The article ‘The Power of Hashtags’ written by Munazza Siddiqui rightly pointed out how hashtags are cast-off and mostly misused for propaganda. The writer mainly focused on the issues such as the TicTok star Ayesha, who was brutally assaulted. iI felt more like a scheme with the aim of targeting the government on the national day and the media had no other topic but to share the story of how a woman is unsafe in the country and how all men in one way or another are harassers, which further gave the opportunity to so-called empowered women to share their hatred and thoughts on Pakistani men. Instead of highlighting how females have to use the power of social
I am an online reader of your magazine. I was deeply
disappointed to read in the October 2021 issue the two articles ‘Of Crime and Criminals’ and ‘Not Yet Off the Hook,’ which, in the guise of accountability, are just continuing examples of your esteemed publication’s baseless Sharif-phobia campaign.
The two said essays should have mentioned that despite an unrelenting witch-hunt in the media since 2014 and in the judiciary since 2016, government prosecutors have not been able to prove the plunder of even one rupee of public money by the Sharifs or by any prominent leader of their party.
The ‘iqama’ used to disqualify an elected Prime Minister was not proof of malfeasance. The asset-beyond-means convictions also did not prove any malfeasance. They were shoddy decisions obtained by blackmailing judges.
An immense cloud of verbiage, innuendo, and nudge-wink is being deployed to continue blackening your pages with the ongoing witch-hunt against the Sharifs. Your readers await tangible evidence in court to lend any credence to these charges, not just the hand-waving in the media which to date, is apparently the only ‘proof’ of financial misdoing against the Sharifs.
Losing a Language
I often observe how educated, westernised Pakistani parents prefer to communicate with their children in English rather than in their mother tongue, Urdu. No wonder then, that Urdu appears more like a foreign rather than the national language — at least among affluent and educated Pakistanis. Technology and our Anglicised private education system have also played a key role in diminishing the importance of Urdu. And this is an absolute shame. Please raise this issue from the Narratives platform.
This letter is with reference to the article ‘Pakistan First’ by the Narratives editorial team. The article brings attention to the fact that the US congress has yet again left Pakistan out to dry by introducing a motion that aims to sanction the Afghan Taliban and “all the foreign governments that supported them in recapturing Kabul” and ousting the Ashraf Ghani proxy regime. This is utterly inexcusable and hypocritical behaviour on the part of the Americans, given all the essential help that Pakistan and its armed forces have provided the United States in fulfilling their mission in Afghanistan and also in negotiating a deal with the Taliban.
There is little doubt that this latest betrayal by the US is a tactic to build pressure on Pakistan in the hope that it will accede to facilitating a continued American role in Afghanistan, in the form of bases used for air strikes and espionage against the Taliban. Pakistan must not cave in. Supporting such American efforts will only serve to alienate Pakistan from the Afghan Taliban, and could potentially lead to instability on our western frontier, a trend that we experienced during the Musharraf era with devastating consequences for our internal security. Pakistan must stand firm and make clear its unyielding support for our western neighbours in the interests of regional peace. With our alliance with the Chinese and Russians secure and American global influence on the wane, American threats no longer carry the weight they did when the ‘War on Terror’ first began.
Silence of the Young
In the civilised world people encourage the youth to be empowered and self-sufficient, but unfortunately, in our country, people are more inclined towards merely advising the younger lot instead of providing them platforms to highlight and address their issues. Narratives is culpable in this regard — of ignoring the youth. The magazine carries articles about only what the middle-aged people think and say about society. Conspicuously missing is the voice of the youth. The magazine should consider taking on board some young writers, who can articulate the problems of Pakistan’s younger generation.
The Plight of the Poor
The recent, unnecessary depreciation of the rupee by the central bank and its under-fire governor, Reza Baqir, has brought renewed attention to the plight of the lower-income group in Pakistani society. The devaluation of the currency means that the prices of daily necessities have skyrocketed like never before, adding to the woes of an already struggling lower class. Pakistan needs more accountable decision-making at the highest levels in order to implement the policies that will bring relief to the poor.
Our current legal, political and economic mechanisms are run by the elite for the elite, with little to no democratic accountability. This has to change if Pakistan is to become a land that provides opportunity for all. In this context, the recent moves to grant the SBP governor ‘greater autonomy’ under the SBP amendment bill are quite disheartening. The word ‘autonomy’ here is tended to imply greater flexibility in decision making, however, the truth is that this only places the SBP more firmly under IMF control than ever before.
If the past two to three decades have made anything clear it is that relying on foreigners to do the jobs that Pakistanis must do for themselves has rarely delivered the desired outcome. We must, as a nation, come up with our own solutions to the problems that face us; foreign reliance only leaves us more prone to manipulation.
Karachi, the Stepdaughter
While Lahore continues to develop and remains on the right trajectory, Karachi is going from bad to worse with each passing day. Even the so-called affluent and most expensive areas of Karachi DHA and Clifton — lack even the most basic of necessities, including water.
I suggest that Narratives focus on highlighting the differences between the two cities. It is commendable that in the last issue, some of the problems were highlighted by Nargis Rehman and Mohammed Toheed. Please continue in this vein.
A Sporting Inspiration
Given our recent political and economic woes, the standout performance of the Pakistani Cricket Team in the recent ICC T20 World Cup was the kind of uplifting event I am sure we all needed. What made this achievement all the more remarkable is that this was, arguably, not the most talented team that Pakistan had ever fielded in an international tournament. What truly stands out about the current squad is their internal cohesion, strong leadership and good relations between the players, coaches and board. This has helped create an environment of trust and teamwork, while keeping at bay the off-the-pitch controversies that have undermined the team in the past.
Our boys in green reminded us that a Pakistan united can take on any challenge and beat everyone’s expectations. Hopefully the example set on the pitch will be heeded by those in parliament and the youth who are setting out to change our society.
The weather seems to be getting worse with every passing day. Just driving to work makes my throat feel sore. This is obviously the fallout of the city’s increasing pollution. And this weather is not just adversely affecting my health, but also my household items. For example, switchboards and copper wires are visibly being damaged over time. This is an alarming situation for the people of Karachi. While the increasing fuel price and other commodities keep the entire nation preoccupied, the serious topic of climate change is ignored. And the media appears oblivious to the daily challenge this throws up. Can Narratives please make climate change one of the causes it espouses.
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