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Pakistan’s lower house of Parliament has passed a landmark bill giving its small Hindu minority the right to register marriages, the last major hurdle on the way to enacting a law aimed at protecting women’s rights.

 
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Successive attempts to give an estimate about the number of poor in the country have failed. Perhaps it’s time for the Government to focus on elevating poverty by bringing agriculture to the centre-stage of policy formulation

 
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Reports of the government readying itself to argue in the Supreme Court that triple talaq—the disputed practice of instant divorce among Muslims that allows a man to divorce his wife by uttering the word talaq three times in succession in a single sitting—are likely to stir the hornet’s nest.   
 
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Even though bio-medicine was quick to make use of robotics and internet of things, its adoption of artificial intelligence has been slow and limited. However, with Microsoft aiming to develop cancer solutions with the help of artificial intelligence, things may change quickly.

 
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The Board wants that "women should appreciate this point that if the ratio of women is higher, would they prefer wedlock, or let them be illicit mistresses of men, without any of the rights which a wife gets." In which century, one may ask, the learned members of the Board are living?  Through advocate Ejaz Maqbool, the Board argues that it was a “misconception” that Muslim men enjoyed unilateral and unbridled power to divorce.

 
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Human trafficking is a major crime in the country. Unfortunately, not all of its nuances have been either understood or addressed. Although there is now a proposed legislation to tackle the menace, the Bill has problem areas.

 

Even here, the audience may be narrowing. In Pakistan, there is a big market for Indian movies in their multiplexes. For decades this revenue was lost to Bollywood because the movies were pirated. Under former president Pervez Musharraf, the official screening of movies was allowed, benefiting both nations. Today all Bollywood movies are shown there. Unfortunately, the current state of ties between the two countries has been allowed to deteriorate so much that we should not be surprised if Musharraf's wise decision is reversed.

 
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Each time I travel to India I’m struck by the rush of memories and the need to share them; flickering memories of bungalows in Lahore, school days in Lyallpur, fruit trees in Attock. The conversations proceed as if by rote — nostalgia; regret at the diminishing contact; expressions of affinity and kinship; a heartfelt wish to visit Pakistan in their lifetime.  
 
A Bollywood celebrity is asked if she identifies as feminist; she demurs, but adds that she’s all for equality between the sexes. And then her denial of feminism becomes the news, inspiring headlines and prompting much eye-rolling among urban Indians who do identify as feminist (myself included). Last month it was the actress Tabu who said she liked the work of poet and women’s rights activist Maya Angelou but added that this “doesn’t make me a feminist though.
 
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Many watched the recent discussion on atrocities on Dalits in the Lok Sabha with hope. They felt that since the present policy has had limited success in reducing atrocities on Dalits, the discussion would throw up a new initiative. What emerged at the end of day, however, did not touch the core issue: The roots of the continuing violence against Dalits and a durable solution to the problem. 

 


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Review
 
 
 
 
Addressing entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, and academics December 7 at the Carnegie India Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru, India's Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar underscored the need to harness the power of technological change for faster economic development.
 
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The strangest of the several barbs hurled hurdled at Pakistan during and after the recently concluded Heart of Asia conference at Amritsar, India,  was that Pakistan is trying to change perception about the Taliban writes Monish Gulati  
 
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Actually, Modi is on to a long-term experiment in India. He and the government aim to re-engineer human souls and minds as much as socio-economic realities. writes Sudip Bhattacharyya for South Asia Monitor.
 
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But there are reasons for optimism too. At first glance, the election of Trump, Europe’s problems and the UK’s vote for Brexit represent a shift against immigration, globalisation and liberal ideals. The wider picture, however, looks a bit different.
 
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Diplomacy can be quirky when not decidedly cold. Donald Trump has caused a flutter in the international roost weeks before his inaugural as the President of the United States of America. He himself has been left wondering how the  "US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment, but I should not accept a congratula
 
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The Heart Of Asia conference in Amritsar called for immediate elimination of terrorism to help the war-ravaged country in its political and economic transition. Access the full text here...
 
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Africa is a world leader in poverty and hunger due to a lack of committed leadership and rampant corruption, said Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in his address at the House of Lords December 7.  
 
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It is accepted conventional wisdom the world over, ever since well-known military theorist, Carl Von Clausewitz, first articulated the aphorism in the late 18th century that “war is a continuation of politics by other means”.  
 
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An aching sense of love, loss and yearning permeate this work of fiction which, however, reads like a personal narrative set in an intensely disruptive period of Indian history, and adds to the genre of partition literature, writes Ni...

 
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This is a path-breaking work on India's foreign policy since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014 and surprised everyone by taking virtual charge of the external affairs portfolio. A man who had been denied visa by some count...

 
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The pattern of Chinese actions on the global stage demonstrates that it lives by the credo of might is right, a potent tool in its armoury for the pursuit of aggressive designs, writes Sudip Talukdar for South Asia Monitor....

 
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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...

 
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