Voice of the People

24

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.

IMF phobia

It is quite surprising and shocking to note that opposition parties and their leaders are continuously suffering from IMF phobia like the western people, by and large, are from Islamophobia in a rather unwarranted and uncalled for manner.

A large number of countries, particularly developing countries like Pakistan, are members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and keep on availing various large, medium and small packages and programmes for their budgetary support and overcoming other financial problems from time to time.

Pakistan since its joining the IMF in December 1958 has gone to the Fund 22 times including the recent Extended Fund Facility of $ 6 billion bail out package sought by the incumbent PTI government.

Every past civil and military government has been submitting its budgetary and taxation proposals to the IMF and even the World Bank over all these years.

Those who are raising hue and cry over the present government seeking bailout package from the IMF as if it has committed some crime which no other previous government including the two former ruling parties PPP and PML(N) have not committed and not consulted Fund and other international institutions should better go through the previous 21 IMF programmes record which must be lying in the Strong Room of the Cabinet Division or elsewhere to update themselves.

The reports that the Opposition has submitted a resolution in the NA Secretariat that the Finance Bill 2019 be changed to IMF Obedience Act have come as more shocking and surprising for many including this scribe.

The Opposition Leader is supposed to be more well-informed than many others as his party has been in power for many years together in Islamabad and Lahore.
M Z RIFAT
Lahore

Violence in India

It’s a pity that minority communities like Christians and Muslims are harassed, tortured and sometimes even burnt alive in India. And PM Narendra Modi does nothing to save them.

What kind of a Prime Minister is he? India does not need a PM like Narendra Modi to rule the country who keeps favouring goondas.
JUBEL D’CRUZ
Mumbai, India

Independent media protects

In hindsight, if there was an independent media or even the alternate social media in 1970-71, the events that culminated in dismemberment of Pakistan could have been prevented.

Public in West Pakistan were fed with fake news even as late as the morning of 16 December 1971.

Public pressure, knowing the bitter ground realities would have dislodged the tyrannical and immoral junta.

A political settlement could have been negotiated and Pakistan saved from torment and international embarrassment.

For a country created through a democratic struggle, led by men of intellect and integrity, to achieve without a bullet being fired, independence from Colonial Raj and Hindu supremacist mindset, it is indeed ironic that within a few years, Jinnah’s vision of a modern democratic welfare state would be mutilated.

Today we are neither the welfare state that MAJ promised, nor the security state. Terrorism and extremism haunts citizens of Pakistan.

Within Pakistan, the powerful mafia illegally grabs state land and deprives poor Harris in Sindh of their land which they have owned for centuries, yet with a few exceptions among the formal print and electronic media, it goes unreported.

A few within the corridors of power want to muzzle whatever that is left of the free media, whose credibility is already dented, not realizing that the void will be filled by social media.

Although Muslim ethics and established norms of civilized societies require that those holding paid or elected public must be submitted to a stricter code of ethics, than applicable to common citizens, we see the reverse happening. May Almighty Allah protect Pakistan from the greed of a few.

ALI MALIK TARIQ
Lahore

Covid impact on financial behaviour

I was going through a news piece published in your esteemed daily regarding Financial Inclusion Insights (FII) Survey. Full details of the survey are available on Karandaaz Pakistan’s data portal.

The survey also focuses on the impact of Covid-19 on financial behaviour in Pakistan in detail.

Some of the findings of the survey were overwhelming while some were considerably eye-opener, which I wish to share with your readers here.

The survey highlighted that financial inclusion in Pakistan has increased from 21% to 25% in adults mainly because of the increasing trend of adopting mobile money solutions with every passing day.

It further said that mobile money account ownership tripled among women, from 2% before the pandemic to 6% in late 2020.

For the very first time during this pandemic, I myself used one of these platforms for money transfers and came to know that these are handy and cost-effective at the same time.

Although the distance from 2% to 6% is so meagre in numbers, it is encouraging that the trend is upwards.

I’m quite hopeful that through such tech-savvy digital financial solutions, the financial system of Pakistan will sooner or later be able to bring in those people, especially women, who otherwise remain excluded from the formal banking system.

Not to forget, being a woman, I’m the active part of 48.8% population of Pakistan (according to 6th Census of Pakistan, 2017) and together, we can proudly keep the above mentioned numbers moving upwards.

ZOHA MUNEEB
Islamabad