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Showing posts from March, 2013

Celeberating Pakistan Resolution of 1940

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As Pakistanis celebrate Pakistan Day today, March 23, 2013,  there are some who are questioning the founder's wisdom in seeking partition of India to carve out Pakistan as an independent nation.  They do not recognize today's Pakistan as Jinnah's Pakistan. The doubters justifiably point to the rising tide of intolerance and increasing violence and  a whole range of problems and crises Pakistan is facing. Many in the  oppressed Shia community wonder aloud if it was a mistake to demand a separate country for Muslims of undivided India.




Are the critics correct in their assessment when they imply that Muslims in Pakistan would have been better off without partition? To answer this question, let us look at the following facts and data:

1. Muslims, the New Untouchables in India:

While India maintains its facade of  religious tolerance, democracy and secularism through a few high-profile Muslim tokens among its high officials and celebrities, the ground reality for the vast majo…

Will Culture Wars Reshape Pakistan?

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Cultural invasion of Pakistan is in full swing with Turkish schools and soap operas finding broad acceptance across the country. Local TV channels are airing soap operas dubbed in Urdu and G├╝len movement is operating over a dozen schools in different parts of the country.



Turkish Entertainment:

Since last summer,  channel Urdu1 has enjoyed top TV ratings with its multiple daily airings of the Turkish soap opera Ishq-e-Mamnu, or “Forbidden Love", according to the New York Times. Afraid of being left behind, Geo Entertainment, part of Pakistan's biggest media empire spawned by recent media revolution in the country, has joined the bandwagon with its prime-time airing of  Noor. It's a rags to riches story of a woman, and her adoring husband, played by the blue-eyed former model Kivanc Tatlitug.

While the soaps depict a western lifestyle and deal with subjects that are considered taboo in Pakistan, they include characters with Muslim names which many Pakistanis can identify …

Learntive: NEDUET's Silicon Valley Alumni Offer Digitized Lessons For Pak Schools

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DVDs and YouTube videos are at the heart of Learntive, a Silicon Valley NEDians' initiative to promote better learning among school students in Pakistan.


Founded in 2012, Learntive has begun with the launch of a YouTube channel and video CDs containing complete lectures for  Sindh mathematics text books for grades 9 and 10. Learntive has already given 2300 CD sets to district education officers for distribution to teachers at government-run schools in Sindh province. 

In addition to working with Sindh government, Learntive is also sharing digitized lessons with various other organizations including The Citizens Foundation (TCF) which runs nearly 1000 schools across Pakistan, Development in Literacy (DIL), and Indus Resource Center (IRC). 

 The initial funding for the initiative has come mainly from Pakistani-American alumni of NED University who are working in Silicon Valley, California. Silicon Valley NEDians have also volunteered their time and the production facilities to narra…

Florida SoBe Developer Plans to Invest in Pakistan Real Estate

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World's tallest building for Karachi is back on track with Bahria Town's Malik Riaz signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with German-American real estate tycoon Thomas Kramer. Riaz brought in Kramer after his earlier deal with Abu Dhabi Group collapsed soon after signing about three weeks ago. Both Riaz and Kramer have an established track record for developing upscale properties; Riaz in Pakistan and Kramer in Florida and Germany.

The $20 billion plan is to develop12,000 acres of land over a period of 10 years on Bundal & Buddo Islands about 3 kilometers from Karachi's Clifton district. The first residential  units be completed as early as 2016. In addition to housing, the plans also include world’s tallest building, world’s largest shopping mall, mosques, cinemas, spas, golf courses, schools and hospitals, all with modern amenities and associated infrastructure. The two islands will be connected with each other and the mainland by a six-lane bridge. The enti…

Pakistan Among Top Favorites For Outsourcing

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Pakistan ranks number 3, after US (#1) and India (#2), in terms of freelancers doing outsourced IT work on contract. Bangladesh ranks fourth, according to data from four biggest online outsourcing sites:  Elance.com, oDesk.com, Freelancer.com, and Guru.com.

The data also shows that US, Australia and the UK as the top hiring countries. All four websites work in a similar way: First, companies post job requirements on these sites. Next, freelancers or IT-companies offer their bids with skills and cost for the project listed on the website. Finally, the company chooses the best bid meeting its job requirements.


Recently, Freelacers.com, one of the top four online marketplaces, said there are 240,000 freelance Pakistanis registered as providers on its website.


With more than 30 million internet subscribers, five million plus broadband users and a population nearing 200 million, according to Freelancer executive Adam Byrnes, it makes sense to have a presence in Pakistan. “Going forward, …

Pakistan's Human Capital

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A 12-year-old Pakistani girl is taking advance online classes offered by Stanford University. The youngest Microsoft certified professional is a Pakistani. Young Pakistanis are setting records with straight A's on O level and A level Cambridge courses. These frequent reports offer anecdotal evidence of Pakistan's growing human capital. Such evidence is also supported by data reported by various researchers and organizations.

With nearly 16% of its population in 25-34 years age group having college degrees, Pakistan is well ahead of India and Indonesia, according to Global Education Digest 2009 published by UNESCO Institute of Statistics. UNESCO data also shows that Pakistan's lead is growing with younger age groups.


By comparison, a little over 12% of Indians and 9% of Indonesians in 25-34 years age group have completed tertiary education. In 35-44 years age group, 11% of Pakistanis, 9% of Indians and 8% of Indonesians have completed college education. The report shows th…