Pakistan

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Civil service reform

The UNDP country director Ignacio Artaza recently wrote in this paper on the prospect of civil service reform in Pakistan. Earlier his predecessor, Marc-André Franche, also shared his pessimistic parting thoughts about poverty and inequality and the Pakistani elite’s callousness towards the poor. The more optimistic Mr Artaza pointed out the need for an efficient and accountable civil service, indicating that most reforms so far have focused on short-term, episodic gains and failed to make an impact even if he sees hope in the demand for reforms at policymaking levels.

Sharif versus Sharif

An official announcement from the Pakistan Army on Monday that General Raheel Sharif has begun his farewell calls before his pending retirement next Tuesday has brought an extended drama to a close. Some in Delhi might keep their fingers crossed and wait to see if there are additional twists to this tale. For months now there has been speculation about a possible second term of three years for the army chief. There was visible public pressure on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to extend his tenure.

Institutionalised degradation of the blind

It is about time we call the treatment of the blind like it is — institutionalised degradation of blind Pakistanis on a daily basis — yes, it happens. Though the blind have to face discrimination in almost all spheres of life, they have to face institutionalised degradation in educational institutions, banks and at the job market. 

Has CPEC now kicked off?

Now that a couple of hundred containers have been loaded onto two vessels at Gwadar port and dispatched to various destinations around the world, can we say that CPEC is up and running? The short answer is no. The long answer is not yet.

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