Voice of the People


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.

Congratulations Sadiq Khan

It is indeed a matter of pride, joy and satisfaction for millions of Pakistanis that Sadiq Khan, the son of a working-class immigrant family, has on his own merit and hard work, managed to get elected as Lord Mayor of London.

This should serve to prove to those who have doubts, that given a level playing field, with no space for nepotism, nor the elitist mindset that has destroyed merit in this country, there is no dearth of talent in Pakistan.

I fail to understand the delay or the hesitation by the Federal Government of Pakistan and our High Commissioner in the UK in facilitating Lord Mayor Sadiq Khan, who got elected for a second term in free and fair elections.

People with small minds, captive to their egos, blinded by bias, should never sit in positions of authority, unless they are willing to shed these complexes. It is un-Islamic for Muslims to be captive to such mental handicaps.

Palestine is bleeding

Muslims around the globe marked a sombre Eid al-Fitr on Thursday in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

Though lockdown and other restrictions brought in a gloomy taste, yet people went to Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul and Haram Sharif in Saudi Arabia to join Eid prayers, while children enjoyed tasty food staying home with their loved ones. However, this was not the case in Palestine.

In the besieged Gaza Strip, the Palestinians prayed at mosques amid the rubble of collapsed buildings, as Israel’s air force continued to launch air strikes for a fourth day.

Almost 200 people including men, women and children have been killed and nearly a thousand others wounded as heavy bombardment by occupation warplanes rocked the densely populated residential areas and brought down entire tower blocks.

It’s also been reported that Israel is using white phosphorous bombs over civilians which is in direct conflict with international laws. Palestinians spent their Eid burying dead and escaping holocaust-level genocide.

This escalation began over a scheduled court ruling on the forced expulsion of several Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, followed by Israeli security forces raiding the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound throughout the final week of Ramadan, with hundreds of Palestinians wounded.

Israel is now targeting civilians and residential building via F-16 and F-35 jets along with violent artillery shelling across the Gaza Strip, violating all possible human rights ensured by the {numb} United Nations to Palestinians in 1947.

Amid this catastrophe, Muslim leaders are called upon to unite and take an ultimate stand for our Palestinian brothers and sisters at all fronts.

Let’s not cosily witness this ethnic cleansing as otherwise; its fumes would travel way across the Middle East.

Let’s declare Israel a terrorist state. Let’s wake up, before being perished. Let’s not be Palestine just a memory.

Good decision,
Mr PM!

This is with reference to a news item carried by a section of the press wherein Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan has been lauded to decline an invitation from tobacco firms for attending webinar.

It manifests the government’s commitment towards controlling use of tobacco in the country.

Health experts are of the view that PM’s attendance would have sent a wrong message to the international community as this was a violation of the World Health Organization (WHO) framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Multinationals operating in Pakistan have a practice of engaging with personnel holding key positions in government and media.

For this purpose, well connected and experienced individuals are hired as government and press advisors on hefty perks and privileges to do image building.

Acquiring a pack of 20 cigarettes for an underage boy or girl is not much difficult in Pakistan.

This should be a major concern for concerned authorities in the government responsible to curb smoking.

Shopkeepers have a casual attitude towards ensuring customers hold a CNIC prior to selling a pack of cigarettes. Two steps should immediately be taken.

First, shopkeepers should not be allowed to sell cigarettes without a pack. Only packs of 20 could be sold after ensuring the customer is not underage.

Second, shopkeepers should not be allowed to display cigarettes openly in a shop, instead hidden from the general public as it is in the United Kingdom and rest of the world.

Strict penalties from the government should be implied against those shopkeepers breaching laws while handling the sale of cigarettes.

I’m sure, if a check and balance is made mandatory against dealers and shopkeepers selling cigarettes across the country, there would certainly be a visible decline in the use of tobacco, taking precious lives each year across the world.