Voice of the people

1882

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.

Earthquake

The earthquake that shook parts of the country has once again exposed our ability and capability to cope with catastrophic conditions. Our preparedness to meet sudden disasters is below average. Panic prevailed during disastrous earthquake. The National Disaster Management Cell has limited utility, especially in the absence of appropriate facilities required to handle emergencies.
The most important point is unawareness in public to overcome the problem. At UCs’ level training programmes need to be carried out to educate people how to react during earthquake and how to be proactive to face catastrophic situation like fire, flood, earthquake and road accidents. People residing on fault lines must be made known how should they live in danger areas and they may gradually be shifted to safer areas.
IFTIKHAR MIRZA
Islamabad

Climate change

Ever since assuming office, President Trump has been denying climate change. At the start of his tenure, he withdrew from the Paris climate agreement stating that being in it weakens the US economy. Moreover, a report published by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative has found that language related to climate change has disappeared at an alarming pace since Trump took office in 2016. Across 5,301 pages – ranging from websites belonging to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the US Geological Survey (USGS) – the use of the terms “climate change,” “clean energy,” and “adaptation” plummeted by 26% between 2016 and 2018.
Ironically, the Administration and the US president himself are keen on purchasing Greenland whose 80 per cent of land area is covered in ice sheets while the region is rich in natural resources. Owing to global warming the melting ice makes resource-rich Greenland accessible by the very same climate change that the current US administration continues to vociferously deny. The fact is that climate change is happening and at a very alarmingly pace. It is time we realise what effects our actions are having on the planet and take measures to save it for the posterity.
SIKANDAR SAJJAD
Larkana

Torture and abduction in Zimbabwe

I am totally distressed with the abduction of trade unionist Dr Magombeyi who was tortured on the genitals by ZANU PF government. The ruling ZANU PF government and its proxies are failing to show any commitment to transform Zimbabwe into a notable democratic country when they promised during the elections that they were going to depart from Mugabe’s terror tactics and human rights abuses.
I am struggling to understand why a young doctor who is a trade unionist as well was abducted for calling for higher wages and better working conditions for doctors in Zimbabwe. The insanity that is going in Zimbabwe and the creation of climate of fear should be stopped immediately before vocal Zimbabweans and critics of the government flee the country to seek protection in South Africa, UK, Namibia and USA.
TAPIWA MUSKWE
London

World Animal Day

World Animal Day (celebrated on October 4) is a special opportunity for anyone who loves animals. It is a Day to celebrate animal life in all its forms.
It is a Day to acknowledge the diverse roles that animals play in our lives. It is a Day to acknowledge and be thankful for the way in which animals enrich our lives. World Animal Day is a wonderful reminder of different ways in which animals enhance our lives.
JUBEL D’CRUZ
Mumbai, India

Regulation on drug prices

There has always been a tiff between pharmaceutical companies and the regulators when it comes to setting the maximum retail price of drugs and the matter has forever been controversial. We saw a 15 percent hike in medicine prices in January, however, the directives from the government, resulting from consumer opposition, made the DRAP to initiate a crackdown against unauthorized increase in medicine prices in mid-April.
As an aftermath, news from the authorities came in that the subsequent price decrease was baseless and affirmed the 15% price hike. However, a few days later it was announced that 464 medicines would be voluntarily cut by 10-15pc. It looks like a circus has descended as clearly everyone is blaming the other and presumably no one is ready to take responsibility of current state of national health in Pakistan. In Pakistan, prices of over 80% of the registered medicines have remained frozen since 2001, the regulators themselves have conceded that the cost of doing business may have risen by over 100% during these years of dormant prices. As a result, many pharmaceutical companies either exited from the market or stopped producing lower priced life-saving medicines thereby creating a shortage which in turn has led to a rise in spurious medicines being sold unchecked.
NUZAIR A VIRANI
Karachi

Banks’ advances drop in July

Banks’ advances witnessed a sharp decline in the first month of current fiscal year amid sharp economic slowdown across the country. The data which was published by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed the schedule that Banks’ total advances as of July clocked in at Rs7.991 trillions, down Rs.105bn from Rs.8.096tr in June. This was the decline which comes in that time when the banks continue to pour huge sums into the government papers narrowing the space for private sector borrowing.
On the other hand the private sector has been retiring debts of borrowing fund to expand economic activity. In the last two treasury auction the banks have shown their willingness to park funds in the risk-free government securities. The central bank data further showed that government borrowed Rs.455.8bn from banks from July to Sept 6. However, now the loans to private sector reached Rs.693.5bn in FY19; slightly lower than Rs.775.5bn in FY18. So at last action should be taken to solve this issue as soon as it can be possible.
MUZEER SALAM
Turbat Kech
Banning plastic nets

Through your esteemed newspaper, I would like to raise the issue of using plastic nets in fishing. Plastic nets are, however, excessively harmful and hazardous for fishing, since they catch any kinds of fish either small or big whenever they cross it. But the most unfortunate point to be mentioned here is that the fishermen despite being aware about the bad impact of plastic nets are still using it in the ocean for fishing.
According to a study, marine life, particularly fish, is rapidly decreasing due to the dangerous plastic nets, and the population of fish will immensely decrease until positive steps are taken against it. The government of Pakistan is pleaded to implement strengthened laws to ban the use of plastic nets in the ocean so as to save the generation of fish in further wrecking. The fishermen ought to be told to use thread-nets instead plastic nets.
WAHEED WAHID
Via email

Road opposite to Shah Fasial Cricket ground

The Road opposite to Shah Fasial Cricket Ground Model Town Ext Lahore on which Government officers’ residences are located is in a very poor condition. I frequently use this route but still no one is paying attention towards the maintenance of this road. Big potholes are on the road and each car has to stop and then move slowly over them.
Due to this situation, traffic is disturbed and there is rush on the road every time. This road is very busy because all Model Town, Township, Fasial Town etc traffic uses this road. So, once again my request to LDA is to kindly pay attention to this matter and make carpeting of this road at the earliest, so that the traffic may move smoothly without any hazard of accidents.
ABDUL WADOOD
Lahore

Women empowerment

Women rights in Pakistan are being violated by different sorts of evils like honour killing, child marriage, domestic violence, acid throwing and to name a few others. Women’s empowerment in Pakistan is heavily dependent on many different variables that include geographical, location (urban and rural) educational status, social status and age. Working women in Pakistan have always tried to improve the financial stability of their households but sadly their works are always undervalued.
Therefore, Pakistani policymakers should specifically make the policies on women’s empowerment at the national level for health, education, economic opportunities, gender based violence and political participation. Women have played a key role in the creation of Pakistan, they have the potential and should be treated equally. It is rightly said that women are undoubtedly the foundation of basic unit of a society.
SULTANA ASSA
Shapuk

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