Monthly Archives: January 2005

AUTHOR: Going after Sindbad

By Zubeida Mustafa FATEMA MERNISSI, the Moroccan sociologist and academic who created quite a stir when she wrote her first book Behind the Veil, is working on a new project. When she completes it her next book will roll off … Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Social Issues, Women |

The politics of religion

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

In an article in the Financial Times of London titled “Why religion has become the new politics”, the writers, Stephen Ellis and Gerrie Ter Haar, have tried to explain why religion is the emerging political language of our time all over the world, be it the United States, the Middle East or the Third World.

They feel that even in Europe, which introduced the concept of the separation of the church and the state, religion is assuming a new significance. This phenomenon is now universally recognized, though its causes are hotly disputed.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Politics |

Giving them a sympathetic hearing

By Zubeida Mustafa Any adolescent passing through what adults refer to as “that difficult phase of life” would jump at an invitation like the above. This is the need of the day when not only an individual but also society … Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Children and Youth, Education, Population |

Blowing hot & cold on Balochistan

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The crisis in Balochistan has reached a boiling point. The turmoil in Pakistan’s largest province that had generally been ignored by the rest of the country has now shot into public awareness.

Although events in Balochistan were being reported in the press regularly, they have been taken note of only now by people generally when the gas purification plant at Sui was hit by rockets last week. Triggered off by the rape of a lady doctor at the Sui field hospital, the latest spate of violence has deepened the crisis.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Balochistan |

Must the school adopters wait?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

The adopt-a-school programme (ASP) launched by Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) in 1997 is in danger of falling prey to maladministration, misuse, corruption and apathy of the city government.

At present there are 173 government schools which have been adopted by 44 NGOs and individuals in the province. The adopters and some donor agencies have poured Rs 42.8 million into these schools in the last five years.

Admittedly, the programme has not brought about a radical transformation in the public sector school system to create a momentum to sustain itself without the patronage of the SEF. But it has certainly made a difference to the schools which have been adopted. If sustained the programme could produce an impact on a larger number of institutions and thus change the lives of many children.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education |

Meeting people’s basic needs

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

In his address to the nation last Thursday, President Pervez Musharraf very spiritedly defended his decision to stay on as the army chief while holding the civilian office of president. Among others, one argument he advanced was that “uniform is not an issue for the people, but the opposition wants to exploit it for its own benefit”.

To a certain extent, the president is right when he says that the people are not interested in the “uniform” issue. But the fact is that the masses of Pakistan have stopped taking interest in any political issue now. They hardly care who wins or who loses an election.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Social Issues |