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.
Kartarpur Corridor: Bringing in Religious Tourism
Pakistan is a country with unique ethnic diversity. It has a number of unique historical religious sites: Sufi shrines, Christian churches, Hindu temples, Sikh gurdwaras and Buddhist monasteries. British Backpacker Society ranked Pakistan as the world’s top adventure travel destination while Forbes ranked Pakistan’s tourism sites as “Coolest Places” to visit in 2019.
The Kartarpur Corridor is a border corridor which connects Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab, India with Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Punjab, Pakistan. Kartarpur is held in high esteem by the Sikh community. That is so because Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539), founder of the Sikh religion, lived there for nearly 18 years till his holy spirit left his mortal frame to re-join the Source. The opening of the Kartarpur Corridor and other religious sites will boost religious tourism in the country. The Sikh population across the world is around 27 million which is 0.39% of the world population. Around 12,000 pilgrims visited Kartarpur Sahib on 19 November 2019 to celebrate the 550th Birthday of Baba Guru Nanak Sahib. 5,000 pilgrims are allowed to visit Kartarpur daily. The facilitation fee for the pilgrim is 20 US$. Therefore, from this only site, Pakistan will earn 100000 US$ per day.
Pakistan will gain an aggregate income of 4 to 5 billion US dollars. If this site opened for the common public and terrorists it will add a handsome increase to the country’s GDP. Indeed, Pakistan has captured two-fifth of the Sikh population that visit Pakistan to perform their religious rituals. A recent World Bank Survey reported that if proper facilities are provided, Pakistan can yield up to US$ 300 million from religious tourism. It is also estimated that an average US $2700 per head will be generated in ten days. With the help of security agencies, law and order situation is now feasible to attract tourism. Pakistan can increase its earning by promoting religious tourism.
Cheating Culture and its facts
Cheating culture has a significant role in deteriorating a nation’s future. It has become a trend that is deeply rooted in the mindset of students. If immediate measures are not taken, the problem will persist from generation to generation like an injected virus. Pakistan stands 94th on the global quality education list and something needs to be done.
The foremost reason behind the growing culture of cheating is due to the competition for achieving high grades through means – fair or foul. Such practices not only damage students’ career, but also paint a dismal picture of the country.
Students have become so dependent on cheating that they lack basic knowledge of even common subject. Furthermore, the societal and parental pressures dictate that students constantly achieve the highest grades even if it means devaluing learning. The only thing that most parents now seem to care of is the appreciation that they receive from others about their children’s high achievements. But sometimes the pressure is too much and students try finding ways to escape.
The negligence on the part of teachers and administrations should not be overlooked. How can educational institutions function when teachers remain absent and academic sessions are suspended off and on? How can we expect students to study within a flawed system?
Political instability – risks to supply chain
Political instability is the propensity for government change, political catastrophe or instability and uncertainty in government’s policy, including regulatory, tax or labour law. It can easily trigger events that can cause concern within a country as well as make major supply chain turmoil.
Global Supply Chain are not just activities involving function of supply and demand but much more complex function, it is the capability to source material, items and components, convert them and get useful products to end user. Historically, political risk has been a worry of those doing business in developing countries. Supply chains risks have become very keen consideration for risk managers. Anything that influence forecast progression of supply chains represents serious concern for risk managers.
Top supply chain managers from 196 countries have concerns, 77 percent of them faced uncertain situation at least once in the past two years according to an APQC survey. On a scale of 1-10 political instability ranks at 4.3 regarding its impact on supply chains.
Countries with weaker political, financial or economical stabilities have greater risk of government officials taking leads and making decisions for them which is a demotivating factor for investors and lowers foreign investment. For banking industry or currency or IMF bailout, consequences can be huge for businesses and overall supply chains and will have to operate according to political regimes.
Political risk can be different for different countries and companies. It could be source of political violence, commonness of corruption; companies must look out for political risks all the time because it is continued volatility. They should understand adverse impact it can have on overall business and need to create strategies, contingency plans to eliminate risk.
SYED AYUB SHAH
Everyday life is becoming miserable because of winter smog in parts of Pakistan. People are suffering hugely due to climate change and pollution. One of the major damaging factors rising from pollution and climate change is smog. Due to high levels of polluted smog health issues are increasing day by day. Winter smog is not only affecting humans but also hurting animals.
Smog is actually a mixture of two words: smoke and fog. Smog is a yellowish and blackish fog that is combination of various gases with dust and water vapour. Smog also refers to misty air that makes breathing difficult. There are two types of smog: one is sulphurous and the other is photochemical. Sulphurous smog results from a high concentration of sulfur oxides in the air and is caused by the use of sulfur-bearing fossil fuels, particularly coal. Photochemical smog occurs usually in urban areas that have a large number of automobiles and industries.
The worst season of the smog prevails from October to January in the country. Rain and wind reduce the density of thick smog that had engulfed the life. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is used for the measurement of air quality. The AQI seems good if it ranges between 0-150. During this season the AQI crossed 500 in different areas of Pakistan. During last month, the AQI in Lahore and Faisalabad ranged between 450-550 and in Islamabad it was between 150-250. The situation was worse in Lahore, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.
Smog causes breathing problems, allergies, extreme cough, inflamed eyes and nose, and poor visibility. Due to poor visibility traffic issues are caused and travelling on road becomes almost impossible during early morning and night. The authorities are requested to handle the issue with wisdom and save the people from the hazards of smog, please.
I was selected as a Section Officer through the Sindh Public Service Commission’s Combined Competitive Examination 2013, but owing to certain discrepancies by the SPSC, the Supreme Court’s verdict (SMC 18/ 2016) annulled our examinations and ordered the SPSC to reconduct it and publish the marks of all candidates along with the waiting list to ensure fairness and transparency.
The SPSC followed these orders only once and that was in the rescheduled CCE 2013, but it has completely disregarded these orders in the recently announced result of the CCE 2018.
The SPSC must be aware of the fact that it is jeopardising the career of the successful candidates. I plead with the authorities to take notice of this discrepancy.
SIKANDAR SAJJAD MANGI
Being a student of Media and Mass Communication studies, I had visited the Azadi March of JUI-F once to meet participants and listen speeches to analyze it accordingly. Post listening the tumultuous speeches filled with sedition and individually conversing with some of madrasa students, I was appalled how the sentiments of the gullible and naïve students of seminaries and lower middle or lower classed people of country were being exploited, solely and wholly, for the political reasons.
A gist of all speeches delivered from that container, including that of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, was to imprint the message in the minds of audience that the PTI government is some kind of illegitimate, against the Islam or and that Islam is in danger in this regime, so it is only JUI-F which has capability of salvation of our religion; all nothing but a religious card playing.
ZAHID ALI ZOHRI