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22 Mar 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

By Manipadma Jena

This story is part of IPS coverage of World Water Day, observed on March 22.

NEW DELHI, Mar 21 2017 (IPS) - In Asia, it likely will not be straightforward water wars.

Prolonged water scarcity might lead to security situations that are more nuanced, giving rise to a complex set of cascading but unpredictable consequences, with communities and nations reacting in ways that we have not seen in the past because climate change will alter the reliability of current water management systems and infrastructure, say experts.

30 Jan 2017 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Jan 30 2017 (IPS) - The Federally Administered Tribal Areas located on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border remain one of the most perilous places in the world to be a reporter, with journalists walking a razor’s edge of violence and censorship.

FATA has been a bastion of Taliban militants since they crossed over to Pakistan and took refuge when their government was toppled in neighbouring Afghanistan by the U.S.-led Coalition forces towards the end of 2001.

13 Oct 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

Sri Lanka is literally baking these days.

During the first week of October, the Metrological Department reported that maximum daytime temperatures in some parts of the country were between 5 to 2C above average. They hit 38.3C in some parts of the North Central Province, a region vital for the staple rice harvest.

26 May 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

By Lyndal Rowlands

UNITED NATIONS, May 26 2016 (IPS) - While long-awaited new vaccines for malaria and dengue may finally be within reach, many of the world’s existing vaccines have remained unreachable for many of the people who need them most.

The recent outbreak of yellow fever in Angola shows how deadly infectious diseases can return when gaps in vaccination programs grow.

12 May 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

By Umar Shah

SRINAGAR, India, May 10 2016 (IPS) - Trudging barefoot on his two-acre piece of land, 57-year-old Mukhtar Ahmad has little hope of growing any crops this year due to the sudden dry spell that has struck Kashmir’s winter.

Floods in 2014 had already wreaked havoc upon the region’s agricultural production, destroying Mukhtar’s small farm as well. He was hoping for a better harvest this year, but the changing climate is casting a shadow over this crop too.

09 Apr 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

By Joseph Chamie and Barry Mirkin

Joseph Chamie is a former director of the United Nations Population Division and Barry Mirkin is a former chief of the Population Policy Section of the United Nations Population Division.

29 Mar 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Mar 29 2016 (IPS) - Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining polio-endemic countries, have joined forces to eradicate poliomyelitis by vaccinating their children in synchronised campaigns.

The two neighbouring countries — sharing a 2,400 kms long and porous border — have been bracketed as the stumbling block in the way of the global polio eradication drive. These militancy-riddled countries have been tackling Taliban’s opposition to the administration of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to children.

11 Feb 2016 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 11 2016 (IPS) - A military operation by Pakistan’s army has been proving fatal for Taliban militants who held sway over vast swathes of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) for over a decade. They crossed over the border from Afghanistan and took refuge in Fata after their government was toppled by US-led forces towards the end of 2001. After a few years, when they got a toe-hold in the region, they extended their wings to all seven districts of Fata. Not any more.

16 Dec 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Dec 16 2015 (IPS) - “We aren’t happy here but cannot go back to our country because the situation there was extremely bad,” Ghareeb Gul, Afghan refugees told IPS.

Gul, 40, arrived in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the Pakistan’s four provinces, in 1979 when his country was invaded by Russian forces and settled in Kacha Garhi camp near Peshawar. The camp was demolished by local authorities forcing 50,000 refugees to seek shelter somewhere else.

29 Nov 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 26 2015 (IPS) - “My two sons were killed by Taliban militants mercilessly three years ago. My husband died a natural death two year back. Now, I am begging to raise my two grandsons,” Gul Pari, 50, told IPS.

Pari, who is waiting for her turn at a psychiatrist’s clinic in Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, says she dreamed every night that her sons were alive and would return one day.

“I am waiting for them. They are martyrs and will come and take revenge from their killers,” she said.

15 Nov 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 15 2015 (IPS) - “We have to purchase water from the municipalities for our daily use. The water column has gone too deep and it is hard to pump out the commodity,” said Muhammad Shakir, a resident of Hayatabad, an upscale town in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The situation isn’t showing any sign of improvement and is going from bad to worse, as increasingly the children don’t to schools and colleges due to non-availability of water, he says.

10 Nov 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Saleem Shaikh and Sughra Tunio

Ghizer, Pakistan, Nov 10 2015 (IPS) - Ishaq Khan shivers as he recounts an unfortunate flash flood in 2010, which covered his maize and potato crop with mud and washed away over a dozen fruit trees he planted 45 years ago.

09 Nov 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 9 2015 (IPS) - Jauhar Shah lost everything. His house came tumbling down while his family was sleeping. He survived but his wife and daughter did not. The October 26 tremor measuring 8.1 Richter scale changed his life forever.

“We underwent immense hardships because our home was damaged completely. But then, government and the local people came to our rescue and rebuilt our mud-house temporarily,” Shah, 45, told IPS.

29 Oct 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Oct 28 2015 (IPS) - “My grandmother rushed inside the room to save me. Roof suddenly collapsed and she died,” said 12-year-old Mushtari Bibi.

Bibi is one of the 1,950 people who received multiple injuries in Monday’s massive earthquake that jolted Pakistan and some neighbouring countries and caused heavy material and loss of lives.

“Our house is built of mud which cannot withstand the heavy earthquake. It was like a hell and I later I found myself in the hospital,” she said.

11 Oct 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct 11 2015 (IPS) - “We are extremely happy over the government’s initiative to give money to the pregnant women and enable them to seek proper treatment,” said Sharif Ahmed at a basic health unit (BHU), near Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

Ahmed said he had brought her his wife to undergo ultrasound and other pregnancy-related investigations at the BHU and preempt any complications.

16 Jul 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai and Kanya D'Almeida

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/UNITED NATIONS, Jul 15 2015 (IPS) - It has been seven months since a group of gunmen raided the Army Public School in Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, killing 145 people, including 132 students.

21 May 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

KARACHI, May 21 2015 (IPS) - Khalil Ahmed’s life story sounds like it could have come straight out of the plot of a Bollywood flick, but it didn’t. And that makes it all the more inspiring.

Residents of the sleepy town of Gambat, 500 km from the Pakistani port city of Karachi, where Ahmed was an all too familiar face, may not recognise the 12-year-old today.

18 Mar 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Zofeen Ebrahim

KARACHI, Mar 17 2015 (IPS) - When a group of women in the remote village of Sadhuraks in Pakistan’s Thar Desert, some 800 km from the port city of Karachi, were asked if they would want to be born a woman in their next life, the answer from each was a resounding ‘no’.

They have every reason to be unhappy with their gender, mostly because of the unequal division of labour between men and women in this vast and arid region that forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan.

“A woman’s work is never done,” one woman says.

10 Mar 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR, Mar 10 2015 (IPS) - A doctor shakes his head in despair as he examines a 10-year-old child at the Jalozai refugee camp, about 35 km by road from Peshawar, capital of Pakistan’s northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

“He is severely malnourished,” Dr. Zeeshan Khan tells IPS. “He is vulnerable to diseases like diarrhoea, and other infections.”

23 Feb 2015 description
report Inter Press Service

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb 20 2015 (IPS) - It is no surprise that most Pakistani journalists work under tremendous stress; caught between crime lords in its biggest cities, militant groups across its tribal belt and rival political parties throughout the country, censorship, intimidation and death seem almost to come with the territory.

But while many have become accustomed to working with a degree of fear and uncertainty, none could have been prepared for the number of tragedies that unfolded in 2014, the worst year ever for the media in Pakistan.