Monthly Archives: May 2005

Will they return home?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WAY back in 1983, on a visit to Quetta, I had visited an Afghan refugee camp on the outskirts of the city. At that time the war against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan was at its height. The Geneva talks were nowhere on the horizon, and no one in his wildest dreams believed that the Russians would withdraw from Afghanistan.

The refugee camps were rich recruiting ground for the Mujahideen, although Pakistan persistently denied that its soil was in any way being used for training fighters for the Afghan resistance. It claimed that its only role was that of hosting the three million plus refugees who had sought sanctuary on Pakistani territory.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Economy, Foreign Policy of Pakistan, Social Issues |

Consumerism, our status symbol

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WITH shopping plazas mushrooming all over, new restaurants springing up, car showrooms proliferating and the advertising industry enjoying a boom, how can one say that consumerism in Pakistan is not on the rise.

With people equating personal happiness with the possession of goods and services, the cosumerist culture has been actively promoted as an intrinsic part of the government’s economic policy in the post-9/11 period.

In the last three years or so, the country has been awash with cash — some from the remittances by the Pakistani expatriates, and some from the aid given by the West to reward Islamabad for its cooperation in the war on terror.
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1 Comment | Posted in Economy, Social Issues |

ARTICLE: Books are for ever

By Zubeida Mustafa “Predicting the death of the book industry since the invention of the gramophone has not been something unusual. Every time a new invention comes along like the gramophone, the radio, film, television and, of course lately, the … Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in Books, Social Issues |

Non-proliferation dilemma

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE non-proliferation treaty review conference being held in New York since May 2 is the biggest hoax in the history of nuclear disarmament negotiations. There is a lot of sound and fury that is being generated at the moot. But it seems strange that the thrust of the nuclear club’s attack is against the supposedly aberrant states in the Third World.

At the same time, a blind eye is turned to the inherent inequity envisaged in the treaty that was concluded in 1968 and came into force in 1970. What is more, the haves of the nuclear world appear to be acquiring greater privileges and power while the have-nots are being pushed further against the wall. This inequality in their relationship has been growing with the passage of time causing greater discontent globally.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Nuclear weapons, War and Peace |

Status of women and family size

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE population welfare department of the NWFP has chalked out plans to bring down the population growth rate in the province from 2.19 per cent to 1.84 per cent in the next three years. This move has apparently come as a result of pressure from foreign donors who have impressed on Islamabad that without controlling the population growth rate, Pakistan cannot make any progress.

This is a truism any thinking person should know. Some obvious facts can be stated here. With 3.14 million children being added to the country’s population every year, Pakistan would have to generate an additional GNP of $1.55 billion just to keep the GNP per capita at the current level of $492.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Population, Women |