Monthly Archives: July 2002

Pauperization of Pakistan

Reviewed By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

A little over two decades ago, third world leaders were calling for a new international economic order. It was in the late seventies when the Algerian president, Houari Boumedienne, made his trail-blazing speech in the UN General Assembly in which he accused the industrialized countries of exploiting the developing world by laying down terms of trade unfavourable to the producers of basic commodities.
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Basic rights and power structure

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

PRESIDENT Pervez Musharraf’s constitutional packages have focused public attention on the political power structure in the country. True, this is important, since the wielders of power do have the options and opportunity to change macro policies which vitally determine the state of the nation.

But recent happenings indicate that many of our woes stem from the power imbalance within society itself. There are many other factors which also influence social attitudes and thereby the power structure in society.
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Where women feel unsafe

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE recent incident of gang-rape of a young woman in Meerwala (Muzaffargarh) on the orders of a tribal jury is a blot on the nation’s conscience. Tragically, it has many appalling dimensions and it is impossible to express the sense of outrage one feels at something so barbaric which can take place in a country that claims to be civilized.

Pakistan has never had an impressive human rights record. The state itself has emerged as the biggest violator of human dignity and civil freedoms. Society has followed suit. If a person has the ill fortune of having been born to parents from an under-privileged class or caste, he is most likely to be abused by his fellow men as well. The Meerwala case was the outcome of a caste conflict. The victim belonged to the Gujjar clan which is socially regarded to be inferior to the supposedly superior Mastoi tribe.
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