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.

Fake degrees and PIA

PIA, CAA and this country have still to recover from damage inflicted by irresponsible statement of PTI Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar, on the floor of NA that over 262 pilot licenses were allegedly fake, following the crash of A320 at Karachi in May 2020. All Pakistan CAA licensed pilots, technicians etc., working in foreign airlines were immediately grounded and many of them sacked.

Thousands of families endured hardships and embarrassment, while the credibility of Pakistan aviation industry suffered internationally. Pakistan has yet to recover from this foolish and irresponsible statement by a PTI Minister and others who supported him. EASA authorities are still not satisfied with CAA briefings to reinstate flights by PIA and all other airlines to resume flight operations into Europe since July 2020.

This should have been enough to jolt Federal Government, CAA, PIA and all other state-owned corporations and members of NA and Senate. Instead, a Parliamentary Committee headed by MNA Qadir Mandokhel ordered action against FIA for conducting investigations about fake degree holders working in PIA and CAA, since 2008-2009.

PIA Administration rules clearly elaborate that any employee who has submitted fake qualifications, birth certificate, domicile etc., or withheld any criminal record from them at the time of recruitment will be summarily dismissed, without any benefits.

There is no dearth in Pakistan of educated and qualified individuals, who should be employed instead of fake degree holders and criminals. Pakistan today suffers Brain Drain which has more devastating impact than flight of capital.

Nobody, including parliamentarians, have any jurisdiction to violate constitutional right of a qualified and educated citizen and instead recruit fake degree holders. No Parliamentary Committee has the right to regularize a gross and criminal irregularity such as fake degree. It is ironic that PIA restored by Rafique Saigol and Nur Khan during tenure of ZAB, through recruitment on merit, is today going to suffer because of an irresponsible MNA from the same party.

Plastic pollution in Pakistan

Out of the material, which can’t be decomposed, one is plastic. The word plastic is derived from the Greek word PLASTIKOS meaning “ability to be shaped or moulded into different shapes”. It does not bury in soil or water and its effect is even worse when it is burned. It is threatening to people and also for marine life or crops.

Plastic pollution has emerged as the most grievous problem not only in Pakistan but worldwide. People use plastic bags, bottles and plates and throw them outside without thinking about its disastrous effects. Plastic bags and other plastic items when thrown into the sea or on beaches become the source of blockage of oxygen as they form a layer on the surface of water and due to insufficient supply of oxygen the death of marine life occurs.

Some animals also ingest plastic bags due to which blockage occurs and they die. Plastic pollution can alter habitat and can also badly affect ecosystem. Human beings become prey to diseases like obesity, infertility, brain issues, diabetes and dermatitis. The rate of garbage disposal is directly proportional to the population. As the population is increasing rapidly, so the pollution is.Plastic takes almost 400 years to decay. In Pakistan, 250 million tons of garbage primarily consists of plastic bags, bottles and food scraps.

It is reckoned that food wrappers and containers produce nearly 31.35% of pollution, plastic bags 11.18%, straw and stirrers 8.13% and beverage bottles cause 7.27% pollution in the environment. According to the UN, 80% of oceanic pollution comes from land and it contains million tons of plastic waste each year which unfortunately causes death to almost 1 million and 0.1 million of sea birds and mammals.

Pakistan ranks 6th in the world and 3rd in Asia among plastic waste generators. The country uses 55 billion plastic bags annually; and if not controlled, it would do great harm not only to humans but other species as well, therefore, responsible authorities must take tangible action to control it.

Social media is making us unsocial

Do we ever make an effort to lift our head from our cell phone and know who is sitting beside us? We all are together but miles away. Social media intrigues us. It allows us to interrelate with people of our heed but also becomes a catalyst for losing relations. Can we recall when we last sat with our family without a phone? We have many friends on social media but with how many we interact? There are some whom we never meet in real life and some do not even speak our language. Social media is changing our lifestyle from the way we get news to the way we link with each other.

We do all our campaigns and protest on social media. We are shifting to slacktivism and minimising our way of interaction. We favour texting rather than conversation or meet-up. According to the Global Web Index, we spend an average two hours on social media which is increasing at the rate of two minutes per day. Spending lots of time on social media detaches us from the real world. It provides bit-sized addictive chunks of recognition in the form likes, followers, points, streaks and comments.

Besides, it provokes a sense of comparison and insecurity, we take seventy selfies just to post one and wait for the right time to post. Many of us suffer from anxiety, depression and phantom vibration syndrome because of competition on social media. So we may not stop using it but we can cut back on it. Let’s disconnect to connect again.