Monthly Archives: April 2006

The dismal state of health

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WHILE lamenting the dismal performance of the health sector in Pakistan, the State Bank’s Annual Report 2004-2005 identifies the factors for the poor health status of the people. It lists them as “poverty, inadequate and inefficient allocation of resources, malnutrition, unhealthy living environment and unequal distribution of health facilities”.

The health indicators in the country are shameful and the main cause of consternation is the fact that Pakistan is a richer country than many others whose people are healthier than ours. Thus Pakistan stands at the bottom rung of the ladder in South Asia in many sub-sectors of health. Take the case of infant (IMR) and under-five mortality rates (U-5MR). In 2003 they were recorded as 74 and 98 per thousand live births respectively. These were much higher than those for our other South Asian neighbours. Following us were Bhutan and India with an IMR and U-5MR of 70 and 87 respectively. This speaks volumes about how much the Pakistani state and society care for their women and children.
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When religion & politics mix

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WAS last week’s shocking carnage at Karachi’s Nishtar Park on Eid Milad Nabi a tragedy waiting to happen? People still find it difficult to fully comprehend why any one would want to kill scores of innocent people in cold blood on an occasion considered auspicious by all Muslims.

The ghastly attack wiped out the top leadership of the Sunni Tehreek, which was evidently the main target of the perpetrators of this evil deed.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Islamisation, Politics |

Will WSF make an impact?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

FOR Karachi, the World Social Forum was a big event. This is a city that has in recent years earned a bad name for itself for its lawlessness, crime and violence, where foreigners fear to tread because of dreaded bomb blasts. When it played host for five days to 20,000 people — 2,500 foreign delegates — (organisers’ claims) without any untoward incident, this could be termed as a major achievement.

The WSF has certainly restored for the time being the good image of the city. The delegates who came from outside found it a friendly and hospitable place, the water, sanitation and boarding/lodging problems notwithstanding. Karachi’s cosmopolitan and open-minded ambience makes it a great place to be in.
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Leave a comment | Posted in International Politics, Social Issues |