By Irfan Hussain
Consider this demographic projection for the UK, and ponder its implications for a moment: within five years, the majority of babies will be born to unmarried parents.
However, before you put this down to yet another example of Western immorality, just remember that all these babies will have the same legal rights as those born to married couples.
This trend is part of the wider decline of marriage as an institution. According to a recent study, the figures for people getting married in Britain is at its lowest ever since these statistics began to be compiled nearly 150 years ago.
In 2008, only 21.8 per thousand adult men of marriageable age actually took the vow. At 19.6, the figure for women was even lower. And the average age for men getting married for the first time was 32, and for women it was nearly 30.
After living and working in London for more than a decade, I moved back to Pakistan just over a year ago – and soon realised that the Pakistan I knew had migrated elsewhere. Mainly to the front covers of the sombre current affairs magazines you find in posh dentists’ waiting rooms. The world’s media had reached a consensus that I had boarded a sinking ship. Time, Newsweek and the Economist have all written an obituary of Pakistan, some twice over. Continue reading
Courtesy Fouzia Saeed
DISSPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT TALIBAN
Myth: The root cause of Terrorism is extreme poverty and lack of education
Reality: This is not true. There are many countries in the world that suffer from extreme poverty but do not have terrorist groups. Within Pakistan many areas are more poor than Swat, but have not become violent. On the other hand people who have become terrorists are not doing anything to eradicate poverty or provide education. Terrorists merely use the resentment of the marginalized and those resentful of other state actions in the initial phase of their ideological campaign. Once in control, they tax the poor, destroy school buildings and stop girls from going to schools. Most of those who have been killed due to militant attacks are women, peasants and the poor. Continue reading
Pakistan is a country that lives in many different eras simultaneously. Since we at PTH have been inundated with requests to showcase how various sections of Pakistani society live their lives and because there are many other sites who have showcased Pakistan’s various classes (as Arundhati would say nothing sells like poverty does), we reproduce here some images from Daily Times’ Sunday Magazine. We believe this image most strongly contrasts the Taliban and Swat related issues and shows the changing trends of women’s wear (and roles) from the traditional bride to the modern party girl in Pakistan. Is Pakistan a society on collision with itself? For rest of the images visit the website.
Isa Daudpota writing for The Friday Times (current issue)
On the rare occasions when courage and perseverance triumph in the face of tragedy and overwhelming odds, the occasion revives your faith in humanity. In the face of such heroic successes, lesser mortals are encouraged to excel in our own small ways. The media should therefore regularly highlight such stories to help reduce our national depression.
The bitter seed of one such heart-warming story was planted in 2002. I have just learnt that Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani rape victim who waged a legal battle against her attackers and the justice system that sanctioned the crime, will be the subject of a feature Hollywood film. Funding is partly through ARY Digital, an independent Pakistani TV network, which will show this controversial movie nationally. Continue reading