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.
On 73rd Independence Day, Pakistan continues to face multiple internal and external conflicts. While instances of domestic terrorism have reduced, in part due to measures taken by the Pakistani state, extremism and intolerance have grown. The growing extremism has been fuelled by a narrow vision of Pakistan’s national identity, threatening the country’s prospect for social cohesion and stability.
The inability of state institutions to reliably provide peaceful ways to resolve grievances has encouraged groups to seek violence as an alternative. While peaceful political transitions occurred in both 2013 and 2018, our country is still facing a mounting debt crisis and a perennial trade imbalance on the economic front. Furthermore, Pakistan’s high-profile disputes with neighbouring India and Afghanistan have periodically resulted in violence and continue to pose a threat to regional and international security.
The US Institute of Peace has conducted research and analysis and promoted dialogue in Pakistan since 2013. It works to support and shape international policies and programs that promote peace and tolerance within Pakistan, and between Pakistan and its neighbours and between Pakistan and the United States. May we have a better ‘Pakistan” than today on our next Independence Day.
Independence Day and schools
Independence Day on 14 August has been celebrated every year across the nation since 1947, the year Pakistan emerged on the world map. This time the students can’t celebrate Independence Day in schools because schools are closed; thanks to Covid-19.
Schools and colleges conduct flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural events. Major government buildings are often adorned with strings of lights and flags. A week before the day of celebration, children enjoy the time of preparation they spend in schools. Skipping classes during practice may be a part of their happiness, but they are overexcited in preparing themselves for the performances too. They spend more than half-a-day in school practising for march-past, speech, dance, sports, cultural activities and more.
Students enjoy the whole day of celebration with their parents and friends at school. But unfortunately that will not be possible this year. But we hope that students will celebrate Independence Day in schools next year Insha’Allah. Independence Day is something special. Isn’t it? We all get together with no discrimination of religion, caste, colour or gender. But remember, the equality is to be maintained all time. We all are ONE. So, what are you waiting for? Come, let’s get together and celebrate the Independence Day.
Freedom is every human’s birthright
It’s been a year now since Kashmir is under a strict lockdown, making it unbearable for them to live peacefully and almost all of them wish that they could just die instead of living in this cruel world where their basic right of freedom is not given to them. Every day we hear unfortunate news of Kashmiris being killed because of raising their voice for freedom and peaceful life.
Corona attacked the world and left everyone helpless even the most powerful countries of the world couldn’t save themselves from this virus. Every single individual was locked in their homes, unable to leave their houses or roam freely and after some time everyone started getting depressed and frustrated on how long this will go and how long they’ve to suffer. This is exactly what Kashmiris have been going through since last year till now, feeling helpless, caged in a small room and not being able to go outside fearing that a single step outside their home will be the step towards their death.
We got our independence years ago but Kashmir is still struggling for it. it’s high time that all the world should stand with Kashmir and especially Muslim countries should give their full effort in making Kashmir a peaceful and free place for its people because they are human beings too and I believe freedom is the birthright of every single human being in this world.
KHIZRAN ZEHRA BALOCH
As the monsoon hit Karachi at the end of July and turned the intensely hot weather of the city into a beautiful and stormy one. As the people were delighted with the weather being nice and less hot, at the same time they were worried about the water flood the city is going to face due to heavy rainfall. Because of the bad sewage system in Karachi, even the most renowned and posh were drowned with the rain and gutter water.
Karachi has given so much to our country which includes job opportunities to individuals who came from smaller towns from all over the country and now have permanent jobs or their own businesses, bigger ports for import and export, and most importantly a major part of the revenue of Pakistan is generated from Karachi. But what have we given to this city except for more pollution, and less greenery?
It’s high time we give this city back what we took from it and that includes most importantly plantation of more trees to spread greenery which would definitely decrease every kind of pollution and definitely better sewage system in case of heavy rainfall. Therefore, this scribe urges the authorities to take benevolent steps to save the city from drowning with the cooperation of institutions that work for the progress and prosperity of Karachi like Fix-It and JDC and make the city clean, green and pollution-free.
Threat of illiteracy
Pakistan is 6th most populous country in world. Country has been facing uncountable crisis since her independence day. Millions of people are still illiterate in the 21st century of scientific discoveries. According to researches, 22.8 million students are out of school in today’s era. Those children when grow old to adulthood, they mostly become unawared of social expectations and commit deviances, crimes and offences. Experts say ‘in comparison to illiterate, literate people are mostly peaceful and they obey social laws of society’.
While identifying the causes of illiteracy in Pakistan, one would come to know that there are many causes which contribute in making literacy rate worst: a small budget for education sector by government, misappropriation of funds given by people for betterment of education, inequal syllabi in educational institutions, poor curriculum of text books, non-professional and untrained or non-committal teachers, poor infrastructure of schools, political appointed educational institutions’ staff including teachers etc…
Similarly, few teachers blame government for low salaries of teaching staff. owing to that, most of the teachers are employed part time in some other gainful job, seldom attending the schools. They only appear on the pay days to receive the salaries after parting with some amount to the head of institution as a quid pro quo. Sindh contributes the lion’s share in finance of country; but inspite of it, Sindh is worst affected in education sector and more illiteracy exists in province. Unfortunately even those districts of Sindh which before independence were not behind any part of the province have suffered the most.
Moreover, because of corrupt practices prevalent in the education department of Sindh, hundreds of schools are used by influentials as their barns/godowns of chaff and cattle farms. Similarly, thousands of students get education shelterlessly under the scorching heat in today’s century of lights.
Under these depressing circumstances, education will continue to suffer unless all corrective measures are adopted at the right earnest. In Sindh not only ghost and shelterless schools require immediate attention of the minister for education but in order to bring improvement in the quality education, the teachers have to be paid handsomely and given trainings in latest techniques of teaching. There should be check and balance of schools and teachers so as to lift literacy rate up.
IMTIAZ ESSA HALEPOTO