People are talking about —

 
October 01, 2023

— the record number of Pakistani athletes participating in the Berlin Marathon marking a significant presence in one of the renowned World Major Marathons, with several notable performances showcased by individuals including female athletes, one of whom became the first Pakistani woman to earn a coveted six-star Abbott medal by successfully completing all the World Major Marathons. People say this strong representation of Pakistani reflects the growing enthusiasm and dedication of athletes from the nation on the global stage.

— the startling, shameful revelation, that a staggering 90 per cent of beggars and a significant number of pickpockets arrested in foreign countries were of Pakistani origin, exploiting pilgrim visas to travel to Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq, while Japan has emerged as a new destination for such rogues. People say that the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis should take strict steps to see that this horrible business is stopped, while those concerned should vet the visa seekers more vigilantly.

— how with the advent of sophisticated technology, cybercrime has become increasingly prevalent in our society and criminals have found new ways to exploit and harm individuals and businesses by employing methods leading to financial losses and reputational damage. People say this alarming trend necessitates immediate action and all proactive steps need to be taken by the law-enforcement agencies to intensify efforts to apprehend cybercriminals, while governments should enact legislation to fortify security and businesses need to bolster cyber security protocols.

— the comprehensive and thought-provoking analysis of Pakistan's tax structure expressed by experts which calls for the imperative need for reforms as fundamental structural reforms are vital to break away from an elitist, rent-seeking economic system.. People say the proposal to establish a national tax agency seems promising, as it can streamline tax collection, reduce inefficiencies and provide essential services to citizens but it is crucial that this agency is managed competently to ensure success, achieving inclusive growth for all citizens.

— the fact that corruption has plagued Pakistan for decades, undermining its progress and development and how in all government processes and transactions, besides personal integrity, transparency is vital. People say transparency involves making information accessible to the public, thereby reducing the opportunities for corruption to thrive in the shadows and this can be achieved by implementing open data policies, disclosing financial information of public officials and ensuring that government decisions are made in a transparent manner.

— the suspension of the government’s point of sale prize scheme which was part of efforts to encourage documentation of retail operations, so customers purchasing different commodities from the retailers had one rupee deducted from each purchase and the relevant invoice number was included for balloting. People say despite the suspension, retailers are continuing to deduct one rupee, thus boosting the government’s coffers at the cost of the customers, so perhaps this was the real target of the decision takers!

— the advertisements from individuals who have passed the Civil Superior Services (CSS) examination, promoting their own preparatory courses. People say while this offer can be appreciated and their desire to earn understood, the exorbitant fees charged for these courses raises concerns, especially considering the current economic challenges, because it would be expected of civil servants-cum-educators to be more empathetic and considerate towards aspiring students by offering courses at a more affordable fee, making the facility accessible to everyone regardless of one’s social status. — I.H.