Prof Farakh A Khan
According to WHO (1999) 2.5 billion people are at risk of dengue virus infection in 200 countries. Before 1970 only nine countries had dengue fever. The mortality is about 5%, which can be reduced to 1% with proper treatment in the hospital. Dengue viral infection has become the leading public health problem.
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention USA dengue infection places more than 1/3rd population of the world at risk. Every year 100 million people get infected.
The first case of dengue virus in Pakistan was reported in 1996 and incidence started to rise in 2003-2004 (Shahid, Jamal. Govt blames lifestyle for dengue spread. Dawn. September 22, 2011). The dengue viral attack reached epidemic proportions in Lahore during the summer of 2011. The number of people down with dengue viral infection in Lahore can only be a vague conjecture since we have no system to collect reliable statistics. Our rough estimate is that more than 100,000 people in Lahore have so far been infected if the recorded deaths are to be relied upon. There have been 98 reported deaths allegedly due to dengue haemorrhagic fever in Lahore (Nine more die of dengue in Lahore. OC. The News. September 24, 2011).
First let us analyse what the Pakistani papers have been feeding us in this regard. Continue reading
By Raza Rumi
While the pundits have rambled on the venality of the politician and the slothfulness of the bureaucracy, Pakistan’s largest province has witnessed the rise of a unique phenomenon in terms of provincial public management articulated by its second-time Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. In terms of efficacy of the public services and the administration of state machinery, the younger Sharif has set a leadership benchmark that daunts the political class as a whole. What are the points of departure here and how did this formidable image develop in less than a decade?
From 1997-99, arguably not a long stint in office, Shahbaz Sharif demonstrated the maximalist application and range of political will — from policy setting to micro-managerial interventions. It was a style that went down well with the populace, sent shivers down the imaginary backbones of the civil service and took the Continue reading
Editorial- Daily Times
The PMLN president Mr Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as member of the Punjab Assembly yesterday after being elected unopposed. He will certainly be elected as leader of the house in the Punjab Assembly on Sunday. Anyone who remembers Mr Sharif’s last tenure as chief minister Punjab will welcome him back to the job. He has been rated the best administrator the province has had even by those who have sat in opposition to him. This time around he is even more mature as a politician — as evidenced by his appearances on TV channels — and should be able to measure himself better against the challenges he will face.
The last time Mr Sharif was chief minister, his brother was prime minister of Pakistan. This time his party is a coalition partner of the PPP in power in Islamabad, and he will have PPP ministers in his cabinet. What the province will gain is his personal drive, his stamina at work and his dislike of the notorious provincial red tape. He will also be able to extend his developmental vision to southern Punjab which was unwisely alienated by the PMLQ in its last days. Mr Shehbaz Sharif is free of political stereotypes. People will recall that in order to acquire better know-how in the sector of deprived local communities, he consulted late Hameed Akhtar Khan of the Orangi Pilot Project of Karachi and won his respect. Punjab expects an all-round and evenly spread developmental effort from him. There are cities in the province with threadbare educational and communication infrastructures waiting for his attention. *
Birdwood Barracks Petition
Requesting the Chief Minister of the Punjab
Reclaim the Birdwood Barracks Property
We, the undersigned residents of Lahore, would like to draw your attention to the proposed auction of the Birdwood Barracks property located on Waris Road.
The Ministry of Defence has placed this property on auction to be used for commercial purposes (a copy of the Invitation for Expressions of Interest for the property is attached).
Your Excellency, the property upon which this Barracks stands belongs to the Government of the Punjab and the people of Lahore. Since before Partition, this property has been in the use of the military. At the time, it was given so that the armed forces could carry out their public purpose of defence. By putting this 22 acres of open land on auction, and that too for commercial purposes, the Ministry of Defence has made it clear that our armed forced no longer needs or requires it for any further military use or defence purpose. It stands to reason, therefore, that this property – regardless of its monetary worth or development potential – must now revert to its original owners: the Province and people of Punjab. Continue reading