Bracing for a More Inclusive Approach to Rural Development in Balochistan

An analysis of the role played by the Balochistan Rural Development and Community Empowerment (BRACE) Programme

Inclusive development is a regularly re-discovered topic in most development debates. Following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) it became clear that Inclusiveness is a key element in all the 17 SDGs, from poverty to hunger, education to health, reduced inequality to gender equality, climate change and so on. The shocking reality is that Pakistan Ranks at a low 134th position out of 166, in the 2020 SDG Index, way below all other South Asian countries in this region. Most recently, the COVID-19 Pandemic made painfully clear how important it is for a government to be able to ‘inclusively’ reach out to all its citizens. Socially mobilised and organised community institutions are key factors for effective and all-inclusive outreach. Although much work has been done on this in Pakistan, it still has a long way to go.

Read more

The Friendly Neighbours

I can say about myself that I am pretty much a VAGABOND naturally. I was born in Southeast Asia then moved to Pakistan and after that, I became the wanderer, shifting from one city to another of Pakistan, once for my medical school and then after marriage. Then finally settled in the UK in 2014.

But as I said before I am a forced traveller by nature. I have changed three houses in the UK to date. It looks like I have restless feet. But my house shifting was much different from my past experiences.

Read more

Cousins of the Middle East

The history of conflict in the Middle East dates to the 1940s and just like other territorial disputes is the “white man’s mess”. One should also keep in mind that the creation of Arab states and Israel was the outcome of the same historical event i.e. the fall of Ottoman Empire and going further back in the history; they are the great grandsons of the same father, Abraham.

Read more

FATF: White Pakistan

Recognizing its worldwide commitments, Parliament of Pakistan has recently approved diverse laws like Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act, 2020 in the lines of Article 22 of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Act, 2020 on the recommendation of Financial Actions Task Force (FATF). Likewise, Pakistan has also amended different laws on the subject of violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, National Counter Terrorism Authority, Foreign Exchange and State Bank of Pakistan. All of these amendments have been made by Pakistan to bring its financial system in compliance with international FATF standards on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing Terrorism (CFT).

Read more

A Few Good Things Mighty Homo Sapiens Can Learn from the Virus

We are living in the age of pandemic (covid19), suffering, lockdown, economic and social crisis, health sector limitations and much more. But amidst this some good things emerges out of the chaos to be valued and learned;

Suddenly humans adopted the habit of cleanliness, no more hand shaking and hand washing became a popular universal norm, an effective method to avoid bad germs that cause illness.

Read more

Cultural Diversity of Pakistan

Few days back, Dr. Shahbaz Gill mocked Bilawal Bhutto for wearing an Ajrak-pattern mask comparing Mr. Bhutto with the calves whose mouths are tied with a colorful cloth to restrict their milk intake. While Dr. Gill was busy with his mimicry of calves and Bilawal Bhutto, the host and other guests kept chuckling and none intervened. As witnessed, this is not the first time that a politician from Sindh has been criticized for promoting a culture. Earlier, former president of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari was also denounced for choosing to wear a Sindhi cap on his foreign tours.

Read more

Uncertainty, The Root Cause of All Evils

David Hume once said “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them”. 2020 has not been a good year all around the globe. I strongly disagree with the notion that we are one hundred years back from Europe or any other western country. I believe that problems of one generation all around the globe are quite similar with the minute cultural differences.

Read more

Israel’s advance

The UAE’s agreement with Israel should not a surprise to the world, but it is a series of events that have been taking place for some time. It was easy to conclude that some of the Arab states are going to happen something regarding Israel and it will start in the UAE. In November 2018, Israel’s national anthem was played at the Abu Dhabi Sports Tournament in the presence of the Israeli Minister of Sports. The Israeli Minister of Sports was the first to be in a Gulf country. The Israeli anthem was also played for the first time.

Read more

Valuing 21st century skills-based education

Covid-19 has truly exposed our deeply flawed, problematic education system. In the past few months, most students enrolled in our local universities, were begging to be provided with some form of flexibility vis-à-vis either submitting their assignments, not made to undergo in-person exams when the pandemic was yet to reach its peak in Pakistan – and even questioning unequal access to the internet and the so-called online classes – thanks to the financial, infrastructural constraints.

Read more

COVID-19 and Our Education System

Up till now we cannot predict whether Pakistan will defeat COVID-19 or not? It is still a question for all of us and quite full of uncertainty. But one thing is very much clear, that COVID-19 has adversely affected our education system in a really catastrophic manner. I mean look at the Education Centers, the schools, colleges, universities, the madrassas, even the students itself. The whole education system has become static. Not just in Pakistan, these are the situations being faced

Read more