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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Should the HEC live or die?

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) stands on death row. Appeals for reprieve have been rejected by the commission responsible for implementation of the Eighteenth Amendment. That commission’s chairman, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, declared that “the HEC act will be revisited and reframed to shed its role as a centralised funding authority.” His logic is that Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan’s Nuclear Bayonet

In an enthusiastic moment, Napoleon is said to have remarked: “Bayonets are wonderful! One can do anything with them except sit on them!” Pakistan’s political and military establishment glows with similar enthusiasm about its nuclear weapons. Following the 1998 nuclear tests, it saw “The Bomb” as a panacea for solving Pakistan’s multiple problems. It became Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan Can’t Handle Fukushima

Ten days after the earthquake tsunami, Japan still teetered at the knife-edge of a major nuclear disaster. Four hydrogen explosions reduced three buildings in the 6-reactor Fukushima nuclear complex to smoking ruins. Radioactive plumes triggered a level-5 emergency, and evacuations were ordered up to a 20-kilometre radius. A heroic effort finally prevented a melt-down of spent-fuel Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan’s Nuclear Bayonet

In an enthusiastic moment, Napoleon is said to have remarked: “Bayonets are wonderful! One can do anything with them except sit on them!” Pakistan’s political and military establishment glows with similar enthusiasm about its nuclear weapons. Following the 1998 nuclear tests, it saw “The Bomb” as a panacea for solving Pakistan’s multiple problems. It became Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan’s nukes: How many are enough?

The latest news from America must have thrilled many: Pakistan probably has more nuclear weapons than India. A recent Washington Post article, quoting various nuclear experts, suggests that Pakistan is primed to “surge ahead in the production of nuclear-weapons material, putting it on a path to overtake Britain as the world’s fifth largest nuclear weapons power”.   Some may Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: A Case Of Bogus Science

Comstech is the Organization of Islamic Countries' highest scientific body. It has received millions of dollars from OIC countries, including Pakistan. Comstech's opulent headquarters are located on Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. It has been headed by Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman since 1996. Although its performance has been consistently mediocre, the organization has now descended to an all-time Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Pakistan’s Universities

Upset by drastic budget cuts imposed by the finance ministry, the vice-chancellors of 71 public sector universities are threatening to resign en-bloc. They rightly say that development projects are grounded, bills unpaid, and some buildings only half-constructed. Paying teacher salaries is also at risk. But a cash-strapped government retorts that its number-one priority is dealing Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Reflections On The Flotilla Massacre

Israel’s premeditated murder of the Mavi Marmara’s peace activists could become the turning point for the Palestinian struggle. Or, if the wrong conclusions are deduced, there’s a lot more misery ahead for the people of Gaza. A week after the event, it is time to ask some key questions and suggest answers.   Question: The Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Why Faisal Shahzad Bombed Times Square

The man who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square was a Pakistani.   Why is this unsurprising? Answer: because when you hold a burning match to a gasoline tank, the laws of chemistry demand combustion. As anti-American lava spews uninterrupted from the fiery volcanoes of Pakistan’s private television channels and newspapers, Read more…

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Pervez Hoodbhoy: Can India and Pakistan Fight Terror Together?

Inseparable by geography, Pakistan and India are Siamese twins that have emerged together from the womb of history.  For better or for worse, their futures will always remain inextricably tied together. Today, one of the two is in deep trouble. The ferocious militant fanaticism of Pathan tribals, once sequestered in the mountains of Waziristan and Read more…

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