Importance of bioethics

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

ON January 21-22, the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Culture (Cbec) of SIUT held a joint conference with Unesco in Karachi on “bioethics education” that should provide food for thought for educationists as well as parents. When doctors speak about bioethics, we tend to conjure up images of a moral code that health professionals are supposed to observe in the practice of medicine.

The Hippocratic Oath promptly comes to mind. Hence the workshop on the first day of the conference to design a biomedical ethics curriculum for medical students seemed plausible. But was there anything to sensitize school teachers about as was the idea of the second day’s programme?
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Early learning in mother tongue

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

ON October 22, the federal education minister, Lt Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf, made a presentation on the “Education scenario in Pakistan” to the president and prime minister. At this meeting some key decisions were taken that were communicated by the prime minister’s secretariat to the federal education ministry for onward transmission to the provincial education departments to ensure their implementation.

These decisions, marked as “top priority”, reached various sections and departments concerned with education in Sindh on Dec 21. Some of these decisions have far-reaching significance, that is if they are actually translated into reality. Others will not have the desired impact — in fact they will have negative repercussions — because they are unscientific, unnatural and go against the basic mental development of a child.
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What next in Balochistan?

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: Dawn

THE situation in Balochistan is going from bad to worse. Every day the newspapers carry reports of rocket attacks by unknown people and shelling and firing by the security forces. The government has now openly declared that it will take recourse to force to restore law and order in the province. This is a dangerous approach because when the army decides to use military means, it inevitably turns a crisis into a do or die issue.

We have been through this before in 1971 when the army was at the helm in Islamabad and refused to sort out the constitutional crisis in East Pakistan through a political dialogue. Regrettably, a similar story is being repeated in Balochistan. As we have learnt from past experience, a military crackdown of the kind we see today will not resolve the problem in this turbulent province.
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Truth about the Abbasi report

By Zubeida Mustafa
Source: dawn

THREE months after the chairman of the Technical Committee on Water Resources (TCWR), Mr A.N.G. Abbasi, had presented his report to the president and the prime minister, the Kalabagh dam issue has burst on the scene in a big way.

The president brought this contentious issue to the forefront when he first spoke of forging a national consensus and creating ‘awareness’ on the KBD. Now he has dispensed with the need for any political understanding and has declared that the dam will be built at any cost.
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