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.

Miserable life

The economic crisis has impacted every social sector in society. The cost of living has spiked and continues to mount, and a further hike in commodity prices is expected. For the average citizen, things are deteriorating and unless an intervention or miracle is seen, most of Pakistan will see itself balancing the poverty line. Most government measures to control this spike include a crackdown on profiteers and hoarders to make sure that commodities are being sold at the market rate.

However, because of inadequate supply, prices are being jacked by millers as they struggle to keep collecting wealth at all costs pushing aside the national interest as well. Food security is also now a major concern with our large population and a 3% annual growth rate. The demand was already high and now with the increase in prices and shortage in supply, how will citizens afford food? More than 48% of the Pakistani population is food insecure and the rate differs and intensifies across provinces.

The balance of payments crisis has affected the country’s import bill which has led to this unnatural and inhumane rise in food prices. Not just prices, but the quality of food available is now below-par. Pakistan is also on the front lines of the effects of climate change. Already, we need to brace ourselves for the unpredictability of natural disasters and their impact on cropping patterns. This economic disruption in the supply chain has complicated the situation further.

A strict and impartial crackdown on hoarders is the need of the hour. Most government efforts are overly-ambitious and do not reap any benefits for the average consumer. All efforts of the local government have not significantly dented the actual problem. Price control magistrate’s role is not effective and exemplary. Immediate relief/subsidies should be provided to the common man to ease his miserable life.



Institutional corruption and misuse

Pakistan today suffers because of abuse of power, repetitive violations and mutilations of the Constitution and resurrection of Doctrine of Necessity by three constitutional pillars of the state and the excesses committed by a few amongst them. Absolute sovereignty is a divine right of Almighty SWT and not of any individual, either elected or paid, nor any group or subordinate institution. It is the will of people which must prevail.

The ideology and basis for creation of Pakistan was elaborated upon by MAJ on 11 August 1947 and even this has been distorted since 1956 by adventurers and many within so-called clergy who opposed political struggle waged by Quaid and supported Azad. A society cannot function without Rule of Law, ethics of governance and unfettered conflicts of interest by paid or elected public office holders, who have on oath pledged to uphold the Constitution. Yet we have witnessed either suspension or violation of the Constitution, as and when it suits them.

The Constitution authorizes Supreme Court of Pakistan to interpret the Constitution and not to rewrite or amend it. This power vests solely with an elected Parliament. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s superior judiciary has, in the past, given this right of amendment to a dictator, who usurped the Constitution, although they themselves have no such right. The powers given to constitutional office-holders like President, PM, CM etc., are not unfettered but subject to norms elaborated in the Constitution.

Repetitive abuse of power by powerful public office-holders; be it issuing SRO for vested interest, appointments in violation of merit, or allotment of state land/urban real estate to paid servants of state, for performing duties for which they are paid and voluntarily offered themselves. Public office-holders should never be involved in commercial real estate land development projects.

This greed-motivated patronization today poses a threat to our agricultural economy because whilst agricultural producing acreage is shrinking, there is an unchecked population explosion.

Individuals holding public office cannot have split loyalties, where they pledge oath of allegiance to another state and simultaneously claim right to decide fate of Pakistan. Countries like India, Malaysia etc. have ensured this.



Tax hikes in Pakistan

Everyone talks about taxes in Pakistan. Businesses talk about paying too much in taxes. Governments talk about not being able to collect any taxes. As we move on to talking about Government spending ‘G’ in CIGXM of the economy, it is important to first discuss where the money for that expenditure comes from. Eventually, Macro Pakistani also wants to break down budget documents and present them to you in a bite-sized manner.

Primarily through the supply side. High marginal tax rates can discourage work, saving, investment, and innovation, while specific tax preferences can affect the allocation of economic resources. But tax cuts can also slow long-run economic growth by increasing deficits. The long-run effects of tax policies thus depend not only on their incentive effects but also their deficit effects.

By influencing incentives, taxes can affect both supply and demand factors. Reducing marginal tax rates on wages and salaries, for example, can induce people to work more. Expanding the earned income tax credit can bring more low-skilled workers into the labor force. Lower marginal tax rates on the returns to assets (such as interest, dividends, and capital gains) can encourage saving. Reducing marginal tax rates on business income can cause some companies to invest domestically rather than abroad. Tax breaks for research can encourage the creation of new ideas that spill over to help the broader economy. And so on.

Pakistan is facing an imminent economic meltdown with the country modifying its policies according to the conditions laid down by the International Monetary Fund, in an effort to unlock the tranche of a $6.5 billion loan facility to overcome the financial crisis. IMF’s delay in sending loans is pushing the country’s economy into a ‘tailspin.


Via email

Increasing crimes

I am writing this column to your esteemed newspaper to draw the attention of the concerned authorities to the rapid increase in the crime ratio in our society, Karachi in particular. For the past few years, there have been countless incidents of street crimes in Karachi. People are being looted in broad daylight; their hard-earned money is being looted at gunpoint. Snatching and stealing of mobile phones, money, vehicles and other precious stuff has now become a “norm” in our city. Sometimes, I can see at the CCTV footages on social media and wonder that how fearless and daring these criminals are that they do not even cover their faces to hide their identity.

This is very sad to see the city of lights dooming and suffering with the lawlessness. The situation is likely to worsen if stern and serious actions are not taken against those involved. The police should be commanded to be efficient and prompt in handling such incidents so that we can have a civil society where the citizens can live a safe, secure and dignified life. It’s extremely painful to keep losing your hard-earned money in broad daylight with a thought in the mind that if I resist, I lose my life as well. Nobody deserves this. I wonder what the higher authorities are waiting for. I am sure that the concerned authorities are aware of the pathetic situation of our city and I can only hope that they will rise against the seriously increasing incidents of crime in our city.