Monthly Archives: April 2011

English as a barrier

By Zubeida Mustafa

The following video is doing the rounds on the Internet. It is a talk by Patricia Ryan titled ‘Don’t insist on English’. It is one of the TED productions that definitely lives up to its claim of disseminating “ideas worth spreading”.

Ryan is a teacher of English who has worked in the Gulf states for over a decade which has given her a profound understanding of foreign language teaching. The talk is worth listening to, and can easily be located on the Internet.
Continue reading English as a barrier

Who sets the agenda?

By Zubeida Mustafa

SO much has happened between the United States and Pakistan in recent months that it is time for a review of their relationship. It would require the two countries to step back and make a dispassionate and objective assessment of their equations.

Analysts believe that the bond between the two countries “is driven by Pakistan’s utility [for the US] in fighting terrorism”. It is about the bare minimum — terrorism and insurgency-led violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan — that is needed to keep bilateral ties going. Ironically, according to this line of reasoning this predicates “the longevity of the interest on terrorism” on failure to improve relationships. This also implies that the two sides find it in their interest to keep the pot boiling, that is keep the region destabilised.

Click here to read the full article on Dawn.