Voice of the People

41

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.

Cooks who spoiled broth

While it is heartening to note that those at helm of our defence forces have decided to adopt their constitutional role of being apolitical as per 1973 Constitution and the oath they take, it is disappointing that a few of their retired peers are actively involved in politics of the reverse kind. Like the proverbial “Cooks Who Spoiled the Broth” who were actively involved in almost every subversion of the Constitution and were beneficiaries of the abuse that took place, they want status quo pre-2022 to prevail.

For Pakistan to survive and prosper as a sovereign independent state dedicated to the welfare of its people, all that is needed is to adopt Quaid’s vision of a modern democratic welfare state, elaborated by him on 11 August 1947 and for its paid civil and uniformed services to heed the advice given by him on 14 June 1948. There is no place in Pakistan for any other doctrine, concocted by those who usurped power and derailed the political and democratic process.

One such scion, whose family was involved in irregular occupation of over 60 Kanals of land that once was part of mother institution in Kakul’s training ground, gives us sermons on independence and ethics. There are others who were beneficiaries of scores of allotments of plots, but now want to be seen as torch bearers of morality and ethics.

It is time to move on and focus on the root causes of the ills that inflict us and revive the spirit which motivated the political struggle that created Pakistan and achieve the objectives of the promised modern welfare state for all citizens.

MALIK TARIQ ALI

Lahore

Islamophobia

The term “Islamophobia” was developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s by political activists, non-governmental organizations, commentators and international organizations to draw attention to the evils of rhetoric bringing harm directed toward Muslims and Islam.

The United Nations has the responsibility to maintain international peace and protect citizens from human rights breaches as a matter of principle. Following 9/11, the world witnessed the UN failing. The Indian military’s continued atrocities against the besieged Kashmiris have resulted in more than one lakh civilian deaths since 1989, but the UN’s neutrality in the war, as the Guardian Angel of Human Rights, is problematic given the supremacy of International Humanitarian Law.

In the wake of Pakistan efforts, the UNGA adopted a landmark resolution, on behalf of OIC, designating March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. As a Muslim, I don’t think Islamophobia is anything. This name is used only to defame Muslims. Terrorism is also blamed on Muslims even though no crime or terrorism is related to any religion.

In fact, Muslims have become the biggest victim of terrorism in the world. Muslims are persecuted in many countries. The example of Kashmir and Palestine is before the whole world. In the future, it is hoped that the rights of Muslims in the world will be taken care of in the backdrop of the 15 March Resolution adopted by the UNGA.

SADAF AMJAD

Gujar Khan

Change

If they can’t afford bread let them eat cake” is one of the famous quotes attributed to Queen of France during the French revolution. The impact of capitalism, myopic government vision and political instability have been hampering Pakistan’s growth. People continue to vote in the hope of “CHANGE”, but unfortunately, they are not even left with “change” in their pockets. The slashing impact of inflation on fuel and power is drowning the lower and middle class deep, where they strive for a prosperous future is stuck in the quest for bread and butter.

The government look at all classes with the same eye which currently is a cause of concern and resultantly low wagers are left with limited or no disposable income. Due to financial mismanagement leading to circular debt Pakistan has been relying strongly on IMF due to which it’s ability to favur the poor is shrinking with the passage of time.

In Pakistan transport sector is the biggest user of the petroleum products which accounts about 48 percent followed by power generation which uses about 36 percent, and industrial sector which has a share of 12 percent while remaining is shared by the residential sector.

However, if government devises a strategy to transfer the international market fuel price hike impact on the masses based on their respective classes it is hoped that the poor will be able to sustain the pressure of inflation. We all know major number of middle and lower income class uses fuel efficient vehicles such as motor bikes and rickshaws. Therefore, by giving subsidy to the real needy will enable government to kill two birds with a single stone. Finally, formulating policies according to the purchasing power parity will enable Pakistan’s economy to attain financial equilibrium which they have been yearning for decades.

SYEDA UMAM

Islamabad

Trade

with India

Since India abolished Kashmir’s special constitutional status in August 2019, trade ties between India and Pakistan have mostly remained frozen. The Ministry of Commerce, on the other hand, claims that Pakistan’s trade policy with India has not changed, implying that business ties will stay blocked. South Asia, as has been well documented, is one of the least economically linked regions in the world, with tense Pakistan-India relationship hampering business activities.

Resuming commerce, however, can be a way to better bilateral ties and, if done right, can contribute to mutual economic success, as many in government and the private sector have pointed out. In fact, the former PTI-led government toyed with the idea of allowing limited imports from India last year (before backing down) through former Prime Minister Imran Khan, who also used mixed messaging when he said there would be no trade until changes to India-occupied Kashmir’s autonomous status were reversed. Furthermore, the army chief, as well as several of country’s top business leaders, has talked favourably about necessity for commerce with India.

Naturally, some in the country will object to retaining trade links with India, accusing it of betraying the Kashmir cause. Support for Kashmir is founded on values, and it should be maintained. If trade relations with India improve, it may create more favourable conditions for the resumption of bilateral discussion and negotiations to resolve the decades-old Kashmir problem peacefully and judiciously. Allow it to investigate the possibility of resuming trade, especially if it benefits the local economy. This can result in both economic revitalization and normalisation of relations with India, which is unquestionably a better alternative than the current state of distrust in South Asia.

QASIM QAISER

Gujranwala

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