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.
It all started with the Trump Administration imposing a ban on Tik Tok following the American policy to impose restrictions on China. India followed suit in January 2019 after relations with China became tense following a border skirmish. Why should few within the elite, most of them with split loyalties, be allowed to single out TikTok in Pakistan.
TikTok is the most popular social media application amongst the youth and common people who sometimes vent their anger against government policies, social issues and also for entertainment. Like other social media sites, it has sometimes been abused, despite the efforts of Byte Dance, the Chinese owners, who have always emphasized on respecting local customs, traditions and values. TikTok has over 20 Million users in Pakistan, many earning a handsome amount. It has been used to promote awareness about Covid19 very effectively and about the excesses being committed in society. Its content is limited to a few minutes.
Neither TikTok nor other social applications should be held responsible for the immorality that afflict our society. The failure, if any, lies with State institutions responsible for law enforcement, prosecution and illiteracy along with the decadent hypocritical mindset of the ruling elite.
While Islam emphasizes upon equality and justice for all including rights of minors and women, yet we still witness traditions of Karo Kari, treating girls and women like commodities given in exchange to settle tribal and property disputes and misuse of Islamic Laws for the benefit of affluent, like payment of Diyat for murder, in violation of the spirit of Islam. Unlike Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Twitter etc., which are all owned by companies located in the West, TikTok has never been involved in an Islamophobia campaign nor in blasphemous content against the Last Prophet (PBUH).
MALIK TARIQ ALI
According to published estimates, more than 12.5 million children in Pakistan are involved in child labour. Forced labour, slavery, debt bondage, child trafficking, children in armed conflict and children working in illegal activities are some forms of child labour existing in the country. Low literacy rate and extreme poverty in the country are among the major causes of the child labour. Illiterate people don’t understand the importance of education so they don’t send their children to school and force them into work from a tender age. Rising poverty also compel a lot of parents to use their children as bread earners.
‘The Employment of Children Act, 1991’ had received the assent of the President of Pakistan long back — on April 2, 1991 to be exact. This law prohibits the employment of children in certain occupations and regulates the conditions concerning work for children. ‘The Punjab Restriction on Employment of Children Act, 2016’ is another law in the context. But despite the existence of these Acts, the menace of child labour in the country persists.
This means that the problem lies in the non-implementation of law. Children are the future of any country. And we are wasting this future without remorse. The government needs to enforce the laws in letter and spirit in order to eradicate this menace from the country.
Karachi is the biggest city of Pakistan which is thickly populated and as per the population, people of metropolis are not provided enough facilities which they deserve being thickly populated. Hundreds and thousands of commuters travel in the city on a daily basis from one end to another and people also come into Karachi from other parts of the country but it is really surprising to see that there are not so much public toilets situated in the city and those which are available, some of them are not functional while some of them are not in neat and clean condition.
In such a situation, it becomes difficult for commuters to travel inside the city especially for female and kids as public toilets are very few and situated far away from each other. Toilets are one of the basic needs of human beings.
Government needs to construct some public toilets and those which are not functional should be made functional with availability of tape water and, off course, in tidy condition and it would be better to construct a few more public toilets at every bus stops so that people may not suffer. It would not be out of place to mention here that the people travelling by metro buses in the cities of Punjab don’t undergo any inconvenience as at every station (stop) very neat and clean toilets are provided for the convenience of the public.
Increasing suicide rate
I am writing this letter to your kind self to show my concern with the issue of increasing suicide cases among students. Students are the future of a nation and if they starts committing suicide, the future will be destroyed. Increasing stress, modern lifestyle, social media, less interaction with families and lack of counselling are the causes behind this.
The Government should take notice and make some preventive measures and also start counselling in schools, colleges and other accessible places. I hope that you would publish my letter in order to draw the kind attention of the authorities concerned to take some benevolent steps in this regard.