Zubair Faisal Abbasi
International development organizations recently conveyed us a message that government in Pakistan is untrustworthy and therefore humanitarian aid in desirable quantity is hard to arrange. Many of us accepted the argument and starting divulging additional reasons on international donors being right in avoiding a direly needed bout of foreign assistance. We should try to be critical about such claims which primarily blame the victim.
Let us say, you call us untrustworthy and therefore you refuse to pour money into our kitty so that we fight against the unprecedented calamity on our own. You call our state institutions untrustworthy slipping into the coffin of a failed state. You call us untrustworthy because we got a ‘bigger cheque’ from the USA and refused the Communists. Had we accepted the smaller cheque and fought the imposed war against you then what we were supposed to be? Traitors? But we accepted the cheque and remained trustworthy till the time cheap gun fodder was needed. The transaction was simple and persuasive. We, the untrustworthy, joined the most ‘truthful’ arrangements like SEATO/CENTO and remained most aligned nation outside the NATO and fought as frontline state – we remained trustworthy. Now once the war-machine appears to be tired, exhausted, and needs oiling then we become untrustworthy, corrupt, and extortionists. In fact, we were trustworthy for the expansion of military-industrial complex and now when we need humanitarian assistance we are untrustworthy. Continue reading
Bhasha Dam project: another perspective
Will a Large Dam Increase Access to Electricity in Pakistan?
Fast Track Power Generation
This article by Ann-Kathrin Schneider has first appeared on the website of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in September 2008.
Men of all ages, most of them wearing dashing black moustaches and white cotton caps that contrast with their pitch dark eyes and brown skin, pass each other on the narrow lanes of this market, just north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Some appear to have no reason to be here, leaning leisurely against graffiti-soaked house walls, waiting for something to catch their interest. Others are hard at work, exposing sweaty muscular torsos as they unload three, four or five wooden boxes filled with yellow mangoes from a truck onto their shoulders. The weight of the boxes challenges their balance – but not a mango is spilled.
Life in this market hasn’t changed for a long time. Trucks bring wheat, spinach, apples, cucumbers, mangoes, herbs and pumpkins from the villages. The produce changes hands quickly; fathers, shopkeepers and restaurant owners carry the food on bicycles, motorbikes and minibuses out of the market and into the city. More food arrives. Continue reading
Source – here
The current mainstreaming of climate change into international development policies and thinking may not be enough to address the practical challenge of climate change in poor countries says Professor Kate Brown of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. A leading specialist in climate change and international development, Professor Brown’s experience shows that international development needs to be restructured in radically different ways. Continue reading
Source: Earth Times
“Cultivated biofuel crops may actually increase the carbon emissions that ethanol and other biofuels were supposed to reduce. Plowing up rainforests, peatlands, savannas and grasslands to plant corn, sugarcane and other crops for biofuel releases 17 to 240 times more carbon than the annual savings from replacing fossil fuels.
That’s because the plants and soil are a giant carbon-storage system. During cultivation, the carbon escapes as carbon dioxide. The studies are the latest warning against an all-out rush into corn ethanol at the expense of food for humans and tilling of uncultivated ground.”
Rare international consensus ensured that the new millennium heralded the promise of a fairer world for poor countries, symbolised by undertakings to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Suddenly, a combination of science and observation makes it clear that climate change will impact developing countries much harder and sooner than the richer countries which have caused the phenomenon. With the Millennium Declaration potentially undermined, the moral predicament demands greater levels of international cooperation and resource transfer than have been seen since 1945..
Read more here