Stories about unemployment

Made in Pakistan: Why exporting apparel is the answer to Pakistan’s rising trade deficit

While buying a jacket from an international clothing brand in Pakistan, I was mildly surprised to find the tag ‘Made in Bangladesh’. Until recently, I was under the impression that these clothes were still manufactured in Pakistan. After all, we do export textile, which is simply raw fabric. Apparel is just one step ahead of textile, with value added to the fabric by converting it into readymade garments. Then why we are importing apparel from Bangladesh when we have a huge textile sector at home? And what lessons can our deteriorating economy learn from Bangladesh’s apparel exports? Due to a massive ...

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Why do Pakistanis think Asad Umar’s claim of 10 million jobs is impossible and impractical?

While outlining the 100-day agenda shared by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) recently, Asad Umar spoke about the possibility of creating 10 million jobs in five years.  He mentioned promoting tourism and announcing new destinations in an attempt to produce thousands of employment opportunities for the youth. He also mentioned making an extra effort to attract investors in Pakistan and creating an economic link with China through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Ultimately, enhanced investments and exports would create a bulk of jobs for the unemployed youth of Pakistan. Hue and cry, sarcasm and ridicule poured in over his statement, with the consensus ...

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Why Pakistan’s hiring culture is scaring away its millennials

Pakistan’s recent economic growth has attracted widespread attention from international investors and organisations. According to the World Bank, Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to climb to 5.2% in 2017 and will continue to rise for the next two years. As economic growth prevails, so do establishment of new jobs, both managerial and labour-oriented. A research paper titled ‘Determination of Youth Emigration’, written by Ammad Zafar in 2016 of Karachi University’s public administration department, claims that 48.7% of Pakistani youth do not want to stay in the country. The main trends were youth views on unemployment, insecurity, economic problems, and lack of social support and career opportunities. Out ...

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Why are all state-owned entities in Pakistan so corrupt?

In Pakistan, nearly every state-owned mega corporation is prone to corruption. This is evident through cases pertaining to the rental power plants, the Nandipur power plant, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).  Simply put, state-owned entities are the strength of the economy, especially for states that realise their significance. Widespread globalisation has already begun posing a threat to the domestic industrial growth of weaker states. After the fold of the civilian government in Pakistan during the 70s, Bhutto changed the foreign policy around. He shifted his focus from Russia and China towards the US due to their help with fighter jets ...

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The ‘Aam Aadmi’ in Pakistan struggles with his halal earnings

My name is ‘Aam Aadmi’ (literally a ‘common man’) and I am a 35-year-old with two children. I live in the not-so posh areas of Karachi with a monthly income of Rs50,000 per month. I used to take pride in being a middle-class citizen of Pakistan. My life revolves around the first of every month – supposedly salary day. By the end of the first week of each month, my salary disappears from my account and I go through the ordeal of an 8 to 6 job, which, if you live in Karachi, extends to an 8 to 8 since ...

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Terrorism doesn’t care if you are non-Muslim or Muslim, Brussels and Turkey are proof of that

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in Brussels. This could be a revenge attack in response to the Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam’s arrest in the city, last Friday. This could also be a symbolic attack against the European Union. Or it could just be another venue for a terror attack after Turkey, as the world watches in horror. It would be an oversimplification to suggest that ISIS is a group of overzealous Muslims working towards the ‘holy’ cause of establishing an Islamic Caliphate; they kill innocent civilians, both Muslims and non-Muslims. They work carefully to draw a wedge between ethnicities within a country to ...

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Ammi ki yaad and the dilemma of localised development in Pakistan

An Eid TVC by Shan Foods touches the lulled-to-sleep chords of millions of hearts beating, otherwise mechanically, in pardes (abroad). “… Ammi ki bohat yaad aa rahi hai bhai… ye bhi koi Eid hoyi bhai?” (I’m missing mom a lot… what kind of an Eid is this?) Although agriculture still remains the single largest localised employer of labour (40 per cent), yet services and industrial sectors have registered an increasing trend of employment over the years. Hence, the burgeoning movement of labour from underdeveloped to relatively developed cities and foreign countries adds to the ever-growing number of pardesis forced to work and live away from their families. Similarly, a ...

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I keep coming back to you, Lahore

I was in Lahore last November. If I close my eyes to relive some of the city’s glory, I would not know where to start. What do I remember? What do I smell? What do I taste? What do I miss? For me, as an immigrant, that is probably the single most difficult question. “What do you miss the most back home?” How do you answer that? Do you dig up memories only you can make sense of, or do you cough up the obvious? “Oh, I miss my friends and family.” Of course you miss the important human connections in your life. But what else do you miss? I ...

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Ashraf Ghani – Bringing maturity back to international politics

Although no one will claim honestly, the new Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, for the most part, is a well-respected statesman amongst the Washington circles. Politicians are trained liars and Ghani’s predecessor was no exception to the rule. However, this guy is someone who comes across as less slippery, more adaptable to change and hence generally acceptable for his demeanours and policies. Earlier this week, Ghani was on his first official US visit as Afghanistan’s head of state. He is no alien to either US culture or politics. He studied, worked and played a prominent part in influencing Washington’s pre and post 9/11 Afghan policies. I ...

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Caught in Islamabad with sex toys and an abortion clinic – Uh Oh

Around 1,000 Pakistani women die every year because of abortion-related complications, and the procedure is often used as a primary family-planning method, rather than a last resort. This is because of a combination between low contraceptive prevalence, low sexual health awareness, unqualified or illegal medical practitioners and social taboos about topics related to sexuality. So when a story comes along that allows broader debate on quack abortionists, it is worrying that the approach taken to covering it is one of religious and moral outrage at the ‘unusual’ sexual elements of the story, rather than the life-preserving element. A recent story about an alleged fake abortion clinic in Islamabad was given ...

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