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.

Banking sector endurance amid Covid-19

As a professional belonging to the banking sector and an avid follower of banking trends in Pakistan, I’ve particularly been intrigued with the way the industry has grown during the last decade, particularly regarding the consumer banking sector.

In the past, banks focused on consumer banking emerged and seemed to have faded away trying to achieve excellence.

I think what is different now is the fact that the digital penetration amongst the public has played a significant role in pivoting the likelihood of success in banks’ favours.

That being said, the banking sector nowadays is yet again striving to collectively pool its resources for the greater good of the industry at large.

Coupled with the Digital Pakistan Initiative, the banking sector has made huge strides in shifting a significant portion of its consumer banking to digital.

Take for instance the recent news of major Pakistani banks vying to get a hold of SilkBank’s portfolio.

Banks like SilkBank have not only been able to sustain themselves during these trying times of Covid-19, but have, in some cases, flourished.

Converting 30% of the total payments of its credit cards through digital channels is without doubt, no small feat.

Lastly, the measure of success of a bank, dare I say, can be measured when the top banks of the country start showing interest in buying out your entire portfolio.

The uncontested fact is that Pakistan’s banking professionals are indeed second to none domestically as well as globally.

Implementing single national curriculum

It is good to learn from Observer’s news report (May 25, 2021) that in reply to an Assembly Question, the Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Education informed the House that the Single National Curriculum (SNC) finalized by the Ministry is planned to be implemented in phases, starting with Grade 1-5 in the current year and ending in the academic year 2023-24 with grades 9-12.

Considering the complexity of the task, the delay in the start of implementation of the SNC is understandable.

It is important to ensure that all educational institutions which, at present, follow different curricula, designed and prescribed by the various Boards which regulate their academic activity, give up their respective curricula and come into a single stream of education laid down under the SNC.

This may not be easy and resistance may be expected against the proposed change, especially from those institutions which follow the curricula of the US and UK Boards of Education.

But the Ministry must remain firm and unrelenting and must not yield to pressure and threats.

If any exemption is given to them, others such as the seminaries under the Madrassah Boards, etc might tend to follow them and resist the change.

If that happens, the entire scheme of SNC may collapse and fall to the ground.

Urging to boycott Israeli products

Israel’s aggression against Palestinians has drawn worldwide condemnation and the Pakistanis are urged to boycott Israelis products to show solidarity with Palestinian people as well as to damage the economy of the aggressor state.

A campaign on social media against Israeli products such as Pepsi drink, Lays chips etc is in full swing and even it is emphasised in Friday sermons in mosques.

Pragmatically, it is hard to discard the use of such products at once for which we have become habitual of it such as Pepsi drink as some people are addicted to it.

Rather, it is ought to be emphasised to launch alternative home-made products with better quality and taste so that people may opt to use alternative products.

The move would lead to definitely improve economy of our country and people would leave using products of other countries eventually.

Similarly, it was urged to leave using products which are made by France on account of blasphemy committed in France by drawing caricature of our beloved Prophet PBUH.

Let’s compete in improving economy by launching alternative products instead of urging on to boycott products made by different countries especially by Israel and France.

Toxicity of beauty standards

They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But in today’s world is it even true? I don’t think so.

Unfortunately we are the part of the society where beauty has just become an illusion because of the unrealistic beauty standards set by the society. These so-called beauty standards have caused an actual dilemma among the people.

And to answer the obvious question of who to blame, it wouldn’t be absurd to say that our lovely social media has played this game quite well.

Celebrities trying to show their supposedly “perfect” pictures with their flawless skin, great hair and ideal bodies on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms have not only caused insecurity and low self-esteem in people but have also raised the matter of mental health among them.

Lately social media has been giving the impression that nothing is enough, even if according to today’s beauty standards someone is perfect there’s always going to be someone more perfect in the future.

But then who set the bar to that Perfect? And what is that perfect exactly? I guess nobody knows and yet everyone is in the same race comparing themselves to others. And sadly, that’s not all.

It grates my cheese to say that we are the part of the world where people are rejected on the basis of their skin colour, their height and their weight because in our society these things are considered the standards of beauty, the rules to be beautiful.

Actually, acceptance has become a serious intricacy in this world. The enigma these beauty standards induce affects the society and spreads toxicity.

These quixotic norms of beauty need to be abolished and we need to understand that everyone is beautiful in their own way.

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