How Pakistan survives?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WHAT keeps Pakistan afloat? Despite its seemingly precarious political existence and the gloom and doom spread by the highly politicised media, as well as the horrendous bomb blasts, the country manages to survive? For the answer switch off your television and step out to see for yourself how people cope in a country that does not provide its citizens even their basic needs. The immense reserves of resilience the people have is striking.
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Doctors with a conscience

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THERE was a time when the physician was like god to his patient. His word was gospel truth not to be flouted. No longer so. It is partly the trust deficit between them that has eroded their relationship. At the root is the commercialisation of the medical profession. Once monetary considerations determine a doctor’s decisions, the results can be disastrous. Instances of deaths due to medical negligence are legion.
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When does a child write

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WHY do we write? Because we want to communicate, says Steven Roger Fischer in his book A History of Writing. Terry Tempest Williams, the American author, puts it differently in WritingCreative Nonfiction, “I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue.”
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Untold story of abortion

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

ACCORDING to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2006-07, the country`s population growth rate has fallen to 1.9 per cent from a record high of 3.7 per cent per year in the 1960s.

The survey also gives the total fertility rate (the average number of children a woman would have if she went through her entire reproductive period, 15-49 years) as 4.1 which has been reduced considerably from 5.4 in 1990.
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Mystery of the women’s bills

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

PUBLIC memory is proverbially short. But the bills passed on women are too recent an event to be consigned to oblivion. Twice in the last four months the government’s attempts to enact pro-women legislation – one on domestic violence and the other on sexual harassment — have ended in a fiasco.
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Where health is a birthright

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WHILE validating the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Ordinance 2007 in the form of a bill, the National Assembly paid rich tributes to Prof Adibul Hasan Rizvi and the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi.

They deserved the recognition they received — belatedly though — from our lawmakers.
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Health cover for schools

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AT a time when the very future of our schools is so bleak, it appears almost crass to write about the need for introducing a school health programme in Pakistan. But, as pointed out by an observer, diseases take a heavier toll than bomb blasts. Hence they should not be ignored.
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Civilians in the war zone

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

We are constantly being exhorted to treat the war on terror as our own war and not theirs (the Americans’). We are told to own it. From that one deduces that we should make our due contribution to the war effort. One would not argue with that line of thinking — no, not at this stage.

Now that Pakistanis find themselves caught in this quagmire of conflict they do not have much of a choice except to try and wade their way out. For this they are extending full support to the army and the government.
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