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.
Rising food prices
Food inflation continues to challenge government resolve to control prices of basic amenities such as pulses, vegetables, wheat, rice, sugar, cooking oil etc that have been rising relentlessly. The poor are groaning and those in middle barely surviving. I am amazed that we as an agricultural country still face rising food prices every year, while agriculture contributes 22.04 percent of our country’s GDP.
These have been difficult times for majority of population because of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on economy that is already in quagmire. It’s a high time government should protect citizens from profiteers and market manipulators instead of making hollow claims or playing political games with opposition parties.
Requirement of oath
World witnessed smooth and peaceful transition of power in Washington, where President and Vice President were administered Oath of Office. An oath of office is an Oath or affirmation that a person undertakes before taking charge of an office, a position of trust and secrecy in government before the person may actually exercise the power in that position. Mostly the oath of office is a statement of loyalty with the constitution. In every civilized country irregularities of any kind by a functionary of state is considered an attempt to betray his/her oath.
In 2009 President Barrack H Obama was administered a second time Oath of Office as President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces within few hours of his induction as 44th President, that goes to prove how seriously they take their country and Constitution, and this is by far not everywhere the case and specially not so in Pakistan.
Americans are so alert to the requirements of the constitution that a small mistake became big news all over the world. Democrats didn’t want any doubt being cast later by anyone at the legitimacy of President Obama to exercise his office, as oath is a part of the constitution which is put in “inverted commas” meaning to prevent change of meaning by any such alteration. During the ceremony on the steps of the Capitol Mr Roberts accidentally had switched the word order saying “I will execute the office of President to the United States faithfully” instead of “I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States” Mr Obama who briefly interrupted the Chief Justice by starting the oath before Mr Robert had finished reciting the first part, then repeated back the line as the Chief Justice had said it.
So they didn’t hesitate to repeat the whole affair rather than take any risk of a later challenge and this second ceremony took place same night in front of reporters and a few members of the President’s staff. Our situation on sanctity of oath and secrecy of meetings is at time mind boggling, our constitution is clear that Prime Minister can appoint only 5 persons as either Advisors or Special Assistant to PM, whose status is notified and are administered Oath then they can take part in parliamentary proceeding without right to vote and also attend Cabinet meeting as per requirement of law and are bound not to disclose proceedings.
ALI ASHRAF KHAN
TPNW: Milestone nuclear treaty
In a milestone development, the first multilateral nuclear disarmament treaty, Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), finally entered into force on Jan 22, 2021. It prohibits the use, threat of use, development, production, testing and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. The accord was approved initially by 122 nations at the UN General Assembly in 2017, but it was civil society groups led by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAW) that had put decades of activism to secure the number of countries required to make it a reality.
UN Secretary General Antonio Gutérres welcomed the accord as “an important step towards a world free of nukes”. The world’s nine nuclear-armed states have more than 13,000 nukes, with command-and-control networks vulnerable to human error and cyber attacks. More nuclear proliferation and warhead arsenals are considered directly proportional to power. What is frightening is the fact that many of those warheads is far greater and catastrophic than those dropped on Japanese two cities in 1945.
Although TPNW is a moral and legal starting point for a long-term effort to achieve nuclear disarmament, the real celebration will come when our planet is free of those 13,000 nukes altogether. To this to happen, all nations must work to ensure the broadest possible adherence to the treaty’s prohibitions.
ZAHID ALI ZOHRI