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The TV is at it again. Jamhoriat should not be disturbed as the road to development is well under way? We have had the FM articulate his vision of progress and development; all in macroeconomic terms. This is the gimmick that all FMs have done in the past. Give macro figures and confuse the public with rhetoric. Well, since I live in the vicinity of Islamabad I carried out an indicative survey of the Bhara Kahu area. My questions were simple and pertained to the nourishment that they took in quantum terms not in terms of either money earned per day or in calorific terms. Both these measures by the WB/IMF are meaningless in terms of Pakistan and I dare say for all the other developing countries. The luxury of knowing the caloric values would mean that the person is actually a dietician of high order and we know that in Pakistan all the dieticians are ridiculously ignorant. It seems that 70% of the people make do with just one meal a day. So are we producing a population of morons who do not have enough to eat? We are told by ministers that everything is well in the kingdom of the Sharifs. The condition begs itself to a revolution not necessarily of the Qadri or the Imran type but one that is spontaneous and bloody. If one does not recognise the East Pakistan episode as one and the current Karachi killings as another and the North and South Waziristan as one and the Balochistan as another then we are indeed living in a fool's paradise. The Planning Commission guides the PM in this and they have been very vocal on this and managed this in his Azadi day speech. In fact, the work of McKinney for the Planning Commission has received cabinet's and his approval. That is all very well. This report is titled Vision 2025 and the last one that they did for this very government some years back was Vision 2030. So we have shaved off five years of our previous vision. The Vision is a very well-guarded document lest it falls into the hands of infidels meant to do the government of the day in. The egos of all our ministers and I am also speaking historically are immense. They can talk a dime to the dozen. The last government was no better. Each government has predicted that things are going well and they have done so about twenty times in the last ten years. What they have predicted is never questioned for they do not put their views in writing. So the views vanish with the whiff of the wind. The TV is plasticiene that can be molded by the politicians.

Harar is holding out against the pressures of the modern world. But change is coming, and campaigners are working hard to preserve the gated Ethiopian city's unique history, cultural and religious traditions. Inside the thick stone walls modern influences abound: beer signs propped on crumbling old buildings, Chinese electronics in shop windows and shiny trucks on the main road alongside ageing Peugeot sedans.
Sliding into shabbiness after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, a giant Moscow complex extolling the days of the old planned economy has been restored amid a wave of nostalgia for Russia's past. The Exhibition of Achievements of the People's Economy, or VDNKh, opened in 1939 to trumpet Soviet successes while the capitalist world was stuck in a deep depression. A massive park stretching across 237 hectares (585 acres) with fountains, monuments and exhibitions on communist achievements, it became a key element in the popular conception of Soviet power after World War II.
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.


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