A Cultural Journal

    Editorial: Pakistan’s 69th Birth Anniversary – One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

    Written by: Dr Dushka H Saiyid - Posted on: August 11, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文 (Chinese)

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    14th August 2015: 69th Birth Anniversary of Pakistan

    Pakistan is experiencing an economic turnaround on its 69th birth anniversary. With a stable economic growth of 4.5 % and reserves hitting 17 billion, mainly from remittances sent by its diaspora, the percentage of those living in poverty has dropped from 35% to 13.5 %. The Standard and Poor’s upgrading of Pakistan, from stable to positive, is a confirmation of this trend.

    However, Pakistan’s social problems are beginning to explode, and the recent horrific child abuse scandal involving hundreds of children in the District of Kasur, is a warning about the dislocation caused by one of the fastest urbanizing countries in the world, of which 60% are under thirty years of age. The increasing connectivity of Pakistan to the rest of the world through Internet, smart phones and a plethora of private television channels is breaking down the traditional culture and norms that provided a mooring to our societies. Given the large number of homeless and street children in our society, it is time that we addressed the scourge of pedophilia, and stopped being in denial about it.  

    As we take stock of where our country is headed, it becomes important to celebrate those individuals and organizations that have given back to our society in a variety of ways. Youlin has recognized their contributions by covering their activities. The list is long and growing, but we have selected a few of them for the slideshow: General Jahandad Khan, whose branches of the Al Shifa Eye Hospitals spread in different parts of the country treat the poor free of cost; Shaheen Atiqur Rehman, whose organization Bunyad works for the literacy and empowerment of the girl child and young women, and has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands in Punjab, and who is a torch bearer of a family steeped in the tradition of public service; Musarrat Misbah of Depilex, who has used her success in the salon business to help women victims of acid burns; Perveen Saeed who feeds 3000 families every day in Karachi’s Khuda ki Basti; and the AKRSP, which has brought about a silent revolution in the northern areas and has become a model for development the world over.

    The civil society must step in where the government systems fail. Media is a powerful tool for positive change, and kudos to reporter Ashraf Javed who broke the Kasur story for The Nation, and the rest of the media for preventing a cover up.



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