Readers’ Thoughts

March 2021

Recognizing Israel

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Should Pakistan revisit its policy towards Israel or continue with its current stance? In your February cover story,Israeli writers urge Pakistan to join hands with Israel but a Palestinian writer strongly disagrees. Pakistani writers also advise the government to decide the crucial matter judiciously. I also agree that Pakistan should not follow the beeline and take up the matter on its own merit, keeping in view the plight of the Palestinians. After all, Kashmir too is going through a similar phase.

Tanveer Ahmed,
Toronto, Canada

Hapless Karachi

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What has Karachi done to deserve the kind of treatment it is getting? It is Pakistan’s largest city, its economic and industrial hub, the capital of Sindh and one of the world’s major cities. Karachi contributes over 60% revenue to the national budget and some 90% to the provincial budget. However, it continues to lack in basic amenities such as mass transport, water supply, a sewerage system, housing for the people, a proper city road network and general city management.

The key people in the PTI government from the President and Prime Minister down, all got elected from Karachi. It is highly unlikely they will be elected again.

Sumera Usman
Karachi, Pakistan

Missing the Bus

The farmers protest occurred after the Indian government passed the Farms Bill 2020, according to which farmers cannot sell their products directly to big buyers as corporate companies will be responsible for it. Further, these corporate companies will be in charge of controlling the prices of the products, limiting the profits made by the farmers. The bill attracted a lot of anger from the farmers and Indians abroad and now it has become a global issue.

The Indian government could have taken quick actions to ensure that they balanced the mandi system along with the private trading system because only then could the farmers and the government come to terms with each other. It seems the BJP government, in all its arrogance, has missed the bus and they will surely pay in the next elections.

Juvinder Singh,
New Delhi, India.

Forced Marriages

Forced marriages are quite common in Pakistan especially in rural areas, where mostly women are compelled to get married against their will, in most cases with men far older than them. Many girls come under emotional pressure from their family to tie the knot, at times with men they have not even seen prior to the marriage. The menace of forced marriage has led to women committing suicide or has mentally upset them. Many resort to leaving their homes without their parents knowing. Islam allows women to marry on their own free will but the conservative mindset prevails. Rather than asking the will of the girl, parents decide everything for her. This needs to be changed. Consent is important.

Hashim al Suweidi,
Dubai, UAE

Child Labour

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In Pakistan, many poor children are forced to work at a very young age to earn money for their families. Thus, the children are not able to have much education due to which, in many situations, they are not truly respected and often do not get their rights as they are not self-aware. Such children usually end up as maids, servants, etc.
Every year more than 12.5 million children adopt labour in Pakistan. This is mainly due to deep-seated poverty in society. This can be prevented by spreading awareness among the poor families by facilitating them with free education and helping them financially.

Fariha Sharaf,
Karachi, Pakistan