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.

Human error

The death of 176 people on board a Ukrainian Plane that crashed near Tehran was cause by human error. Iran says it ‘unintentionally’ shot down the Ukranian jetliner. Unfortunately, this human error has deprived 176 people of their lives.
The loss of lives cannot be mitigated and there shall be no relief for dependents who have now known the fact. Such incidents have occurred also in past. On July 17, 2014 Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was blown out of sky by a Russian missile killing 298 people. A United States Navy warship in the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian passenger plane, which the Navy said it mistook for a jet fighter, killing all 290 people onboard.
Safety of passengers is the prime responsibility of airlines interalia countries where they are flying. The recent mishap will lead to series of lengthy litigation, punishments, apologies and compensation. The human error is indeed a massive tragedy of errors. Had there been peace in the region, this human error would not have occurred.

Neighbours and US-Iran tension

The US last week assassinated Iranian Gen Qasim Sulemani and despite that keeps spreading news that Iran doesn’t want peace. Is this how you talk of peace? Iran will act but knowing their capacity wouldn’t do something stupid. Let’s not forget the Iran-Iraq war, Iran just got its freedom from Shah and were not stable but despite that Iraq with all its power and US backing lost the war.
Pakistan has been trying to reduce tension between Iran and KSA. Trying to develop better relation with neighbours, which will add to economic prosperity, while at the same time getting US nod in many fiscal and foreign policies. On top of getting injected with huge Saudi funding in new economic projects, choosing a side can be very challenging.
India, just like Pakistan, will be in a difficult position too. They have been for long an economic and defence partner of Russia and also enjoy close economic relations with Iran. While at the same time, Mr. Modi has found a close friend in Donald Trump and new allies in Middle East.
Turkey could be in the most challenging situation. While on one side they are part of NATO and rely a lot on US to bail them out on many of they regional blunders, they have never been fond of Saudia (and vice versa). Iran and Turkey have been long trying to mend their relationship and going against them at this stage can blow that up.

line train

Orange Line is an automated rapid transit system started in Lahore. When open in 2020, the line will be Pakistan’s first metro. The line will span 27.1 km with 25.4 km elevated and 1.7 underground. The line will be served by 26 stations and is expected to handle 250,000 passengers daily. Though it is frequently mentioned as a part of wider China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Government of Punjab is financing Orange line project.
The project has been subject to criticism regarding transparency, while environmental groups have been critical of environmental sustainability of the project. Various people and organisations have raised concerns that Lahore Metro Orange Line might be a possible threat to heritage sites in this historic city. On August 19, 2016 the Lahore High Court ordered cessation of construction works located within 200 feet of 11 historical sites, though the injunction was eventually lifted and construction allowed to proceed.
The project got delayed due to legal action against the line. After 22 months construction work resumed after judgment from Supreme Court of Pakistan going in favour of metro. After the election, working on metro slow downed because Government of Punjab termed it as white elephant and showed reluctance to complete it. The 2019-2020 budget of Punjab has allocated low funds for the project, which will slow the pace of development of metro.
The Orange Train Line will be beneficial for the people and country’s economy. The public benefit should be taken above politics.
Save water

Karachi is a mega city of more than 20 million people and is rightly called mini Pakistan. Yet city daily faces water scarcity. Furthermore, farming community is wasting tremendous amount of water by using outdated irrigation methods. Major portion of water is utilised for irrigation and yet country is achieving a lower per acre crop production as compared to India and China in the region.
Pakistan has been facing severe water scarcity and there exist no proper planning to save water for people of Pakistan and especially people of Karachi city. I urge government to immediately resolve this serious issue because water is a basic need for everyone.

Drug addiction in Balochistan

Drug abuse in Balochistan is growing like an epidemic with little reformative action being taken to correct it. Due to Pak-Afghan border and easy movement of people across it allows large quantities of drugs to flow into the country from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, drugs and narcotics trafficking has become order of the day in Balochistan’s city of Turbat where narcotics is being traded publicly.
According to a 2013 United Nations report, there are approximately 230,000 drug users in Balochistan. A 2015 report by Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics estimates that nearly 8.9 million people in Pakistan are drug addicts while 700 people die everyday across the country due to drug-related complications.
The severity of dependence amongst opiate users is the highest in KP and Balochistan. Among regular opiate users, three-fourths make use of more than one substance.
The most commonly found combination being of heroin, cannabis and other tranquilising drugs. In fact, Balochistan has the highest use of these combinations, with at least 25 percent of consumers using this, a total of 1.6 percent of the province’s population.
Nevertheless, the intake of drugs through injections has also led to a rise in HIV and blood-borne diseases that are passed through unhygienic and multiple uses of syringes. Many people feel the effect of substance abuse, either directly or indirectly. Thus, Rehabilitation Centres need to be set up across the country to facilitate drug users in giving up this addiction and health centres need to be established to deal with drug-related emergencies appropriately.
Kech, Balochistan

Menace of Tiktok

The Chinese video sharing app, tiktok has invited many accidents, some of them resulting in deaths.
Mostly teenagers post videos lip-syncing to songs or reciting movies dialogues. TikTok, which is a threat to Pakistani culture, is affecting the young generation extensively and a source of wastage of time.
Report said that in Pakistan Tiktok users are multiplying. There are million of subscribers worldwide and it is as dangerous as blue whale game. PTA should ban the app and call for removal of this menace from Google play store and Apple app store.

HIV/AIDS prevention

Dr Saeed Khan, a professor of pathology associated with Dow International Medical College, highlighted urgent need for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and address social stigma and fear attached to HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes patient’s immune system to become ineffective and exposes the body to secondary infections. In Pakistan, the HIV-1 subtype A has been found to be more prevalent, including injection drug users.
While giving a lecture in department of physiology at Karachi University (KU), he talked about statistics of Larkana and Sindh AIDS Control Programme, according to which, 26,041 people had been screened for HIV since start of the outbreak and 751 people were tested positive for the disease. The people of Pakistan need to be aware of this terrible disease.
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