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Orange Line battles


THE Lahore High Court’s ruling on the Orange Line case forbids the Lahore Development Authority and its contractors from carrying out construction work within 200 feet (61 metres) of “protected immovable antiquity and special premises”. 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 ... Read More »

Writing on the wall


IT would be difficult to formulate a more poignant mix of frustration, desperation and utter despair. “All of society is collectively in the grasp of moral degradation, senselessness, extremism and terrorism because of ignorance,” says the stark white lettering against a black background. “People don’t have the habit of reading anymore. So libraries and bookstores have no meaning for such ... Read More »

The Mohajir mind


MOST of us living outside of Karachi often find it hard to explain the demi-god status accorded to Altaf Hussain by so many of the city’s ordinary Urdu-speaking residents. Yes the ‘Quaid-i-Tehreek’ has fashioned a disciplined organisation that elicits more fear than respect, but an explanation for Altaf Hussain and the MQM’s resilience that ignores popular support is insufficient. The ... Read More »

Knowledge lost


BESIDES the Quranic verses laying strong emphasis on acquiring knowledge, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Acquire knowledge from cradle to grave”. In another hadith, he underlined the importance of knowledge by declaring it fard (obligatory) on every Muslim man and woman. Hence, the first and foremost binding duty on every Muslim from infancy is seeking knowledge or education. In contrast, ... Read More »

Collision course

ASHA’AR REHMAN - The writer is Dawn’s resident editor in Lahore.

IN an apparent moment of reckoning, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif recently wondered out loud about how he was being exploited by the system. He asked that if it was he who was required to do everything, what were the others there for. The statement may not necessarily reflect a shift on the chief minister’s part from the arbitrary to the ... Read More »

Quest for solutions

FAISAL BARI - The writer is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives and an associate professor of economics at Lums, Lahore.

COMMENTS on a number of my recent articles have stated that I have focused on delineating/diagnosing issues and have not given solutions. This is an attempt at starting that conversation. We have been talking, broadly, about inequalities in our society. Inequalities not just in wealth and income, but also in power, education, health and other political, social and economic areas. ... Read More »

The ghosts of Spain


LAST week, an Argentine judge launched an investigation into the death of Federico Garcia Lorca. There’s something odd about this picture. Lorca was a poet and playwright of considerable renown and popular appeal, but he wasn’t from Argentina. Further, he died 80 years ago this month. One of the reasons his case is being investigated by an Argentine rather than ... Read More »


A. RAUF K. KHATTAK - The writer is a former federal secretary and minister.

ANALYSING everything in its correct perspective is a great gift; the loss of perspective is akin to losing one’s way in a forest. Keeping perspective helps one walk on the straight and narrow path. Ordinary citizens normally give undeserved credit to their governments for their actions and decisions, assuming that they are the outcomes of careful considerations. The word ‘minister’ ... Read More »

Not our kids


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 ... Read More »

Field Marshal Raheel Sharif?


A SUGGESTION to elevate Gen Raheel Sharif to rank of field marshal is rumoured to be under consideration. Some media reports maintain that a decision has already been made. There is, however, no confirmation or denial from either the government or the military spokesman, raising questions about the credibility of these stories. There are some reports that the offer came ... Read More »