Tuesday May 24, 2022

People are talking about —

December 27, 2021

-- the explosion that took place in Karachi taking the lives of over a dozen persons because decades of haphazard growth and flouting of civic codes have created death traps across this vast, unwieldy city. People say this disaster needs to be investigated thoroughly because the question arises why this building was still standing even though it had been constructed over a rainwater drain (nullah) while others, maybe belonging to less influential persons, had been demolished on the orders of the SC.

-- the heart-warming social media outcry against intolerance that took place after a worker at a bakery in the cosmopolitan city of Karachi refused to write ‘Merry Christmas’ on a cake bought by a customer. People say discriminating against someone on the basis of their religion is prejudiced -- there are no two ways about it because writing a few words on a cake does not weaken our own beliefs nor does it mean anything more than wishing someone ‘happy holidays.’

-- the bizarre decision of the management of a medical college in Sindh to remove ceiling fans from the girls' hostels because two students of the college were found hanging from the fans allegedly after having been raped. People say instead of getting the case thoroughly investigated, the administration hushed up the entire incident and decided to switch to pedestal fans, from which deal kickbacks will be received, while this alleged cover-up will encourage the perpetrators to continue their brutality on the campus.

-- the federal government’s plan to hand over control of the education system in Islamabad to the mayor, though what they need is to consult educational experts and professionals for the betterment of the system. People wonder if the relevant authorities have done a proper assessment of the consequences of this step since the mayor is a political appointee and his involvement will only increase political intervention in the education system, resulting in further compromising meritocracy.

-- the statistics about Pakistani prisoners abroad, with those being on death row quite disturbing and that could have been avoided with foresight. People say while a small percentage of these persons have been incarcerated for other crimes, most have been sentenced on drug-related charges, so the government and agencies who send citizens abroad for jobs need to drill it into their minds that, unlike home ground, drug control in other countries is very strict and carries the death penalty.

-- the news that archaeologists have discovered a 2,300-year-old Buddhist temple in Swat. People say not only must the excavation site be properly secured from narrow-minded vandals, but the objects in it must also be catalogued and housed in a special museum on the site and since Pakistan is a Muslim country with a Buddhist past, but these two are also entirely compatible truths should not be overlooked for the sake of pacifying a few negative thinking bigots who want to deny our historical heritage.

-- the report that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed has proposed once again the name of Justice Ayesha A. Malik of the LHC for elevation as a judge of the Supreme Court. People say while this proposal was rejected by some judges and lawyers because they said it ignored the rules of seniority, it would be a good step, if implemented, in promoting a positive image of the country and giving a boost to the aspirations of females who pursue careers dominated by men. – I.H.