Life and Living-II: Pakistan Studies: Letters to the Editor
The Punjab government has recently initiated an E-Rozgar Training Scheme for the youth. The main eligibility criterion for the programme is that the individual must have completed 16 years of education. To me, this is tantamount to the provincial government admitting that it has failed to provide jobs to qualified graduates.
Graduates who are qualified to and could be working towards solving our energy crisis, or engineering prosthetics for people with physical disabilities, or creating low-cost and high-quality medicines instead be trained to freelance in web development, search engine optimisation, data entry, e-marketing, etc.
There is nothing wrong with working in this field, but the youth would be better served if the Punjab government targeted Intermediate level students as the programme’s intended beneficiaries.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif must refrain from diverting (and thereby destroying) the careers of graduates in the fields of engineering, biology, chemistry, mathematics, etc.
The political talk shows airing these days, on Pakistani news channels, are a good form of releasing stress while giving a satirical view of the current political situation.
Most of these shows present jokes with no or little class while a few have reduced themselves to a state where the guests humiliate each other on air. They address their opponents in a degrading manner.
I feel that this behaviour should be discouraged. These shows are watched in many parts of the world. PEMRA should take action as these shows are presenting a negative image of Pakistan.
IT is a wedding season. Almost every weekend I attend a wedding party and share these happy moments with couples and their families. However, the wedding extravaganza has, to be honest, really made me quite depressed.
People have made this beautiful and sacred union into an occasion for a pompous display of their wealth and status.
Recently I attended a wedding at a reputed hotel. The groom was the son of a renowned businessman. Arrangements had been made for about 200 guests. There was a lavish dinner with an intercontinental menu.
What shocked me was the fact that the estimated cost for that event came out to be Rs 35,000 per head. Now this sum per head for 200 people adds up to seven million rupees, spent freely just to lay their tables with a preposterous amount of dishes. More than half of the food is wasted when a great many people sleep every night with their stomachs half-empty.
As human beings, especially we Muslims must realise the absurdity of such extravagance. We use our resources in a profligate manner and then blame our country for not providing us basic necessities.
Late for exams
I am a student and go to my institute by cab. But owing to the VIP protocol I often get late. The precarious security situation in the country is understandable but stopping hundreds of people for the VIP movement doesn’t make any sense.
Recently, I had an examination. I was well-prepared and hoped for the best. But my day was ruined when a cavalcade of many vehicles passed by and my cab was stopped to make way. I got late for the examination and was unable to perform well because of stress. Who is responsible for this loss? The government should put ban on such protocol for the so-called VIPs.
Waiting for justice
Mashal Khan is the latest victim of the growing intolerance in the country. The young student was killed on the basis of unproven blasphemy allegations. He was brutally beaten to death by students of a university. That students can show such violence is worrisome. Education institution is a place that teaches tolerance and harmony.
The government should not take this matter lightly. Heavy punishment should be given to those involved in the lynching of Mashal so that no such incident every happen in the future.
I have a meeting with my friend who returned from Toronto, Canada after 10 years. He was a bit depressed at looking at Islam over here. He told me living a month here in Pakistan, was the most undesirable and deplorable experience. He told me in the West he felt more close to Islam than here in Pakistan and it was shocking. The moderation behind was, that, Islam is no more a devoir, a passion, an infatuation and a delight in Pakistan. It is rather a stringent cultural burden, which everyone is obliged to follow. I was like shocked and eventually agreed. We have limited Islam to a mere cultural restraint. It is showing up in our dress code, our customs and our solicitudes. We are fond to dress like western people than to assent Islamic dress code. We need really to wake up from this state of ignorance. We have to apprehend the value, Islam possess and its laws, customs and traditions. Otherwise, instead of changing our history we will become the history.
Nofil Jamil Anwer Khan
Women in stem fields
In Pakistan, representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects is grim as compared to their representation in medical and dental education. Advancement in science and technology is the centre of wealth in today’s world requiring STEM as the integral part of economic well-being of any country. Despite an increase in number of girls surpassing boys in matriculation and intermediate examinations over the years, still very few of them prefer STEM subject at the undergraduate level. In Pakistan, women make up over half of the population. Ideally, this would equate to women representing at least half of the country’s engineers, designers, technologists, scientists and inventors. Unfortunately, women currently make up only 18% of Pakistan’s STEM professionals.
One of the major reasons of women not opting STEM subjects is stereotypes. Most common one being that women are not that much good in mathematics as men so they are not able do better scientific work. Women face this bias not only at university level but also at workspace. They are not particularly welcomed for engineering jobs as male are considered better engineers. And by chance if they are hired for any such post they must work harder than their male counterparts to prove their worth. Because of this unwelcoming behaviour of her male colleagues it becomes very difficult for a woman to pursue a successful career. It is important to educate and recruit women in STEM fields to be technologically advanced. Gender equality in STEM fields cannot be achieved overnight but we can at least try changing the stereotypes and the mindset which is keeping women away from the STEM fields.
The ability to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions as well as to handle mutual relationships both sympathetically and judiciously is called ‘emotional intelligence (EQ)’. In the modern era, an individual’s success depends upon the ability to understand others’ emotions and react accordingly. EQ depends upon five core elements: Self- awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. We must develop the mature emotional intelligence skills required to better understand, empathise and negotiate with other people. In fact, psychologists generally agree that among the components for success, IQ counts for roughly 10 percent while the rest depends on everything else including EQ.
Pakistani society has been facing certain emotional challenges for a long period of time. People have been adversely affected by warfare and intolerance resulting into anxiety, depression and doubt about the future. Many people are unable to manage their emotions. Empathy and mutual understanding plays a very vital role in providing a junction in dealing with these problems. Pakistani people have to train themselves to be emotionally strong enough in order to face each and every challenge of life.
Hard work key to success
Since our childhood, we have been hearing the sentence, “Hard work is the key to success.” Success will be at the feet of someone who works hard. These are some of the many motivational words we hear from our elders and teachers that we can achieve anything in this world, if we work hard. However, very few of us have ever questioned that what exactly success is. Success can be called a realization of an aim or goal, and to make that goal come true, hard work is essential. Hard work can polish our skills, maximize our potential to strive forward, and achieve something which can bring some meaning in our life.
However, many people have objections with the idea of hard work being solely the key to success. Many people believe that if hard work is the only way towards the path of success, then why is a labourer so poor. Indeed, no one works harder than the labourer, and yet a labourer belongs to one of the underprivileged classes of our society and the world. People must remember that while hard work can lead us to success, there are many other factors involved in the process which go hand-in-hand with hard work. These factors are one’s talent, determination, courage and a positive attitude towards one’s work. If any one of the above-mentioned elements is missing, one cannot succeed.
People work hard for their ambitions, but they live under a false perseption that they will be successful in a very short period. When they keep working and don’t find success so easily, they often lose hope and determination to continue their task, and reach their destination. Failure is a very important aspect of life, and only those who have failed in achieving their goals can understand and appreciate the true flavours of success. Confidence in one’s strength and ability and the courage to overcome one’s weakness can also lead to success very much like hard work can. It is the ability to keep on going with hard work and determination, despite failing, which leads to success.
Garbage on roads
Through columns of your esteemed newspaper, I want to convey a message to readers. Littering has always been a problem especially in a country like ours where there are rules, but no implementation. Such a problem has gone too far when it starts to become a cause for accidents and a risk to human life.
I was driving to university the other day when I became witness to a horrible accident. There was a heap of garbage covering a major portion of the road. A bike rider trying to avoid the garbage made a quick lane change but did not notice the rickshaw coming behind him, which led to a crash. This could have been easily avoided if the road was clear. I request that this matter should be taken in hand by concerned dept at the earliest so that life of many innocents can be saved.
Change attitude not uniform
The so-called civil servants are working against the people. Their duties are to serve for the country and its people but nowadays it is observed that they just serve themselves. Yes, I am talking about the PUNJAB POLICE, with the big tummies and moustaches. Every department has black sheep but the person who take oath while putting the uniform and the flag of Pakistan on their chest then they must assure to fulfil their duties.
In the beginning of this year my university friends got caught by the two policemen in their flat. They told them that they were on search operation and we have report of some boys living in this flat are involved in robbery case though they neither have search warrants nor the identification cards. They snatched their mobiles without asking anything and treated them like criminals and physically harassed on suspicion. Well, the doubt of those so-called policemen came to end when they offered them some moneyafter taking that money they threatened them not to tell anyone about this. Otherwise, we will find you and arrest you in a forged case, after threatening my friends they dropped them at midnight at some unknown place of Rawalpindi.
My question to this government and to the public protection departments is that: why they are not taking any step against these kinds of people who are for public protection but they are not doing that? Why they are not going through their departments for these kinds of black sheep who are corrupting the departments as well as the nation? Government should take action against these black sheep to save the value and respect of the public protection departments as well as nation, then the people of Pakistan will feel safe on the road and walk freely whenever and where ever they want.
The anti-human activities in Kashmir are increasing day by day. The Indian government has already allowed its army and police force to shoot people in Indian-held Kashmir with pellet guns, therefore, the police is even targeting women protesters. This issue must be raised at every international platform available.
The Kashmiri people love Pakistan, looking towards us for help and want to live in peace and harmony as they are peace-loving people. The Indian government is trying employ different tactics to warn Kashmiris not to love Pakistan and not to protest against the occupation. Pakistan must take some positive steps to woo international community to take immediate action and to help resolve this issue.
Discussion on Mashal’s murder
Today, a discussion took place, in room 105 of a University, on Mashal’s murder. Without much insight in the topic, some avoided from taking part or presenting their viewpoint while those who had enough to say, didn’t stop. From blames on the administration of Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan to accusations on the Mulla’s of Mashal’s hometown, it was evident that none were ready to agree on the fact that Mashal was murdered justifiably. No one approved of his death to be one that he deserved. While some said it was unforgivable for the people to take the law in their own hands, others argued that “the law” should have taken its course”.
It won’t be wrong to say that “the law” of our country has kept silent or even disappeared during the many such happenings. And it is “the law” that becomes the reason for people to take up arms themselves. Until and unless “the law” is brought about legally and is stamped against all wrongs in our country, we will continue to face more of such heartbreaking and inhumane incidents.
I would like to bring into light the pressing issues being faced by the residents of the Rabaniabad, Fazaia Colony, Rawalpindi. The area is mired with multiple issues ranging from poor sanitation, boiling guttersand unhygienic environment causing diseases such as dengue, malaria and skin allergies among the people living there. Additionally, flooded streets also cause problems related to transportation which may endanger lives of children while passing through
Streets become flooded when it rains and water seeps into the houses causing a lot of inconvenience for the occupants. This issue has become a nuisance for the community. Authorities like RDA and Cantonment Board must take serious steps to address the issues forthwith.
Abdul Samad Mughal
Social media: Tool of death
“Misuse of everything is bad”; this proverb must now apprise to “Misuse of everything is lethal”. When the literal purpose of any invention is lost; more precisely snubbed; adversities instigate. Likewise, the verbatim objective of social media was to curtail the distance between families and to reconnect them. But this purpose now seems imaginary. The course of social media has taken its turn to a platform of suicide as well as a tool of murder, killing and uprising amongst people.
It has diminished the integrity, privacy and security of individuals. The malicious conduct of social networking sites has now augmented criminal activities among young generation thereby producing juveniles rather than intellectuals. Furthermore, the unforgettable “honour killing” case of Qandeel Baloch and the recent murder of the young university student in Mardan, Mashal Khan, gained its hype from the dais of “SOCIAL MEDIA”, eventually overtaking precious lives. There are numerous veiled stories too, occurring every day, invisible from the eyes of the print media.
The government must take an instant action against such destructive aspects of social networking sites. Cyber rules must be redefined and strict policies should be designed. Over and above, severe punishment for cyber-criminals should be incorporated in the law. In addition, easy access to the cyber-crime offices should be granted. The opportunity for surveillance and prevention must be extended to all users, by adopting simple-to-use methods for users to report malevolent Web sites and activities of other users ultimately saving valuable lives.
Chikungunya: A viral disease
Chikungunya, another arboviral disease, is now spreading explosively in Karachi. The causal agent of the disease, Chikungunya virus, is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The infection is generally symptomatic and characterised by an abrupt onset of fever followed by severe Polyarthralgia. Other common symptoms include rash, headache, nausea, fatigue and myalgia. Although the illness is self-limiting, joint pain can persist for months and even for years in some cases. Regrettably, no vaccines or specific antiviral has been approved for Chikungunya fever.
Basic precautions should be taken by people travelling to risk areas and these include use of repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants and ensuring rooms are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering. Hence, this momentous issue must be addressed by national and international health-care organisations with haste.
A paramount source for all
Modernism, socialism, terrorism, fear, anxiety, material competition, technology when combined together makes up the 21st century. In this fast age we have lost ourselves, our values, our real purpose and we are running after everything that is an illusion, becoming a victim of spiritual bankruptcy. Where the solution lies of these problems?
Being Muslims, we all know that what is our real purpose of life and why we have been sent here? Accepting God as an absolute Master of this Universe gives us the meaning of the creation of life and universe. The idea that we have to account for our actions in later life before Almighty Allah has both deterrent and inspiration value.
The real guide to humanity is the Quran which is the last Divine book. It is a complete code of life as it has solution to all such problems we are facing today. It is the only best and complete solution to every problem like anxiety, fear, terrorism and modernism. Since none of us wants to be misguided, it is paramount not only to read or recite the Quran, but to understand and apply it in our social and individual lives as well, as the Quran has a solution to every problem we face today.
Are Muslims threat to world?
No one knew about terrorism 15 or 20 years before but now this has gone viral across the world. Why? Because there are some people who want to serve religion by acts of terror. They use the name of Islam to tarnish its image. As a Muslim, I am tired of condemning terrorist attacks being carried out by inherently violent people who hijack my religion. I am tired of hearing the word “terrorist” not being used when the suspect in a terrorist attack is a non-Muslim. I am tired of seeing hundreds of terrorist attacks carried out by non-Muslims not getting the same coverage of even a single terrorist attack where the suspect happens to be Muslim.
Above all, I am equally sick of hearing that Muslims are terrorists. Muslims as a community are not terrorists. more or less there are so many organizations those running these terror activities all around the world using the name of Muslims to malign them throughout the world. Those who believe Muslims are threat to really anyone they are wrong because Islam does not teach violence but rather it teaches peace and tolerance. There are radicals who pose a threat and use Islam as a shield but it is not really Islam they are practicing because taking an innocent life is tantamount to killing the whole humanity.
In support of child labour
We do not live in a perfect world, and also that these words of mine may be provocative, but this is not my intention. People are always raising their voices against child labour, despite being aware of actual causes of initiation of child labour in any developing country. If someone is against child labour, then better suggest something else for these families to feed off their appetites upon, then to just go on complaining about it.
Since time began, children are working and earning and it’s quite normal for a child to work and bring home some wage. Children should contribute to the welfare of their family and after all its work or no food theory. Children are often most suited to perform a job well enough that an adult possibly cannot! After all what’s the point of teaching them to read and write when they can just work and bring back some cash!
Schooling is not mandatory, and even what schooling may be available, it costs too much. Besides, schooling wouldn’t teach you how to deal with people in certain specific situations. But what would actually help you in coping up with the changing times would be the constant outdoor exposure and various experiences. That is why the children under labour are more trained and skilful then any child in our educated households! In last, I would conclude my point by saying that if a child does actually want to learn, read and write, then there is no reason why they should not have energy after work.
Syeda Ghina Sahar