Fruitless holiday



THE administration of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) announced a local holiday in the federal capital as part of the security measure in connection with the visit of the UAE President but it proved to be a futile exercise as the distinguished guest had a second thought and postponed the visit at the eleventh hour citing inclement weather.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who arrived in Pakistan on January 25 on a private visit, was to arrive in Islamabad on Monday to discuss friendship and cooperation between the Gulf State and Pakistan and ways to enhance them in various fields.

The decision to announce a local holiday was basically a highly flawed one and that is why it has widely been criticized by all except government employees who enjoyed the three-day weekend.

One fails to understand the justification for the holiday which is being linked to the security environment as VVIP visits took place even during the height of terrorism in Pakistan.

Diversion of traffic and closure of the route for a limited time were understandable but closure of the entire capital is nothing but absolutely luxury.

Pakistan is already facing enormous economic hardships that call for sustained efforts and contribution by all to overcome them.

We have repeatedly been emphasizing in these columns that the culture of holidays and shut-downs should be done away with.

We already have more public holidays as compared to other countries and addition of more holidays on the pretext of security, cricket matches and Eid festivals is regrettable.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is rightly considered as work-alcoholic as he himself works long hours and even during weekends.

He meant business and introduced a one-day weekend but his decision was resisted by lethargic and shirk-work elements and he had to reverse it on the plea of saving energy.

Our economy suffered hugely due to the situation created by Coronavirus and then floods and we need to work hard to compensate for those losses.