Voice of the People

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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.

Gagging
the media

Private TV channels will lose viewership, if they lack any acceptable modicum of independence.

The best example of this is the fate of PTV. Ayub Khan suffered when he succumbed to his sycophants to celebrate the Decade of Reforms which became a source of his decadence and a catalyst for country-wide protests.

If Pakistan-based private TV channels were to be subjected to strict censorship, this would be counter-productive.

While the government can exercise reasonable influence on these private television channels, it cannot do so on social media, whatever their advisors may claim to be capable of.

The void created will be filled by social media which has access to the various applications available through the internet to individuals located within and outside Pakistan.

Reports that the government plans to introduce new legislation to exercise control, on whatever is left of the independence media, are very disturbing.

The Pakistan Ideology has been clearly defined by Quaid-e-Azam that, it would be a modern democratic welfare state for all citizens irrespective of their caste, creed, faith, sex or ethnicity.

It will be the responsibility of “Government to maintain law and order, so that the life, property and religious beliefs of its subjects are fully protected by the State”.

He further elaborated on 14 June 1948 that a few “did not know the implications of the Oath taken” which binds them to “owe allegiance to the Constitution”.

No other elected or uniformed ruler has moral or legal authority to redefine or amend the Ideology of Pakistan given by Quaid-e-Azam.

We lost half the country by not adopting Jinnah’s vision. Our territorial sovereignty has been compromised by adventurers and dictators and the country faces scourge of terrorism, extremism, sectarian and ethnic divide.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Lahore
Issues of Karachi

I am from the city which was used to be called a “City of Lights”. With the passage of time, my city is facing many problems and its beauty is decreasing day by day. Today I want to highlight the issues of the city.

First and foremost issue is “water scarcity”. Currently, Pakistan is categorized as a water scare country because the yearly water availability is less than 1000 cubic meters per person.

The country crossed this level in 2005 and if the situation remains the same, in the coming days we will have to suffer very badly.

The second issue is “illiteracy”. There is unequal education system for different classes of the same society. The budget for education is meagre due to which quality education cannot be imparted which is destroying the future of the youth.

The third issue is “gender inequality” which has been debated for many decades. We have set separate rules for men and women.

As it has been proven that women are capable of doing all types of technical job and can be proven as an as asset for a nation but here women are not given the same opportunities like men.

In the end, I appeal to the government to take tangible measures for the resolution of aforementioned issues of the (once) “City of Lights”.
EMAAN JAWED IQBAL
Karachi

Demand release of Jesuit priest

Jesuit priest, Fr. Stan Swamy’s arrest is a violation of human rights. Fr. Stan Swamy whose full name is Fr. Stanislaus Lourdusamy is a veteran tribal rights activist who has worked for over 50 years in Jharkhand fighting for the rights of the Adivasi community.

The false charges against this 84-year-old ailing priest have outraged many people not just in India, but all over the world. His arrest is nothing but a complete concoction and absolute falsehood that is being propagated by the Maharashtra police and the government.

Just because we Christians are peace-loving people and do not retaliate, it does not mean that the government and the police can take an upper hand on us.

Churches are also being burnt and desecrated and the police do nothing to arrest the culprits.

The charges against this ailing social worker with ‘anti-national’ conspiracies vis-à-vis the Bhima-Koregaon case, the prosecution is aiming to discreet law professionals and social reformers who raise their voices for the rights of the poorest of the poor. Fr. Swamy must be freed at the earliest before he loses his life in jail.

It is also shameful on the part of the court and the Indian government that an ailing elderly man, who needed a straw to drink because of his debilitating condition, was denied basic help.
The State and its law and order agencies never liked him becau

se he has been consistent in questioning the non-implementation of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.

This is the kind of inhuman treatment social activists get in India under the BJP government.

Fr Stan Swamy is being punished by an inhuman regime because he had the courage to empower the Adivasis and marginalised of our country. He had selflessly championed their causes, especially their fight for justice and dignity.

The Catholic community in India has always been working for the development of the poor and the downtrodden.

It is through hardworking, sincere and committed people like Fr. Stan Swamy, that the Catholic Church has worked for welfare of the poor in the country.
JUBEL D’CRUZ
Mumbai, India

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