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January 26, 2020

People are talking about —

Islamabad

January 26, 2020

-- the decision by the government to allow PTI MP’s to suggest the names of beneficiaries of the Ehsaas Kifalat programme and how it smacks of allowing favouritism to recommend names of those who they know/like rather than those who deserve to benefit. People say the reservations put forward by the Director are perfectly reasonable considering how politicians have misused such programs and her suggestion of using the Nadra data base is a more feasible option.

-- the accusations and denials that are taking place about a rift in the ruling party’s ranks and how the idiom, ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ appears to be how the public is viewing the situation. People say when principles are overtaken by political expediency as motivation for joining a political party, cracks are bound to appear in a government which is bound together by a coalition rather than a majority, as everyone wants a piece of the pie of power.

-- the ‘Naya’(new) Pakistan government which is following in the footsteps of the ‘Purana’ (old) Pakistan of the Zia era by stifling artistic expression and creativity just to please a handful of retrogressive traditionalists. People say a film which had been approved by all censor boards is a case in point and the fact that members of religious organisations have been added to those who will approve of its content is alarming for the general public, which wants the country to progress.

-- the flour crisis and how it has been blown out of proportion by vested interests who are trying to mislead the public because opinions of many persons and those put in the news in small print say that hoarding is the main reason for the shortage. People say the adage ‘all is fair in love and war’ appears to be the rallying cry of the opposition parties as they do not care that it is the underprivileged/ lower income groups who suffer the most with these political tactics.

-- the horrifying news of thousands of rotten eggs being taken to Lahore to be used in bakery products and similar images of rotten guavas to be used for making juice circulating on social media. People say it is very disturbing that some manufacturers have abandoned all sense of responsibility and are using dishonest methods to ruin the health of the public and if such practices are going on in larger cities, the situation in small towns must be even worse.

-- the insensitive manner in which some channels report cases of child abuse and how distressing it must be for the families of the victims as well as having serious psychological consequences on other children who watch TV, since there is no parental control on subject matter. People say not only is the news repeated over and over again, but images of the young victims are splashed on the screen, not to create awareness but sensationalism.

-- the dismal mismanagement that is the hallmark of the national carrier and how the powers that be really need to be take a firm decision about how to go about restoring its image in the competitive airline industry as well as reduce the loss it is causing the exchequer. People say former governments overstaffed the carrier for political expediency and garnering votes but a strong decision needs to be taken to rid the carrier of parasitic employees and make it a viable entity. – I.H.