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Voice of people

Articles and letters may be edited for purposes of clarity, space and should carry the writer’s address, CNIC and phone numbers. Postal address: Daily Pakistan Observer, Ali Akbar House Markaz G-8, Islamabad, Pakistan. Email: editorial@pakobserver.net

IMF and Pakistan

I am surprised to know that the Pakistan Government is going to make a deal with the IMF for monetary help to resuscitate country’s crippling economy. I want to draw the attention of the Pakistani people that are they aware of the terms and condition on which government is going to sign for availing the loan package? Though we are claiming that we are the democratic but the real spirit of democracy is to let the people know about the policies and actions of the government before making any policy.
I regret to say that the essence and the actual mechanism of democracy are missing in the country. Every day we get news bulletins that Pakistan’s economy is a victim of volatility so the price hike and inflation is the people’s fate. Every single countryman is currently indebted to 132465 rupees.
What the hell government is doing. Why we bear the debt that we have not used it properly? It is enough now. We have to take tangible decisions so as to meet the desired results. It is my suggestion that we must move towards sustainable economy through meticulous and sagacious policies such as enhance our production capability, advancement in technology and innovative approaches in agricultural and industrial sectors which can alter the destiny of the country.

Excessive polarisation

Unfortunately, even in “Naya Pakistan” we see and experience a rotten political climate nowadays. People in power and authority are too fixated on positions and rivalries and they have forgotten ethics and morality. The PIT-led coalition government ministers and others are seeking to score points against their political opponents. They cast their opponents as immoral or corrupt, the same is being done by their opponents. This old fashioned “blame game” continues in this New Pakistan. Together with political polarization, income polarization has gone to a horrendous level. Our society has become polarized and radicalized.
These subversive trends are indeed paralyzing the entire system and situation. The country seems unable to make tough decisions to tackle a lingering economic crisis among other things. The rising income, coupled with political polarization, does not augur well for our parliament and politicians. This anti-people milieu and policies are discrediting the political class among ordinary Pakistanis, particularly as they suffer from rising costs of living. Pakistan cannot really afford to lack an effective government as we have nowadays in the country. Among ordinary people I spoke to, disliking for our people in power and authority and even those in Parliament is rising and this mood is not good for the country and the institutions of the country.

Lead toxicity in Karachi

Lead is a well-known neuro-toxin and it affects all systems within the body. Its presence in the air is much more dangerous for the health of the population compared to its presence in the soil. Lead ranks as one of the most serious environmental threats to human health, especially in developing countries. Young children especially with iron deficiency anaemia are more susceptible since their digestive system absorbs heavy metals rapidly and they may ingest lead-contaminated soil by putting their fingers in their mouths.
The most devastating effect of lead poisoning in growing children is on the mental development. Children in developing countries are more at risk due to high prevalence of anaemia and malnutrition which intensifies lead absorption. In Karachi, automobiles with weak engines can burn lubricants, leaded fuel and the use of coal and furnace oil for power generation are a major source of lead in the air. Though a major decline in blood lead levels has been noted, a large population of children still has a lead level in blood above the permissible limit, a study notes. In 2002, 80.5 per cent of children in Karachi had lead in blood above the current allowable limit of 10µg/dl.
One lead-free way is to adapt oil refineries to produce higher-octane fuel. This can be done by incorporating processes such as catalytic reforming, which produces more higher-octane aromatic compounds such as benzene, or isomerization and alkylation which produce high-octane iso-paraffins.

Skills over degrees

Daihatsu, Datsun, Honda, Toyota, Kawasaki and other famous automobiles are all Japanese brands whereas Chevrolet, Hyundai and Daewoo belong to South Korea. Could you imagine how many renowned automobile brands are left? Similarly, when it comes to information technology, all that we hear is Japan and Japanese tech giants along with their South Korean neighbours. During 2014, Samsung alone generated revenue of $305 billion—not to my surprise, the company is South Korean. Japan, S. Korea and Finland are the top three countries to provide the best educational system in the world. Reason: these nations have made their youth tech-savvy by diverting them towards skills and technicalities instead of academic degrees. In their vocational institutions, time between classroom learning and practical learning is twenty to eighty which is a remarkable ratio and hence demonstrate their success.
Here comes our education system where there is a conglomeration of degrees though, but virtually devoid of skills and practicality. In four to five years, students in our educational institutions keep rushing behind GPAs spending their prime time in closed classrooms, attending prolong lectures that teachers are meant to cover at any cost at the end of the day. This time and age is highly cutthroat competitive epoch. In order to compete with the race of swift innovation, we need to redress and overhaul our education system thoroughly. Thereafter ensuring that education given to youth should make them capable to compete. This is only possible when we introduce and incorporate a ‘pragmatic approach’ in our curriculum studies.
Nagar, Gilgit-Baltistan