Stories about Shahbaz Sharif

The economics behind the Lahore Metro Bus Service

According to the Punjab government, 30 billion rupees is the amount of money spent on the Lahore Metro Bus Service. The actual figure may be a lot more, but let’s just take their word for it and apply a bit of perspective to it instead. Overall the entire allocated money for Punjab infrastructure development is Rs63 billion which means that 50% or half of the development budget of Punjab was spent in Lahore. This excludes the cost of the numerous underpasses and overhead bridges that were built in Lahore. Compare this Rs30 billion to the Rs16.5 billion allocated to the health sector 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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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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10 reasons sex education has nothing to do with vulgarity

While it is truly comforting that Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif — among many others — is taking such lively interests in our students’ moral upbringing, he may have mistaken ‘sex education’ for ‘vulgarity’. Here’s what he may be missing. 1) Sex education does not encourage illicit activities Does having an airbag in your car make you feel like driving your Honda off a bridge? Is my plane more likely to crash if the cabin crew shows me a flight safety instructions video before take-off? An examination of 73 studies on the subject has revealed that comprehensive sexual education does not make students more sexually active than they already ...

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The flawed argument in favour of reserved seats for women

Imran Khan recently kicked up yet another melee in Pakistan’s media when he declared that he would have women contest in elections rather than enter the National Assembly (NA) on reserved seats. Before weighing the plausibility of the argument, many were quick to jump the bandwagon of unqualified criticism simply because it was Khan who said so. For the uninformed, women in Pakistan’s National Assembly currently have 60 reserved seats. How exactly are these seats filled in? Well, since the seats are allocated to each political party based on their proportion in the legislature, the said political parties have the sole authority to figure out who will ...

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Guinness records: It’s about Pakistan, not politics!

Pakistan soared in to the international news once again on October 20, 21 and 22, but this time around it was a happy moment for everyone! We made it into the news for something positive and progressive. (Some kids run with the Pakistan flag prior to the record attempt in Lahore. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK) In a country that is so accustomed to digesting the news of target killing, honour killing, bomb blasts, terrorist attacks and drone strikes, the news of Pakistan setting a record after record brought nothing but moments of pure joy and national pride to us. Amidst all the sad ...

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Let overseas Pakistanis vote!

In a grand gesture, the Election Commission of Pakistan granted 3.7 million foreign-dwelling Pakistani nationals permission to vote in elections. Huh? I had never realised that this was a privilege, rather than a right. As with all shows of benevolence, however, there is always a catch. Excluded from this group are just as many Pakistanis who hold dual nationalities; in order to be eligible to stand for office or to be allowed to vote in Pakistan, they must surrender their non-Pakistani citizenship. Being in this particular boat, I’m inclined to ask: what, exactly, gives you the right to take away my rights? By definition, a ...

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Dual nationality: Loyalty doesn’t exist with polygamy!

“It’s almost required with major artists that there’s some duality. And I’ve got duality everywhere.” ─ George Michael. Politicians are indeed no more different than any paid actor in this world. They set the stage like a chequerboard ─ sharp and clever. The recent conundrum of dual nationality holders as government representatives, has spurred the political actors to present their acts in the best way possible. From MQM leader Altaf Hussain to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, even party representatives from ANP aren’t a step behind when it comes to proposing their ideals for dual nationality cases, in the Supreme Court. Pakistan has always been ...

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What the PML-N got wrong

In the last eight months or so, the PML-N has done pretty much everything a party can do in an election year. They have dug up every road in Punjab, raised concerns about problems in other provinces and have even recruited avidly to beef up their party ranks. Effectively, they have prepared well for the upcoming elections. And even though the tsunami is coming for them, they are still focused on the real competitor. One would say that they are ready to go to the polls and seize power. However, all is not what it seems to be – my personal ...

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Is there a method to Sharif’s madness?

In a fiery press conference recently, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif warned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to step down or face a long march aimed at dislodging him. Claiming the high moral ground, Mr Sharif said that since Gilani was convicted, he has lost all moral reason to continue in office. Sharif’s newfound love for the judiciary is well-known. Ever since he returned from exile, he has proved to be the most ardent champion of judicial supremacy and rule of law. If there are people around who want to talk about an obscure incident in a distant past where some PML-N ...

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