Monthly Archives: April 2019

Rising goodness

By Zubeida Mustafa

KHAIRO Dero, gulan jo sehro/ Sajay dunya jo khair/ Khairo Dero maan theendo (Khairo Dero, a garland of flowers/ The whole world’s goodness will/ Start from Khairo Dero. (Nazar Husain Shah)

So sang the devotees of Nazar Husain (fondly called Jabal Shah) when they performed for me on a hot summer evening in Khairo Dero where I was on a short visit recently. Nazar Hussain, a Sufi, came to Khairo Dero from Layyah when he was 14 years old, after he fell into a well and was rescued. The legend says he received instructions to make Khairo Dero his home, and his dargah now stands here.

Continue reading Rising goodness

The Missing Narrative

By Zubeida Mustafa | |

Nasim Zehra

When twice within a span of 10 days you are reminded of the ‘freedom of expression’ Pakistanis supposedly enjoy, it makes you wonder. First, it was a retired ambassador, Karamatullah Khan Ghori, who reminded the audience at his lecture on the Middle East at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA), that in Pakistan the press is more free than in the Arab world. He was right, but it irked me. If we need a yardstick, does it have to be a region which is the worst model of democratic freedoms?

Then came the Adab Festival’s debut in Karachi last month. In the session on Nasim Zehra’s outstanding book, From Kargil to the Coup: Events that Shook Pakistan, we were told by a retired general – Wasim Ghazi – that civil society had failed to present alternative narratives to the conventional stand adopted by the army on various issues. That was very surprising.

Continue reading The Missing Narrative

Spread the word

By Zubeida Mustafa

THERE is a problem with our health sector. It has been heavily ‘medicalised’. Taking their cue from the pharmaceutical companies, many physicians and surgeons tend to adopt the curative approach preponderantly, depending on diagnostic technology and drugs. Preventive medicine has been pushed aside, as have been its essentials — public health awareness, nutrition, personal hygiene, lifestyle and sanitation.

As a result, healthcare has become so costly that it is increasingly out of reach of the masses. Only the rich and privileged can hope to obtain satisfactory treatment when they are ill, while the country’s national health indicators are shockingly dismal.

Continue reading Spread the word