Stories about project

‘Metronomics’ in Lahore: We may be heading for an ‘F’

What brings economic progress to a country? Social scientists have argued for good institutions, trade-suited geographical placement, favourable climatic conditions, cultural homogeneity among a country’s peoples, and – lo and behold – even their superior genetic makeup. Yet, no sociologist has suggested relegating the laws of economics to history’s waste bin. Endowments of nature (such as those listed above) are important indeed, but their apt utilisation (good economics) is much more important. Fiscally speaking, any new project a public official decides to pursue needs a thorough pre-evaluation by experts. Economists have tools to compare a given project’s usefulness to other potential ones. ...

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The US war on Afghanistan is over. Syria is the new project

“He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties….” You might be thinking that this is an excerpt from an Obama press conference citing the reasons for a strike against Bashar al Assad’s Syria. Yet, these words were spoken by George W Bush at the United Nations on 13 September 2002, and the above quote ends with…, “Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.” Some things never change. With the UN weapons inspectors pulling out of Syria with the “possible” evidence of chemical attacks, it ...

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Young global leaders: What it means to the common man

An author from Counterpunch says,  “After all, despite the pretentious claims of improving the state of the world, Davos is really little more than a posh mountain retreat held for global elites hell-bent on preserving their own privileged class positions.” Likewise, YGL is about picking leaders who will perpetuate the inequities of the world through an anti-poor economic order governed by neo liberal philosophy of privatisation, taking subsidies away from the poor, and making the world an association of large global malls and corporations. Thus the question is wrong. “Do the four chosen from Pakistan (Maryam Nawaz, documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, founder ...

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Metro Bus Service: A loud, proud day for Lahore?

Every day for four weeks, I have slept to the sound of traffic in Lahore. And I wake up to it, every single day. The blaring of horns of which there are variations you could possibly never imagine or encounter, emanating from vehicles, motorbikes, rickshaws and modes of transportation unimaginable too, form a stream of noises which become firmly rooted in your subconscious, many say.  So far, not for me.  I wince, sometimes even curse when I am alone and long for these weeks to be over so I can wake up in my serene neighbourhood, back in Chicago. And for ...

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Lahore Metro Bus Service: A major step in Pakistan’s public transport

Lahoris, the wait is finally over!  The complicated and tiring ordeal that we were all experiencing for eleven months has finally met its end. Yes, I’m talking about the completion of the revolutionary metro bus system in Lahore. The Metro Bus Project is a monumental achievement for the Punjab government which is going to change the traffic culture of Lahore forever. Taking detours and looking for shorter diversions had become part of every Lahori’s life in the last one year. Because of the construction of many underpasses, flyovers and bus tracks, it would take people forty minutes to cover a distance which ...

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General elections and Rawalpindi

The general elections are around the corner. Although an actual date for the elections has not been announced by the government, every politician is trying to complete development projects in his/her constituency. As a resident of the federal capital, when I look towards neighbouring Rawalpindi, I see elected officials in every constituency focusing on development projects. The urban parts of the city seem to have emerged as a major hub of the PML-N, which is probably because the Punjab government has executed a number of important development projects there since coming to power. Sometimes, being a resident of Islamabad, I cannot help ...

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Not so soon Karachi

If the laptop scheme by Shahbaz Sharif was a ‘four’, the completion of Lahore’s Rapid Bus Transit System is a ‘sixer’, that too, on a no-ball. Around a week before the maiden transit system was to be inaugurated, TV channels started flashing footages of the city’s newest achievement. In Lahore, excited locals cheered for this latest development project, while in Karachi, I sat in my chair feeling happy yet envious at the same time. I’m pleased because I know what this transport-revolution will do to the people of the city but I am also overly-jealous since I won’t be able to use ...

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Infrastructural speed breakers in Punjab

Residents of Rawalpindi have continuously been facing traffic problems primarily due to deteriorating state of roads in urban areas. Massive traffic jams occur at peak hours on Benazir Bhutto Road, Mall Road and Saidpur Road. The government finds little sense in constructing flyovers on different intersections of Benazir Bhutto Road. This is in spite of the fact that the smooth flow of traffic at the main artery of the city is severely hampered. The long-term and feasible solution to traffic in the garrison city lies in adding new roads to the existing infrastructure rather than solely focusing on Benazir Bhutto Road. ...

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How the One Rupee Project can help literacy

The One Rupee Project is an idea that provides a clear vision of making a self-sustainable Pakistan. The movement was started by Sarosh Waiz and some of his friends in an effort to help the sectors of education, skill development and entrepreneurship in Pakistan. The idea behind this movement is that a small donation given on a regular basis can make a big change. It thus, seeks a contribution of just one rupee a day, which will add up to Rs365 per year per person. This means that initially, if only 100,000 people are approached, the minimum funds generated will be Rs36,500,000. This sizeable sum ...

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Super 8: Super indeed

I must confess I’m a major fan of JJ Abrams. His TV-series Lost was almost like a religious experience for me and his next show Fringe almost as good. His versions of Star Trek was very enjoyable and Mission Impossible 3 and Cloverfield were good fun as well. So, I had high hopes for his latest offering, Super 8. News of Steven Spielberg joining the project as producer only helped raise expectations even further andI not disappointed. Plot (Minor spoilers): The movie is set in Lillian, a fictional small town in Ohio, USA and focuses on the experiences of ...

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