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Saturday August 20, 2022

People are talking about —

July 03, 2022

— how an impoverished peasant - who went to prison on a number of occasions for the rights of all peasants - has defeated the nominee of a feudal lord of his area in rural Sindh, in local bodies elections. People say the 69 year old contested from the tribal area where less privileged segments of society are not even allowed to sit before the tribal chief and despite threats he dared to prove the impossible, possible, heralding a change for the better.

— the fact many videos that give proof of rigging in polls are said to be ‘doctored’ by those political parties who are accused of rigging, as was the case in the recent local body polls in Sindh. People say while it is true that videos can be ‘created’ or ‘doctored’ to prove a point, the media coverage by television channels cannot be put in the same category and many of them gave live coverage of events that proved there were illegal activities going on.

— the fact that this government is finally contemplating action against criminal gangs that rule the roost in Punjab and how mindboggling it is to law abiding citizens that they have been allowed to exist for so many years by each successive regime. People say that while the writ of the government is non-existent in many areas, why something was not done about these gangs who terrorise residents of the area is baffling and there needs to be an enquiry as to why.

— the fact that despite a ban on the sale of toy guns they are freely available in the market, with shop owners getting away with this illegal activity by bribing the law enforcers. People say despite the country’s struggle with gun violence, the promotion of guns to tender aged individuals has never seen any significant crackdown, especially since young minds are so impressionable and real guns are so easily accessible in the country, it could create chaos if bans are not enforced.

— the remark by the minister of finance that petrol and diesel are ‘mostly used by the rich’ and hence the rise in prices, which in turn make everything else more expensive. People say political entities should think before they utter such excuses for the actions they take because it is not only the well to do who buy fuel to remain mobile but the business of the country runs on its availability in transporting goods; travel; getting to work and so on.

— the innovation deficiency in the country, which explains our inability to explore and exploit new technologies because in the past, Pakistan’s research has been limited to agriculture, biological and computer sciences and medicine. People say innovation and research in different fields lead countries toward sustainable economic growth, which can help them achieve high levels of productivity and performance and improve the well-being of citizens.

— how, with increased prices and higher taxes, the general public’s purchasing power has deteriorated, while high taxes and production costs will also impact economic activity as businesses will look to cut costs which will create further unemployment, harming the country’s economic prog­ress. People say it appears both the government and the opposition are indifferent to the woes of the masses but it is high time political leaders reconcile and begin working towards the betterment of the people and the country. — I.H.

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