Readers’ Thoughts

June 2023

History Repeats Itself

This is with reference to the cover story appeared in SouthAsia in its May-2023 issue. In the context of all these situations, there is one thing that if the Constitution is followed sincerely in the country and the implementation of the law is ensured, then the on-going political and economic uncertainty in Pakistan can be ended. Therefore, it is the first duty of the government to follow the Constitution and ensure the implementation of the law, as this is the only way to get out of the present situation with dignity. This is the lesson of history, but unfortunately we do not learn anything from it.

Najam Siddiqui,
Lahore, Pakistan.

Enduring Legacy of Sultan Arshad

In the May-2023 issue of SouthAsia Magazine, I read about the sad demise of Sultan Arshad. I am compelled to write and pay tribute to the late Sultan Arshad, whose music legacy will keep inspiring and touching hearts. His untimely departure has left a void, but his impact will forever resonate.

As we all know that Arshad’s journey began in a family that cherished humor, co-existence, and a deep love for literature, poetry, and music. Influenced by his aunt’s vast gramophone collection, he developed an unwavering passion for melodies and a burning desire to meet the creative geniuses of the Indian subcontinent.

When I came across “101 Melody Makers,” I did not find it as just a book; it’s a profound journey through the tapestry of music, spanning decades and evoking the essence of a vibrant era. Its significance transcends the confines of libraries as it exemplifies the power of art and the written word, treasured by those who embrace our musical heritage.

As we reflect on Sultan Arshad’s life and immense contributions, let us celebrate his enduring legacy in the world of music, keeping his spirit alive through the melodies he cherished.

Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui,
Karachi, Pakistan.

Cardiovascular Disease on the Rise

The World Heart Federation has recently reported a sharp increase in the death rate from heart diseases. The report revealed that the death rate from heart diseases has increased by 60% worldwide in the last 30 years. The report of the World Heart Federation stated that in 1990, there were 12.1 million deaths due to heart diseases. The report further stated that in 2021, 20 million deaths have been recorded worldwide. According to the report, deaths from heart diseases have increased more in low- and middle-income countries. This is not a good sign at all, and both the young and the elderly populations need to change their sedentary lifestyles to avoid cardiovascular disease risk.

Dr. Syed M. Sagheer,
Karachi, Pakistan.

End to Political Stalemate

The PDM government has arrested all the top leadership of Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Hundreds of PTI workers have also been detained due to which the political temperature is quite high and both sides continue to blame each other, while new accusations are being made. In these circumstances, there is no such figure in the country who can make both parties sit together on the same table. While Pakistan has to tread carefully in a tense and volatile environment, the most pressing issues and their solutions, as well as the country’s vital interests, lie therein. If we understand that destiny is a choice and not a coincidence, then the elements that will shape Pakistan’s destiny are already there in our country. Only an economically strong and internally stable and resilient Pakistan will have the capacity and confidence to face both internal and external challenges.

Dr. Samita Sinha
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Dharna Politics

Islamabad being the capital city is the center of special attention of the powers that be. Therefore, any event that takes place here is not hidden from the eyes of the media and the capital city immediately grabs everyone’s attention. The sit-in of government parties in front of the Supreme Court received everyone’s attention. However, it would have been better if Parliament had been made a forum for political activities and people were avoided from taking to the streets against the judiciary, but the political pundits of the government did not show wisdom by bringing the people to the streets against the judiciary. This will increase lawlessness and create political intolerance. Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a coalition of 13 political parties, staged a sit-in outside the Supreme Court. While Section 144 was in force in the capital Islamabad, the workers of PDM member parties were allowed to enter sensitive areas like the red zone of Islamabad. An example of flouting the law is also regrettable by the members of the ruling parties. If the incumbent government fails to make its workers obey the law, then what kind of government is it?

Saima Iftikhar,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

Menace of Hyperinflation

The Department of Social Affairs of the United Nations, while mentioning the factors that cause inflation in Pakistan, has estimated that the graph of this situation will increase further in the coming financial year. In fact, the lowest per capita income factor is the dominant factor behind this. However, there has been no increase during the last five years. Under the pressure of the IMF, the energy prices have increased abnormally, due to which the government revenue has also increased by the same amount, but the benefit of this has not been passed on in the form of increase in the salaries of the government employees. The supply of cheap petrol from Russia is going to start soon. If the government continues its efforts and ensures the availability of cheap fuel in the future and follows the proposal of a 50% increase in the salaries of the employees of both public and private institutions and departments, then it may be possible for the poor and middle class to make both ends meet easily.

Javed Anwar,
Sargodha, Pakistan.

Combating the Global Environmental Pollution

As things currently stand, more than 50 percent of the world’s large lakes and water bodies have shrunk since the 1990s, due to climate change and pollution. The risk of water shortage for production and human consumption is now very high. In fact, over 3 decades, about 2,000 large lakes lost 22 gigatons of water annually, an amount equal to the total amount of water used in the United States in 2015. The study published in the journal Science stated that 56% of the decrease in the volume of the lakes was due to the increase in global temperature and human use. From 1992 to 2020, 53% of the lakes decreased due to the excessive use of water by humans, changes in rainfall, and the increase in temperature. About 2 billion people worldwide are directly affected by the loss of lakes, and many regions have experienced water shortages in recent years. Scientists have long warned that global temperatures must be kept from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. However, the global temperature has increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius, compared to the previous one, which is a dangerous sign for the future of this world.

Mahjabeen Syed,
Dhaka, Bangladesh.