Voice of the People

57

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.

Ways of celebration

It is an indictment of our society that the only way we can ‘celebrate’ is by picking up a weapon and firing it aimlessly in the air. Be it Independence Day or New Year’s Event, instead of festivity and joy and celebration, we have almost become used to waking up the next day to stories of death and tragedy. The problem is two-fold: one, the art of celebration is largely missing from our society. This is a tragedy for a culture and geography where colour, music, poetry and art have thrived under patronage over centuries.

Pakistan, according to international organizations, is one of the countries that have the highest number of small firearms in the hands of citizens. Many of these weapons are undocumented and unregistered. Of our cities, Karachi has one of the highest number of these firearms. There is an urgent need to de-weaponize in order to bring down not only crime but also this misguided attempt at celebration that ends up hurting people. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate safely.

Aerial firing is just not one of them. Everyone has a right to celebrate with some limitations, to be happy. None of this should end with people in hospitals nursing gunshot wounds. Pakistan needs to promote jockeying in view of our moral eastern values that can be exhibited and felt without violence. How are we to promote a country as a tourist spot if its citizens can’t even celebrate without guns in their hands?

QAZI JAMSHED SIDDIQUI

Lahore

Women riding motorcycles

Pakistan is a conservative country where women do not enjoy as much freedom as is provided in western societies. Driving a motorcycle is one of the freedoms that was not available to Pakistani women until the recent past; as it was considered taboo for them to drive the two-wheelers.

However, in the absence of an efficient mass transit system and proper public transport, Pakistani women face many challenges on roads, while heading for work, education or household chores. Travelling on crowded buses and coaches is not without its perils for women as it not only means waiting long hours for buses but is also subjected to harassment in such places as well. In a country where a vast majority of the population cannot afford to buy cars or commute by cabs, the only mode of transportation deemed acceptable for women to drive on their own remains motorcycles.

It’s a reassuring sight to witness young girls and women driving motorcycles on the road. Nonetheless, I want to highlight a very important safety issue here i.e. the majority of these women riders are not wearing helmets. In an event of a crash or collision, injuries sustained in motorcycles tend to be more severe and potentially deadly than in other types of motor vehicle accidents; thus taking safety measures while riding two-wheelers is of utmost importance.

Research has shown that helmets reduce the risk of head injury and of death by almost half. Moreover, helmets also act as a buffer to filter out unnecessary noises that distract one from the task of driving.

Given these realities, it should be made compulsory for women riding motorcycles to wear helmets. However, before making it compulsory, relevant authorities must run a media campaign highlighting the importance of wearing helmets, regardless of gender.

UMAR KHALID DAR

Lahore

Judicial

Mello drama

A pathetic judicial process has been intensifying in Pakistan from day one, which ensues unbridled adjournments and pendency of cases in the judiciary. Currently, 2,159,655 cases are pending throughout Pakistan’s courts and 3,067 judges are proceeding with these cases. Due to the dearth of judges, it nearly takes decades in courts to decide the cases that trigger plaintiffs towards repressive acts or breaching of law.

A strong judicial system is the backbone of any country’s progress. It encourages the common citizens to build confidence and satisfaction so that they can rely on the judgment of the system without having misgivings about proceeding. On the contrary, it is imperative to see the evolving Mello drama between litigants and courts, having no proper mechanism, justice is either disposed of or postponed hence the lack of transparency in law has become a major loophole in Pakistan.

To come out of this infinite loop of judicial backlog, Pakistan needs to embrace digital technology such as the model court procedure—inaugurated by Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. This aims to reduce the massive pendency of cases by deciding the case within 3 months. Moreover, statistics also demonstrate Legal Research Technology which is an emerging arsenal specifically to counter the judicial backlog to be prioritized in contemplation of more expeditious justice.

As a matter of fact, in Pakistan, suffering litigants are monotonously being injected with cynicism over the law, due to preposterous trials and prolonged judicial processes. why do sufferers suffer more and perpetrators are emancipated? Concerning the certitude of people on law, legislators are requested to constitute more accessible litigation. The upper representatives of the judiciary must firm the country’s law and order up before getting to a point where civilians start becoming their arbiters.

MAKHDOOM KAREEM

Karachi

Changing lifestyle

Urban youth specially living in mohallahs need to change lifestyle to keep in good health. There is acute shortage of space and facilities for games sports and not adequate opportunities for physical exercise etc. However years earlier there was a culture of moving around for errands walking and riding a bicycle which were source of physical training in mohallahs.

These days the practice of riding a motorbike has caught up and become a way of life. even for going short distances depriving one of the chance of physical exercise. Resultantly lack of activity give rises to health issues eg more chances of getting diabetic. Motor bikes engine emissions remain trapped in air in not so wide mohallah bazaars and lanes and are source of pollution with its ill effects.

People should be made aware of this situation which is getting worse day by day and start advocacy for walking and revert to pedal power. Some incentives would be in order to encourage people to adopt Same such as tax free bicycle purchase.

For the pedestrians footpaths be restored wherever encroached upon in bazaars and along city roads and may be built where not existing. This should be useful even in posh localities where children can go walking to7 schools instead of in cars reducing traffic jams and pollution. Basically we have to ensure a healthy younger generation not to mention saving in energy imports and cleaner environments.

MIAN MOHAMMAD JAVED

Islamabad