Monday, May 19, 2014

The Nation Editorial 17-05-14: Modinomics For Pakistan

Yesterday, when news of a landslide victory spread through India, the Indian markets responded very positively- a vital indicator of what this election actually meant. After a decade full of half-baked economic policies and a hoard of corruption scandals by the Congress party, the tenor of this election was uniquely focused on economics. And there was very little for Congress to offer as a counterpunch.
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Nation Editorial 16-05-14: Dangerous Precedents

Last week, human rights lawyer, Rashid Rehman was killed for being the legal counsel of a man accused of blasphemy. This week, around 70 people, including lawyers protesting against the police chief of Jhang, Umar Daraz, for manhandling their colleague were booked in a blasphemy case for disrespecting the name (Umar) of the second Caliph of Islam. Does this sound alarming?

The Nation Editorial 14-05-14: The Hashtag Revolution

In a controversial move, Michelle Obama replaced her husband for the first time in the weekly presidential address to express outrage at the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Soon after, a photo of the first lady emerged on social media holding a sign with the twitter hashtag “ #BringBackOurGirls.” Not long after this, celebrities followed suit and joined the campaign first started by a Nigerian lawyer Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, on April 23rd.

The Nation Editorial 13-05-14: Police Empowerment

At the beginning of this week, almost two dozen police officials including traffic wardens and constables were sacked in Lahore on various charges of corruption and the misuse of power. Fifteen other officers were penalized with demotions. In Kasur on the same day, a young man was allegedly tortured by the police and dumped unconscious on the roadside. Over the years, police brutality and complicity in crimes as severe as rape and custody deaths, have become a serious state issue.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Nation Editorial 12-05-14: Mothers’ Day And MDGs

In the last few years, Pakistanis have begun celebrating Mother’s day with fervour. However, Pakistan remains one of the toughest countries in the world to give birth and raise children in. Save the Children’s State of World’s Mothers report was released at the start of this month. The report confirmed that in the last 15 years, globally maternal mortality has halved and infant mortality has decreased by a quarter. 

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The Nation Editorial 11-05-14: Protect the dissenting voice

Dr Shakil Afridi, who allegedly helped the American spy agency find Osama bin Laden, has no legal counsel as of now. His legal counsel has resigned, citing pressure from the US and militant counsels as a cause.
This is hardly a surprise.

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The Nation Editorial 10 -05-14: A Pervasive Mindset

Pakistan was the first Muslim country to have a female Prime Minister. Top cabinet ministries, including finance and foreign, have gone to women politicians. However, these landmarks achieved at the national level have not translated into political empowerment for women on the provincial level. Balochistan, for example, is heading for a local government election next month without a single woman candidate. 

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Nation Editorial 08-05-14: Travel Restrictions

Following the WHO recommendations to place travel restrictions on Pakistan owing to the country’s failure to stem the spread of polio, the Punjab government has announced that people travelling to the province from other provinces of the country must produce polio vaccination certificates or get vaccinated on the spot. Consequently, vaccination teams and the police will be deployed at entry and exits points in the Punjab.
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The Nation Editorial 07-05-14: Assam And Modi

Violence broke out in the north-eastern province of Assam last week, leading to the deaths of thirty four people. India has witnessed several communal riots since partition. In August last year in fact, a Hindu-Muslim clash in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh broke out, where sixty two Muslims died in what was described as “the worst violence in Uttar Pradesh in recent history.” Still, the intensity and frequency of the violence has generally declined in the last ten years, after the Gujarat riots which killed about 2000 Muslims. 
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The Nation Editorial 05-05-14: Lateef’s Protest

Balochistan Student Organization-Azaad (BSO-Azaad) is an ethno-centric student organization fighting for the separation and freedom of Balochistan. Over 100 members of the organization have been reported missing, and the organization is still considered popular amongst Baloch students. On the 18th of March, Zahid Baloch, the chairperson of BSO-Azaad was abducted and is now reported missing, like thousands of other Baloch.
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The Nation Editorial 06-05-14: Educate The Criminal

Intermediate exams were recently organized for ten inmates held for murder at the Adiala jail. This should spark a much delayed debate in Pakistan about the balance the country’s prison system needs to strike between punishment and reform. It must be kept in view throughout this discussion, that a majority of prisoners are returnees. Why is this the case? Why, after undergoing the horrors of jail time in Pakistan, do criminals continue to remain criminals after release?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Nation Editorial 04-05-14: The Environment And Safety

In D.I. Khan, ten people lost their lives after falling into a chemical drain yesterday. This chemical drain carried waste from the Chashma Sugar Mills and ends in the Indus River. Two things must be considered when addressing this incident: safety and accountability, for human life and the environment.
Had events not taken this deadly turn, the Chashma Sugar Mills would still be releasing its deadly, untreated waste into our water systems unnoticed. In turn these sugar mills are owned by the influential political lobby that gets ministries and many political perks. Is this why these influential conglomerates manage to flout the environmental laws without much consequence?

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Editorial The Nation 03-05-14: Fragmentation, not devolution

The Punjab Institute of Cardiology has been slowly degenerating, after having been devolved to the provincial government. Presently, seven out of nine operation theaters in PIC are closed for sterilization, and all nine have been branded unsafe for use. This is alarming, considering the hospital serves almost the entire province and there are few alternatives. The bigger problem, outside of hospital administration, is the fragmentation of power and devolution gone wrong. 

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Editorial The Nation 02-05-14: A Narrowing Discourse

As the election race reaches the finish line in India, a harsh policy towards Pakistan can come handy. Modi recently promised that he will bring back the Indian fugitive, Dawood Ibrahim, from Pakistan. Our Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar called this statement “irresponsible and shameful.” The foreign office denounced it as an attempt to win elections by exploiting anti-Pakistan sentiments.


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