Voice of the People

36

Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.

Post IMF agreement policies

The IMF package and other loans will provide Pakistan with just enough breathing space to set our house in order and adopt economic policies to bridge this ever-widening gap between State revenue and expenditure.

For this, it is essential that State must impose tax on all sources of income above a certain threshold and drastically cut down imports of all non-essential luxury items while simultaneously adopting austerity measures by state institutions etc.

Allowing import of Dog Food, expensive vehicles, mobiles etc even after increasing the custom duty would still entail depletion of our scarce foreign exchange reserves. Withdrawing taxes on Retail/Wholesale sector, that have been involved in hoarding and black-marketing for decades during every Ramazan, religious festivities etc is totally unjustified.

Doing so, after the tax had been announced by Finance Minister, on alleged intervention of PML-N Vice-President only indicates that economics continues to be slave to politics, instead of the reverse. It does not bode well. Earlier we had witnessed the former government announce tax relief for import of luxury electric limousines in a country where there is acute shortage of electricity, resulting in massive load shedding.

As it is, Pakistan’s agriculture-based economy is facing an acute crisis, and today we are forced to import food, in which we were once self-sufficient. Yet, for several decades, the State itself has been involved in encouraging illegal and forceful conversion of millions of acres fertile green land, fruit orchards to concrete jungles for land development by real estate sector, which pays minimal taxes on sale of these plots, most of them allotted.

Pakistan cannot afford its paid elite to fly on private executive jets, instead of commercial flights. Austerity must be seen to start from the top before we burden the poor with indirect taxes, or else we will be again on verge of economic crisis within a year.

MALIK TARIQ ALI

Lahore

Divine right

to rule

After four months of appealing and cajoling the alienated establishment to somehow or other arrange fresh elections and finding it unresponsive, Imran Khan has decided to confront the ‘neutrals’ head-on. He has become particularly desperate after arrest of his chief of staff on charges of inciting insurrection.

A desperate IK has now decided to revert to his familiar bullying tactics. He has learnt that the Chief Election Commissioner is delivering verdicts against PTI due to pressure from above. Even the ‘torture’ on his chief of staff took place after orders from above. Imran Khan is however not fighting for democracy. He is least bothered about the establishment’s intrusion into civilian turf. For him the word ‘neutral’ is in fact a contemptuous term when applied to the army.

For good three years he felt comfortable for being on the same page with the army. He feels disturbed now because the army is no more willing to bear the burden of Imran Khan’s failed policies. The best way for the ruling alliance is to compete with the PTI through pro-people policies and through the course of law.

Contempt of court case also initiated against Imran Khan, the ruling alliance should wait for the Court’s decision and its repercussions. It would be unfortunate if there was a display of vengefulness on the federal government’s part. The PTI is within its right to hold peaceful protests but it cannot be allowed to create lawlessness or resort to violence.

Those who violate laws should be taken to courts. The Constitution and law of the land hail supremacy over all kinds of persons and institutions.

MUNAWAR SIDDIQUI

Lahore

How very sad!

While the deluge caused by heavy monsoon rains continue to ruthlessly overwhelm people of all the four provinces of the country, the political forces seem to remain totally oblivious of this utterly catastrophic situation. In terms of the extent of damage caused, the province of Balochistan ranks number 1, followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The deluge that has wreaked havoc across the country has taken a heavy toll on the lives, properties, and lifetime possessions of the people. It has badly destroyed standing crops, and brought businesses to a grinding halt. One wouldn’t be wrong, if one chooses to call this profoundly heart-wrenching scenario a doomsday scenario.

The people mercilessly battered by the devastating deluge are crying for help. Having been rendered shelterless, they are compelled to live in the open without a roof on their heads. Having lost their lifetime belongings they have nowhere to go. They are finding it exceedingly difficult to have three square meals a day. Who do you think should these immensely lugubrious people look up to for help in these profoundly trying times? Obviously, the government in the saddle and the opulent segment of the society.

I sincerely urge the political forces of the country to bury their political differences, and rise to the call of the people brutally devastated by the catastrophic floods … provide them the help they so direly need. I call upon the opulent segment of the society and the entire nation to rise to the occasion, and contribute generously towards the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund established to provide much needed relief to the flood affected people.

M FAZAL ELAHI

Islamabad

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