Stories about punjab government

A press club: No fair play, no accountability and no dialogue

The outside world hardly knows about all that goes on at a press club. Many mistake a press club for the press itself and think that it is a place reserved for healthy and constructive dialogue. I thought the same until very recently when the paper I worked for wound up and I started to spend some time at the National Press Club (NPC), Islamabad. Rest assured that what happens here is everything but dialogue, fair play, accountability, equality and all that our media, ostensibly calls for. Let’s start with the dubious case of its membership. Nobody knows when the press ...

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Ramazan packages: Disguised acts of benevolence to win votes

With the holy month of Ramazan upon us, the federal and Punjab governments have announced subsidy packages for the poor public to facilitate price cuts on edible items as a goodwill gesture. The Punjab government has earmarked Rs4 billion to provide subsidies on kitchen items to the poor during the holy month. In a similar initiative, the federal government has reserved Rs 2.532 billion to extend subsidies on various food items and edible commodities. The prime objective of the packages is to ensure relief to the low-income segment of society. This is an election year and the PPP has thought about the ...

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A plea from a young doctor

Dear people, I do not receive any pay, perks or privileges for my job. I have to work 28 days a month with only two Sundays off. Every week, I have to perform emergency duties at least once for 12 continuous hours, apart from ward duties that extend up to 30 consecutive hours. Who am I? You guessed it – I am a young doctor working in a public sector hospital in Pakistan. This hospital is in Punjab and I’ve been working here for some time now. There are three main departments in any hospital namely the emergency department, the indoor department and the outdoor ...

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Is the Punjab government protecting Ludhianvi?

After decades of abuse over corruption, politicisation, complicity with criminals, outright disregard for their own duties, and their inexplicable fear of unarmed lynch mobs, the Punjab police showed that there is at least one group whom they don’t fear- their own- when they pointed their guns at the Islamabad police to protect a known hatemonger from arrest. Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (read Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan) leader Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, along with fellow extremist and Jamaatud Dawa (read Lashkar-e Taiba) chief Hafiz Saeed were wanted by the city police, for breaking a ban on their entry into the city, when both appeared ...

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Waiting for Taseer

It has now been over a week and there is no sign of Shahbaz Taseer returning home. The police, we are told, have discovered important clues such as a gun that was reportedly thrown out of a vehicle involved in the kidnapping and some SIMs of mobile phones that were found in Taseer’s abandoned vehicle. The police later also found another SIM card which was said to have been used by the kidnappers. However, not much has been reported in the news since then on the case, except a statement a couple of days after the abduction to the effect ...

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Helping Punjab’s medical students

One needs to score at least 82 per cent marks in Intermediate exams and then pass an entry test to gain admission into any public medical college in Punjab. This ensures that those who do eventually study medicine are among the best and brightest in the province. However, the fate of some 950 such intelligent students is hanging in the balance as the Punjab government didn’t take approval from the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) before admitting these students to medical schools. Last year, four new public medical colleges – in Sialkot, Dera Ghazi Khan, Sahiwal and Gujranwala – were ...

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Horse-trading and hypocrisy: Well done, Nawaz Sharif!

I strongly object to the use of the term horse-trading. A horse is a loyal animal but the term horse-trading is used for sell outs who betray their parties for temporary benefits. Nawaz Sharif introduced the 14th Amendment to prevent floor crossing for political gain – a law which leads to the disqualification of a person who changes parties too frequently. A similar anti horse-trading clause was also introduced in the recently passed 18th Amendment. Here’s a little recap of how this trade was practised: After the 2008 elections, the PPP seized power in Balochistan contradictory to their ‘demoratic views’ and joined hands ...

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Salmaan Taseer: The death of a governor

In life, Salmaan Taseer was never afraid of controversy and was never one to remain silent even when his stance on issues like militancy and the blasphemy law brought the venom of the right wing pouring on to him. Known as much for his ubiquitous dark glasses as his continuous sparring with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), he was a man you could love or hate, but never ignore. In a time when obscurantists and terrorists have tried to silence our voices and strike off the heads of those who dared oppose them, Taseer spoke without fear, condemning the blasphemy law ...

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The predictable politics of Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani politics is quite unpredictable and a person like me who isn’t the smartest guy around can’t truly understand it. Yet, I am forced to think about it and according to Nikolai Lenin, one of the chief symptoms of every revolution is the sharp and sudden increase in the number of ordinary people who take an active, independent and forceful interest in politics. The same happened when PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif went to Muzaffarabad to announce the establishment of his party in Azad Kashmir. During his speech, Nawaz Sharif strongly criticised the MQM and accused the party of supporting dictators ...

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