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.
Welfare or abuse
It is a constitutional and moral obligation of any sovereign state to cater to the welfare of all citizens to enable them to meet their basic needs.
State-funded welfare must only be for sustenance of the beneficiaries and definitely not to lead a life of luxury.
While it does make sense to provide plots to state employees for construction of a house to live in, it becomes an abuse when multiple subsidized plots are given to individuals and they sell them to buy properties and assets in foreign countries, while millions live in poverty with no house and not enough money to have two meals a day. The civil and uniformed elite of this country are paid salaries from the national exchequer for services rendered, along with pension, subsidized or free housing, tax rebates and medical facilities.
The list of the paid and political elite revealed in Pandora Leaks and Panama Papers, holding offshore accounts and properties abroad exposes the unchecked abuse of power. This debt-ridden country has to take foreign and domestic loans to pay salaries and subsidize the luxurious lifestyles of its paid elite.
These debts can be curtailed, if the State were to sell these plots at market rates and raise enough funds to meet the non-development expenditures.
State lands allotted for Golf Courses and clubs at subsidized rates for the paid elite is definitely an abuse, when the State has paucity of funds to provide hospitals and schools for the poor who cannot afford basic health and education.
Although it is a constitutional obligation to provide health, education and basic needs like clean drinking water, security of life and property, the State seems to have outsourced this to the private sector.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
The arrest of Aryan Khan
Now the entire Bollywood film industry is supporting Shahrukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan. Where were these people when actor Sushant Singh Rajput who was perhaps killed cried for help?
Not a single person from the Bollywood film industry came forward to help him. Instead, they kept on saying, he’s a C grade actor, why should we help him?
On the other hand, there are hundreds of beggars and street urchins taking drugs in Mumbai. Why can’t the NCB arrest them too? Why are they going after Bollywood actors and actresses only? What enmity does the NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) have with them?
Certainty of punishment
The heart weeps, the eye bleeds-the social fabric of our society has been torn asunder. Every day we wake up to read that somewhere a daughter of Eve has been harassed, groped, raped or killed. These inhumane acts have become malignant like a cancerous tumour; multiplying innumerably.
From Zainab’s barbaric rape to the recent brutal murder of Noor Muqadam, these unfortunate incidents never relented and there seems no sign of them relenting in the near future.
No wonder why this menace is increasing unabated; those in power are doing nothing but victim blaming
Yes, obscenity and negative use of cell phones have an ampact on the minds of young generation. Yes, Islam ordains to be modest. Yes, all these acts have played their part. No denying it, but does that mean that the government should do nothing apart from preaching morality?
Pakistan has become a living hell for women. They no more feel safe in this “Land of Pure People”. The country is ranked sixth most dangerous country in the world according to Thomas Reuters Poll. Moreover, Madadgar National Helpline has made a shocking revelation, 93% of women in Pakistan experience sexual violence in their lifetime.
Such is the gravity of the issue and still our “Arbab-e-Ikhtyar” are reluctant to wake up from the deep slumber.
Whenever there is an incident of such sort, outcries of hanging the culprit in the square or giving them severe and exemplary punishment are heard.
From the corridors of power to lay men, everybody shouts out in the favour of severe punishment for the culprits. But I, as a student of Law, believe that “It is not the severity of punishment but the certainty of punishment that causes the real deterrence”.
Compassion without hesitation
Recently, the US radio host and television presenter Glenn Beck appreciated our Prime Minister Imran Khan for responding to his appeal on Afghanistan based on human compassion, without hesitation.
After a series of news of violence against women in Pakistan, it was encouraging to hear about something positive– the women football team of Afghanistan finding refuge in this country.
If we recall, in 2019, Pakistan handed over a 200-bed hospital, the Jinnah Hospital in Kabul, to the Afghan government and Imran Khan’s government has paid considerable attention to support the healthcare sector in Afghanistan.
Even before being in power, IK played an important role in promoting people-to-people contacts between Afghanistan and Pakistan through his cancer hospitals.
According to the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Registry Report from 1994-2020, nearly 5% of patients (around 5,000 people) treated for cancer at the SKMT facilities belonged to Afghanistan. Through his hospitals, he showed a generosity of spirit which was not limited to any ethnicity, geographic location or religion.
One can only hope that this model is replicated across Pakistan. Let’s commit to promoting empathy and compassion towards each other.