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        Society for Policy Studies


Pakistan is one of the countries that are seriously falling behind achieving the targets accepted by the international community. Why is that happening? 

The areas where I conducted fieldwork were quite representative of Sindh as they included both rural areas in the north and the south, and the major urban centres of the province. The usual division of Sindh is along the north-south and urban-rural lines.  

Since the 1990s, around a billion people are estimated to have been lifted out of extreme poverty. Yet, it is intriguing that this decrease in poverty is not accompanied by any significant reduction in the gap between the haves and the have nots. Despite the enormous growth in global wealth, the so-called ‘trickle-down effects’ of this progress remain lacklustre. Income inequality has actually increased both within and across countries. The fact that we live in a world in which 72 per cent of the world’s poor possess around one per cent of its wealth indicates how deeply flawed our prevailing models of growth are.

As Punjab, under the leadership of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, races to embrace technology, other provinces look with great interest at the PITB initiatives to improve governance. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah recently visited PITB to take a closer look at the use of IT especially in the realm of law and order. Being a Stanford graduate, another world class institution, he is no stranger himself to the use of technology in improving service delivery. He showed great interest in some of the flagship PITB initiatives for implementation in Sindh to combat terrorism and crime. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif graciously assured him of his full support and work in this regard is already underway.  

Some people collect stamps, others play golf; Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif picks army chiefs. It’s a perilous hobby. If things go smoothly, in November Sharif will be required to pick the country’s top general for the sixth time in his career, which has involved previous stints as premier in 1990-93 and 1990-97. Needless to say, things have not always gone smoothly.


The National Action Plan has become a reference point for everything counterterrorism (CT). Media and civil society have been demanding its transparent implementation and monitoring. Talking to folks within the government, it’s clear they are feeling the heat.


The only way out of a growing crisis, and a successful resolution to the pressing issue of polarisation, rests on the government ceding some space off its own accord. This could be in the shape of a mutually agreeable investigation commission or in the form of enhanced autonomy for investigative bodies. Continued petulance and defiance at this stage will only lead to trouble later.

As usual high sounding speeches, special TV programmes and rededication to Quaid’s vision of Pakistan would mark his death anniversary (September 11). However, there would be no sincere effort to recapitulate why he wanted Pakistan, what his raison d’etre for it was and what we have made of it today.  

After the promulgation of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police Ordinance (KPPO), pessimists tried to paint a bleak scenario regarding its implementation and contended that without a structural and attitudinal change in the police, how could merely passing a law change the quality of policing.

How, and if, he lives through this over the next few months, will determine what happens with the MQM, and with Karachi. This party without this Quaid, offers immense hope, but also brings forth the possibilities of unparalleled fear of blood feuds, for the citizens of Karachi.  

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Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra Shah has regretted that the country has lost its Hindu identity and said despair and unhappiness among the people might lead them to revolt once again. 


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