Saturday, 25 June 2016

Imagining poverty

by Haris Gazdar

How can our economic policy instruments reach the poor?
Photo credit: Wikipedia

There are two views about the economics of poverty reduction. One, that economic growth will trickle down and reduce poverty. Two, that there is no automatic trickle-down and growth may or may not be inclusive. It depends on which sectors grow, whether growth creates new and better jobs, and whether the poor are able to take advantage of economic opportunity.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

'Alien' garbage pickers of Karachi

by Azmat Budhani

Man at rubbish dump in Karachi
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Flickr

“My name is Muhammad Ali. I am a Pathan, born in Quetta, and living in Karachi since the last decade. I am sixteen years old, can speak and read Urdu well besides Pashtu. My parents had migrated from Afghanistan. I don’t know exactly when they migrated, which area they belonged to in Afghanistan or why they had to migrate.” The respondent was interviewed for a research study in Karachi by the Collective team.

Monday, 6 June 2016

When the respondents questioned

by Saba Aslam

Respondents at rural site Dadu
Photo credit: Collective team

For the four-year research project, “Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility” we were asked to visit rural and urban communities of our respondents who had participated in the research for three consecutive years. This year, the idea was to engage with the respondents, explain to them research findings and thank them for their involvement throughout these years. A day before my visit to district Dadu, I spent time preparing for my interaction with our female respondents. I tried simplifying the findings and I was eager to conduct the session. To my surprise, the response I received from the female respondents was completely different to what I had been expecting.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Okara Dispossessions: From Jhanglees to Murabba holders to Faltus

by Hussain Bux Mallah

From British India to Pakistan: the journey of dispossessions in Okara
Photo credit: Wikipedia/Chicago Sun Times archive

The resistance of the tenants of Okara Military Farm villages to changes in their contract and to threats of eviction is cause-celebre, particularly for left-leaning activists and intellectuals. This is as it ought to be. There have been various attempts by the authorities to evict residents since the time of General Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. The issue flared up again under General Musharraf in 2003, and after a hiatus it came to the headlines once more in April 2016 when it was reported that security forces positioned a tank in addition to the usual tear gas rounds to disperse people who were celebrating the International Peasant’s Day. A 17-year-old boy died and many protestors were injured and arrested. The government stated its determination to charge the protestors under the National Counter Terrorism Act of 2013.