The Gulshan Chowrangi is located on a very important road called Rashid Minhas Road. The said crossing is the centre point of Gulshan-e-Iqbal. There are big commercial centres, tuition centres, schools and hospitals in this area. The overhead bridge is only for the road going towards Bo al Hasan Ispahani Road. There is very little provision for other side of traffic. The traffic has to take a long diversion to take other routes. This problem has arisen because service road has been abolished and given the crossing at wrong places. One such crossing is between two mobile malls and a line of marriage halls. The traffic police and wardens are busy here all the time. I do not think anybody has consulted them before making this U-turn.
Due to this poor management, the two-way traffic on both the one-way roads looks strange, but it is normal in Karachi. This slow traffic is causing street crimes. I request the higher authorities to restore the service road and increase the policing in this area.
In every discussion or address, the rulers or the leaders of the ruling party harp on one sentence to justify their rule till 2013: The nation has given us a five-year mandate to rule the country in the last elections held in 2008". Either I misunderstand the meaning of "mandate" or the rulers are bluffing the nation. It is a term that implies the trust of the voters confided to a political partys manifesto. It does not give the party the assurance to rule the country till next elections or for any period. If the party coming into power fails to follow their mandate for which the masses voted them to power, another election can be asked by the voters before completing their term.
The present government has done nothing for the people, especially for the poor masses. Even the middle and lower middle classes are finding it hard to survive with no control on prices, high inflation rate, poor law and order situation, no jobs, factories shut down due to load-shedding resulting into laying off the labour, frequent strikes, poor health and education facilities and rampant corruption in every department.
On top of every thing, the present government is making judiciary ineffective by not implementing their decisions and directions. Under such circumstances, should the suppressed masses wait till the government completes its full five years? No credible and result oriented welfare project has been launched. Many really poor people dont know anything about such a programme. The government can re-establish welfare homes for such people where they can learn some profession and get free food. This would also finish the social evil of beggary in our country.
MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA
A recent escape by seven outlaws from a police lock-up in Chichawatni was attributed to sheer negligence on part of the concerned police officials as commented by RPO Sahiwal.
The incident is not merely negligence but has dire consequences associated with it which also makes it a case of criminal negligence. It is imperative that the police should follow proper procedures and by-the-book steps while they have criminals in their custody. Such incidents raise questions at the performance and image of the police which is already in dire straits.
One must praise and appreciate CJs advice to the visiting army officers from Staff College Quetta on 16 April in the Supreme Court. Military interventions weakened democratic institutions. Democratic governments failed to enforce the rule of law. All arms of state must act in aid of the Supreme Court. These were the highlights of his address.
As far as I remember, the army intervened only on the invitation of the politicians or when wrong steps were initiated by the rulers of a particular time, duly endorsed later by the then Supreme Court. Unfortunately, the democratic governments in the past and of present have failed to enforce the rule of law beside so many other follies. Everyone agrees that all arms of the state must act together. The question is what should be done when the government makes it a point to flout the orders of the Supreme Court and create hindrances and bottlenecks on every step.
Several police officials have been buried under the debris as the roof of Civil Lines police station collapsed after a suicide attack on it. The higher police authorities have shown negligence on their part. Whenever a building has been targeted, a proper inspection should be carried out if the building is damaged and safe for use. This incident should set an example for the higher authorities as only the management is to be blamed for the loss of police officers.
It has been reported that the Public Accounts Committee has successfully completed the task of recovering Rs 46.37 billion from the gas and petroleum companies in the head of tax evasion. This amount is very big.
It will be interesting to see where this money will be used. This money should be used in clearing the circular debits which is nearly 250 billion rupees.
There is a dearth of recreational facilities in our country. Although recreation is vital for all, I believe the youth must have access to it at all costs. The youth brims with energy. Providing a vent to unleash that volcanic energy in a positive manner is the obligation of the government. If the government fails to provide healthy entertainment, the massive energy is channelised into unhealthy activities which become a bane to the society.
Adolescents tend to find amusement in activities that can have a negative influence on their personalities. Although internet is a blessing and keeps us integrated into the global village, however, we all know the influence its unguided use can have on the young minds. With easy access to internet, one is forced to wonder how most of the young crowd is likely to while away their precious time as they have access to everything under the sun just be punching a few words on the key board.
As the youth determines the future of the country the government and NGOs must invest in projects that would help provide them with healthy and constructive entertainment. Vast grounds should be maintained where the young crowd can burn out their energy by playing sports hockey, football, and cricket. Beautiful parks with adrenaline-soaring joy rides should be available. Societal clubs should be set where the youth is encouraged to take part in mind-engaging games chess, scrabble.
Activities such as tableaux and debates should be encouraged as this will help in tapping young talent. Libraries should be available. This will not only provide recreation but will also boost the almost dying reading habit in our youth. Low-cost trips to the mountainous areas where the youth can participate in hiking and skiing would be an excellent manner of entertaining the youth.
Juvenile crime is on the rise and a large number of the youth are falling prey to drug addiction. It is extremely annoying to see young boys loitering around markets late at night and smoking. However, to be upset with them for not engaging in anything worthwhile would be unfair as it not their fault if providing recreation to the youth is not a priority for the authorities. Government NGOs, private schools must be far-sighted and come forward to invest in youth. This investment is bound to bear fruit; albeit a bit late but it surely will be sweet.
We waste energy that's the saying all around the world today but as far as Pakistan and, especially Karachi is concerned, we, the youth, can give the estimation of how the energy is wasted. Load-shedding is common here, even during Ramadan domestic supply remains interrupted and people are provoked, causing unrest and protests during fast. They cut the power for almost eight hours a day in our area. Still, there is a scarcity of power. Energy is wasted at a stretch for the politicians and their parties rallies and gatherings, bureaucracys offices and other governmental offices. The politician's work is to provide security for the people, isn't it? If he himself rides in a bullet proof car with men in black following him, how can we entrust our nation into his hands? Their extravagance is the main cause of energy depletion. Why cant they be humble and simple?
We need them to consider this country as their motherland and work for it and not for the self-benefit. If this "robbery" continues, then the people of Pakistan will be sleeping no more. After all this is our nation and the future is our future. The energy is our possession and if any damage is caused to the youth's possession, then the flame inside us will have to be turned into a rapid and evasive forest fire which will definitely be unbearable. The government must take initiative to improve production, supply and distribution of electricity to the consumers.
This is with reference to reported excuse of Dr Hafeez Shaikh in Washington that our parliament is an obstruction to tax reforms in Pakistan. It is an unfortunate reality that this parliament, all previous military or civil governments and technocrats have opposed tax reforms and collection to benefit the rich elite, be they landed feudals, traders, industrialists, stock exchange brokers or real estate investors. As a consequence this, country's middle class and poor class end up paying indirect taxes, thereby widening the ever increasing Tax-to-GDP ratio, which has led to dangerous rise in inflation, poverty, suicides, street crimes, fanaticism and extremism. This institutionalised evasion of tax by the elite of this country today poses the biggest threat to our national security. Loopholes in rules facilitate flight of capital and an ever-increasing black economy.
The state of Pakistan has failed in its primary duty to invest in human resource development through provision of free or subsidised quality education, health and justice to every section of the society, especially the poor and under-privileged. Even religion has been exploited to evade taxes on betting, alcohol consumption etc, although these activities are subscribed to by a large section of our population.
Politics in Pakistan has become slave to those who have amassed wealth through illegal sources, corruption, drugs or loan defaults. It is for the state to tax all sources of revenues, so that it can discharge its obligation for welfare of the people if it wants to strengthen and enforce rule of law. In any case those who earn above a certain threshold, but don't pay taxes, should have no right to represent the people, or be eligible to stand for elections. The situation is so bad and embarrassing that even foreign dignitaries, especially those belonging to donor countries have started openly rebuking the government for failure to tax the rich.
It is ironical that Mr Hafeez Shaikh is himself a beneficiary of this deformed tax structure, where agriculture income is not taxed. Those who don't pay taxes in Pakistan have no disadvantages whereas those who have paid their taxes honestly have no extra privileges. The latest ordinance to impose additional taxes does not spare even those senior citizens who have invested their life long savings in Regular Income Certificates scheme which were introduced to help widows and pensioners, but has cunningly spared the corporate sector from this surcharge.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
My SSC-Part II examinations have just started and the electricity supply in my area is suffering power outages for more than nine hours daily. Not every family of Karachi can afford to get hold of a generator or a UPS. I request the KESC staff to immediately pay attention to this crucial issue. Whenever I send them the complaint, their reply is that there's something wrong with the system and they're working on it. It's high time they figure out what the problem is and let us students study with peace. Pakistan's entire future depends on how hard the students of today study and a positive result can't be achieved with continuous, non-stop power outages.
The drone attack in Waziristan leading to many deaths, including collateral damage of loss of life and limb of innocent persons apart from alleged terrorists, has become increasingly controversial.
There are reservations expressed on both sides i.e., Pakistan and USA, on the drone attacks but the recently published book titled Obamas Wars by Bob Woodword states quoting WikiLeaks that President Zardari expressed his concurrence with drone attacks, even saying that collateral damage was none of his concern.
This shows that the President is not on the same page as the nation and the army in condemning the drone attacks. It appears like hunting with the hounds and running with the hare. As such the drone attacks continue and so do the suicide attacks in Pakistan to the consternation of all. A simple way to stop the drone attacks would have been to stop altogether NATO supply route of tankers and trucks to hurt the operators of drones that regularly target Pakistani soil and its citizens.
The CM Punjabs resolve that all should stand as a cemented rock to thwart the drone attacks, including the Pakistan Air Force which could down a drone or two for showing the nations resolve in defending its soil, is the apparent solution of the problem.
MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI
Pakistans diplomatic missions are unaware of the fact about how many students are studying in which foreign country. In case of any emergency, our diplomatic missions will not be able to extend any help to these students.
Pakistans embassies and consulates should have full knowledge about these students and should update their records from time to time. They are supposed to send newsletters to these students studying in various foreign countries. Most of our students are presently unaware about the positive developments that are taking place in Pakistan in their absence.
I would like to emphasise on the point that while our diplomatic missions celebrate "Independence Day" abroad, they should make it a point that in addition to other guests, Pakistani students should also receive proper invitation card, so that they should remain in contact with our diplomatic missions abroad, and at the same time these students should also get the opportunity to meet with foreign dignitaries.
The money which Pakistani students earn by taking part-time jobs in foreign countries to pay their tuition fee, accommodation charges and other living expenses do not permit them to meet the expense of normal return airfare, whenever these students get a chance to visit Pakistan during the holidays.
With the passage of time, our students become more accustom to the traditions, customs and culture of the foreign countries, and at the end of the day, these students who go to foreign countries, in order to acquire better knowledge, skills and research based work, finally do not return back to Pakistan.
PIA should devise a student friendly policy and should allow a 50% discount for all students of Pakistani origin on international routes on the normal airfare so that overseas Pakistani students should get an opportunity to regularly visit Pakistan during the holidays.
This will enable the Pakistani students to meet with their parents, relative and friends and at the same time they will also be able to maintain close ties with their country of origin.
The term terrorist means a person who causes fear or terror in the minds of people and there is some sense of insecurity in the public.
There was a time when a large number of policemen seen in an area created fear or terror in the minds of public. Now when a VVIP has to pass through an area, one finds policemen and traffic wardens deployed every 50 yards of the road and all the traffic is either diverted or stopped on the road by a traffic sergeant who is literally shouting and abusing road commuters to clear the road. This traffic sergeant is always in a great hurry and does not accept any delay by the commuters of the road.
The police on the road erect barriers on the side roads and block their entry to the main road on which the VVIP has to pass. So this VVIP really instils terror in the minds of the commuters of the road, some of them are taking patients to hospitals or attend some important meeting or students to attend classes.
But the ever vigilant sleuths (only for this VVIP) does not allow anybody to move even an inch before a cavalcade of over 40 vehicles passes through. No emergency request of any commuter is listened to by the job conscious government sleuths though some patients have died during such traffic hold-ups.
So I rate these VVIPs who have no regard for the inconvenience of the general public as bigger terrorists than those who come down from Waziristan. Both create terror and fear in the minds of public. They may have normal protocol and guard while moving from point A to point B without putting general public to inconvenience.
MUHAMMAD AZHAR KHWAJA
When I saw Babar Awan emerge out of the Supreme Court, wearing sleek goggles, with his friends in black suits, it was quite a scene to watch.
Mr Awan ditched his portfolio to contest ZABs decades-old murder case. He has vowed to plead Bhuttos case as Bhutto himself would do. So far, its only a show of brinkmanship. Why nobody is taking up Benazir Bhuttos murder case when her party is in power?
While Babar Awan is contesting for Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Ch Aitezaz Ahsan should contest for BB. Im not sure who of the two is shrewder. Babar is fluent and never short of words because. Nevertheless, we should witness an entertaining legal battle in the days to come.
Dr A P SANGDIL
Every airline passenger is aware that smoking is prohibited on every commercial airline flight, whether it be a domestic flight within Pakistan, or an international flight. Recently a Pakistani origin British national insisted on smoking while on board a domestic flight.
When this passenger was stopped by an air stewardess, the passenger started abusing her and then went on to physically assault her. Had this passenger behaved in this manner on any European, American or Gulf airline, he would have been arrested and served a mandatory prison sentence along with heavy fine.
Unfortunately, it is the lack of discipline and accountability which encourages people to commit crimes in Pakistan, or on board Pakistani registered aircrafts. This indiscipline is also exhibited by the airline crew which considers it their right to smoke in the cabin crew galley serving areas, or the flight deck known as cockpit.
Recently, a PIA executive director accompanied by two other senior executives created a scene on board a domestic flight from Islamabad to Karachi when he got drunk and became unruly with the cabin crew who wanted him to stop drinking on board.
It is common knowledge that consumption of alcohol within Pakistan and on board a PIA domestic flight is banned. With such indiscipline displayed by the PIA staff, no wonder unruly passengers are a common nuisance for other passengers travelling by Pakistan registered airlines.