Voice of the People

39

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.

Electronic media self-restraint

Pakistan’s political elite need to lower polarization in the country, especially when floods have ravaged the country, destroyed crops, displaced millions with almost 1500 perished. The Electronic Media should play its role instead of just catering to ratings etc. Given the magnitude of floods, Pakistan faces tough times with food shortages and inflation making life miserable for those who lost their homes.

Democracy is all about serving the people, upholding rule of law and not just to gain power. Intensity of damage inflicted by recent floods and glacier melting could have been curtailed if PTI government and all those who preceded them, had taken concrete steps to prevent the damage done by floods.

Organizations like NDMA should have been prepared to meet challenges and their priority should be infrastructure with tools required to cater for such emergencies, instead of wasting on administration and perks of its executives. These floods were forecast and so was climate change-induced high temperatures which have resulted in glacier melting. For this NDMA needs professionals qualified in Environment Science and Controls, not bureaucrats or retired officers. Emergency Rescue is a specialized field.

The Electronic Media should focus on the need to motivate people to unite together and face adversity collectively. Freedom of expression and protest is not absolute and has to be exercised within framework of laws and constitution. In such times Electronic Media must pause and realize that they need to play a more positive role and not blindly pursue ratings by indulging in needless political rabble. For instance, why should a lady anchor while asking questions from Fawad Chaudhry prompt a reply of her choice with a question whether spokesman of ISPR over-reacted.

MALIK TARIQ ALI

Lahore

Women rights

Hurdles are created in the way of women which they tend to overcome. As seen in the post-modern society, women are not given equal rights as in jobs, education, households. Women tend to work longer hours and still get half pay of a man, with this discrimination at a work place an inequality is born.

CEDAW was established for the protection of women rights on international level. This was to promote equality between men and women. Rights in marriage is another major issue to be seen by the courts on internationally where women are restricted with rights to marriage and children.

“SATI” a famous concept in Hindu religion which was practised in earlier times where if a girl becomes a widow at young age, she sits on top of her dead husband’s funeral pyre. These practises are now banned in India after the effect of Human Rights. The cases in Sierra Leone rise to the issue that where she had an evident chance that she will die due to pregnancy or childbirth, this was reported by amnesty international in 2009.

The most famous case was of Savita Halappanavar where the Republic of Ireland ratified CEDAW in 1985. The argument was raised globally that she has a heartbeat too. Because there was a heartbeat heard by the doctors which had stopped the abortion as of Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, it protects the right to life of the unborn whereas it also protects the right to mothers’ life.

Shayaan Wadood

Islamabad

Administrative divisions

One wonders if Imran Khan was talking offhand when he suggested turning every administrative division in the country into a province, claiming that it would make governance more effective.

According to Imran Khan, the country’s problems can be tackled more effectively if every division is treated as a province. The PTI had promised to carve out a Seraiki entity out of Punjab province but failed due to lack of support from the two-thirds majority in Parliament required for passing a constitutional amendment.

A bill for the creation of the Hazara province was also tabled in Parliament in 2019 where it lies in limbo for lack of enthusiasm on the part of the proposers. What Imran Khan has suggested is much more radical and controversial.

The words Punjab, Sindh, KP, Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan will disappear from Pakistan’s map and be replaced with the names of the administrative divisions. The scheme has serious political implications. Breaking up provinces and obliterating their centuries-old nomenclatures that generations have identified themselves with, will cause a shock.

In Sindh this will be interpreted as the success of a conspiracy that Sindhis have long resisted. In other provinces too it will be interpreted as an attempt to deprive people of their historical identities.

The proposed scheme will strengthen parochial tendencies. Keeping the country’s economic situation in view, the scheme is simply impracticable. Whatever the supposed benefits of the plan, the creation of 37 provinces is financially unaffordable.

The new provinces will require the construction of provincial facilities like Assembly Halls, Secretariats, housing facilities for governors, ministers and bureaucrats along with fleets of cars for their use.

Provincial High Courts too will have to be set up. Funds will have to be allocated to keep the massive administrative set-up functioning. The suggestion is as untimely as it is divisive.

QAZI JAMSHED SIDDIQUI

Lahore

 

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