Tuesday January 25, 2022

People are talking about —

December 05, 2021

-- the recurring incidents of mob violence that occur in the country under the guise of ‘blasphemy’ and how there needs to be a concerted effort by all stakeholders to curb them as the country is under the radar of those who say that it is not safe for minorities and religious freedom is a myth. People say such incidents are usually triggered by one or two disgruntled individuals and if these culprits are given exemplary punishment, it may have an effect.

-- the issue of the selection of ECP members which has remained a bone of contention between the government and the opposition as the existing system allows both sides to field their own candidates, which leads to considerable delays in appointment because they never agree. People say the government should make laws to resolve the issue permanently otherwise the best option would be to outsource the selection, which should be made on merit and thirty days before the retirement of any member.

-- how we as a nation are known for our excessive consumptive nature -- an argument substantiated by the World Bank’s statistics on Pakistan’s gross domestic savings (GDS) with Pakistan falling somewhere at the bottom of the list. People say this obsession with consumption is evident in all segments of our society -- just two examples giving a picture of this reality -- auto-financing by banks flooded our limited road infrastructure with vehicles and CNG has been overused, creating a shortage.

-- how the Pakistan pavilion in Expo 2020, designed as a showcase of Pakistani culture, promised panel discussions by experts but scholars who had been invited by the Punjab government waited for their visas, which arrived too late to permit travel, though bureaucrats and those with connections to the transmission lines of power experienced no difficulty in reaching Dubai and neither did their shopaholic wives. People say it is incidences such as this that give the country a bad name.

-- the news that hundreds of student activists ransacked the offices of the vice chancellor, registrar and public relations officer at Lahore's Punjab University after a clash erupted between two student groups, each blaming the other for the chaos. People say it appears that there is no writ of the government because mob rule appears to have become the order of the day, making this a matter of great concern for peace loving persons, who suffer because of such unruly behaviour.

-- how class segregation in society has been flowing in our blood for decades but appears to be getting worse as twisted thinking of what is right or wrong is propagated. People say the element of ego and complexes in our society are the stumbling blocks in the way of our progress and prosperity, because we will work very hard, but not in our own country, for we have to maintain a social status which carries more value than the financial needs of our families.

-- the massive 14-floor cruise ship which has been brought for dismantling at Gadani ship-breaking yard due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the shipping sector, though investors in the country’s shipping sector are considering using the cruise ship for tourism and travel purposes. People say it is a good idea if workable, but in any case, it could attract local tourists who would like to inspect a cruise ship even if they cannot go for a cruise! – I.H.