Voice of the People

29
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.

Pension is basic right!

Recently, government announced 25% ad-hoc relief for working employees after their strong protest, yet ignored the pensioners (!?). Pension is an amount which government/department starts to accumulate against an employee, since his/her joining service. The employer invests this amount and earns accordingly. Out of that earning, employer pays back to retirees – if alive otherwise, employer enjoys de facto. The main theme behind was/is that they live with dignity/pride in the society (!). In the past, every government gave relief to pensioners without any hesitation. This attitude towards pensioners was/is beyond comprehension from Pakistan PTI government which came into power by chanting slogan for – converting present system into Riasat-e-Madinah(!)
PARC was founded on 2 May 1975. It consists of agricultural scientists of international fame, who are working on an imaginary efficient system of research-development & introduction in collaboration with international research organizations for making Pakistan self-sufficient in food certainly. O’ even then (employees) retiring from service without receiving pension-commutation as well as payment of 5%/10%-increase, increased in budget 2019, till now. On the other side, special attention is being paid to the welfare of ‘senior citizens’ around the globe. In addition to pension they are entitled to free treatment, transportation and counselling; whereas, the case is opposite in Pakistan. The pensioners are a section of our society who, from youth-to-old-age, served the nation anyhow (!).
Therefore, the PTI government is requested to do (insaf/justice) with all inclusive PARC’s pensioners, so that they may not be forced to come in PM’s Secretariat lawn with the help of sticks, displaying the banners inscribed with: insaf, insaf…. Hope responsible authorities will convey to PM House that pension is basic right of a retired person which government has to pay. No argument (!!).
M AZAM MINHAS
Islamabad

Praiseworthy Papal visit

The visit of Pope Francis to Iraq was quite interesting on various counts and has got the spotlight for good reasons. There have been various “firsts” quoted for the Pope Francis visit. In fact, he had spread the messages of hope and peace across the Iraqi region. His visit and consequent speeches have stressed the indisputable significance of various forms of religion and faith not to mention the harmonious things taught by various religious forms. In the world today, people and countries have been revolving around various issues head-on. Such small steps as a generous visit will surely instil hope into them all.
No doubt, religion is beyond comparison and above dispute. The people from my native areas like Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu have been usually visiting their places of worship all for their good future and well-being. The time has come again to treat religion as religion and no further. Let humanity be nourished in the realm of religion. Also, all the radical and fanatical activities should be shunned from the world.
P SENTHIL S DURAI
Maharashtra, India
Chaos haunts Myanmar

Myanmar was once a peaceful country, rich with mineral resources. Over the years it has become notorious for gross human rights abuses and genocide of Rohingya Muslims. The Tatmadaw, which is what their military is known, in collaboration with extremist monks, exploited religion of Lord Buddha, who preached non-violence, went on a rampage killing, raping their women and torching their houses to acquire their land.
Since 1962 it has been under martial law when Ne Win took over. Today Myanmar has become a rogue state isolated from the civilized world, facing international sanctions and their citizens facing extreme poverty and deprivation, with an army involved in manipulating elections.
After decades of brutal military rule, the Tatmadaw finally allowed Aung San to share power with the military under a new constitution, where they retained 25% seats in parliament for the army. When Aung San won over two-third seats in recent elections, the junta viewed this as a threat to their ever-expanding business empire. The insatiable greed of junta has brought chaos, compromised national security with over 100 citizens killed and thousands injured.
The UN Fact Finding Mission, investigating Rohingya genocide, in their report published in August 2019 reveals the military’s vast business empire, controlled through two business conglomerates, namely Myanmar Economic Corporation and Myanmar Economic Holding Ltd. Amnesty International estimates $18 Billion dividends paid to uniformed shareholders and their families over 20 years until 2011. Tatmadaw views civilian control as a threat to their corporate business interests. They have acquired vast assets by getting economic concessions, acquiring state land by manipulating the privatization process to grab public owned enterprises at throwaway prices. Their ever-expanding business empire extends to monopoly on manufacture of beer and tobacco products, to mines, tourism, property development, telecommunications, SIM cards etc.
MALIK T ALI
Lahore

Precautions while travelling

While travelling in an auto rickshaw or a taxi, women must be careful, especially if they are alone. They must remain alert to the possibility of danger whenever the auto rickshaw driver or the taxi driver suddenly appears to be having an engine problem or tries to stop his vehicle in a deserted or isolated area. In such a situation, they should immediately get out of the vehicle and stand somewhere where they are visible to the passers-by.
They must not remain seated and glued to their seat in the auto rickshaw or the taxi. They must always store an emergency contact number in their contact list in such a manner that it can be easily dialled whenever they face danger. Women and young girls are advised that if they happen to be travelling in even a slightly lonely area, they should make it a point to call at home or anybody they know, informing the other person on the line that they are travelling by an auto rickshaw or a taxi. They must also give the vehicle’s number to the person they are speaking to.
JUBEL D’CRUZ
Mumbai, India