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2017 in review: Dirty politics trumped development economics this year

2017 started off looking bright, but then turned into a dark year for Pakistan’s economy. Usman Hayat The year 2017 started on a positive note. Economy was growing, inflation was low, the rupee was stable, CPEC was progressing, Pakistan’s credit rating had improved, and the stock market was racing. There was hope for better times. But then, things took a turn. Political chaos hit the economy, and hit it hard. The chaos gained momentum with the formation of the Panama case JIT in April and then culminated with the Islamabad sit-in by a faction of the religious right in November. The prolonged chaos changed the once hopeful sentiment. The economic narrative shifted to fiscal deficit, trade deficit, rising debt, setbacks for...

January 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm | News Desk

Things I hate about Lahore

  Lahore is a major urban and modern metropolitan city in Pakistan. The city which is famous for so many names education city, lifestyle city, fashion city, film city as well as art city with rich heritage. We know that every city has its own personality, mood and demeanor. Lahore in its first glance gives a relaxed, laid back and peaceful look and place to live in and enjoy your life in variety of ways. The thing in which Lahore is famous from all other cities is Lahori food. Lahore was a peaceful and progressive city and folks from other cities wish to live in. But presently Lahore has been changed with the passage of time. Know nothing is according to the set rules all the citizens are acting like Tom, Dick and Harry. Everybod...

August 15, 2015 at 12:45 pm | News Desk

Khairpur’s golden harvest and the women behind it

Although date palm is a developing industry in Pakistan, the country is already one of the largest producers of this fruit crop in the world. And in the business of producing dates, the city of Khairpur holds a very significant place. Khairpur’s village economy is based on date palm processing and export; this is a source of employment not only for the villagers in Khairpur but also residents of nearby cities, who migrate to the district to work during the crop harvest season. Most of the workers are men, though, with only a small number of women seen working in farms, and that too, the more aged ones. As in other parts of Pakistan, young women’s economic independence in this region is also subject to patriarchal authority; th...

July 2, 2015 at 10:56 am | News Desk

As some same-sex couples wed, others forced to wait

Moments after the Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, Rachel Evans and her girlfriend Kelly Gleischman jumped into an Uber and headed straight into the festive commotion outside the court building in Washington to be a part of history. They were brimming with joy as they were greeted by a crowd of smiling faces and a sea of rainbow-colored flags, celebrating the monumental victory for gay rights advocates. “It felt like our futures have opened up in a new way,” 29-year-old Evans said. The couple has been together for two-and-a-half years and plan to wed in 2016. With the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage for same-sex couples, the two women are excited that their future marriage will...

June 28, 2015 at 9:32 pm | News Desk

Pathways To Terrorism

Dr DAll had taken strikingly different journeys to violent extremist activity. People follow a pathway into radicalization, terrorism and terrorist organizations. Apparently the first stage involves an awareness of oppression. The second stage marks recognition that the oppression was social and therefore not unavoidable. The third stage is an impetus or realization that it is possible to act against the oppression. Ultimately, some conclude that working through or within the system to reform or improve it is not going to work and that self-help by violence is the only effective means for change. Based on an analysis of multiple militant extremist groups, there do appear to be some observable markers or stages in the processes that are c...

June 22, 2015 at 4:21 pm | News Desk

Persecution of the Christian Community

My forefathers fled to these shores with a vision of religious freedom. The right to it was purchased with blood and this fervently embraced freedom is the cornerstone of our Constitution. The words still leap off the page; though now dead, the witnesses still speak. Their thoughts are codified in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The dry ink of the signatories flows like liquid satin through my veins. I champion this freedom. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” This treasure known as freedom of religion is a summation of its parts. Man is a moral agent with free will. But free will is also extended to those who choose not to celebrate nor particip...

June 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm | News Desk

Kashmir: Caravan of Camels

Have you ever watched a camel take time for an energy boost?  If food is scarce a camel will simply dine on bones, fish, leather, or even the owner's tent. It can consume thorns and twigs. The camel's oral cavity lining is tough enough that almost anything can be eaten without injury to the mouth.  Camels are not picky. But we should be glad they cannot talk. If they talked like they eat it would be out of both sides of their mouths. The disarticulated jaw with the big teeth are quite a sight to behold. It would be absolutely mesmerizing to watch a camel speak. Camels are  ships of the desert. As a species, they are known by fancier names.  But when considering how they were created, camels should be known by a more simple designatio...

October 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm | News Desk

Light and Darkness

Zafar Aziz Chaudhry However hard I have tried not to worry about the frequent power outages which have assaulted us with redoubled vigour these days, and notwithstanding the golden rules of Dale Carnegie to banish worry in all unforeseen circumstances, I confess that I have not been able to be pacified by taking it all in my stride. In a well-lighted room, when life rolls on in its usual routine, suddenly pitch darkness engulfs the room bringing all activities to a grinding halt. Darkness is equated to death and depravity in the realm of literature, because it virtually devours life which manifests itself only in light. Shakespeare uses the metaphor of darkness to illustrate Macbeth’s slide towards depravity. Macbeth cannot face...

September 18, 2014 at 2:45 am | News Desk

Landless farmers stunned

Sindh government has badly failed to distribute promised 144,561 acres of land among poor, causing unrest among expected beneficiaries and civil society organizations. According to the Landless Hari Program 2008, Sindh government had to distribute 200,000 acres of land among poor farmers, particularly women peasants, but it distributed only 55,439 acres out of promised 200,000 acres. Therefore, it is the right time for Sindh government to start 3rd phase of the Landless Hari Program and distribute remaining 144,561 acres of land among women of the freed bonded laborers, who are primarily agriculture workers and can contribute to Sindh’s agriculture growth. This initiative will secure the livelihood of these marginalized people and hel...

August 12, 2014 at 2:25 am | News Desk

Is astrology scientific or pseudoscientific?

Samira Ghazanfar Hussain Astrology came into existence 3000 years ago. The version of astrology being used today was developed by the ancient Greeks around 400 B.C. so astrology's basic major text has not changed during the last 18 centuries. The 12 astrological houses are stationary regions of the sky and are firmly fixed with respect to the horizon, which can be used to locate planets and signs relative to the earth's vantage point. It has a deep association with heavenly bodies — the sun, moon and planets that have influence and are correlated with what happens on earth. Astrology follows rules about the relative positions and movements of heavenly bodies that are meant to predict the personality traits and life happenings of a p...

July 12, 2014 at 8:16 pm | News Desk