Monthly Archives: April 2009

Khaskhelis: victims of feudalism

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

AN Afghan proverb holds that zar, zan and zameen (gold, woman and land) are linked to a man`s honour. It is no different in Pakistan`s tribal and feudal tradition.

While women are fighting back and wealth is no longer the exclusive preserve of a handful, land continues to be the most coveted element in the lexicon of male honour. Land hunger lies at the root of many evils. Civilised societies have another perspective. They regard housing, “the crucible for human well-being”, as the fundamental right of man to enable him to live in peace and dignity. For that he needs land.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Economy, Social Issues |

Where were you dear sisters?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

MUCH has been said about the shameful performance of our parliament on April 13 when it approved the controversial Nizam-i-Adl Regulation without much of a murmur.

The two members who protested, MQM`s Farooq Sattar and the PML-N MNA from Chakwal, Ayaz Amir, have received much-deserved accolades — albeit given grudgingly to the MQM. But why did the others lose their voice? What happened to the women?
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Leave a comment | Posted in Politics, Women |

How to monitor schools

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

EDUCATION in Pakistan is a subject people never tire of lamenting. The problem lies with the public-sector institutions, especially schools, which have fallen into a state of decay over the years. Since they cater to the needs of the majority, the crisis in education must be addressed earnestly.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Education |

A catalyst for change

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WHY did civil society in Pakistan vociferously protest the flogging of a 17-year old girl in a public square in Swat and not when many other atrocities were committed against women in recent times?

The demonstrations and protests began when this barbaric incident that was filmed on a cellphone came to light last week. It seemed to have touched a raw nerve and received wide publicity in the electronic and print media and on the Internet making an impact that went beyond expectations.

Now there are counter allegations that the video was fake and meant to undermine the February peace deal. The police produced before the Supreme Court a statement from Chand Bibi, the girl who was said to have been flogged in Kabbal district of Swat, denying that the incident ever took place. What has become more significant today is the fact that the incident triggered off protests and they still continue.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Terrorism and Violence, War and Peace, Women |

Our internal threats

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

WAS Monday`s attack on the police academy in Lahore the “internal threat” the prime minister spoke about last week?

Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani was addressing participants of the Maaraka-i-Baqa exercise at the National Defence University when he disclosed — probably unwittingly — that Pakistan had been preparing over the years to meet any external threat, but that all along an “internal threat has been evolving beyond our comprehension and has weakened us considerably”. This was confirmed on Monday by the adviser on interior when he admitted that Pakistan has the will but lacks the capability to fight terror.
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Leave a comment | Posted in Terrorism and Violence |