Pakistan

Stampedes as Destitute Throng Pakistan’s Free Flour Distribution Points

The free Atta (flour) distribution scheme launched by the government to assist the inflation-hit communities during the holy month of Ramzan has left at least ten dead and over 100 injured as would-be beneficiaries rush to claim their 10-kilogram bags.

Excluded Afghan Girls Forced to Seek Education in Pakistan

Hundreds of young women and girls are moving to Pakistan to continue their studies after the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s education in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s Free Healthcare Insurance Benefits Women, Poor

A free health insurance initiative started in Pakistan has benefited poor patients, especially women who have outnumbered men in using the cashless health services under the Sehat Card Plus programme. "The initiative is in line with the ICPD25 Programme of Action, under which 4.5 million people have received free services, with 62 percent of them women. In the last three years, we have been able to cut down maternal mortality rate from 186 deaths per 100,000 live births to 172," Dr Muhammad Riaz Tanoli, CEO of the Sehat Card Plus (SCP), told IPS.

Afghan Refugees Fear Return as Pakistan Cracks Down on Migrants

“If I return to Afghanistan, the Taliban will kill me; I’m prepared to stay in a prison in Karachi than face those ruthless people,” said 24-year-old Afghan refugee, Sabrina Zalmai*, referring to the recent crackdown on hundreds of Afghans residing without proper documents in the metropolis, who are being arrested and then deported back to Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s 10 Billion Dollar Flood Funding Question

Terming the recent international donors’ conference held in Geneva a “success” after Pakistan was able to secure 10 billion US dollars, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has promised “every penny” of the pledges will be used towards rehabilitation of flood-hit people.

Pakistani Flood Survivors Welcome Funding, But Demand Immediate Disbursement

People in flood-affected areas of Pakistan have welcomed the pledges at an UN-sponsored donor conference in Geneva on January 9 but want to see an immediate cash flow to facilitate their journeys toward normalcy.

Women Commuters Travel Safe in Innovative Bus Scheme in Pakistan

A bus rapid transport (BRT) system in Peshawar is benefiting female students and working women by providing a safe journey – something women passengers could not take for granted on regular public transport.

Vaccine Refusal, Floods Impact Polio Drive in Pakistan

Vaccine refusal is impacting the eradication of polio in Pakistan. Pakistan has vaccinated about 35 million children during its door-to-door campaign, but about 500,000 remained unvaccinated due to refusal by their parents, Jawad Khan Polio officer in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, recorded in 2022 so far.

Swat Women Won’t Be ‘Duped’ by Militants This Time

The rise in militancy in Swat still haunts many locals with flashbacks of what they went through 15 years ago.

Pakistan’s Transgender Legislation in the Line of Fire

It has taken four years for some politicians to oppose a landmark law protecting the rights of transgender persons, saying it's against Islam and the country's constitution.

Sindh’s Faulty Drain Cannot Cope With Climate-Induced Deluge

Last week, for at least six days, hundreds of flood-affected villagers from around the outskirts of Pangrio, a sleepy town in the Sindh province, blocked the main artery – the Thar Coal Road – connecting Badin to neighbouring district of Tharparkar – not allowing any traffic to pass.

Killings, Abductions Fuel Fear of Taliban Return in North-West Pakistan

The killing of eight people by the outlawed Tehreek Taliban Pakistan on September 13 has given credence to the fear of a new wave of terrorism in the Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Humanitarian Crisis Unfolds With Pakistan in the Eye of Fiercest Climate Change Storm

The heavy and incessant monsoon downpours across Pakistan in the last two months have triggered floods wreaking havoc across the country, submerging entire villages and vast tracts of land and entrapping people. Anything coming in the way of the relentless water is being destroyed, including roads, bridges, and standing crops.

Digital Training in Pakistani Villages Yields Bumper Participation

Farmer Abdul Waheed, 32, has been using his cell phone for everything but work for the past seven years. But after a recent training session he has installed six farming apps and says the move has paid off.

New and Old Afghan Refugees Make the Best of Life in Neighbouring Pakistan

“We came here in 1979 after Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan. My children and grandchildren have grown up here and they don’t want to go back to that war-ravaged country. I go there occasionally to mourn the deaths of near and dear ones,” says Muhammad Jabbar, 67, a former resident of Kabul, capital of Afghanistan.

Pakistani Artists, Activists Fight for Refugee Status for Arrested Afghan Musicians

The arrest of Afghan musicians in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan has elicited protests from local politicians, artists and rights activists who demand their release and say they should be allowed to stay as refugees.

Time for Public Conversation, Justice after ‘Blasphemy’ killing in Pakistan, say Rights Activists

Mukhtiar’s heart sank when he saw the grisly incident of lynching of a man in the industrial city of Sialkot, in Punjab province.

On World Environment Day — Pakistan Showcases Ecosystem Restoration

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has been making sure that all foreign dignitaries visiting the country get their hands dirty. With a shovel and a watering can, they are invited to plant a tree for one of the largest reforestation initiatives in the world — the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme or TBTTP.

Forced Child Marriage & Conversion: Public Discussion & Legal Reforms Called for in Pakistan

October 13 began like any other day at the Lal house as Raja Lal and his wife Rita Raja left for work at 7:30 am. "I made the usual breakfast of anda paratha (egg and flat bread) and told my eldest to lock the door from inside," Raja, who works as an ayah in a school, told IPS. Their 13-year old daughter, the youngest of their four children, did not go to school that day as her school shoes no longer fit and her parents hadn’t bought her a new pair yet. Little did they know that that day was the beginning of a nightmare for the Lal household. Their daughter would then allegedly be "abducted, forcefully converted and married in just one day”, Lal, a Christian, told IPS.

Changing Weather Patterns Spell Doom for Unprepared Pakistan Farmers

Unpredictable weather patterns in the form of excessive or prolonged rainfall are wreaking havoc for farmers across Pakistan as sowing and harvesting periods are severely affected.

Why Pakistan Isn’t Taking that Final Step towards Polio Eradication

Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, the coordinator for Pakistan’s National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication, has sleepless nights thinking about what needs to be done for his country to eradicate polio.

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