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.
Limits of discretionary power
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding amongst powerful constitutional public office holders as to what constitutes limits of discretionary powers of individuals. Unfortunately, in countries like Pakistan, both paid and elected public office holders, who pledge to uphold the constitution, while exercising their given discretionary powers, choose to favour individuals, whilst simultaneously compromising what constitutes constitutional rights of other law-abiding citizens.
What is troubling is that the legal system selectively regularizes such irregularities in few cases, on some pretext like third party interest, and denies the same to others. Even the seniority privilege acquired through years of service of individuals, having similar qualifications and on payroll of national exchequer, with no adverse report are being denied their rights under garb of discretion.
There exists a constitution which is the supreme law that guarantees equal rights and opportunities to all citizens. Those wielding discretionary powers, consider that they cannot be questioned or held accountable in exercising their power. We witness excesses being committed in the guise of discretionary powers to regularize gross irregularities and illegalities such as forceful occupation of state and forest land, including private farm holding of individuals by powerful individuals and groups associated with real estate cartels.
Infinite and unaccountable discretionary power is only a divine right. Former CJ Coke states that “Discretion is a science or understanding to discern between falsity and truth, between right and wrong, between shadows and substance, between equity and colourful glosses and pretences, and not to do according to their wills and private affections and opinions”.
Lord Halsbury has elaborated this as “something is to be done according to the rules of reason and justice, not according to private opinion—It is to be, not arbitrary, vague, and fanciful, but legal and regular and it must be exercised within the limit, to which an honest man, competent to the discharge of his office, ought to confine himself”.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Precarious economic situation
I am writing to you to bring your attention to the precarious economic situation in Pakistan. As you may know, the country has been facing significant economic challenges in recent years, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the major issues facing Pakistan’s economy is its large trade deficit. This has put pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves and made it difficult to sustain economic growth. In addition, Pakistan’s exports are heavily reliant on a few key products, leaving the economy vulnerable to changes in global demand and prices.
Another major issue facing Pakistan is its high debt burden. The country has taken on significant amounts of external debt in recent years, which has led to concerns about its ability to repay these loans. This has also limited Pakistan’s ability to attract foreign investment, which is critical for economic growth and job creation.
Furthermore, the high level of inflation in Pakistan has also been a major concern. This has made it difficult for many Pakistanis to afford basic necessities, such as food and fuel. Inflation has been driven by rising global commodity prices, currency depreciation, and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.To address these issues, the Pakistani government has implemented various measures such as seeking financial assistance from international organizations like the IMF, implementing economic reforms to increase tax revenues, and promoting exports to reduce the trade deficit. However, these measures have faced challenges due to political instability and a lack of consensus among policymakers.
New bus road construction
I am writing to draw attention to a pressing issue that has been significantly impacting the student community in our city, the problems faced by students due to the construction of roads for new buses at University Road. As a concerned citizen and a student at the University of Karachi, I feel it is necessary to address this issue in order to guarantee that our educational goals do not suffer from unfair obstacles. The addition of additional buses to our public transportation system is a positive step forward in enhancing connectivity and promoting sustainable transportation.
However, the ongoing road construction projects associated with these buses have resulted in significant inconveniences for students who rely on the affected routes to get to their educational institutions. The students’ immediate difficulties have been made worse by the road construction’s lengthy duration. Students’ overall academic performance and well-being suffer as a result of the increased inconvenience, including longer journeys and added stress. To provide no disruption to students’ everyday journeys, the relevant government agencies should prioritize the completion of road construction projects along routes regularly used by students.
This specific strategy will assist in reducing student issues and minimizing their impact on their academic efforts. Authorities should look for measures to speed up road development projects while maintaining safety requirements. Adopting innovative construction techniques and increasing workforce efficiency can help reduce disturbance duration and relieve stress on students. I believe that by bringing these challenges to light, we can encourage a positive discussion among all parties and work towards practical solutions that prioritize our students’ educational requirements and well-being.
Poor conditions of restaurants
I would like to draw the attention of the concerned authorities of food department about the unhealthy and poor hygienic conditions of most restaurants located in our city. Restaurants play their role in providing good and delicious food items which are prepared according to the principle of health and hygiene. But the restaurants which are present in our locality do not pay attention to the improvement of their restaurants. Mostly substandard things are used for the preparation of food items. These food items are prepared in their dirty kitchens. They do not care about the cleanliness of their kitchens. The staff which prepares these food items keeps itself dirty. The people who are involved in cooking even do not wash their hands. As we all know, the food items which are prepared under these unhealthy and poor hygienic conditions are very dangerous for the health of common people. I, therefore, request the officers of the food department through your newspaper that they take immediate action against the owner of these restaurants.