Pakistani among four journalists to be honoured

Honouring courage in defiance of censorship

Four outstanding journalists who have endured and defied media repression in Bahrain, Belarus, Mexico, and Pakistan will be honored with the Committee to Protect Journalists’ 2011 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous journalism.

From left, al-Jamri, Radina, Cheema, and Valdez. (Courtesy: CPJ)

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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Steve Jobs: ‘Death is very likely the single best invention of life’

Apple founder Steve Jobs died on Wednesday, aged 56. In 2005, in a moving address at Stanford University after receiving surgery for pancreatic cancer, he reflected on his own mortality, urging his audience:
‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.’ Continue reading

In Pictures: Steve Jobs – an iCon

Timeline: Steve Jobs
A look at Steve Jobs’ career

1977 – Photo shows Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as he introduces the new Apple II in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Apple Computers Inc., File)

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Wealth secures Health in today’s world

The good old saying “Health is Wealth” is no more applicable in a world we inhabit today where wealth ensures good health and not the vice versa. It means the more money you have, the better health you enjoy, as an individual and as a state. To worsen the matter, lack of better health facilities, least health awareness, and low expenditure on health has widened health disparities (access to health care) between the rich and poor of the country.

Today, one may ensure that Pakistanis enjoys a vast network of health care facilities, but accessibility, cost and quality of health care remain critical issues, mainly because spending on health by government remains abysmally low i.e. 0.54 percentage of GDP, which is amongst the lowest of all other countries of South Asian region. Continue reading

HEC – a victim of democratic dissolution ?

Edited version published in Pakistan Observer (6 Apr. 2011)
Sana Jamal

Ever since the Implementation Commission of the 18th Amendment to the constitution announced that several federal ministries including the education ministry were to be devolved to the provinces, certain ambiguities started surfacing in the minds of the educationists and officials.

One of the victims of this democratic move is an organization which not only created several hundred Ph.Ds for Pakistan but also earned international repute for the country. The decision of the government to dissolve the Higher Education Commission (HEC) thus generated perplexity and uncertainty not only among intellectuals but also in the civil and social society of the country.

Students chant slogans during protest demonstration at HEC building. Photo: PPI

On Tuesday, a few hundred students and teachers of the major universities in Islamabad and Rawalpindi including QAU, IIUI, NUML, AIOU, and NUST gathered in front of the HEC building to raise their voice against the devolution of HEC. “Higher education is vital to the future development of Pakistan and every effort must be made to ensure support to this sector” they believed. Continue reading

V-Day: When Intangible Feelings transforms into Material Things

With the month of February, the season of love draws nearer and love seems to be surfacing in the air as it starts mushrooming in the hearts of budding lovers. And for the rest of the ignorant ones, there are billboards, TV channels, and shops that constantly remind that Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year to win the hearts of your loved ones but of course with their special V-day products which will work a magic.

V-day is a day when the rare, pure feelings of a person takes the form of flowers, chocolates and stuffed toys and then are wrapped in splendid sheets to present it to the dear ones. As the real feelings remain intangible, so they must be donned with alluring things to give the feelings a physical look in order to verify the existence of the personal feelings with roses and cards which have little to do with the genuine passion.

Thanks to a concerted quantity of advertising endeavor, that Valentine’s Day is now celebrated in Pakistan with more fervor every subsequent year thrashing the conservative outlook of the country in the minds of foreigners. Continue reading