Yearly Archives: 2004

Towards food sovereignty

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

For three years now, a programme called the Green Economics and Globalization Initiative launched by an NGO, Shirkat Gah, has been working to create “economic literacy” among the people. The goal is to promote the concept of urban farming which can make a large number of people self-sufficient in food.

It is stated that a quarter acre of land can grow enough food to feed a family, while half an acre will give a surplus. And one acre of cultivated land can make a family affluent.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Economy |

Success story of Morocco

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

Morocco won the country award for 2004 given by the Population Institute, Washington, annually to the country whose population programme has shown good results in the preceding year.

Morocco was adjudged the best, and if any proof of this were needed, it is expected to show in the report of the census held recently in that country. The report will be released shortly.

The census commissioner stated that he had the preliminary findings of the census. The comprehensive results will come in several months later. The results indicate that Morocco’s population growth rate is down to 1.6 per cent. It was 1.9 per cent previously.
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Leave a comment | Posted in International Politics, Population |

NGOs role in education

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The gravity of the education crisis is indeed mind-boggling. If one were to only identify the problems that need to be addressed in this area, the list would be unending. It includes the standard of pedagogy and the quality of curricula and textbooks.

Similarly, there are as many solutions and strategies that are offered. The managers of private schools, especially the elite ones, feel they could perform very well if they were left to run their institutions as they wished. They believe that the government would do better to mind its own schools and improve their performance.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education |

The debate must continue

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The national debate on Kashmir which President Pervez Musharraf had called for appears to be running out of steam. Now the president, who saw light at the end of the tunnel only a few weeks ago, has been speaking of vibes that are not “encouraging” from India.

A month ago – on October 25 to be precise – the president had suggested at an Iftar party that new options be explored since the status quo in Kashmir was unacceptable. To kickstart the debate he had suggested that various regions in Kashmir be identified in terms of their local culture and demographic composition and then be demilitarized.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Foreign Policy of Pakistan, War and Peace |

Denationalization: why this delay?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

While the Sindh education department has dragged its feet over issuing the notification of the cabinet decision to transfer the St Joseph’s and St Patrick’s colleges (SJC and SPC) to the Catholic Board, some quarters have continued to protest against the move.

Statements issued by the nazim of Karachi and the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association (SPLA) have created much uncertainty. Why they are trying to stall the move is intriguing, especially when the arguments advanced by them do not carry weight.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education |

Nowhere close to Cairo goals

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

How many of us remember the population conference held in Cairo in September 1994? Some of us may recall the rumpus created by the religious lobbies when it was indicated that Benazir Bhutto, who was then the prime minister – for the second time – would be attending the summit. She must be given credit for her courage. Not only did she go to Cairo, she also made a spirited speech in support of family planning.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Population |

No time to listen

By Zubeida Mustafa Do you remember the attractive little child with a charming smile and a lovely voice who appeared with Suhail Rana on television for a children’s musical programme, “Sang sang challein”, week after week in the seventies? Mothers … Continue reading

1 Comment | Posted in Culture and the Arts, Education, Social Issues |

Doing more for mental health

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

Last week, the Pakistan Association for Mental Health (PAMH) observed the mental health week to coincide with the world mental health day on October 10 organized globally by the World Federation for Mental Health and WHO. This is an annual event.

Much as cynics might be tempted to brush it off as a ritual which has no impact, any discerning observer of the scene cannot fail to note the awareness which has been created in Pakistan, thanks to the endeavours of the PAMH.
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Leave a comment | Posted in General, Health |

Jirgas: defying the court

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has been rendering useful service to society by acting as a watchdog body to monitor human rights violations in Pakistan. Apart from the annual report it publishes every year to document the state of human rights in the country, the HRCP also studies various issues of special concern to the people at a given time and prepares reports on them to create public awareness and thus generate pressure on the government to take requisite measures.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Politics, Social Issues |

State of college education

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

There has been one positive outcome of the so-called college denationalization debate that has raged ever since the Sindh government announced its decision to “transfer” the St Joseph’s and St Patrick’s colleges to their original owners. Public attention has been focused on the state of college education in the country.

Given the unrealistic nature of some of the claims and allegations made by the parties, which are resisting the transfer of these colleges, it is important to put the issue in correct perspective. The arguments advanced by the critics of denationalization are:
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1 Comment | Posted in Education |