The Protection of Women against Violence Act falls short of its objective

by Nihal Ates Pakistan Today | 9 March, 2016 A London-based independent domestic violence advocate hopes national legislation won’t repeat the Punjab Act’s mistakes Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy intimated at the Oscars that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will legislate at the national level to address honour killings. One hopes that the legislation he plans to pass is … Continue reading

My 2014 in books

Development Philosophy, impact and behavioural economics  1) The Forgotten Village by John Steinbeck, 143pp, 1941   2) The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty by Nina Munk, 272pp, 2013 3) The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly, 416pp, 2014  4) Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding And … Continue reading

Did you know that North Africans captured 1 million+ white slaves?

Flags of skulls on green backgrounds terrorised the shores of Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, England, Wales, Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia, Georgia, the Netherlands and Germany, as North Africa pirates captured 1-1.25 million whites slaves from the 16th to the 19th centuries. White Gold by British historian Giles Milton is a book that puts paid to the … Continue reading

Recommended reading for aspiring development practitioners

As aspiring development practitioners are thinking of what to read before they apply or enter degree programmes that will help get them dev jobs, I thought I’d suggest some accessible books. Shout out if you have any further suggestions!   1) King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild << Berkeley journalism lecturer demonstrates how blatantly development has … Continue reading

45 books I read this year

(Obviously some books could fall into several of the below categories)   Human nature   1 Pinker: We’ve become less violent as we’ve become civilised  2 Rosseau: Humans are essentially good and are better-off until they become civilised  3 Dawkins: We exist to carry forth our genes  4 Satre: We have no reason for existence  5 … Continue reading

Belief and violence

As Rwanda commemorates the 19th anniversary of the first day of a horrific genocide against Tutsis today, my mind turns to rising violence against religious minorities in Pakistan, particularly against Shias. I came across this 16th century passage by French scholar Sebastian Castellio on the absurdity of people holding unshakable, incompatible beliefs. Replace ‘Calvin’ with … Continue reading

Prayer for Japan, London, 4:30p-6:30p, Sunday 27th Nov

This is a post on behalf of friends whom I worked with on earthquake-relief in Pakistan in 2005. Acclaimed Japanese Chamber Musician and Soloist, Kanako Wakatsuki teams up with 13 yr old Japanese-English violinist wonder, Hana Mizuta-Spenser to perform a concert to support the on-going reconstruction of Japan and to mark the dignity of a … Continue reading

Removing rioters’ benefits will cost taxpayers more

Following the signature of over 200,000 onto an e-petition that demanded that looters should ‘loose [sic]‘ their benefits, Conservative Party ministers in the UK are considering the same according to Financial Times. The spelling of the petition should have been indicative of how sloppy the thinking in it was. ‘No tax payer should have to … Continue reading

Zain Latif Signs of life seen in Africa private equity – funds By Carolyn Cohn LONDON, Oct 6 Zain Latif, a former Goldman Sachs ( GS – news – people ) banker and founder of new London-based special situations fund TLG Capital, hopes to double his $25 million fund in the next few months. ‘We do … Continue reading


One of the things I value as important, but don’t get much of an opportunity to talk about. Gives me high standards to live upto. My lineage and some of my more public relatives:  Ram Singh Chohan (great-great-great-great grandfather), Finance Minister to a Kashmiri prince (according to the autobiography of Zain al Abedin Ahmed) Ahmed … Continue reading

  • Join 1,157 other followers