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.
15 Sha’ban is an important date in the Islamic calendar, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This day is known by several names, including Laylat-ul -Bara’ah, Nisf Shaban, and Shab-e-Barat.
In some Islamic traditions, 15 Sha’ban is considered a blessed night, during which the Almighty forgives the sins of the believers and grants them mercy and blessings. It is also believed that on this night, the destiny of individuals for the upcoming year is recorded, and the Creator decides who will live and who will die, who will be blessed and who will be deprived.
Many Muslims observe the night of 15 Sha’ban with special prayers, supplications and acts of worship, such as recitation of the Quran, remembrance of the Almighty and making charitable donations. Some also fast on the day of 15 Sha’ban, although this is not a mandatory or widely practiced tradition.
However, it’s important to note that the observance of 15 Sha’ban is a matter of personal choice and interpretation and there are different opinions and practices regarding its significance and religious validity among different Islamic schools of thought and communities.
KE punishing Peter for Paul’s fault
On 23 January, the entire country was left in the dark by massive electricity breakdown. The Minister concerned blamed outage on ‘frequency mismatch’ arising out of inadequate maintenance and said that electricity will be restored in 8 to 10 hours but many areas in Karachi faced shut down for more than 24 hours.
Keeping our minister’s words in mind, I did not lodge any complaint with K-Electric (K-E) when power supply in my area was shut from 2:00 am to 6:00 am from 24th January 2023 onwards. But when the power outages continued, I called the customer helpline 118 to find out the cause of power breakdown.
I was shocked when the customer service representative (CSR) told me that since many people in your area have not paid their dues, this 4-hour extra load shedding is being carried out. My area faces 1 hour’s load shedding thrice in 24 hours on a daily basis. I told the CSR that a 4-hour load shedding is carried out from Lasbella to Jubilee which spans almost 5 kilometres. If people living in this vast area are not paying their dues, why punish those who pay their bills?
I remember the time when K-E ran a campaign in the media warning K-E consumers that if they don’t pay their bills in time, their names/pictures will be published in newspapers.
Which department of city administration should I approach to lodge my complaint? K-E, instead of taking action on ‘consumer to consumer’ basis, is bent upon punishing everyone. K-E has authority to take action against its defaulters, but they want people to fight amongst each other. If my neighbour is not paying his bill and I go to tell him to pay the same, he will pick up a fight with me saying who am I to tell him this?
M RAFIQUE ZAKARIA
I would request you to spare a few lines space in the columns of your esteemed newspaper to the attention of concerned authorities to a very grave situation.
This is the situation of street crimes which has become a routine affair in Karachi. Snatching of cell phones, looting of valuable things, that do in broad daylight are common in Karachi. Our life has become of little worth and unsecured. Motorbike riders take away what they want without any resistance.
We are afraid of our own shadow as some criminal is chasing us. It is beyond our comprehension why the law enforcing agencies are silent spectators of such a grave situation of social evils. We hope that the concerned authorities will take the positive measures to spare us from continuous mental torture.
Government has a choice
This PDM coalition government which came to power through a No-Confidence Motion had a choice like their predecessors, to levy direct taxes on all sources of income with no subsidies for the powerful elite, or to levy indirect taxes to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure, burdening the deprived and affluent uniformly. They have followed the precedent set for decades by resorting to indirect taxes.
Their commitment to persist with this is despite the fact that even the IMF and UNDP have pointed out gross injustices and disparities. Our agricultural yield has declined drastically because the acreage available for agriculture has been shrinking persistently for the sole benefit of powerful land developers and real estate mafia, whilst the rest of population is suffering acute shortage of basic food items which once we were self-sufficient, exporting surplus.
The incumbent Finance Minister is just following foot precedent set for decades, with his own formula. This was the same economic formula which PTI adopted and before him others, including our dictators. Unfortunately, this dilemma and mindset which citizens of Pakistan are burdened with does not seem to justify suo motu, by those who frequently resort to.
One wonders why this practice of irregularly occupying hundreds of thousands of acres of state land, small farmers and even forests are being wiped out to replace with mega real estate projects for the benefit of a few. We witnessed this when PTI was at helm and before him when PMLN or PPP or Musharraf etc, were in power.
As long as people of Pakistan are willing to be exploited in the name of religion or other rhetoric and don’t stand up to restore Quaid’s vision of a constitutional modern democratic welfare state, this abuse will continue, even if that results in economic bankruptcy or anarchy.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Inflation: Prices on rise
Inflation is at its pinnacle in Pakistan. Its rate has increased from 24.5% to 27.6%. The prices of commodities have reached out of the common people range. People are living in the country of high inflation with low salaries. They are in a dilemma on how to fulfil their basic needs. The devaluation of Pakistani currency, increase of oil prices and instability of economy are the major causes of inflation. Unemployment, major industries are shutting down, petrol, gas and electricity prices have increased tremendously. Pakistani people are facing an existential crisis at this time. Food items are out of the reach of middle and lower classes. The government should take strict measures in controlling inflation and price hikes of the basic needs of people.