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Alternative funding for universities

If the Pakistan Army can balance its various commercial ventures alongside its primary duty — then so, too, can universities Last week, a friend sent me a notification issued by a Pakistani university, regarding the latter’s financial stringency. The university’s competent authority demonstrated its incompetence by ordering superficial measures aimed at cutting expenditure. This only becomes effective when efforts to ...

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Life in London

I was asked what a visitor might expect to find in London and write about it. The following is a purely subjective, and as such limited, view in which I will probably (almost certainly) upset particular groups/sections/parties by mentioning them and equally upset others by not mentioning them. Their measure of anger/distress/affront is of no concern to me. It is ...

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The JIT Syndrome

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) appointed by the Apex Court of the country for investigating the money trail leading to off shore companies in Panama owned by Sharif family has proved to be a curious phenomenon. It has representatives of the six federal departments as members but it goes without saying that its pivot is constituted by the members coming ...

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Baloch in the eye of storm

It has become almost a norm for Balochistan to make it to the headlines during every regional crises situation in the last so many decades. Afghanistan was accused by Pakistan for supporting Baloch nationalist uprisings that started in 1973 after the unconstitutional dissolution of the elected provincial government of Baloch nationalists by the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto led federal government of ...

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The West Asian volcano

Eruption of the West Asian political volcano, though expected due to the political heat accumulating over the last few years due to deepening political rivalries in the region, stunned political observers across the world when it materialised. The two spectacular terrorist attacks in Tehran last Wednesday that took place simultaneously at the Iranian Parliament and the Tomb of Ayutollah Rohullah ...

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A heated neighbourhood

Last Monday, Iranian General Mohammad Albaqiri, warned Pakistan of attack inside her territory to destroy what he called terrorist sanctuaries. The threat came about two weeks after Jaish ul-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni militant organisation, with a history of launching attacks in Siestan-Balochistan of Iran, accepted the responsibility of killing ten Iranian border guards in an attack carried out ...

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Justice for Mashal

Writing about the lost blood of the wretched of the earth, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the outstanding progressive poet of Urdu in the 20th century, says in his poem “No trace of blood”: Neither on the hands and nail of the slayer Nor any sign on the sleeve No redness in the dagger’s edge No any colour on spear’s head No ...

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Politics of demography

The term census was originally coined by Romans to keep a count of the male population fit for military services. But during the socio-historical evolution of the world it mainly came to mean national population and housing censuses that provides a picture of levels of education, age, sex, social status and other characteristics of the people. By now it has ...

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Some stocktaking

The main feature of Pakistan’s 70th National Day was the impressive and colourful military parade that remained the focus of media coverage on 23rd of March this year. The march past was supposed to represent the country’s determination for defeating terrorism, which is a noble and desirable goal. So far so good. But for the last many years the country ...

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Myth of accountability

Afrasiab Khan Khattak With the exception of a few sane voices Pakistan has lacked a rational and fair discourse on the question of accountability for obvious reasons. Prerequisites for genuine accountability such as supremacy of the Constitution, rule of law and equality of citizens before the law aren’t there. Holy cows have been and still are above the law and ...

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