Yearly Archives: 2002

New information order

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE media scene is changing dramatically all over the world. Globalization, accompanied with phenomenal strides in communication technology, has proved to be the catalyst. Had it not been for the fact that capital now flows quite freely across borders and cable and satellite television and powerful transmitters have made it possible for sounds and images to be carried across thousands and thousands of miles, the reach of the media could not have been internationalized with such ease and at relatively affordable cost.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Media |

As our population grows

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE UNFPA’s State of the World Population 2002 released last week should give much food for thought to policy makers in Pakistan. The first eye-opening information it gives us is that Pakistan’s population stands at 148.7 million.

The national census four years ago had put the head count at 130.5 million. If we accept the 1998 data as authentic — it was the product of a massive and costly exercise — the demographic growth has been phenomenal. That is not all. According to the UNFPA projections, Pakistan will have a population of 344.2 million in the year 2050 and we will be the fourth most populous state in the world after India, China and the US, in that order. What is most worrying in this mass of figures is the very high population growth rate (2.5 per cent) which is higher than many other heavily populated countries such as India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Population, Social Issues |

Where are our libraries?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE time is not far off when many children in Pakistan may never have heard of or seen a library. This institution of learning is in real danger of becoming extinct. With politics generating the sound and fury that it does in this country, it is not surprising that non-political and seemingly mundane issues, such as the paucity of libraries, never receive the spotlight that they deserve.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education, Social Issues |

Will there be no opposition party?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE most striking feature of the post-election scenario in Islamabad has been the singlemindedness of purpose the political leaders have displayed in their bid for power. Had it not been for the fact that the political future of the country looks so grim, one would have found these toings and froings in the capital quite amusing. So desperate do our leaders appear to be to get into office that the permutations and combinations that are being tried or being spoken of in speculative newspaper stories leave people aghast.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Politics |

Whither model university?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE model university ordinance has generated a lot of heat on the campuses all over the country. Although the draft of the ordinance has not been released, the structure it proposes is believed to be based on the report of the steering committee on higher education, which has been under discussion for the past several months.

What comes as a matter of serious concern is that the two sides are locked in a confrontation, which will not take them very far. The government will find it impossible to enforce an ordinance, which does not enjoy the support of the faculty. The continuing agitation by the teachers will destroy the public sector universities by interrupting academic activities.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan |

After the polls in Kashmir

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AS attention in Pakistan was focused on the elections held in the country last Thursday, it was inevitable that the results of the polls held next door in the disputed Indian-occupied Kashmir, which came in the same day, were all but ignored. This was partly because our own electoral exercise was on and left little time and even lesser interest in what was emerging on the political stage across the Line of Control.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan |

The paradox of elections

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AS polling day approaches, the polarization in the public perceptions of the election scene is amazing. There are some who are vocal about the deep apathy and cynicism of the voters, and on that basis alone they confidently predict a low turn-out on October 10.

Others vehemently deny that electioneering is in a low key. They point to the corner meetings and the party workers’ drive to mobilize the voters — as much as they can within the restrictions imposed on them by the administration.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Women |

The whackos in our midst

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn IN Jhootha Sach, Yashpal’s epic novel in Hindi on Partition (now translated elegantly into English as This is not that Dawn by Anand) there is a profound observation. It is made by the Sikh bus … Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Human Rights, Social Issues |

A cry in the wilderness?

Reviewed By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

Men wage wars but the chief victims of war are invariably women. The truth of this has been so clearly established in Kashmir, which has been in the grip of an insurgency for the last 13 years. Yet surprisingly one doesn’t get to read much about how violence has impacted on the lives of women in that unhappy valley, which many years ago claimed to be the spot where “the world ended and paradise began”.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Book Reviews, War and Peace |

How we can help the Kashmiris

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AS the war clouds on the South Asian horizon thicken and thin out in a cyclical pattern, the peacemakers on the political front have stepped up their efforts to bring about a modicum of normalization between India and Pakistan.

True, incidents, such as the recent skirmishes in the Gultari sector on the LoC, come as a rude reminder that the armies on the two sides continue to be in an eyeball-to-eyeball state of mobilization. War cannot be ruled out. But mercifully the focus has shifted to the political/diplomatic dimension of Kashmir.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan |