Nobody is wrong in Pakistan

LAST night having nothing to do, I took to social media and posted a statement what many in the messages branded as ambiguous. I wrote: ‘nobody is wrong in Pakistan.’ Expectedly those who are wont to brandish intellect flooded my inbox.
A friend of mine recalling the bygone time asked: ‘how can a teacher who grows personal grudges with pupils be right?’ perhaps he was alluding to one of our teachers who maintained that it was a pedagogue’s right to take a misbehaving student to account. In order to infuse in his mind the veracity of my statement, I counter questioned him and asked: how are those wrong that make use of their rights? In reply he chuckled which brought the discussion to an end. Another self-proclaimed highbrow whose words I will clothe artistically stated that he who thinks all is well in the realm is insane. This exposition did not stupefy me as nobody is wrong in Pakistan. Yes, I possess the audacity to claim neither my detractors nor I was wrong.
Simply, I was right because what I posted on one of my social media accounts was what we, in the academic parlance, call a ‘topical sentence’. A topic sentence, unlike an adage, is shallow without illustrations. Therefore, many of the readers who failed to decipher the intention behind my post hurled arrows at me.
Similarly, those who said I was wrong were not wrong either. To prove that I am right to call them right, I will cite my father’s views about writers. My DAD who is not well-read holds that all penmen, after they die, are construed out of context. Not wanting to be called wrong, he comes up with an irrefutable argument: an Urdu poet, he states, utilizes the word “JANAN” for his beloved, who, my Dad thinks, is a often a girl. But a critic who interprets the word pens that the poet here is referring to God.
Conclusion: I was right and so were the people who said I was wrong. I was right because I was construed out of context. The people who called me wrong were right because quoting writers out of context is a norm. Coming to the point, here are few reasons why I think everybody is right in Pakistan.
Firstly, in politics the supporters of PMLN, disparaging their opponents, claim that the world cup winner is a loser. A person who makes promises but fails to prove that he is as good as his words, they say, cannot be referred to as ‘leader’. They are right. True Leaders, the history stands witness, are those that keep their words. On the other side, in order to spread a veil over Imran Khan’s failures, his supporters state that the corrupt political bigwigs who occupied the throne in pasture responsible for the current situation of Pakistan. They are right. There is no denying the fact that Politicians in past were self-centered.
Secondly, few days earlier a religious scholar who is prominent for controversial remarks was detained by police. On social media for the first time in history liberals raised slogans in support of a religious scholar. Disapproving the act, they remarked that he who tries to shatter religious status quo are put behind bars without investigation. Detaining people without exploring the matter is, undoubtedly, wrong. Similarly, those who appreciated the act came up with this argument: because the scholar arrested questioned the finality of prophet-hood, he must be taught a lesson. They are right as nobody can compromise on the core values of Islam.
Thirdly, parents who are hard on their children think they are right because once spoiled a boy rarely finds his ground back. Children say they are right in opposing their parents for those who are teased ultimately grows anger against their loved ones.
Finally, I can boldly conclude that either nobody is wrong or everybody is wrong. No, some are right while others are wrong. But, nobody is ready to accept that he is wrong. Hopefully, using too many ‘right and wrong’ is not wrong.

Create problem, suggest solution, reap benefit

Efforts are underway for global immunization campaign having ‘some advance technology’ to take control of the human mind. Scientists for decades have made countless efforts in controlling the human brain, considered to be the most complex machine in the universe.
Why this thought has gripped the masses world over. The public unlike the governments faced the lockdown and went through the hassle of witnessing the ground reality.It is believed that ‘global immunization campaign’ if it happens is going to be resisted vehemently and any government that goes out of line will face the public wrath.The fear of unknown gripping the world has changed the psyche of the people. Everyone is afraid from the other and such pressures have taken away the smile and joy from the lives of human race.Governments across the globe have also pushed and ignited the fear in the people for ‘social distancing’ and this has made human beings more frightful from others around.
The distress is always coupled with remedial therapies and Coronavirus has its share.
The current theories having public attention, to begin with are, Coronavirus is part of biological warfare and world will soon witness the end. Strict security protocols are in place with all the labs dealing with biological and chemical hazards. The next virus, if leaked from the laboratory will remove most of the human race from the planet earth and there are people who are capable for doing this and have designs to make it happen.
Other theories state, this is mind control exercise and United States of America is behind all this. The virus got released in the world deliberately and the Hollywood Movie ‘Contagion’ tells it all. The similarities between the movie and the real life trauma are exact and the movie tells about the future, world is witnessing now.People come up with different views and they back their arguments with solid evidence.
Another one that is there, is about the money, as money is up for grabs when a certain number of deaths and patients are recorded in the hospitals nation wide.The money will be released from the international donors. Poor government will sell their soul to the devil and will have their population treated as guinea pigs and lab rats. The poor falling prey to international nefarious agenda will have their human resource all getting diseased and dead. The forced immunization of polio vaccine in Pakistan and resistance from people is one such example and this should be a case study for people who are policy makers.Government of Pakistan in its ‘forced immunization polio campaign’ made a number of people losing their lives. Polio workers were gunned down and many still face threat as any child having any problem at a later stage will have angry parents going after the health worker. The government is cursed already and has enough baggage to carry and drag herself to grave.Details of how government is looking after the people who lost their lives in ‘forced polio immunization campaign’ were not available.
There is no clear cut compensation policy for people who risk their lives in risking the lives of others.The worst case scenario from the forced immunization will be civil war and chaos which everybody fears. Any wrong move from government and authorities concerned can result in severe backlash and people have enough reasons to fight back.Pakistan has also Coronavirus patients and it is beside the point that more people die from traffic accidents, hepatitis and heart attack then from Corona. People are also afraid that it will be a ‘forced global immunization campaign’.
The developed and the developing world with governments in particular have been pressurized by World Health Organization and United Nations to observe certain protocols or face ‘total isolation’.
The ‘contagion’ is currently the most watched film in the world where people in lockdown are watching and understanding the thought behind it. It is believed there is more to movie ‘Contagion’ then what is shown.Closure of air traffic, sea ports and land routes world over was just the beginning the real threat exists and man eats man is a scenario that is building up.

Change yourself for the better

Bashir “ rickshaw wala “ is a poor person who earns his livelihood by driving this “ rickshaw “ in busy streets of Raja Bazaar and on Murree Road Rawalpindi . As he is a poor guy and he wants to make more of his time while on the road so he has to “ maneuver “ his vehicle through lanes and lines of busy road. While he is busy in such shrewd maneuvering sometimes he might damage that vehicle which belong to another poor who happens to be a bit “ less poor “ than Bashir Rickshaw wala . But people like you and me would ultimately support him and try to persuade the less poor to let this go and forgive poor and innocent rickshaw driver .
Qadoos is another example who drives a tractor trolley , a water tanker to be precise . He normally does his job in different colonies where fresh and drinking water supply is not enough . He has more work to do as compared to the time he has. So he is forced to do speeding and reckless driving in narrow streets so that he can cover more and more houses. You see he is “ good person” with “good motive” but while he is busy in this sometimes his water tanker scratches the cars and jeeps of citizens which are parked on the edges of colony streets but we should let him go free as he is a poor person.
Ahsan,25, belongs to a well off family living somewhere in posh area of Rawalpindi, his father has a business of car show rooms and Ahsan loves new and expensive cars. When he is driving on the Mall Road Rawalpindi it’s possible that he might involve in a minor accident with a bike or a taxi. When he goes out of his car to see what has happened then he has to listen sentences like , “ these nouveaux riches are very mean and self centric “ are very common to his ears because public has already made up their minds that rich are embodiment of evil.
All of these three examples are real and true but of course name and places have been changed. These instances are just enough to portray the rigid mind set of our society where hatred for the haves is growing and where a have- not is presumed to be innocent and on the right.
These instances are just enough to portray the rigid mind set of our society where hatred for the haves is growing and where a haves not is presumed to be innocent and on the right.
True, the people with harsh mindsets can be found on both sides but I am quoting and stating the mind sets of majority and their prejudice approach.
One wonders when our society would start thinking and would deal at least try to see all such cases on the merit or according to the situation? Why cannot we see the things as they are, without being judgmental and without presumed approach?
True, state has not been able to deliver ideally but someone jumping the traffic signals , a police officer misusing his powers , a teacher not teaching properly in schools , a trader selling adulterous food items, a pharmacist selling counterfeit medicine the blame rests with social attitudes.
One should also admit that jumping the traffic signals , a police officer miss using his powers , a teacher not teaching properly in schools , a trader selling adulterous food items , a pharmacist selling counterfeit medicine, all of such examples have something to do with the writ of the state but, at the same time, our habit of living a carefree life.
Yes, the state lacks a lot in the matter of imposing its writ and ensuring rule of law but that does not mean all of us should do and carry on doing whatever we wish as the law and justice system is not doing great. No , not at all.
We should act our part in any possible way. Any sane person with a hint of good conscience would always stand for good and would never approve any wrong doing , no matter who is involved, a poor or a rich .
So if you a teacher do your duty the best you can; if you a police or any civil officer do your duty in lines with your role; do not exceed your limits or powers , as a commoner always abide laws; behave responsibly, invoke civic sense, do not dump your house hold trash or garbage in open , in streets , do not litter food or other items on the roads , while driving obey traffic rules. Then, you might see a better environment around you.
Actually, all of us can be true harbinger of change in society, system , state and in our lives as well. Take one step towards betterment of your society , for your life and it would start a cycle of change , change for the betterment of yourselves and everyone around.

Haste makes waste

The overhasty and inconsistent decisions taken at federal and provincial level and ineptness shown on the part of governments to stem the wave of Coronavirus is leading to catastrophic consequences in terms of life and treasure. This virus came to Pakistan from abroad with pilgrims and overseas Pakistanis. The government showed ineptness in providing quarantine facilities to them and where these were provided proved insufficient and improper. What to speak of providing any healing moments to the infected people, these quarantine facilities proved hot spot of COVID -19 spread. The suspected and infected persons were seen lying crammed to each other in the facility and becoming source of transmission of this virus to each other. The government instead of controlling overseas Pakistanis and zaireens resorted to other steps. The decisions on imposition of lock down, closure of educational institutions and shutting down the business were taken in haste and before time. Even the distribution of rations among the poor segments of society was also taken before time. These all steps should have been announced and implemented after controlling the overseas Pakistanis and pilgrims coming from abroad carrying this virus with them. There is string of overhasty and panic stricken steps which were taken before time. Two corona patients one from Karachi and second from Islamabad emerged on February 26 and both were pilgrims who had returned from Iran. On the same day the educational institutions in Sind and Baluchistan were closed while World Health Organization had not declared Corona a global pandemic till that time. As many as 52 fatalities had occurred in China while only four confirmed patients were reported in Pakistan . No casualty had taken place. On March 12 it was decided to hold PSL matches without spectators in Karachi33 patients were reported till March 15 and not a single death had taken place. Even then international flights were cancelled. Zoos and museums were shut.
On March 20 first casualty was reported in Karachi and on the same day lock down was clamped in Sindh for three days. On the same day Prime Minister Imran Khan declared that no decision has been taken so far for imposition of lockdown. Markets and transport were shut and army was called in Baluchistan and Punjab and on the same day PM Imran Khan while addressing the nation on TV said the people should observe lock down voluntarily and till then only 5 casualties were reported and patients tally stood at 776. On March 15 the fatalities stood at 24 and the patients at 1717 and on April 15 casualties tally rose to 106 and patients were reported 5976. On that day government extended the lock down for two weeks but what was noted paradoxical that government announced to open the industries including cement, sand units, export industry, glass industry, e-commerce and soft ware.
The federal government through an agreement allowed to offer congregational prayers in mosques under an SOP while Sindh government did not allow the congregational prayers including Friday prayers. On April 30 when the fatalities had risen to 343 and number of patients surged to 15500, minister for industries and planning Asad Omar said that the casualties are below than our estimates therefore, softening the lock down can be considered. The process of easing lock down started from May 9 and till that time patients tally had surged to 27035 and casualties to 611. Now the government has announced to lift lockdown when corona is playing havoc with the lives of people. These all statistics transpire that the corona virus gathered momentum after March 31 and what steps were taken by the government before should have been taken after March 31 and instead of opening lockdown it should have been tightened further gradually in conformity with the daily report of causalities and number of patients.

Revitalizing the local governments to check COVID-19

Dealing COVID-19 in our country is based on policy responses from the federal and provincial governments as local government are dysfunctional. We are adamant to get out of the situation without the involvement ofmunicipalities or local governments. In other parts of world, devolution of power has helped and playedan important role in supporting people, nonprofits, and businesses through the pandemic.
Local governance is an integral pillar for service delivery, state and community representation and responsiveness. It provides effective control and outreach at the tehsil and village level. For instance, considering the best practices adopted by the countries who successfully defeated the pandemic, Germany and South Korea stand out. Germany has been able to ramp up its testing services and lower the mortality rate due to the devolution of its health policy, which is managed and executed by 400 health offices rather than a centralized authority. This has allowed them to have different models for testing, set-up by different offices according to their need and resources. Similarly, South Korea used its devolved system in coordination with the central government to align, adapt and localize its response strategy. This creates an efficient and swift response mechanism.
Local governments may help to extend financial relief measures and support in the provision of essential services directed to people in the neighborhoods.Municipalities can play a part to regulate and keep markets open for trade with a view to ensure food security and strengthening the resiliency and sustainability of regional supply chains, especially for food, commodities, medicines, medical and essential supplies.
Local authorities are always in better position in implementing appropriate measures to boost confidence and improve stability of the local economy, with special attention to small and medium businesses and vulnerable groups and, by cooperation, can ensure social safety net for people and continue efforts to design and implement social protection systems.
Regardless of the outcome of COVID-19, municipalities have to continue to meet their core responsibilities as delegated by the provinces to facilitate citizens. They have to ensure supply of essential services that help to keep people healthy, safe, and happy, including water and wastewater treatment, waste collectionand recreation opportunities, to name just a few, and they are vital even in this pandemic.
It is important that the provision of services must be carried out without any disruption. These may include the cleaning of streets, installation of dis-infectant gates at the entry points of streets and markets, enforcement of public health restrictions and repurposing green spaces etc. Since many libraries, schools and public spaces are closed, the low-income residents do not have access to the internet.
Municipalities are assigned the duty to encourage social distancing for adults and keep up with schoolwork/studies for youngsters, the municipalities must work with internet providers to arrange free Wi-Fi hotspots especially in low income neighborhoods, so people can access it from home if they need it.
An effective awareness campaign designed with local requirements and consistent reliable messaging are needed for communities on social distancing, hygiene and the virus symptoms. The print, electronic and digital media is playing its role to influence communities however, it has limited accessibility and most importantly lack the particular local guidance.
Municipalities have to work for increasing the accessible outdoor public spaces, because, the sidewalks are usually narrow to allow a proper physical distancing. Administration may cordon off streets or parts of streets to allow for people to safely spend time outside especially for female residents as majority of people are living in small houses. Furthermore, there must be many people and businesses who need help will not know where to run for that help, it is important to establish resources that those in need can consult to find the help they need. The absence of local governments has not only created a void in local political representation but also hampered the efficient service delivery. Local governments by design enjoy tremendous access to grassroots communities and can play an instrumental role in the case of emergencies like covid-19. The outbreak of covid-19 has halted the local economy. A centralized approach is likely to be insufficient for the management and response of this pandemic. The best course of action in a post-covid-19 world will be for provinces to restore the local bodies.