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.
PTI’s development packages
Prime Minister Imran Khan last week announced Rs370b development package for Gilgit-Baltistan.
The amount would be spent for development of hydel power generations and local distribution networks, improving tourism connectivity, skill trainings and scholarships for the youth and upgradation of health services etc.
It was his third consecutive package which has been announced by him after Rs446b package for development of Province of Sindh except Karachi for which Rs1.1 trillion dollars package has been announced earlier.
This government has completed half of its term while announcing such packages, but when will this money be released remains a question.
So far neither a single penny has been released, nor any project has been inaugurated out of this money. So fate of all these packages is at stake.
We hope that government will look into the matter and form a parliamentary committee, on immediate basis, consisting of treasury and opposition members for initiation, distribution and completion of all these announced packages in respective areas.
Promotion schemes on cigarettes
To discourage smoking and protect public health, government ban on promotion of tobacco related schemes is constantly being violated by cigarette manufacturers.
Advertising posters of illegal non-tax paid brands are visible on kiosks and shops selling cigarettes across the country in which smoking is being encouraged through reward schemes.
No action is being taken by law enforcement agencies on this blatant violation due to which use of cigarettes in the country has remained at the level of almost 80 billion cigarettes annually for many years.
The federal government has banned promotion of cigarettes across the country through SRO 72 (I) / 2020 issued on January 30, 2020.
Under the SRO, advertising of cigarettes through print and electronic media, including all public places was banned.
Cigarette advertising posters or banners was also banned outside, around and inside shops selling cigarettes.
Government also banned promotion of cigarettes and promotion of smoking through reward schemes.
Under the said SRO, along with sale of cigarettes, any kind of incentive to smoke, including any kind of reward, gift, cash assistance, discount was banned. Despite effective laws in Pakistan, promotion of illegal non-tax paid cigarettes continues unabated across the country.
These illegal non-tax paid brands, on the one hand, are selling cigarettes at 50 per cent below the minimum cigarette pack price as mandated by government.
Inside cigarette packs, companies offer cash prizes, tours and even rewards for motorcycles and cars, including home appliances.
ABU BAKAR KAREEM
Outdated exam system
The vulnerable spot in our existing exam system is how to measure a student’s ability and potential.
Exams remain no more than testing tools for a student’s memory whereas his knowledge and creative skills are utterly disregarded.
In universities, Power Point slides are religiously followed and crammed by students in order to get high marks.
As they avoid reading books and other relevant material and that leads to reduced analytical ability, ability to think and reason.
Moreover, in many cases, students cannot do their utmost on exam day due to health issues or other reasons, which exert a negative impact on their physical and mental health.
The federal education minister and provincial governments must introduce basic reforms in educational system.
Students through counselling should be motivated towards book readings and concept-based studies instead of cramming practices.
ABDUL MUSAWIR HAKRO
EU Disinfo investigation
EU Parliament has passed a resolution to revoke Pakistan GSP+ status unless Pakistan changes it’s own laws on Blasphemy.
Firstly the GSP+ status during Covid lockdown is useless, while EU markets are mainly supplied by China, where Pakistan cannot compete with price.
Secondly Pakistan should ask EU Parliament to first tell us what action they have taken against their own Parliamentarians, companies of EU, citizens of EU and EU Parliament publications that were highlighted by Disinfo NGO to be working for India on a propaganda mission against Pakistan and other Nations.
EU Parliament besides UN had allowed these fake organisation and personalities, some of them who were EU citizens and even EU Parliamentarians, to present fake reports against Pakistan in EU Parliament, media and in UN for over 15 years.
Without taking action against these culprits the credibility of EU Parliament is seriously damaged because EU Parliamentarians would be seriously biased against Pakistan as they have been bombarded by Indian paid propaganda against Pakistan for more than 15 years.
I think Pakistani media and foreign Ministry should be aggressively highlighting these facts.
SHAHRYAR KHAN BASEER
Curfew not enough
I understand that Chief Ministers of various states in India are trying their best to stop the spread of Corona Virus in the country. But lockdowns and curfews will not help bring down the number of Covid-19 patients.
People should be made aware as to how dangerous the virus is, and how it can spread from person to person, not only in the neighbourhood but within the family too. So take care, people.