Voice of the People

64

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.

Chaotic politics

The PTI’s Long March ended on Saturday as expected, with a tame dispersal, party Chairman Imran Khan saying he was doing so because he did not want to destroy the peace of Islamabad. He also claimed that the PTI was a party that followed a peaceful and constitutional path. This was belied by its behaviour as recent as its May 25 Long March, when its cadres vandalized Islamabad, and going back to its 2014 sit-in, when again it trashed Islamabad during its prolonged occupation of D-Chowk.

The PTI’s actual respect for the Constitution is shown by how its Deputy Speaker subverted it during the vote of no-confidence this year, which he tried to ‘put off’, according to the Supreme Court. Imran Khan announced that his party was pulling out of the Assemblies, and would thus force elections. That is probably not going to work, because if there is no dissolution of the KP and Punjab Assemblies, it would be possible for the opposition to elect a new Speaker and carry on much like the National Assembly, where though the PTI MNAs have tendered their resignations, most have not been verified by the Speaker, and thus by-elections have not been held.

As for the Sindh and Balochistan Assemblies, once the resignations are verified, by-elections could easily be held. However, while all these individual dramas play out in the provincial assemblies, the clock will continue ticking, and the country will keep on moving towards the end of the assemblies’ tenure. That means that the pressure for premature elections will be dissipated anyhow. The PTI must realize that it will have to re-examine its strategy at this point, because it really has nothing left in the cupboard.

Even the option of leaving the Assemblies is not a very exciting one. The PTI must also note that it has failed in its primary objective, of preventing a certain individual from becoming COAS, or ensuring that a certain individual reached that position. Therefore, it is possible that it may not get the snap elections it seeks. The PTI leadership should realize the critical economic condition of the country and avoid its violent and chaotic activities as thousands of people are roofless under the open sky.

QAZI JAMSHED SIDDIQUI

Lahore

Illicit cigarettes

The consumption of illicit cigarettes is on the rise in Pakistan. According to the latest figures, the share of illicit trade of cigarettes is around 40%. Out of 80 billion cigarette sticks produced annually, around 32 billion are illicit. The increase in the consumption of illicit cigarettes means tobacco control measures such as increase in tax, graphical health warnings and the possibility of healthy levy on cigarettes are being made ineffective.

The rest of the world is making plans and taking initiatives to wipe out combustible smoking. Countries such as the UK, Sweden, Japan and New Zealand have set targets for ending combustible smoking over the next 10 to 15 years. In this regard, the concept of tobacco harm reduction can help Pakistan to take the first step to ending combustible smoking.

Tobacco harm reduction works because almost all of disease risk attributable to smoking arises from the smoke: the particles of tar and toxic gases inhaled from burning tobacco. Nicotine creates dependence, which keeps people smoking.

The smoke contains thousands of toxic agents, many of which are formed in reactions during combustion. If smokers can find satisfactory alternatives to cigarettes that do not involve combustion but do provide nicotine, they would avoid almost all of the disease risk.

JUNAID ALI KHAN

Islamabad

Outcome of inflationomics

The world has experienced a dramatic increase in the prices of essential commodities like vegetable, fruit and pulses.

As the prices of essential commodities continue to grow, many families in the lower income group struggle to survive and in the domino effect, crime has increased as people are desperate to put food on the table.

JUBEL D’CRUZ

Mumbai, India

A road accident

Road accidents are almost a daily occurrence. The result is the loss of human lives. These occurrences are the result of carelessness and rash driving. A few days ago a sad event happened before my eyes. The accident was due to rash driving. The owner of car was driving him self. He appeared to be in hurry. All of a sudden a calf appeared on road from a side street. The driver tried his est to save the calf but lost control over steering. The car struck against an electric pole.

The car driver received cut in the head and it was bleeding profusely. The car was badly damaged. A huge crowd gathered at the spot of accident. The police was informed by some one. The police men arrived. They called the ambulance. The injured was taken to hospital for the treatment.

The police party recorded the statements of the shopkeepers and other persons who were present at the site of accident. Fortunately the driver was safe after first aid he was relieved from the hospital after half an hour. Thanks to God there was no loss of life.

MUDASIR ABBASI

Larkana