Category Archives: Natural Disasters

Pakistan’s Youth: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

By Zubeida Mustafa

The so-called youth bulge in Pakistan has now become visible. One young woman making news around the world of late is 17-year-old Malala Yusufzai, who was named the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in early October.

Not that Pakistan has not been a young country for several decades. The country’s high population growth rate over the 1980s and 1990s means more than a quarter of the country’s population of 182 million today is between 15 and 29 years of age, which is how youth is defined by the United Nations. However, it is only in times of turbulence, as Pakistan is experiencing at present, that the youth’s presence has become pronounced. Two democratic elections in a row – in 2008 and 2013— have focused public attention on young voters.In the May 2013 general election it is said that about a third of the registered voters were under 29 (that worked out to 25 million in absolute numbers) and many of them would be casting ballots for the first time. The political parties took note, and all of them included plans for the youth in their election manifestos. Continue reading

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Atoning for our sins

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn IS change in the offing? I should hasten to add that I am not talking about political change in Islamabad which is perennially the subject of much speculation. It is socio-economic change I want to … Continue reading

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What the Future Holds for Flood-Affected Pakistanis: Will Zuhra Go to School Again?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: The WIP

Zuhra is four and she has recently learned her Sindhi alphabet – 52 letters in all. She wants the world to know about her achievement. When I met Zuhra at the Indus Resource Centre’s (IRC) tent city for the flood affected in Dadu – a small town in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh – she tugged at my sleeve and insisted I listen to her recitation.

Data collected from IRC tent cities in Khairpur, Dadu, and Sehwan in Sindh provides an idea of how women fared the ravaging floods in July through September. Of the 8,089 people housed in these camps, 49 percent were females and 47 percent were children, indicating the prevalence of large family sizes and its implications for women.
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Will Zuhra Go To School Again?

The floods of 2010 have been forgotten. Do we remember the plight of those who suffered. This article was written when the displaced people were returning home. They were happy to be going back to their villages. But their feelings … Continue reading

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What next for flood victims?

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn THE narratives of Pakistan’s flood experience are drawing to a close. According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s latest data (Oct 30), 1,984 people lost their lives in the deluge that swept across large tracts … Continue reading

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On the point of change?

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn THE tent cities for the flood-affected in Khairpur are now being dismantled. According to the EDO of the district only five remained last Friday. As I watched the occupants of the Indus Resource Centre’s (IRC) … Continue reading

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Contribution of expatriates

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn IT was President John F. Kennedy who exhorted Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you…..but what you can do for your country”. This ‘do for your country’ spirit is very much … Continue reading

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Seizing the moment

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn HISTORY is replete with examples of societies having cleverly turned their adversity into a window of opportunity to achieve what they never would have in ‘normal’ times. Without a cataclysmic tragedy they often remain mired … Continue reading

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How Pakistan survives

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn FOR some time now — especially since the electronic media was unwittingly liberated by the military government of Gen Pervez Musharraf — cynics and pessimists have been writing off Pakistan. Since the closing days of … Continue reading

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Cashing in on the floods

By Zubeida Mustafa Source: Dawn WHEN natural disaster strikes, it can affect the rich and the poor, but not alike. Calamities such as floods and earthquakes hit the poor harder. Being the children of lesser gods, the poor are more … Continue reading

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