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Showing posts from August, 2014

Economic costs of the crisis

Courtesy:-  MALIK MUHAMMAD ASHRAF

The management of an economy is the most arduous task due to its connectivity with a myriad of economic and political variables, more so in developing countries where continued political instability has played a predominant role in decelerating economic progress. The result is that nearly 45.7 per cent of the population in Pakistan still lives below the poverty line, as per a survey conducted under the BISP programme during the last regime. And regrettably, our politicians continue to indulge in the politics of self-aggrandisement with criminal indifference to its likely impact on the economy and the lives of people.

The mask of anarchy

Courtesy:-  Babar Sattar

Shelley is believed to have introduced the idea of nonviolent resistance in his poem The Mask of Anarchy, which celebrated the power of ordinary people to defeat violence with pacifism. Thoreau in his essay Civil Disobedience advocated listening to one’s conscience and rising up against injustice and slavery. Gandhi’s doctrine of Satyagraha, inspired in part by Shelley, aimed at freeing India from colonial shackles and seeking self-rule. Nelson Mandela suffered penalties of law to fight apartheid.

Civil disobedience

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf

Civil disobedience is a non-violent movement which is resorted to by the people of a country to resist unfair laws and measures adopted by their own governments and against the colonial powers to achieve independence. Gandhi’s non-violent resistance movement against British Empire for independence, Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia, movement in East Germany to oust communist government in late eighties, fight against apartheid in South Africa, Civil Rights Movement in USA, Boston Tea Party, The 1919 Revolution in Egypt against British Occupation, Singing Revolution that brought independence to Baltic states from Soviet Union, Rose Revolution in Georgia and Orange Revolution in Ukraine and various other movements worldwide are categorized as Civil Disobedience Movements.

Let law, and not politics, have the final word

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf   

The Lahore High Court decision declaring the demands of the PTI and the PAT unconstitutional and restraining them from launching their march(es) in an unconstitutional manner, added another dimension to the controversy regarding the rationale, motives and justification for the ‘Azadi’ and ‘Revolution’ marches; this could have repercussions of its own. 

The PTI and the PAT ignored the decision and headed towards Islamabad contending that the court only barred an unconstitutional march and that their marches were within constitutional parameters. Some circles are of the view that the court orders are ambiguous and needed clarification from the court itself as to what it meant by unconstitutional march. A number of legal and constitutional experts view the decision as interference by the court in the country’s political affairs, contending that no demands were unconstitutional unless the party demanding them took steps that violated the law and the const…

Climate communication

Courtesy:-   Syed Muhammad Abubakar

The ever increasing impacts of climate change have made the world sit up and discuss ways to tackle it. Increased carbon emissions are causing global temperatures to rise, leading to the melting of glaciers and rise in sea levels –becoming a threat for low-lying island nations.

Many countries are still unaware that climate change is real and happening right now. A recent report, ‘Communicating Climate Science’, by the UK’s House of Commons suggested that effective information methods need to be devised so that information regarding climate change reaches a mass audience. 

Sensitising the unaware regarding the deadly impacts of climate change is much needed in Pakistan. During the past few years our plains have been flooded, our valleys overrun by Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs), which have displaced millions of people and forced them to migrate to safer places. We have also witnessed extensive damage to infrastructure and property. Communities cou…

The ultimate bestiality

Courtesy:-  MALIK MUHAMMAD ASHRAF


Persecution of minorities in a country that was created for a minority
Reportedly an elderly woman and two children belonging to a minority community died of suffocation from smoke when their house was put on fire by an enraged crowd at Gujranwala on 28thJuly while others present on the scene cheered the perpetrators of the crime in approval of their dastardly act. That was the exhibition of an ultimate bestiality. Unfortunately this was not the first incident of this nature as the country has witnessed a string of such gory enactments where the members of the minority communities have been the victim of the wrath of the religious fanatics. The carnage of the Christian community at Gojra in August 2009 would put to shame even Adolf Hitler, the architect of “The Holocaust”, for having underperformed. The most sordid aspect of this gory incident was that those who were lynched and whose houses were subjected to arson, were not at all involved in the alleg…

Electronic media shindigs

Courtesy:-  Malik M Ashraf

Introduction of the private sector in the field of electronic media and the accompanying freedom of expression, is probably the best thing that has ever happened in thisland of the pure. While it is heartening to see the media enjoying its freedom and guarding it zealously, it is equally disappointing to see the absence of the component of responsibility. There is a discernible propensity to scandalize things, rumour mongering and playing favourites in disregard to the internationally recognized professional ethics - more so among the electronicchannels.

It is quite an ordeal to watch current affair programmes and talk shows, hosted by some uncouth and non-professional anchor persons - barring a few exceptions - yelling at top of their shrilling voices at panellists and trying to rub in their peculiar perceptions and getting involved in a debate with them, instead of listening to their views on questions put to them. Being aggressive in approach is adorable b…