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.

Monkeypox disease

A patient suffering from monkeypox disease, who had tested positive for the virus, however, recovered. The patient was a man who had arrived at the Islamabad airport from Saudi Arabia and had been quarantined in the capital. At that moment, there was no evidence of localized transmission in Pakistan, and this was the first case of monkeypox in country after cases had seen a worldwide rise.

A timely response is crucial for controlling any communicable disease, but the public must also realize the importance of disease control. It should be emphasized that all Covid-related precautions will also be applied to monkeypox, as the disease can spread easily from humans to other humans and from the environment to humans. While the disease carries a low mortality risk, it is highly contagious. The hospitals should be readily proactive with disease transmissions.

Monkeypox can be transmitted through bodily fluids, lesions on the skin or internal mucosal surfaces such as the mouth or throat, respiratory droplets and contaminated objects. This makes its control difficult and requires an emergency response. Pakistan cannot afford another outbreak of communicable disease. Already, attention is being directed to polio and we are short on resources. Guidelines and measures for control must be widely published in electronic as we as print media for the awareness of the people.



Failing state or banana republic?

I am a PTCL Landline subscriber # 35840054, my phone has been out of order since last three months and my various complaints remain unnoticed, as DHA is digging road for so-called rain water disposal and without any layout plan of underground and overhead utility service lines that are broken by use of Excavator vehicle for digging and the repair work speed is slow that takes a few months for completion.

The residents suffer in the absence of telephone & water supply but thanks to these departments that never fail in billing the subscribers without providing service. I have my bill for April 2023 summarized as under: Telephone Rs 400/-, VAS/Paper bill Rs 55/-, Arrears Rs 2/77-, Services Tax Rs 88.73/- and total: Rs 540/-.

Our Government, regulators and the Judiciary seem to be more concerned in the politics of enforcing 90 days clause of the Constitution while the people’s basic right/protection guaranteed therein remain un-noticed with inflation touching skies and people waiting for Divine Intervention.



Water sanitation

Karachi is the largest city and premier industrial and financial centre of Pakistan yet it is subjected to major infrastructure deficits. Of primary concern is poor water sanitation which has predisposed a weak healthcare system and its citizens to increased infectious diseases.

In Karachi, the causes of this include a mismanaged sewage system, poor urban planning and overcrowding. Several reasons such as lack of funding, corruption and mismanagement have exacerbated circumstances placing extra strain on Karachi’s already scarce water supply. In addition, the lack of maintenance and regulation of the existing system has led to increased contaminated water delivery to citizens.

Consequently, outbreak of various waterborne diseases such as typhoid, helicobacter pylori, malaria and diarrhea, etc have severely impacted the healthcare of citizens, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation is worsened by Karachi’s rapidly growing population and lack of awareness among citizens regarding safe drinking water.

Prior socio-economic disparity and illiteracy complicate access to medications and appropriate healthcare services. However, despite weak efforts from the government, several national and international organizations continue striving to improve access to clean, drinkable water.



Swat terrorism

Swat, known for its beauty, has been a peaceful tourist destination in Pakistan. Now the loss of precious lives including women and children are a tragic reminder of senseless brutality that innocent civilians often have to endure. Such acts of violence have no place in any civilized society. They not only cause immediate harm but also leave a long lasting impact on survivors. It is disheartening to witness the people of Swat who have already faced numerous challenges in the past.

In this time of grief, let us come together as a community and extend our support to the victims and their families. We must stand united against terrorism and work towards building a peaceful society. NACTA authorities need to conduct thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. Additionally, government and law enforcement agencies ought to take all necessary measures and to ensure the safety of people of Swat and all citizens of Pakistan.



Box letter

Climate change

Climate change in Pakistan is a major issue with significant impact on the environment and people. It has caused increased heat, drought and extreme weather in parts of the country, and the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas has impacted some of the important rivers of Pakistan. The effects of climate change are highly region-specific and the factors thought to affect it can exhibit variability. In May 2022, severe heat waves were recorded in Pakistan and India, and the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report for South Asia suggests that heat waves and humid heat stress will be more intense and frequent. Pakistan’s projected temperature increase is expected to be higher than the global average, with hot days and hot nights expected to increase significantly. Rainfall projections do not indicate any systematic changing trends. Extreme weather, such as cyclones or intense monsoons, is likely to increase due to increased sea and atmospheric temperatures. In 2022, 33 million people were affected by catastrophic floods caused by increased precipitation and glacier melting. 53% of Pakistanis felt their lives had become worse off than five years ago, but were unaware of meaning of climate change.