Monthly Archives: April 2007

What hurts is the rich-poor divide

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

POVERTY, an area of profound concern for economists in the Third World, has acquired enormous political connotations. It has come to be used as the yardstick to measure the performance of a government. It is therefore not surprising that policymakers make exaggerated claims about poverty reduction.

The Musharraf government is no exception. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz insists that the ratio of those living below the poverty line in Pakistan has come down in five years from 34.46 per cent in 2000-01 to 23.9 per cent in 2004-05.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Economy, Social Issues |

Whither National Art Gallery?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

PAKISTAN has a rich art heritage. Masters such as Chughtai, Sadequain, Shakir Ali, and others are recognised internationally. But the misfortune of this country has been that visual art has not enjoyed the public appreciation it merits for the simple reason that it does not have the exposure art must have if people are to understand and derive pleasure from it – and be able to distinguish good art from bad.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Culture and the Arts |

Language question in education

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

LANGUAGE controversies have been a sensitive issue in Pakistan. Half the country was lost in 1971 when, among other things, we could not concede the right to the people of East Pakistan to use Bangla, their own language, in the affairs of the state.

In 1972, language riots took place in Karachi when the “new Sindhis” were unwilling to recognise the right of the people of Sindh to use Sindhi as the language of the government. The alienation that was caused ran deep and has still not been bridged.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education, Language |

Female militants’ show of force

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

IN ITS latest issue, the Time magazine titles its cover story as “The truth about Talibanistan” which it claims is gathering strength in Pakistan’s “wild borderlands”. Last week events took a new turn.

The show of force by the Lal Masjid strongmen and the Hafsa madressah’s female guardians of morality in Islamabad was an indication that the tentacles of the Taliban are spreading rapidly to the heart of the federal capital.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education, Islamisation |