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.
Marble mine tragedy
17 mine labourers lost their life in KP on Monday when huge boulders and parts of Ziarat marble mountain in Safi tehsil of Mohmand area fell on many nearby mines. Caving in of coal, salt and marble mines has been a regular feature in our country where least importance is given to the safety of human beings. As per international safety codes, all mines must be periodically inspected by experts to assess their lives and chances of accidents. Alas! No such survey is conducted in our country, although it is mandatory under law.
Moreover, the accident prone mines should be marked and work inside these mines should be stopped forthwith. The Mining Act 1923 has failed to overcome these problems. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mines Safety, Inspection and Regulation Act, 2019 was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to the safety of mines and mining operations and the inspection and regulation of mines, mining operations and material used therein; to promote the safety and health of people working in mines and for connected purposes. Unfortunately, this Act also could not bear any fruit for poor mine workers and they are regularly been buried in one mine after another due to poor safety arrangements.
World International Literacy Day
I would like to draw attention of readers about an international day that is celebrated since 1967 on 8th of September each year known as International Literacy Day. It takes place around the world to remind public about the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity, knowledge about human rights and also to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable societies of the world. As for Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam instructed that,
“Education is a matter of life and death to our Nation. The world is moving so fast that if you do not educate yourselves you will be not only completely left behind, but will be finished up.” Keeping these instructions in view we have to work for betterment of our Education system day and night to compete with other countries in the world. Children’s education requirements are now more than ever as free access to quality educational resources and technology is compulsory.
In fact, Pakistan needs to adopt a more inclusive learning system on each education level starting from primary to higher education. Despite the progress made, literacy challenges still persist with adults lacking basic literacy skills till date in Pakistan. For this counselling sessions and free knowledge awareness programs are needed to be initiated from our well known platforms.
It is important to honour, acknowledge, celebrate and recognise the work done by charities globally. Charities and activist foundations are positive entities. Charities bring together people for a cause so that they can make a difference. They often aid populations and people who would otherwise be overlooked and they fill the gap where public programs cannot provide sufficient support.
While their merits are undoubted, it should be considered that charities are, in fact, even more important than governmental agencies when it comes to affecting change and aiding vulnerable communities. Charities provide direct help, provide information and raise awareness of an issue. Charitable organisations cultivate in people disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. They help create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as more financially stable people become aware of the need to help the poor, the vulnerable and those who are stained in extreme poverty.
Charity, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in healthcare, education, housing and child protection. It assists the advancement of culture, science, sports and the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It also promotes the rights of the marginalized and under-privileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.
Fixing Karachi and the rest of Sindh
This refers to the news report ‘LG Polls in Sindh not possible till final report of census released: Khoro’ (September 8, 2020). The Sindh government has expressed its inability to hold local bodies’ elections due to non-availability of the final report for 2017 national population census, without which delimitation can’t be done. It is shameful that the final report of the nine-year overdue census of 2017 has not been released yet. One possible reason is that because of its unsatisfactory performance so far, PTI feared losing out local bodies elections to PML-N, and wanted to delay them as much as possible.
As for Sindh government, it had clawed back even the powers of the local bodies that a dictator had given them. And this exacerbated conditions in the whole of Sindh where even basic civic facilities are non-existent. And now that the tenure of Sindh’s toothless local bodies has ended, the Sindh government has appointed Administrators of its choice – mutually agreed, as claimed by Governor Ismael, which MQM disputes – who would supervise implementation of the Rs. 1.1 trillion package for Karachi over the next three years.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan recently claimed that he has powers to adjudicate in case of disputes between the federal and provincial governments as also between the provinces. As such, I would request him to direct the Sindh government to hold elections for ‘empowered’ local bodies, with Mayor for Karachi and other cities exercising jurisdiction over the whole of the city and all civic services. And to give Karachi its due share in finances, and the number of provincial and national assembly seats, it is also vital to ascertain the true population of Karachi which is officially estimated at 16 million but other sources give different figures, up to 35 million.
S R H HASHMI
Goondagardi in Maharashtra
Not only women, but even men are not safe in Mumbai with Uddhav Thackeray as the CM. It’s high time he handed over his resignation as there is a lot of goondagiri in the state.
Save wildlife of Africa
Oil giant Total is about to build the biggest heated oil pipeline in the world — right through the heart of Africa! It will rip through some of the most important elephant, lion and chimpanzee reserves on Earth, displace tens of thousands of families, and tip the whole planet closer to full-blown climate catastrophe.
Even as he plans this pipeline, Total’s French CEO is trying to paint his company as a climate leader. This fight is about more than stopping a reckless investment, or even just protecting Africa’s wildlife. We can’t afford to keep pumping oil — this is everyone’s battle, protecting precious life on this planet, defending the most vulnerable and putting our kids’ future above the interests of a wealthy few .