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Pakistan

Pakistan has been inching towards a water crisis for decades. In 1951, it was a water-abundant country with an annual per capita availability of around 5,260 cubic meters (m3). By 2013, this declined to as low as 964 m3 per annum. The country is expected to become “absolute water scarce” — less than 500 m3 per capita per annum — by 2035.

 

Pakistan has faced multiple active terrorism threats over the past 15 years, which now constitute an existential threat to the state. In order to deal with this, Pakistan enacted an anti-terrorism law in 1997, subsequently improved to meet emergent threats through a number of amendments.

 

Sheikh also believes legal reforms must be paired with a concerted and coordinated effort to change, firstly, deeply held patriarchal beliefs in Pakistan, and secondly, a misinterpretation of the country's religion -- Islam. 

 

At the time when the country was descending deep into the hells of terrorism and everyone was losing hope, the decision was taken to put the command of the Pakistan army in the hands of someone who belongs to a family whose profession is to serve the country and sacrifice everything, even life, for the dignity, honour and protection of it.

 
Ever wonder why we have a Rs5,000 note? If not, you should — because the note has a very interesting story to tell. It was introduced in 2006, and accounted for the bulk of the increase in “currency in circulation” for the next few years. Those in favour of its publication argued that it simplifies cash movement. So every day, for example, large amounts of cash need to be flown from Karachi to other cities around the country to meet the cash requirements of the banks.
 

The result of the most recent examination for the Central Superior Services (CSS) — in which around 10,000 candidates appeared and 200 passed — has elicited much commentary. Most of it, a lament on the falling standard of education, has been predictable. A different perspective is more intriguing: it lauds the examination for being meritocratic and so rigorous that it selects the very best for the civil service, which, it argues, is all to the good.

 
 

In the first year of the present decade, 2010-11, the total number of traffic accidents in Pakistan was 9,723. By the fifth year of the decade, 2014-15, the number has significantly reduced to 7,865 or by 19 per cent. If we exclude Islamabad from 2014-15, as its data is not included in 2010-11, the reduction is 21 per cent. The reduction in fatal accidents was higher at 27 per cent than the reduction in nonfatal accidents at 17 per cent.  In the fatal accidents defined as those causing deaths, the number of deaths came down from 5,271 to 3,847. Accidents without any casualty but causing injuries are defined as nonfatal. The number of persons injured decreased from 11,383 9,297. In these reported accidents, the number of vehicles involved declined from 10,822 to 9,080.

 

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has generated competing claims among provinces on where the corridor should lie, as though counting the trucks plying on it is what really matters. This is myopic.

 
Every winter, Lahoris are used to thick fog descending upon the city, and on certain days, drastically reducing visibility and their mobility. In the last few years, however, the annual winter fog has morphed into something more aptly described as smog. Additionally, a smoky haze can now be found hanging over the city even during the summer months. One can now notice Lahoris emulating citizens of other heavily polluted cities, like New Delhi or Beijing, by wearing flimsy masks, which do little to filter the toxic air.  
 

Originally, this was to be a piece on parliament, which is supreme and which must try to accommodate all points of view. But then speaker Ayaz Sadiq intervened with his gag order. He said ‘no Panama’. He said the subject was sub judice. He was quite abrasive in his tone. That must have left the old believers to deal with insurmountable doubts. What to write about then?

 


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