By Zubeida Mustafa
ACCORDING to the 2017 census report, nearly 63 per cent of Pakistan’s
population lives in the rural areas. For a developing country, this
poses many challenges in terms of equity and disparity in the
distribution of resources and development funds and planning expertise.
As is economically feasible, more attention is paid to the development
of urban areas. They are the seat of government where population density
makes the development process more cost-effective due to the economies
of scale. Since the rural areas don’t offer similar advantages they
suffer, notwithstanding their larger population.
But that doesn’t justify the neglect of the rural hinterland. Such an approach has a damaging impact on the lives of more people. Given the government’s limited resources, it cannot divert huge amounts from the cities to disadvantaged regions where the population is scattered. As a result, the country is experiencing a high urbanisation rate as people move in large numbers to the cities from villages, creating problems of another kind. Moreover, this unplanned transfer of population upsets planning.
Continue reading Our rural areas
By Rifaat Hamid Ghani
IT is false to say those were lawyers attacking doctors or doctors under attack on December 11th in Lahore. It was us: people like you and me were doing that to people like you and me in and to our hospital. Something increasingly toxic within and around us is generating an atmosphere of violence. Personal self-respect has degenerated into self-righteous entitlement and intimidatory demand. Can we arrest this slide into the bestial before we all become completely desensitized or submerged?
and where did it begin? It is chastening to remind ourselves that an angrily
contested partition was integral part of the subcontinent’s venture into
self-rule. Simply put: this vast subcontinent’s major Muslim minority and
heavily Hindu majority did not trust each other enough to share a common space.
That was 1947. In 2019 the polity is still wrangling violently within its
separate states, failing to resolve a sociopolitical equation of common human
interest: We can justly point a finger at the subcontinent’s cannabilistic mother
India; emergent Pakistan; Bangladesh; Nepal; Bhutan; and even a not that safely
enough offshore Sri Lanka. Why then is the rampage at Lahore’s PIC particularly
Continue reading Reflection
By Zubeida Mustafa
UNTIL recently a college textbook in Punjab described the Baloch as
“uncivilised people who engaged in murder and looting”. This criminal
aberration came to light three years ago when a senator from Balochistan
discovered it and raised a hue and cry about it in the upper house of
Continue reading A Baloch Library