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January 2009

Pakistan Economy loses Rs 365bn annually to environmental hazards

FAST deteriorating environment across the country is causing a huge financial burden to the economy, which is estimated to the tune of Rs 365 billion per annum or six per cent of the GDP.

This was stated by Federal Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi while addressing the two-day Global Environment Facility (GEF)-National Dialogue Initiative on Tuesday at a local hotel. Read More »Pakistan Economy loses Rs 365bn annually to environmental hazards

End the US romance before it destroys us- Shireen M Mazari

Two drones fired on the same day soon after Obama’s swearing in have made the new US administration’s intentions towards Pakistan clear – there will be no respect for international law in this part of the world. This is the historic duality (recall the Monroe Doctrine) that prevails in the very foundations of the much-touted US values! So it is time for our leaders to accept certain ground realities and shape their policies accordingly.
Read More »End the US romance before it destroys us- Shireen M Mazari

Physical inactivity causes frequent headaches

Associated Press of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: People who are sedentary have a higher risk of developing frequent headaches.

Researchers from Norway conducted two large surveys. The first survey questioned 22,397 adults’ 20 years about their exercise habits and other health factors, and then assessed headache symptoms in a follow-up questionnaire 11 years later, BBC radio reported.Read More »Physical inactivity causes frequent headaches

Losing Swat —Ayeda Naqvi

ayedanaqviRecently in Mingora — again during curfew — five girls’ schools were blown up in five hours, one each hour. The army did nothing to stop the militants. This is the same army that expects aid from the international community

The first word in the Holy Quran is “Iqra”, which means “read”. If that doesn’t give us some idea of the significance of education in our religion, then nothing will. For as we stand by, watching schools being blown up in the name of religion, there are very few of us who seem to be protesting.Read More »Losing Swat —Ayeda Naqvi

Protecting overseas Pakistani workers —Syed Mohammad Ali

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syedmaliAlthough a country like Pakistan can hardly coerce any of the Middle Eastern states to become more sympathetic towards its migrant workers, there are some more subtle means to ensure that this does happen in effect

The State Bank of Pakistan has announced another significant rise over this past year in remittances being sent home by overseas Pakistanis, which is pleasantly surprising given the massive flight of capital and lack of new foreign investments coming into the country. However, not enough thought is going into how to maximise the potential development impact of this significant contribution that is being made by our citizens who are working outside Pakistan.Read More »Protecting overseas Pakistani workers —Syed Mohammad Ali

Short, medium and long-term solutions to Pakistan’s energy issues

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The ongoing experience of shortage of electricity and high cost of production has fully demonstrated that without cheap electricity and energy resources, sustaining a population
of 170 million (growing at the rate of around 2/2.5 annually) and trying to achieve high
and sustainable economic growth of 7 per cent to 8 per cent is not possible

Energy issues faced by the country may be divided into three broad categories. First is about meeting existing shortage of around 3000mw (reduced from 4500mw recently) without causing unnecessary delay. The second category of medium-term can be spread over during next three to five years, from now, and its focus should be on meeting an annual increase in demand of around 12.0 per cent. The last category is about meeting energy requirements from medium-term onwards. It calls for producing cheap electricity according to a projected demand based on increase in domestic and commercial consumption in the next 30 years. Read More »Short, medium and long-term solutions to Pakistan’s energy issues

How the ear protects your hearing

earCall it a natural earplug: Your ears appear to be able to automatically turn down certain frequencies to protect your hearing, and a new study provides more details about how this mysterious process works.

Although it’s too early to know for sure, the research could lead to drugs that protect the ear from dangerous noise, said study author Paul Fuchs, co-director of the Center for Sensory Biology at the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “We don’t really know how things work in the ear at a cellular and molecular level. We’re just starting to make those discoveries.” Read More »How the ear protects your hearing