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Pakistan

Regardless of what one feels about the Punjab government, its ruling party, or the project itself, the ruling is fair and correct. It is based on an accurate understanding of the existing laws regulating construction, preservation and heritage in the province. Government contractors were violating a number of these laws, under the eyewash of patently illegal approvals from the archaeology department

 

On Aug. 14, Pakistan marked its 69th year of independence. Though there was much to celebrate of historical significance, the years since independence have brought Pakistanis little to celebrate. Instead there has been much soul-searching, with a feeling of lost focus and purpose.

 
 

When a Pakistani chief of army staff (COAS) usurps power from a civilian government, he justifies his action by claiming — among other things — that the civilians lack integrity. 

 

There have been hundreds of (mostly repeat) studies on violence against women conducted by donor agencies and women’s rights NGOs in Pakistan. Religious laws and customs/traditions have always been identified as the formal and informal sources that justify male violence and provide impunity. The successful collusion between men and the state to control women through violence has been pointed out. But things have changed considerably.

 

The numbers should shock and shame Pakistan but they are unlikely to. According to data produced by Sahil, an NGO that monitors child abuse in Pakistan, reported child abuse cases have increased by 36 per cent in Pakistan in the first half of 2016, as compared to the same period last year. If this were not horror enough, there is more: the number of reported gang rapes of children (classified as under 18 years old) has increased by 71pc as compared to the same time last year. Increases are also seen in the number of attempted rapes and in the number of abuse cases of the very youngest of children, those between 0-5 years of age.

 

There are two situations under which employees work beyond regular hours. First, the organisation may require employees to finish the day’s assignment due to unforeseen demands of work, breakdown of machinery and unplanned stoppage of operations, meeting customers’ targets, closing of accounts, and to cover for absent employees. Second, overtime work may be needed because of workers’ incompetence or their wilfully slowing down in order to make extra money through overtime, etc.

 

The riot of recriminations in the wake of the Aug 8 Quetta carnage shows how we lack maturity and fortitude as a nation. Both the military high command and the civilian leadership immediately referred to the bombing as a foreign conspiracy against the country’s prosperity, especially associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

 

It is amazing how quickly a terrorist atrocity can concentrate minds in Pakistan. But not for very long, sadly. The recent slaughter of over 70 at a Quetta hospital is a case in point. The long dormant National Action Plan — cobbled together after the December 2014 atrocity at the Army Public School in Peshawar — was dusted off.

 

Are dark clouds beginning to hover on the balance-of-payments horizon? Worker remittances to Pakistan have hit an air pocket in July, dropping over 20 per cent from a year earlier. Since the launch of the Pakistan Remittance Initiative in mid-2009, worker remittance inflows have recorded robust annual increases, growing from around $6.5 billion in 2007-08 to $19.9bn in 2015-16. 

 

It is a basic principle of representative democracy that citizens elect people who govern and serve the community and society at large. Inclusivity and the opportunity to control the agenda is what keeps voters’ faith and ensures their active participation in this ideal.

 


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