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.

Cantonment Board election

Unlike the early 70’s when cantonments were strictly confined to housing soldiers in barracks, firing ranges, storage of equipment and armament, CSD etc., today over 70% of the residents are civilians. There were hardly any commercial centres before 1980. Over a period of time commercial centres and residential societies have replaced barracks etc.

Rapid commercialization without adequate infrastructure for water provision, sanitation, rain water drains etc., has created problems for the residents, most of them civilians, because Cantonment Boards lack professionals, specializing in town planning etc., and are administered in an ad-hoc manner.

In Karachi, residents are forced to pay water charges etc., but water seldom flows through taps and citizens are hostage to the Water-Tanker mafia, that fleece them unchecked.

The nexus of the bureaucracy of Cantonment Boards and the representatives in the CB are hostage to real estate mafias. The conflicts of interest of the Cantonment Boards and their administration have only added to resident’s woes.

In principle, Real Estate agents and those involved in malpractices should not be allowed to contest elections. Only those residents with no Conflicts of Interest should be allowed to contest these elections.

Safety of residents is compromised when Petrol Pumps are allowed to be built in DHA Karachi, Lahore etc., exposing residents to the dangers of explosive fires and environmental pollution by gasoline vapours that cause cancer and respiratory diseases.

Multi-storied buildings are being allowed to be built on reclaimed land despite adverse soil survey.

Commercial plazas without fire exits are a common sight. Since all our civil airports are located in cantonment areas, wastage from residences, restaurants and commercial centers etc., become nursery grounds for breeding large birds which pose danger to commercial airlines. Sanity, safety and functioning infrastructure must prevail over the commercial interests of the elite.


Two superpowers!

I was hardly 10 years old when the then Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Everyone glued to their TVs, awaiting the latest news.

PTV would tell us about various mujahedeen feats like the destruction of Soviet tanks, etc. It really was a grim decade for the Afghans and Pakistanis as well. Our poor country extended all kinds of help to its Afghan brethren.

To some, it was Pakistan’s war against the approaching Communist bear. Then the tide turned, the Soviets went back and rest is history. A superpower was defeated.

Soon after, Afghanistan became the hub of terror. The only superpower stepped in to sort the terrorists out.

The Americans had so much to gain from their presence in Afghanistan. Iran, China and Russia would now feel exactly what the US had been feeling about Cuba and the only Muslim nuclear state was just at a stone throwing distance, and they did throw stones.

A hybrid war was unleashed, the media manipulated, corrupt politicians were nurtured, and not to forget the long series of suicide bombing.

The aim was to make another Libya or Iraq out of Pakistan but they failed, they failed for 20 long years, until they went back. Another superpower faced a defeat.

The other day, while sitting on the bank of river Ravi, the moisture laden wind touched my face and said: “There is none but God the only Almighty.”

Say no to plastic food containers

Because of the pandemic, some restaurants in the country are delivering food at home. But I feel bad when the food arrives in plastic containers.

We should try to reduce the use of plastic as much as we can, as plastic is harmful for the environment and it takes a long time to decompose.

Mumbai, India

Women empowerment

Women empowerment is empowering women to take their own decisions for their personal and social development.

Moreover, women empowerment means encouraging women to be self-reliant and independent for they play a crucial role in the country’s development.

It has always remained a contested issue in the complex socio-demographic and cultural milieu of Pakistani society.

Women have great potential to lead our nation which is rife with problems. In 1944, Quaid stated in a speech “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victim of evil customs.

It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners”. Female foeticide, domestic violence, early marriage and gender-based discrimination are some of the many challenges women of today face every day. Not only this, many women are denied job opportunities.

Additionally, men and women have an equivalent role in today’s modern era. Women are contributing to every field of life, be it technology, education, politics, science or any other field. All in all, the world’s existence is out of question without women. Like men, women have their own rights in every society.

Most importantly, their occupational choices are limited due to social and cultural constraints and inherent gender bias in the labour market.

So, we must ensure the right of education, proper nutrition and good health facilities for each and every woman.

I request our legislators to frame new laws for the safety of women so that they too, have the freedom of making their own decisions.

Absar ( Kech)

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