Voice of the People

49

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.

Women’s rights

The Afghan Taliban interim government has issued their first ever decree on women rights. The decree bans forced marriage of women in Afghanistan, an unfortunate custom that has prevailed due to bride prices and selling of women.

The decree also adds that both women and men should be equal and that no one can force women to marry by coercion or pressure. This decree is certainly well-praised and a good step in the right direction.

Marriages in most parts of Afghanistan are dictated by custom, more than a woman’s choice. Widows are expected to marry into their late husband’s family, daughters are sold off as investment and young girls are married well before they are in a mature state to consent. Breaking this custom would require a lot of leg work from the Taliban, and it will be seen if they can make such a societal change.

A more convincing indication that the Taliban truly have changed with regards to women would have been to remove the ban on women working and studying.

As winter comes around and malnutrition threatens to devastate the Afghan population, Afghanistan urgently requires the release of funds from the international community.

Until these basic rights of education and work are not granted by the Taliban, the international community will keep viewing the government with suspicion.

Keeping in view the steps being taken by Taliban, the international community should help the war-torn Afghanistan to rebuild their country and imminent danger of famine for Afghan people.

QAZI JAMSHED SIDDIQUI
Lahore

Rationale behind Sialkot incident

Our history is full of tragedies and misfortunes. Here I would like to narrate the clandestine rationale behind the Sialkot incident.

We are a nation with misled beliefs. On the other hand, our governments never played their positive role. They always highlighted either mobs or personalities. The government is still far from solution centric steps. The name of Pakistan is getting worse in global relations.

It is an unwelcome opportunity to hang the liables. So, we can make an effort to stop, like these, repeating notorious incidents.

Our alma maters must do work to generate a humble and deferential stock of the nation. The government should think about policy making for this purpose. I think it is the only way to circumvent these types of incidents in the future.

AMMAR CHISHTY
Mian Channu

Pathetic performance

All the opposition parties of the country have stood against the government of Imran Khan by forming an alliance called Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The objective of the PDM is to force Imran Khan to resign from the post of Premier and subsequently to hold fresh general election in the country.

But, so far, the PDM has not been able to create any pressure for the government of Imran Khan as the same (PDM) has already experienced fissures and differences on many issues of the parties such as PPP and ANP.

This current position of PDM, undoubtedly, is giving benefit to the government of Mr. Khan. So, honestly speaking, I don’t see any threat from PDM to the government at Islamabad.

However, the biggest opposition that I see for PTI currently is its poor performance at Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar as the party has completely failed to meet its made promises during the election campaign of 2018. It has broken all the promises which it had made with the 220 million population of the country.

So, for me the real challenge for PTI is its pathetic performance in the last three years, and not the fragmented opposition parties of the country.

ABDUL SAMAD SAMO
Karachi

Impact of COVID-19 on utilities

As the world is trying hard to fight the aftershocks of the pandemic, Pakistan also faces major challenges in its utilities (oil, gas and power).

When the news broke that due to a new virus outbreak there would be a global lockdown on 12th March 2020 by the world health organization, this resulted in closure of some of the major industries due to strict safety measures taken to stop the virus spread. This resulted in the decrease in demand of LNG and other utilities.

Due to this decrease the exploration and import prices stayed the same but the supply decreased due to which Pakistan faced issues in managing the dropping supply as the import prices and exploration cost started rising.

The regulatory authorities didn’t bother to control or revise the prices according to the global market; this backfired when things started getting back to normal and the demand started to increase drastically.

In the past few months, Pakistan’s demand for LNG increased due to upcoming winter and it hasn’t revised its contracts with the previous suppliers as they failed to fulfil certain contractual commitments.

Recently, state-owned company floated an emergency tender and procured the costliest LNG from Qatar which is causing political and economic unrest, but still the increasing demand of LNG is not being fulfilled.

Although the state-owned companies are opting for spot supply, it is unclear wither they are going to be able to afford the prices.

Through this behaviour these state-owned gas supply companies are putting a negative impact on the utilities supply chain in Pakistan.

As 40% of the energy consumed is generated through LNG operated plants in Pakistan the hike in LNG prices and its disrupted supply chained spot procurement at high prices is in turn increasing the prices of electricity. This is also a challenge which hasn’t been solved over the past few years.

Recently electricity prices were increased by Rs.2 in terms of Fuel Price Adjustment which is the result of costly procurement of LNG. This shortfall means that the country is going to face power outages.

These issues with the utilities supply in Pakistan need to be solved quickly so that we can recover from this crisis.

The only solution is to keep a check on these state-owned power and gas supplying companies because they have certain monopoly over the utility sector and their supply chain strategies are not efficient enough to cope with the rising demand and supply of these utilities.

MOBEEN JAWED
Islamabad

Previous articleThe cathedral builder . . !
Next articleChina and summit for democracy | By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan