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A new Pakistan?

By Sheela Bhatt
Last updated on: January 23, 2004 13:15 IST
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Are there signs that Pakistan is changing? Are there voices in this country that go beyond the demand for Kashmir? Do people want freedom, democracy and development? Are they ready for it?

These are some of the many questions Contributing Editor Sheela Bhatt asked of a group of experienced grassroots workers from the South Asia Partnership organisation in Lahore whose goal is to emancipate women and uplift the poor. Each one of them works in a Pakistani village where people constantly battle harsh social traditions, lack of water and poor education in their daily struggle for survival:

January 20: Shakil Ibrar: We have never seen changes like these in the last 50 years

January 21: Naima Malik: The elders have a softer attitude towards India

January 22: Mehmood Ahmed: People take decisions carrying the Qu'ran in their hand

January 23: Uzma Zarrin: The teachers in Pakistan are pro-jihad

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Sheela Bhatt