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When sporting of hijab is being prohibited, discouraged or frowned upon by many non-Islamic countries around the world, New Zealand has proved itself as a bright exception in this regard under the leadership of Jacinda Ardern who ensured promotion of a dress associated with people who are basically settlers in that country!
Through her decision to induct the hijab as part of its police uniform, Ardern has shown to the world what the essence of democracy is all about.
Not to forget that when innocent Muslims were massacred in a Christchurch mosque in early 2019; Ardern not only sported hijab, despite being a Christian, to show solidarity with the community; she also termed the Muslims as “THEY ARE US”!
What an exemplary act of respecting diversity and religious sentiments of the minorities! And taking cue from her, Christian women, all over New Zealand, had put on head scarves and niqab during a Friday prayer in honour of the shooting victims!
And last but not the least. Just like an “ordinary” citizen, the New Zealand PM walks in with her partner in a Wellington cafe during the initial phase of the unlock process. But due to physical distancing measures in place, the cafe was “full” and the PM was refused admission! Most sportingly Jacinda accepted it and moved on!
Now the noble lady has now moved on from the highest chair of the land most voluntarily to remain accountable to the nation as she “being human” has “no more in the tank”! What an honest humble confession on the part of her!
Jacinda Ardern is indeed a Human — rather an exceptional being full of humanity possessing an all-embracing mindset of loving and hugging weak vulnerable minorities with impeccable sense of secularism, responsibility, equality, accountability and dignity shining bright!
Lahore has been hit with another wave of closures, with the Lahore High Court authorizing a 10 pm curfew on all markets and restaurants in an attempt to reduce unhealthy smog levels in the provincial capital. Lahore has once again ranked as the most polluted city in the world. Its air quality is deteriorating to hazardous levels and aggravating the smog problem which has disrupted daily life and poses a serious health risk for citizens. Since the start of December, the city began experiencing intense levels of smog because of which the Punjab government imposed an environmental emergency.
Until a few years ago, Lahore had no mechanism in place to reduce air pollution – in fact, it is hardly talked about. Even now, most people consistently understate the consequences of air pollution despite seeing the damage it incurs firsthand. Instead of being nonchalant as always, the provincial government should impose a ban on burning crop residues that are harmful to the environment. Given that many cities of Punjab face this issue annually, the provincial government must take concrete measures to address the problem.
Citizens should be urged not to burn waste and avoid using their private vehicles as much as possible and instead resort to public transport to reduce air pollution. Owing to the seriousness of this situation, I request you to kindly highlight the issue so that some action can be taken to curb the effect of air pollution and smog and decrease the risk of people being affected by it.
Pakistan faces one of the worst financial crises these days. Inflation and price hike have had a deep adverse impact on the segment of society that survives on a fixed income, the salaried class. On top of it, the energy crisis during the harshest winter season has added to the people’s sufferings.
The sharp increase in prices related to used imported clothes has hit the poor rather very hard. The second hand stems for the winter season are now expensive and out of the reach of millions. In these hard times, businessmen and the financial elite of the country need to step up.
Real estate giants, in particular, should take the activity as part of their corporate social responsibility. They should launch campaigns and activities to alleviate the sufferings of the masses. Interested campaigns may pool in for winter clothing items.
Or they can even lend a helping hand to the importers of second hand clothes and other items. It will be a small effort because Pakistan is a huge country of 220 million people, but it can still alleviate the misery of a lot of people.
It can once again make the difference by extending a help hand to many as it will at least make this winter a little less harsh for the poor, especially the homeless souls who spend their dark, cold night under the skies.
NADIL RAHIM BUKSH