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Imran Khan's call for civil disobedience, which in fact is incitation for tax revolt, has proved not only impracticable but also widely rejected. It confirms that our leaders act on impulses rather than on well-thought-for programmes and policies. Starting from challenging the credentials and legitimacy of a government, credibility of the voting process, he ended up for a call that amounts to undermining the entire State. As a leader he should have given a call for justice, taxing the rich for the benefit of the poor, growth and equity.

When youth worker Sumreen Farooq was abused in a London street, the 18-year-old decided it was time to take a stand - and she started to wear a headscarf. Farooq is one of many young Muslim women living in Britain who have, for various reasons, chosen to adopt the headscarf to declare their faith to all around them, despite figures showing rising violence against visibly identifiable Muslims.
Tens of thousands of volunteers fanned out across Afghanistan this week, braving deteriorating security and distrusting parents to administer two chilled drops of the oral polio vaccine each to millions of children. Keeping the highly infectious polio disease in check in any country is a daunting task. But in a nation where Taliban militants are fast gaining ground against government forces, it's also a dangerous one.
The PTI has managed to create an extraordinary crisis. Before leading the Azadi marchers for a sit-in at the Parliament House on Tuesday, Imran Khan threatened to take over the PM's House if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif does not step down - an impermissible step fraught with dangerous consequences. If things came to such a pass the onus, to a large extent, would fall on the government's shoulder for its failure to address, in a timely fashion, the PTI's complaints about alleged electoral fraud. The ruling party obviously did not pay attention to his persistent threats to take to the streets if he did not get justice. He has now mounted an unprecedented protest to dislodge the government.
Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport. The reaction is understandable, given most people regard the yellow flowers as pesky intruders in their gardens rather than a promising source of rubber for tyres. "People just think of it as a horrible weed and ask how you can get enough material for tyres from just a small root," she said.
They slipped into southwest France 10 years ago in a pottery shipment from China and have since invaded more than half the country, which is fighting back with drones, poisoned rods and even chickens. The Asian hornet, or vespa velutina nigrithorax, is considered a "public enemy" in parts of France where it devours native bees and, experts say, threatens biodiversity.
Political, economic, and social turmoil is nothing new for Pakistan and its people. They have more or less learnt to live with the tumult as a part of life. For many in our part of the world political discussions and debates resulting out of turmoil is a source of amusement and a form of so called "intellectual stimulation" equally enjoyed by all segments of society whether at tea shops in bustling markets, under the shade of a pipel tree in villages or in the lavish drawing rooms of the wealthy. The arenas for these debates are also the TV talk shows where anchors and panellists try to compete with each other more on the strength of vocal cords than intellectual maturity and sagacity. The business world has also developed a great resilience against political turmoil. There are short lulls and then the businesses return to business as usual. These idiosyncrasies of Pakistani society are very difficult for the foreign media and people to comprehend, hence, a negative country perception prevails in the outside world.


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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WeeklyAugust 15, 2014
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