Voice of the People


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.

Rising intolerance & extremism

While humans have reached the moon, mars and beyond, probing the milky way, we witness growing intolerance and extremism haunting lives of human beings. Whether it be the intolerance of liberals in France and rest of Europe, banning wearing of hijab, or the extremism in Iran which makes it mandatory to wear it, basic human rights and freedom are being violated. In Europe the right of a woman to go naked is acceptable as an expression of free will or protest etc., whilst rights of Muslim women to wear the hijab are violated openly and defiantly.

Society can and should stress upon modest clothing for both males and females, but should not be seen forcing a group such as Muslims not to wear the hijab as per their religious beliefs, whilst simultaneously allowing Nuns, Mormons and Hasidic Jews to cover their head. These contradictions and growing intolerance must be arrested and human-being’s choice to wear modest clothes be respected. Laws enacted and enforced by the State must be free from vindictive bias and be seen as fair, respecting individual rights.

The Iranian clergy must review its strict laws, concerning the mandatory wearing of hijab and insist only on modest clothing. Similarly, the so-called liberals in Europe, need to review their vindictive anti-Muslim policies and respect their right and choice to wear modest clothes, including the right of women to wear or not to wear a hijab.

Intolerance and over-zealous nationalist movements and leaders, such as Hitler have led to world wars. Nationalism stretched beyond limits, which considers others inferior, advocating hate and violence, violates basic human rights, irrespective of whether they are white supremacists or Hindu supremacists, or Zionists etc. Sanity must prevail to preserve peace and human dignity.



Gender-based violence

“Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. It is a moral affront to all women and girls and us all, a mark of shame on all our societies, and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.” Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres remarks on an international day for the elimination of violence against women. Gender-based violence (GBV) has acquired international attention in the past few decades. This is not merely an issue of gender inequality and violence, rather it is paramount to security, politics and fundamental human rights at national and international levels.

According to a survey by the World Bank, gender-based violence and violence against women and girl affects three women in their lifetime, which makes it a global pandemic. Conflicts, along with other countless devastations, cause higher levels of gender-based violence against women and girls. In the conflict and post-conflict zones across the globe, women continue to experience gender-based violence such as rape, slavery, forced marriages, forced impregnation/miscarriages, kidnapping/trafficking, forced nudity and disease transmission with rape and sexual abuse, etc. These forms of gender-based violence are used as weapons/tactics in different conflicts across the world.

Rape, in many areas, is systematically used as a means of ethnic cleansing. To make it worst, special sexual torture centres are established in the conflict zones. Even if these are not used as a tactic of war, gender-based violence remains prevalent in the conflict zones.

In the post-conflict zones, gender-based violence also spikes due to the breakdown of rule of law, the availability of small weapons, the breakdown of family and societal structure and the normalization of GBV during the conflict. Whatever the reasons may be, the vulnerabilities caused by GBV have devastating effects on victims and the families of victims.



Global shield financing facility

The Global Shield Financing Facility programme proves to be yet another Eurocentric policy; designed to distract developing countries from genuine efforts to fund the loss and damage of climate change.

It is a major outcome that came out of the ‘COP27’ conference held in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt with the coordination of G7. Germany pledged to fund $200 million along with smaller pledges from Ireland, Denmark and Canada. The programme is also backed by Joe Biden.

The much sought-after ‘loss and damage’ clause was agreed upon by the end of the ‘COP27’ conference, however, the details would be decided in ‘COP28’ in the UAE, 2023.

Currently, the most prominent outcome of this conference has got to be the global shield financing facility. The potential to curtail climate change is not quite available. It is yet another policy drafted by the ‘West’ to deal with the issue that affects the ‘East’, primarily. The design of programme is a revealing example of how it is bound to fail.

Global Shield is designed as an insurance-based policy. The main component of insurance is in essence, its premium. It will result in added costs to climate change struck countries, such as Pakistan which faced approximately $38 billion loss during floods, resulting in catastrophic damage to livelihood of people. The G-7 have collectively pledged around $250 million.

According to the World Bank report stats; paying hefty amounts for a premium; that would in essence deal with future disasters, would not be on Pakistan’s priority list, when it is already dealing with damage caused by the 2022 flash floods.


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