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Islamabad

April 16, 2018

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People are talking about —

-- the message showcased in the final day of the Fashion Pakistan Week (FPW) as the highlight of the day was the impressive walk by the unsung, special Olympics heroes, who walked the red carpet, flaunting their medals and winning applause from the overwhelmed audience. People say they can do wonders for our country if they are given a proper platform to exhibit their talent and this brave display of courage and dedication stressed the need for recognition at governmental level.

-- the amnesty scheme and how it has created a stir in the country, especially among the opposition and makes mockery of those who are honest in their dealings with the state. People say while this scheme may guarantee that much needed funds are brought back into the country, it also encourages those who launder their ill-gotten gains by stashing their money abroad, where there is no questioning about where the currency came from and whether it is legally earned.

-- the blatant cheating that goes on during examinations at nearly all centres around the country and how the education authorities do not take any action despite the offence being shown on television. People say it is no wonder that the standard of education has deteriorated and the government should take steps to disqualify all students caught cheating as well as appoint well paid supervisors who do not take bribes to turn a blind eye on what’s going on.

-- the cold blooded murder of a female vocal artiste by one of the guests just because she would not dance while entertaining a bunch of men at an event organised by them. People say this kind of brutal behaviour is totally unacceptable and an example should be set by giving the man a swift trial and the severest penalty for this heinous crime, especially as the poor woman was also pregnant at the time.

-- the change in the look of the national carrier airliners which now showcase the national animal of the country, the Markhor. One wonders why this cosmetic change took place before other more important ones. People say while the new look is eye catching and the promotional video entertaining to view, the numerous internal problems in all departments and pandering to political pressure to please powerful forces need to be resolved before going for external beautification.

-- the announcement by the Prime Minister about lowered income tax rates for individual’s earning less than a certain amount of money, which was one good decision made maybe to widen the tax net, while ignoring many aspects of the down sliding economy. People say no fundamental reforms in economic structure have been visualised in important things like resource mobilisation; the fiscal and current account deficit; low forex reserves; gargantuan debts; expensive energy and chronic unemployment.

-- the looming water shortage and how nothing has been done by successive governments to preserve and store the precious commodity despite all warning signs. People say political rivalries and opposition to anything positive by a sitting government are usually the cause of a negative approach to any project that will be beneficial for the country and if big dams were the problem smaller ones should have been built as climate change is affecting natural water sources. –

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