Thursday December 02, 2021

People are talking about —

October 24, 2021

-- the decision to convert Mohatta Palace into a medical and dental college. People say a country should try to preserve and protect its heritage and historical sites to honour their history and the demolition/change of such sites will disconnect the present from the past. Also, the reformation of the Palace will require funds for reparations and maintenance, so it should be left as it is so that it can serve as an embodiment the country’s culture, tradition and history in the decades to come.

-- the spurt of strikes; rallies and other forms of protest taking place these days as each group, whether political or other, try to get their demands met by pressurizing the government. People say it appears no one is interested in the welfare of the country as all demands are self-serving or politically motivated, which is a sad state of affairs, especially because some groups resort to violence and destruction of public property which belongs to the citizens, not the government.

-- the report that in Pakistan, approximately 3.3 million children are trapped in the vicious cycle of child labour, which can cause significant mental and physical damage to them with long lasting effects as they work in conditions which undermine their rights and makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation. People say instead of focusing on grass root techniques to eliminate child labour, the government should focus on educational reforms as well as try different medical and sociological approaches to treat affected children.

-- the hype over the coming cricket match with India and how everyone goes overboard in giving their opinion on social media. People say these remarks put pressure on the team and it is a fact that those under pressure cannot give of their best, whether in sports or any other field. After all cricket is a sport that has a 50% probability of winning or losing, so the team should be assured that good wishes are coming their way but it’s okay to lose.

-- how the government needs to check the irregularities occurring in the real estate industry, which can lead to negative and potentially dangerous consequences, as housing societies are being set up everywhere. People say considering the huge unmet housing demand of Pakistan, the real estate market has been overtaken by uneducated agents and dealers who do not have the necessary skills to guide people properly, so it is no wonder that cases of fraud are common in the sector.

-- the Ehsaas Tahaffuz programme, which takes care of one-time expensive health costs of patients who cannot afford the treatment they need. After scrutiny, deserving patients are provided funding for and according to hospital data, hundreds of economically strained patients have been provided this relief. People say this goes to the credit of the government and Dr Nishtar, as for the first time quality medical treatment is being provided free of cost directly by the state to individual patients.

-- the fact that it is not the right time for the government to import sugar. People say the sugar cane crushing season will start from next month and a bumper sugar cane crop is expected due to increase in acreage and higher yield. According to a conservative estimate, the sugar production in the forthcoming 2021-22 season may be more than the domestic requirement. The authorities concerned may reconsider the decision and save precious foreign exchange and the sugar industry. – I.H.