By Aadil Mansoor
Fifty years down the road, the reign of the Green Revolution that began in the 1960s in India seems to be nearing its end. The Green Revolution pushed the production frontiers of the agriculture sector through farm mechanisation and introduction of high yielding varieties (HYVs), complemented by the construction of upstream water reservoirs. It helped farmers increase food grain and crop production at higher rates than the rates of population growth. In the following three decades (1960-80), the average yield per hectare rose at an impressive average rate of 4 percent per year. This growth was not only enough to feed a population of 85 million, growing at a fast rate of 4.12 percent per year during that period, but also generated surpluses that improved Pakistan’s export performance and earned foreign exchange reserves for a cash starved economy.
Sadly, that phase of growth and ample food is no longer the prospect for Pakistanis today. In the last five years, there have been several occasions when the production of food grains (wheat and rice in particular) fell below the demand and the resultant shortfall had to be met through imports. This caused widespread food shortages and unrest on the one hand, and a serious blow to the country’s scant foreign reserves and cash flows, on the other. Since 2004-05, Pakistan has imported as high as 4 million tonnes of wheat each year to meet the domestic demand. The situation is food security is worsening with every passing year and the crisis will likely turn into a disaster unless targeted and timely reforms of the agricultural system are carried out. Continue reading
Adnan Rehmat writes in The News
Taking a close look at a city is like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it. Take a close look at Islamabad in all its pompous perplexity and clinical contradictions and not much popular ownership is apparent. Not that it prevents it from boasting a large number of peculiar characteristics even though these never show up in tourist brochures. It is, for instance, the ‘newest’ proper city in the country, the ‘newest’ city of Pakistan with a population of a million or more (the eighth in the country now) and even the ‘newest’ city in Asia that is also the capital of a country. Cynics could also emphasise Islamabad is the newest capital of Pakistan! (Karachi was the last, remember, anyone?) And, in this fact, emerges a side to the city that is debated little. Continue reading
The AfPak War
In an article in the Washington Post, Anti-U.S. Wave Imperiling Efforts in Pakistan, Officials Say, writers explain the growing hostility towards the Americans in Pakistan But what is missing from this article is the historical aspect of anti Americanism in that part of the world. During my recent trip, I was shocked to see that almost everyone in the country has become a lot angrier and anti American sentiments have reached alarming proportions.
True, there is sill support for Washington, but America’s supporters are becoming a rarity in a Pakistan. One reason for this is the role that the media (read Urdu press and private T.V. channels) is airing every gossip, every conspiracy theory about America without explaining or educating the readers/listeners that the what you are about to hear or read has not been verified. More importantly, equal time is not given to those who would present a more balanced and factual picture about ground realities. Continue reading
By Farzana Shaikh
The main idea of my book, Making Sense of Pakistan, is that we need first and foremost to make sense of the country’s identity crisis.
This crisis, I argue, is rooted in uncertainties over the country’s precise relation to Islam. Although in 1947 Pakistan was created as the first self-professed homeland for Muslims, the contestation over the meaning and role of Islam has continued to resonate to the present day—with significant political, economic and strategic implications, in and beyond Pakistan.
By Abhijay Patel
Pakistan’s religious minorities have shared equal status with majority Muslims and allocation of special funds by the present government bespeaks of its resolve to minorities uplift.Living with native communities, the minorities enjoyed all kind of freedom and ensured on their part that they contribute to socio-economic development and prosperity of the country.To live with this spirit, the minority communities and the government would renew their commitment for a prosperous Pakistan when they will observe the Minorities’ Day on August 11. Continue reading
Shame! Shame on all of us. There are no words to describe this. The government must immediately bring the perpetrators to justice and make a horrible example of them. What may we ask is the Chief Minister doing about this? Is he going to remain an idle spectator or is he going to show some backbone and take these fanatics who sully our already muddied name. -YLH
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Six people were killed in Pakistan on Saturday when Muslim demonstrators set fire to houses in a Christian enclave and fighting broke out, local police said.