Voice of the People

62

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.

Appointing bureaucrats

This is with reference to the news item about the appointment of Federal Secretary EAD Mr. Noor Ahmed as Executive Director (ED) ADB for a four-year term. Mr. PM, please breakaway from the past practice of making such bureaucratic appointments that not only are for a long duration but are considered hot and favourite for those bureaucrats who are close to retirement.

These are considered similar to the infamous and hot State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) appointments.

The Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) ED appointments should not simply be considered as hot give away mostly for the retiring bureaucrats as done till now.

If we review the performance of our EDs to date, most of them have taken full advantage of the hefty salaries and perks and have not put a meaningful effort in advancing the interest of Pakistan. Rather most of them have ended up advancing their own self-interest.

The least PTI government can do is to hold on to such appointments till a criterion for selection is put in place and the best, most experienced and relevant professionals (there is no dearth of Pakistanis who have had vast experience of MDBs) are pursued.

Please take this self-proclaimed right out of the clutches of the bureaucracy and place it in the deserving hands.

All such positions should have clear and tangible KPIs along with time bound targets so that these assignments are not just seen as cushiony assignments but are accompanied by stringent accountability mechanisms with zero tolerance.

RUBINA MALIK
Islamabad

Prospects of Afghan civil war and Pak

American forces are set to withdraw from Afghanistan after long weary war without achieving its avowed aims. What they are leaving behind is the mess that Pakistan needs to attend to.

While Pakistan’s efforts are commendable in peace process, the issue definitely requires much more efforts by the Establishment of Pakistan.

There is strong possibility of Afghanistan going into civil war as the agreement being reached on negotiated settlements between Afghan government and Taliban is next to nothing. If things go as they are going, Pakistan is the country in the region which has most to suffer.

The possible impact on Pakistan would be: influx of refugees and a new wave of violence and militancy.

While Pakistan is already burdened with an enormous number of refugees, the fresh influx would be disastrous for crippled economy of our country. Indubitably, Pakistan will surely feel the ripple effects of the Afghan war.

This raises the prospects of renewed violence and stronger militancy in the border areas such as Baluchistan and the (erstwhile) FATA which Pakistan almost put to the sword after painstaking efforts bearing considerable loss of men and material.

Substantive fear exists that TTP could gain fresh traction using Afghan soil as its breeding ground and unleash new episodes of terror upon the innocent Pakistanis.

Given the grave threats, Pakistan must take steps beyond and do whatever necessary to ensure that prospective agreement is successful.

The hawks across the borders may be irked by such peace process and may also pull all the stops in dismantling precarious tranquillity.

In the context, Pakistan should make it crystal clear to the US, its clients and other regional players that such acts will end in downright fiasco.

HYDER ALI
Via email

COVID-19
vs event management

EVENT management industry is one of the biggest industries contributing to the national economy and serving the masses.

The industry has been badly affected by the C-19 pandemic as any event is based on crowd gathering.

It was the first one to be shut down and that too for 8 months! However, other businesses – hoteling, saloons, beauty parlours – were allowed to operate after merely 2 months.

The longest 8-month closure led to the crisis in the industry, thus almost the whole industry had to pack.

Any business needs to have a contingency plan but such a situation wasn’t foreseeable and many tried to survive, based on their backup, but couldn’t have survived for such a long time, even when the barriers were removed and businesses were once again allowed to operate under protocols to resist any further spread of the virus.

Inflation had it all covered up with the consumer purchasing power being very limited and business struggling to make any profits, and after operating for a period of 6 months again the third wave of Coronavirus hasn’t been easy and after too many cases appearing once again the event management industry had been completely shut down once again and businesses ran in losses again.

It’s an industry where many businesses play a part and integrate to provide one complete service of an event such as weeding venues, food, catering, décor and music – many businesses under one roof – but never accounted for, many of the workers working at minimum wages lost their jobs due to the losses being suffered by the businesses.
IFTIKHAR ARIF
Islamabad

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