Yearly Archives: 2003

Keeping children in school

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

UNESCO recently released its annual Education for All: Monitoring Report and in it Pakistan unfortunately doesn’t emerge in a very good light. The six millennium goals laid down at the education forum in Dakar in 2000 were 1) the attainment of universal primary education; 2) gender equality; 3) improvement in literacy rate; 4) boosting quality of education; 5) increasing life skills; and 6) introducing early childhood learning programmes. The deadline for these goals was set for 2015.
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Will there be peace?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AS the prospects of peace in South Asia become brighter, one waits with bated breath to see the outcome of the recent initiatives in the region. There have been so many false dawns that it is difficult not to feel sceptical.

Didn’t we see the promise of peace emanating from Tashkent in 1966, Simla in 1972, Lahore in 1999 and Agra in 2001, which all came to nought? Each time we were told in a burst of euphoria that it was to be different on that occasion, only to find ourselves back to square one before long.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan, War and Peace |

Donating more for charity

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

ACCORDING to a rough estimate, approximately three billion rupees will be donated by the Pakistanis as Fitra on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy has calculated that five years ago a sum of Rs 70.5 billion was donated by the Pakistanis towards philanthropic causes. This figure must have grown since.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Economy, Education, Social Issues |

How effective is the China card

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE euphoria generated by President Pervez Musharraf’s visit to Beijing earlier this month has glossed over some hard realities of international politics in South Asia.

The visit was described as “outstanding” and a “success” by the two sides. There was a lot of talk about the “all weather relationship” and their ties being as “high as the mountains and as deep as the oceans”.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan |

Charity begins at home

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

MERCIFULLY, the voices of sanity are now being raised in support of moderation and religious tolerance. Many high profile figures have vociferously expressed their views on the need for the renunciation of extremism and militancy in religion.

We have had the outgoing Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad, the Saudi crown prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and president Pervez Musharraf speak out against extremism and militancy. This must have been reassuring for many — especially those who have fallen victim to the mindless obscurantism of the fanatics.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education, Terrorism and Violence |

Khakis’ inroad into civilian sector

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE dichotomy in Pakistan’s state and society is amply manifested in the takeover of civilian positions in the public sector by men in uniform. The militarization of civil society has emerged in the last two decades further widening the gulf between the haves and the have-nots.

True, this phenomenon has existed for a long time — after all, Ayub Khan, a serving military officer, became defence minister in Mohammed Ali Bogra’s cabinet in 1953. But what is significant today is the magnitude the problem has assumed. Previously, when a handful of retired military personnel would gain entry into the civilian sector it was regarded as an aberration. But times have changed.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Defence and Disarmament, Politics |

Enlightened moderation

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

IN his thought-provoking speech before the UN General Assembly, President Pervez Musharraf said that many Muslims believed that their religion was being demonized. At the same time the West perceived the Islamic world as volatile and the Muslims as fanatics and extremists. He called for “reflection, introspection and action” and proposed a strategy of “enlightened moderation”.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan, Terrorism and Violence |

Where do the drop-do the drop-outs go?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

PAKISTAN, indeed, has a split personality. A dualism in our life is most prominent in our education system How else would you describe a country which has 46 million adults who cannot read or write, and probably will never be able to learn. On the other hand, only a few thousand children receive the best education in high quality institutions with the best of facilities.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education |

The state of our democracy

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE current tussle in Islamabad on the Legal Framework Order has left the people in a state of bewilderment. The common man perceives the happenings in the federal capital as a struggle for power between the elite groups with none of them having any concern for the welfare of the masses.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Politics |

On bumpy road to peace

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE bon-homie witnessed between visiting delegates from India and their counterparts from Pakistan generally gives one a good feeling. Last week was one such occasion when 34 Indian parliamentarians who were in Islamabad on the umpteenth round of Track-II diplomacy received a rousing welcome.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan, War and Peace |