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Thursday December 02, 2021

People are talking about —

November 21, 2021

-- the abhorrent crime of ‘honour’ killing, which the Human Rights Watch estimates that about 1,000 women are killed every year in the country on this pretext. People say it is not enough to merely pass laws unless the state shows determination to enforce them in letter and spirit. The feeling of certainty that they will not be caught or punished for their crimes drives men to kill in the name of upholding patriarchal traditions and it’s a shame that the state refrains from acting on the laws of the country.

-- how Pakistan is going to set an example for other countries by eliminating the use of ordinary plastic syringes, the primary cause of blood-borne diseases, as the use of AD (auto-destruct) syringes is ready to break new grounds in the health sector. People say while this is a great initiative, there is a greater need to spread awareness about the proper use and disposal of AD syringes and that would only be possible by collective efforts at the national level.

--- how builders are selling apartments under a ‘sub-lease,’ whereby an amount of Rs1,000 to Rs5,000 is shown as having been paid by the buyer to purchase a proportionate share in the land acquired for the building. This sub-lease is registered by the sub-registrar after an ‘under the table’ deal. Off the record, the builder takes a huge amount of money as the purchase price of the flat. This means that if the builder is caught for any illegality and is asked to pay compensation, he will pay the amount collected in the sub-lease!

-- the worsening state of the railway system which has suffered an accumulated losses of Rs1.2 trillion in the last 50 years and how it needs the urgent attention of the government. People say at present, PR is carrying less than 5pc of the national traffic, a waste of its resources. It is necessary to optimise the potential of PR to help ease pressure on the roads and this can be done only by the state and not through public-private partnerships.

-- the report that the Lahore High Court on Friday ordered the city traffic police to impose a minimum fine of Rs2,000 on the motorists violating one-way rules after the traffic authorities told the court that motorists were usually not deterred by the meagre fines slapped on them. People say while this is a step forward, what also needs to be looked into is the fact that some traffic wardens are ‘lenient’ because of the extra income they pocket.

-- the good work being done by an INGO which is building washrooms for girls in schools and colleges, specially designed keeping their needs in mind. They are well-lit, airy, with a door that can be locked from inside; have water, soap, a mirror over the sink, and an incinerator to dispose of waste material. People say this is an excellent step as many girls missed school because of the lack of such facilities which should be mandatory in all-girls schools.

-- the news that more than 5,000 motorcycles and 1,500 vehicles impounded in various cases have become a pile of rubbish at police stations across Rawalpindi due to the lack of space for parking. People say that when a vehicle is stolen the owner usually files a report at the police station and a copy is kept at the station while the owner also has one, so is it not the duty of the station to inform an owner when his vehicle has been recovered?. – I.H.