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.
Caretaker CM Punjab
If only PTI had applied its mind and thoroughly evaluated qualifications of two nominees given by them for Caretaker CM Punjab, they stood a chance. Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera is still in service whilst the choice of Naseer Ahmed Khan who previously served in Musharraf junta as Federal Health Minister was relatively better, except that he held a foreign nationality and hence ineligible.
Although PTI did change name as an after-thought, it only reflects their mindset and inability to choose a right person for any job. Similarly, PDM’s nomination of Ahad Cheema was bound to fail scrutiny by ECP. This left ECP with Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi, who is not associated with any political party, nor held any paid public office. Article 224-A makes it obligatory on ECP to pick a caretaker within two days from the list of names submitted to them by Parliamentary Committee which had failed to develop consensus.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Interest rate hike
In its latest Monetary Policy Statement, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced a 100 basis point hike in the policy rate to 17 percent, citing persistent inflationary pressures and the need to anchor inflation expectations. However, it’s important to note that the recent bout of inflation is mainly driven by cost-push factors such as rising commodity prices and a depreciating rupee, rather than demand-pull factors. It’s also worth noting that the interest rate hike may come at the cost of further slowing down economic growth.
The SBP’s statement acknowledged that economic activity is already moderating in response to policy tightening and exogenous shocks, such as the recent floods. The production of automobiles, POL and cement has declined significantly and the large-scale manufacturing output has decreased by 5.5 percent in November 2022.
In the light of these developments, the SBP should consider alternative policy measures that address the underlying causes of inflation, such as exchange rate stabilization and increasing exports, rather than relying solely on interest rate hikes to curb inflation. It is crucial to remember that it may not be the most effective solution in the long-term. The government should focus on addressing the root causes of inflation and supporting sustainable economic growth.
QAZI JAMSHED SIDDIQUI
Rising crime rate
I am writing this letter to bring to your notice the rising crime rate in the suburbs of Islamabad City and I would be very grateful if you could highlight the same in your esteemed newspaper to bring the attention of the government and police towards the same. In the span of the last six months, the rate of crime in the Islamabad suburbs has shot up beyond belief. There is a gang of college dropouts who are supposed to be committing small crimes in the area like pickpocketing and thefts but if they are not stopped at the earliest, the problem can take a very serious shape.
It is quite surprising that the authorities are not taking enough pains to catch this gang despite so many complaints about them. Not much of these crimes get reported as they are small crimes and the residents of this area are asked to keep up with their patience levels. Everyone has been very patient for all these months but this is certainly not the solution. Everyone wants the gang to get arrested and these thefts should come to an end.
I am hopeful that if you are going to cover this social issue in your newspaper then more and more people around the city will become aware of it and not only this, the coverage is also going to get the attention of the government and the police department. I strongly feel that this issue must be raised and the gang should be put behind the bars so that the residents can stay peacefully without having to worry about the safety and security of their homes and offices.
Through the columns of your esteemed newspaper, I would like to draw the attention of the Government as well as the Price Control Department towards one of the most sensitive and serious problems.
The issue which has hit the people of the whole country is enhancing inflation. Inflation has a global impact but the way it is skyrocketing in Pakistan needs measures to overcome. Inflation has broken the back of masses and the lower middle class has slumped into starving. Price lists are only displayed at the shops to guard against the fines.
Commodities are sold out at higher prices with the pretext that it is difficult to follow government prices. However, inflation is galloping, if constant checks are made, the artificial price hike may be kept under control. Wholesalers and retailers always charge prices at their will, reluctantly customers have to bear the burden of the direct and indirect backbreaking inflation.
Despite customers bearing all direct and indirect taxes, they are not at all facilitated. The Price Control Department acts as a mere spectator and takes no measure to reduce prices. I request the authorities concerned to take immediate steps for addressing the above-cited problem and lessen hardships of the masses.