Stories about private sector

Talking dirty: It’s 2018 and Pakistan still does not have proper sanitation

Access to clean and safe public toilets is one of the major factors that affects women’s mobility but it is sadly not given enough attention. There aren’t enough public toilets available in the country and those that are available are in horrible conditions. Majority of public spaces do not have toilets at all and even when they do, there isn’t a separate one for women. For example, Faizabad, Swan and PirWadhai are three major bus stops and cater to around 1,000 passengers on a daily bases. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a separate toilet for women in any of ...

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Is the road to development leading Multan somewhere else?

For centuries, Multan has stayed true to its reputation as the land of graveyards and beggars, heat and dust. Despite the sprawling mango orchards across the district, the terrain retains a semi-arid feel, a situation that only promises to get worse in the face of looming water scarcity and unscientific crop management. If tree cover in the country, in general, is significantly less than ideal, it is critically low in the Upper Indus Plain comprising southern Punjab. For decades, Pakistan’s ruling elite have favoured one mode of development above all else; build roads and prosperity will follow. From local politicians to national leaders, ...

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Islamabad is NOT a city you would like to move to, trust me

To millions of Pakistanis, Islamabad is a city they would like to move to. The assumption is, it being the nation’s capital, it will naturally be blessed with luxuries their lives have been spent dreaming about; such as uninterrupted supply of basic utilities such as water, gas, and electricity. Most importantly, a peaceful environment. In the past 10 years, successive governments have tried to make up for the disparity. No, not by lifting the standard of living of people in the rest of the country up, but by letting the capital residents down too. Even in the posh areas of the federal ...

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In Pakistan, ‘tabdeeli aa gaye hai’

I recently returned from a two week research trip to Pakistan. While travelling through different cities and meeting government officials, former senior military officers, and people from the academia; I was surprised to see how Pakistan has changed so positively in many aspects. One of the things that have changed drastically is how those in the government, as well as politicians, have embraced modern day methods of communication. Till a couple of years ago, contacting government officials via email was thought to be waste of time because it did not fit well with the political tradition, which was failing to keep up ...

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I refuse to observe Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death anniversary

It’s April 4th today, which marks Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s 36th death anniversary in Pakistan. And for many, it is the day their supreme leader, their democratic prime minister, their charismatic upholder of human rights was wrongfully executed by a dictatorial regime. However, this is not everyone’s view. No doubt that Bhutto was a force to be reckoned with. He started the culture of street mobilisation (rallies), his passionate speeches made people listen to him and understand democracy – his version of it, anyway – and he gained votes from the two most populated provinces in Pakistan – Sindh and Punjab. But does Pakistan comprise of just ...

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Privatise this, privatise that – just make me rich!

I look around my house searching for items I can sell and make a quick buck. I come across some furniture that needs fresh coats of polish before I can even present it for sale. This requires too much effort! Why don’t I just sell that antique painting that has been hanging in the drawing room for years? This is effortless and is guaranteed to bring me a truck load of cash. As it is, I just have five hours to make money! If I think like this, then it should not be a surprise that our Privatisation Commission (PC) operates in ...

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The story of Pakistan: I am a dreamer but I am not the only one

We, Pakistanis, are full of dreamers. I say this not just as an expression but after observing it myself. While on my trip to the countryside, I came across many stories and dreams, and I found each story unique in its own way. Here are a few of the dreamers I met along the way… Photo: Salman Javed This is an 11-year-old boy and a proud shepherd. His household income depends on the cattle he grazes. He seemed like a very pleasant child. During our conversation, I found out that he wished to attend school, become a doctor, own ...

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Can the banking sector help Pakistan’s education crisis?

Pakistan is going through an economic crisis. It has been years since the nation has been suffering. For more than 60 years, the nation has put up with different politicians and military dictators. We have no one but ourselves to blame. We are the one who welcomed each of these rulers as our saviours. Despite all of these governing problems, we see that the private sector has sustained itself, and is growing no matter what the circumstances may be. A recent study shows that large private sector organisations can impact the country’s GDP by working on becoming more efficient and improving ...

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What Anusha Rehman should do for Information and Communication Technology

PML-N has done well to appoint Anusha Rehman as the new IT minister. She has already been part of the national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) domain and what a marvelous opportunity she is looking at now – an opportunity to create thousands of jobs, help provide education, health and other government services at the doorsteps of millions of Pakistanis, increase software and services related exports by tens of millions of dollars, and generally catapult Pakistan to the 21st century! As an ICT professional, with 35 years in the field, I venture to say what the government should now do with ...

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The government cannot do everything for you

It is a paradox that I have failed to understand: Pakistanis tend to hate their government, think of it as corrupt and incompetent, but at the same time, we feel that the government should do absolutely everything for us. The average Pakistani sees absolutely nothing wrong with the idea of the government setting prices in energy and agriculture. They see nothing wrong with the government blatantly discriminating against some industries by giving others preferential treatment in the tax code and regulatory structure. And most people do not seem to have a problem with the fact that the government owns vast swathes ...

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