battle of tweets we have been witnessing of late, reminds us that we
have certainly come a long way from the style in which diplomacy was
conducted since 1648. That was the year when the Peace of Westphalia
launched the modern secular sovereign state system. It introduced new
guidelines for states in their dealings with one another. They demanded
“accuracy, calm, patience, good temper, modesty” from an ideal diplomat,
as defined by Harold Nicolson, the British diplomat famous for his
books and diaries.
Trump’s twitter page in Washington, DC using a Game of Thrones-styled
montage. In April 2019 the US President tweeted “Game Over” declaring
himself fully vindicated in the investigation into Russian election
meddling and alleged collusion in the 2016 presidential elections.
Asad Ali, a young man in his 20s, has a passion for teaching.
He is a high school graduate and has no teacher’s training degree, but
he has compassion and inborn pedagogic skills that endear him to his
students. His father wanted him to join the army, but Ali preferred his
classroom to the battlefield. If Pakistan had more teachers with his
commitment, the country would be a different place altogether.
Ali would be a failure in the postmodern education system the
Pakistan government is making futile attempts to create for a people
still stuck in the medieval ages. Had Ali managed to adjust to the
prescribed system, his students in Khairo Dero—the village in Sindh
where he lives and works—would be unable to relate to him as they do
THE recently launched report of the National Human Rights
Commission’s Karachi chapter on health as a human right is indeed
timely. The report seeks constitutional changes to make the citizens’
right to health justiciable.
Of great significance is the report’s redefinition of the term
‘healthcare’ which has conventionally been interpreted very narrowly in
Pakistan as providing treatment for the illnesses that afflict people in
the country. Preventive medicine and the social factors leading to
diseases (termed as social determinants of health) are generally ignored
by those managing the health sector. The fact is that healthcare in
Pakistan is dominated by the pharma-driven allopathic medicine.
ADD ‘or commerce?’ to the question in the title. With the examination
season in full swing, to be followed by college admissions a few months
later, this is naturally the question being asked by many young people
aspiring to higher education.
Gone are the days when the choice was more or less evenly spread
across all disciplines, with arts having a slight edge over the others.
Individual aptitude, the job market and the capacity available in
colleges determined the ultimate picture that emerged.
Our ‘education’ — going to school, coming out of home, learning to be
with ‘others’, making and losing friends — might well be the most significant as
well as broadest range of social interaction for an individual in his lifetime.
It prepares and defines the person for non-familial contact and the process of continuous
learning that accompanies life. In that sense education is essentially