leagues (N or Q) are more loyal towards the incumbent government, our media has conveniently deemed the floods non-newsworthy. And the government’s attitude is no better. However, it is the non-governmental organisations (NGO) of our country that need to be lauded for their consistent efforts to reach out to the IDPs and provide them the support and counselling they require. Recently, the head of Indus Resource Centre shared how a simple statement by an ...

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A case for elitism: We make the world a better place

A few days ago I read an opinion piece written by Sadaf Khan about the desi-elite bubble that she so eloquently was trying to burst. Sorry to say, but the effort was in vain because it made my foreign degree holding, excessive partying ‘elite’ bubble harder to burst and left me itching to voice my opinion. I do respect the fact that her blog had an opinion, which by reading most of the comments I noticed, was appreciated by several like-minded individuals. Since she already knows how we elitists have an opinion on each and every thing, it is only ...

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Guns and poppies in Sindh

There are powerful people who suddenly appear with lots of arms, all brand new, semi-automatic weapons, into villages like Buriro , in rural Dadu, Sindh. People, the poor villagers are asked to hand over the lands to them and just work as tillers and do what they are told . They are threatened with dire consequences and even death if they do not cooperate. The police looks away and a new crop is cultivated. I used to listen to a famous US rock and roll band named ‘Guns and Roses’. Now it seems Sindh has over the last two decades ...

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Two faces of the hypocrisy coin

Although it’s a common human trait (one of the most abundant natural commodities, individually and collectively) I try to focus on the society that I live in, and while focusing on my society, I try to scan it from both perspectives, the so-called conservative and the so-called liberal perspective. The so-called conservative Pakistani society is dominated by conservative factors. The overwhelming majority of the urban middle class, especially in Punjab, highly reveres the religious clergy and looks upon it for guidance. But as the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, the contractors of religion tend to degenerate into ...

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Power crisis: The road to impending doom

The nation faces a severe power crisis yet again, not entirely unanticipated, as summers draw to their summit. Because of the frequent outages and prolonged load shedding hours, the masses are already on the streets, violently recording their protest. The disruption has also adversely affected commercial activity and industrial production all around the nation and the losses have accumulated to deteriorate national economic indexes. The governmental policy of two-day weekends and the 8pm shutter down have not fared well as the masses continue to express their anger against such short-term measures. It has also pushed ground-level commercial actors, the shopkeepers, ...

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More is less when it comes to Faiz

The richness of Urdu language could easily be gauged from the brilliance of literature and poetry. At one time Urdu was my sole medium of expression. Then slowly and gradually, don’t know how English replaced Urdu but the sweetness of Urdu – that brings me back to it from time to time – remained unbeatable. However, there was one thing in school that always stole my peace and that was Urdu poetry. The cumbersome process of tashreeh and explanation of the poetic endeavors of the renowned poets for earning good grades in school was a tedious task. One couldn’t go beyond ...

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Plight of Punjab, plight of Pakistan

A protest movement by teachers and students’ unions, political and religious parties and community organisations across Punjab has been launched against the decision of the Punjab government to privatise 26 public sector colleges and to further the creation of a Board of Governors for the implementation of its decision. The board of Governors will comprise ten members including parliamentarians, experts from the education and social sector and a relevant commissioner who will head the board. This body will be independent to employ teachers, take managerial and administrative decisions and will be authorised to furnish projects. But how will students of poor ...

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