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 with the flood devastation. It says it cannot afford the inflated budgets of previous years.
Pervez Amir Ali Hoodbhoy is professor of nuclear and high energy physics, as well as chairman, at the department of physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He received his BS, MS, and Ph.D degrees from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and remains an active physicist who often lectures at US and European research laboratories and universities. Dr. Hoodbhoy received the Baker Award for Electronics and the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics. He also has been deeply involved in matters that relate to problems specific to Pakistan.
Over a period of 25 years, Dr. Hoodbhoy created and anchored a series of television programs that dissected the problems of Pakistan's education system, and two other series that aimed at bringing scientific concepts to ordinary members of the public. He is the author of "Islam and Science - Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality", now in 7 languages. In 2003 he was awarded UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. Also in 2003, Dr. Hoodbhoy was invited to the Pugwash Council. He is a sponsor of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and a member of the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists. Over the years, he produced and directed several documentary films that have been widely viewed on national television which deal with political, nuclear, and scientific matters. He is frequently invited to comment on nuclear and political matters in Pakistani and international media.
Pakistan: insoddisfatti dei tagli imposti dal Ministero delle Finanze, i Vice-Cancellieri di 71 Università del settore pubblico minacciano di dimettersi in blocco. Sostengono, giustamente, che i progetti di sviluppo sono fermi, le bollette non sono pagate, alcuni edifici sono costruiti a metà e gli stipendi dei docenti sono a rischio. Il governo però replica che l'assoluta priorità, vista la mancanza di fondi, è affrontare l'emergenza causata dalle devastanti inondazioni e che non può sostenere i budget gonfiati degli anni precedenti.
Undici anni fa, un milione di pakistani ballarono per le strade alla notizia che sei armi nucleari erano state sperimentate con successo. Era stato detto loro che costruire bombe nucleari era la cosa più grande che un paese potesse fare; il Pakistan era dunque un grande paese. Ma la scorsa settimana il test nucleare nella Corea del Nord ha dato una solida prova che qull'affermazione è in realtà una bugia.