Voice of the People

45

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.

Politically polarised Overseas Pakistanis

 

Why is it that when an Indian PM visits any foreign country, Overseas Indian diaspora are united in supporting him or her, irrespective of which political party is at helm, while there is a clear division in the case of any Pakistan PM on foreign tour? The reason is that Indian Constitution forbids dual nationality and only allows single nationality with undivided loyalty to motherland.

Indians, holding foreign passports, are forbidden to vote in an Indian election or become a member of any Indian political party or even give donations. They can however donate to registered charity organization in India. These Indian origin foreign nationals are actively involved in American or UK politics etc. and made inroads to corridors of power through united efforts. They have formed powerful pressure groups to support India in the US Congress or UK Parliament. The only Pakistani to ever hold a prominent elected post is Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, who has never been actively involved in Pakistani politics or been a member of any Pakistani political party.

Indian foreign remittances in 2021 were $87 Billion with almost 20% from USA, while total remittances to Pakistan in 2021 were $29.4 Billion in 2020-2021, as compared to $23Billion in 2019-20. Foreign nationals living abroad remit their savings to support families living back home and these are likely to decrease over time when their offspring’s emotional attachment with their parent’s relative wither.

‘Unfortunately, the other difference with India is that majority of Pakistan’s paid, and elected elite have settled their dependent children abroad while holding office and are involved in reverse flow of scarce foreign exchange abroad. Post retirement they seek permanent residence abroad. Giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis who have on oath pledged their loyalty to another nation will not serve the national interest and can compromise state sovereignty because of their split loyalties.

MALIK TARIQ ALI

Lahore

Court verdicts

The judicial decisions are not the verdicts of history. History often differs from the court orders. Greek ancient philosopher Socrates had to drink a cup of poison (Silver Salva) complying with the judgment of the death sentence passed by the Court, but he was regarded as a benefactor of mankind in history. Similarly, Hussain Bin Mansoor Hallaj and Sarmad were awarded death punishment by the respective courts of their time, but history remembers them as ‘Martyrs’ (Shaheed) and not as culprits.

MAHFOOZ UN NABI KHAN

Karachi

Ominous signs

The rapid rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in several states of India is a cause for concern. It was a hasty decision by the government to relax the Covid-19 restrictions in some states of the country.

Covid-19 can spread when people breathe, talk, cough, or sneeze. A well-fitting mask keeps the virus from reaching others. It can also protect the wearer from getting infected. Also, masks stop people from touching their mouths and faces — contaminated hands are another way for the virus to spread. Even if you have taken all the three doses of the vaccine, keep wearing your mask.

JUBEL D’CRUZ

Mumbai, India

On French Presidential election

Emmanuel Macron comfortably and decisively defeats Le Pen in French Presidential Elections. This brings a fortunate pause, if not a full stop, to the far right and nationalist tendencies which have been sweeping the elections all over the world over the past one and half decades. Be that Modi’s coming to power with a bang electoral win in India, be that Conservatives regaining and retaining the floor in last British general election in England and earlier the British electorates voting for Brexit, it has been observed with concern that stirring the nationalist sentiments, propagating the far right tendencies and resorting to conservatism, chauvinism and narrow nationalism have remained the major contributing factors in their electoral success.

It seemed as if narrow nationalism, xenophobia and conservatism had gained the currency and had become the recipe of electoral success all over the world and it appeared as if the days of moderation, peaceful coexistence and harmony among various ethnicities and cultures were fast departing.

However, from this French episode where the people of France have shown tremendous sagacity and have rejected Le Pen, the grand priestess of fear, one really may heave a great sigh of relief. One can foster optimism that this episode proves to be a new beginning and sanity starts prevailing. The people advocating peaceful coexistence, tolerance, cooperation and mutual respect among various communities, ethnicities and faiths get to the helm of affairs and who then could nurture and nourish these very qualities in the masses, the qualities which are fast waning in the society all over the world.

TASAWAR BOSAL

Mandi Bahauddin

City’s woes

I want to draw the attention of relevant authorities to a hazardous campaign that has become a dominant danger in Quetta city. Quetta is the largest city in Balochistan with a dense population. It was a paradise with tranquilized weather and beautiful mountains. Unfortunately, today it has become an inferno that is not even worthy of tenancy.

Additionally, residents are confronting dilemmas such as road accidents, electricity shortage and inflation which have led them to leave this district. But still, the authorities have been sleeping and not doing any appropriate work for the solution of these issues. I wonder whether the government/authorities concerned would take some tangible steps to restore the confidence of the Quettans in their city so that they discard thinking in terms of leaving the area.

HALEEF KAREEM

Quetta