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.
Fresh elections are apparently scheduled in October this year as current National Assembly is set to dissolve on August 13, 2023, upon completing its five-year term. The outcome of the elections will have a significant impact on Pakistan’s future. New government will be responsible for addressing a number of challenges, including economic instability, terrorism, and climate change.
Elections are for public and it can be a great chance for people to choose their leaders who could lead them to progress and prosperity. Election is not the only solution to problems being faced by Pakistan, as formation of a serious and competent government is essential to move forward on a positive note.
Child labour is on the rise. One sees many children working in garages and factories to become a helping hand to their parents. This causes mental, physical, moral and social harm to their health. However, due to this children get deprived of education too.
About 3.3 million of Pakistani children are facing childhood labour. According to a survey conducted by Federal Bureau of Statistics, out of estimated 40 million children in Pakistan, approximately 19 million children are working as child labourers. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that poverty is one of the major causes behind child labour.
In addition, Article 11(3) of the constitution of Pakistan says “ No child below the age of fourteen shall be engaged in any factory or mine or any other hazardous employment”. But still children are working in factories and there is no support for them. Thus, government should ensure a helping hand to these children.
AYESHA BASHIR AHMED
Overpopulation and urbanisation
Pakistan is currently facing negative impact of overpopulation and urbanisation. Overpopulation has been a significant challenge for Pakistan as it has increased poverty rate, unemployment and made Pakistan a victim of inequality.
Overpopulation has caused unplanned urbanisation as more and more people are getting settled in urban areas due to which demands is rising for more hospitals, schools etc. This is putting a strain on resources, infrastructure, and environment. The urban population of Pakistan is expected to reach 150 million by 2050, up from 100 million in 2023. The current urbanisation rate in Pakistan is 37.44%. The capital city of Islamabad is the most populous city in Pakistan, with a population of 10 million.
The rapid growth in urban areas has also led to environmental problems. This includes air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste disposal. The environmental problems have made it difficult for urban areas to provide a healthy and safe environment to their residents. Apart from environment issues overpopulation and urbanisation has hampered the economy and brought more backwardness. Only a serious and competent government could tackle all these serious challenges.
I am writing this letter to highlight the issue of increasing rape and sexual assault cases in Pakistan and how parents are still not encouraging their daughters to learn self-defence. Rape is a heinous crime and it is important to acknowledge that rape is not just a woman’s issue but a societal issue. Women need to be taught how to stand-up and fight for themselves, as not everyone gets justice in today’s world. To this end, parents must enrol their daughters in self-defence classes. Self-defence isn’t just about physical strength or martial arts skills, it’s about knowing your surroundings, identify and take immediate action if needed to deal with emerging threats. In addition learning of self-defence can help strengthen a woman’s confidence and increase her sense of empowerment. Society need to learn that they should not make negative comments on survivors of sexual assault as it can force them to end their lives.
It is therefore necessary for parents to learn that they should not silence their daughters due to fears of what society will say. It must be recognised that actions of perpetrators are not a woman’s fault and they are not to blamed, ashamed or stigmatised. Women need to realize that self-defence is needed in their daily lives. Therefore, they must take the issue with great seriousness and recognise that it is vital for them to acquire the requisite skills and tools for protecting themselves as well as being able to set an example among fellow females.