Voice of the People

60

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.

Women in flood-hit areas

It is a fact that the rains have disrupted the life of millions of people, but the most if it has affected the life of anyone, it is woman. When a disaster strikes, women are 14 times more likely to be affected than their counterparts. Women are helpless due to monsoon rains and floods. For instance, in the flood of 2010, 1.5 million were displaced in Sindh where 49? was the majority of women. Similarly, due to current situations, they have lost their basic needs and are in dire need of shelter because the rains have destroyed their houses.

According to the Global Gender Gap index report, Pakistan is the second worst country in terms of gender equality. The role of women is very important for development in any society, but in our society, women are deprived of their basic rights. Women give birth to the future builders of the country and train them, but during this flood, they are not receiving any immediate assistance.

Women face difficulties in finding appropriate food, shelter, pure water, and fuel for cooking during these destructive circumstances. Apart from it, they are confronting numerous hindrances and obstacles after the flood. The main thing to be considered is that women lost their jobs due to floods because before many destitute women used to work in informal sectors for earning their livelihood.

They are entitled of getting relief packages but no one is paying any heed to them. Besides this, the women, who are living in rural areas, are suffering from physical injuries which are extremely woeful. Even with aid in some places, women continue to face hardships, as many women and young girls in flood relief camps and shelter homes are at increased risk of violence, sexual abuse and harassment on the ground. Their life, wealth and honour are all in danger.

ABDUL MALIK RAUF

Karachi

Freedom of expression

It is painful and infuriating the space for freedom of expression is shrinking and increasingly criminalized by the clueless, careless and corrupt ZANU-PF government and his reckless President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was instrumental in forcing out Zimbabwe’s autocratic former President Robert Mugabe in November 2017. Zimbabweans initially welcomed the change of no longer living under Mugabe’s 37-year rule. But under Mnangagwa’s leadership, dozens of people, opposition supporters, political activists, journalists, church leaders, trade union members and student leaders have been arrested and brought to court on charges that legal experts say amount to harassment and are reminiscent of the Mugabe days.

Award winning Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga has been found guilty of staging a protest with the intent of inciting public violence. Dangarembga, a fierce critic of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, was arrested in 2020 for marching while holding a placard demanding reforms and was. She was charged with her friend and colleague Julie Barnes who joined her on the protest.

The pair were handed a suspended six-month jail term and fined $70,000 Zimbabwean dollars i.e. 120 USD. Dangarembga, 65, has been a leading voice in condemning gross corruption and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. The world should remove the heartless President Emmerson Mnangagwa from power for being human rights abuses and unlawful arrests of Zimbabweans.

KUDZAI CHIKOWORE

London

Service road

I want to draw the attention of the Prime Minister and Chairman CDA towards the construction of a service road from Peshawar Moor (Sunday Bazzar) to H-13 sector parallel Srinagar Highway along the Metro Line. As we have a service road in G-sector on the other side of Kashmir highway. If a service road is constructed in the H-sector, it will be a great help for easing the traffic flow for the population who are living on this side of the road.

A lot of time and fuel will be saved for the commuters. 03 U-Turns have been constructed but this is not a permanent solution. Many times one escapes from bad accidents. Ultimately, one flyover or underpass is the urgent need to handle the heavy flow of traffic from both sides as well as to connect G and H sectors at Police Line crossroads. 04 main universities are located in H-sector and many schools and colleges are located in G sectors. Life is precious and we need to follow a permanent solution instead of a temporary way-out.

SHAGUFTA ANSARI

Islamabad

Digital diplomacy

E-diplomacy is concerned with a new way of establishing relations and controlling the impact of digitalization, by means of electronic tools and social media. Pakistan’s digital diplomacy is not up to the standard of neither its neighbouring states nor the rest of the world. To put it in another way, an effectively organized set of strategies is needed in this regard.

There is a dire need to adopt the digital way of diplomacy as a strategic tool; to counter the hybrid warfare threats, cyber attacks and deep fake news that are common in a variety of digital spaces. The disturbing escalation of digital security threats is causing severe damage to Pakistan’s national integrity as well as to the line of action of the country’s institutional sovereignty. Nowadays, we are afflicted by a gush of audio leaks, following the audio of incumbent PM and Ex-PM, which is proved as an internal security breach proving the hollowness of security of the country’s chief executive’s office.

Leading think tanks suggest that there is a need for designing and implementing a policy in this regard which should be forwarded strategically to the communication wing of the Foreign Office, as it is also adopted by many governments of the world, including the USA, Canada and Scandinavian countries. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and data analytics are the most distinct tools in the implementation of digital diplomacy.

All things considered, there should be certified training programs on digital diplomacy and the publication of books so that we can prepare our career diplomatic missions for the new challenges of these niche technologies. Furthermore, there is also a need to encourage university students by giving them incentives to get professional training to promote the positive image of Pakistan on digital platforms.

FAIZAN BASHIR

Chiniot

 

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