Do not compare yourself with others.

It is often believed that some people are lucky enough to achieve their goals at a very young age. There are so many people who cannot achieve their goals until they are above 30 years old. So, it does not mean that they are not struggling to achieve their dreams.rather it means that they have high aims and dreams. When a class is graduated, so many of them manage to get job immediately after completion of their degree. Many of them cannot make it at the earliest. It is completely wrong to assume that only those people are successful who manage to get things done at the exact fix time. Always remember that every good thing happens at a certain time. The author of harry potter took several years to get her work published. She was around 32 years old when her work was published after being rejected by so many authors. The founder of Ali Baba was around 40 years old when he decided to establish his business. It is not important how early you achieve your dream rather what important is that how big you are thinking. What you have to do is hard work with passion, determination and sincerity. Do not compare yourself with others. You cannot be any other person. You are who you are. Everyone has own strength and weakness. Everyone is different from other people in so many ways. Be it environment, be it passion, be it his dreams or any other thing. Just decide what you want to get, try to find out ways to be on the right road. Do not bother much about others. if you stop doing work, nothing will happen. If you keep work, you will get alot.

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Respecting vote for better democracy

My another article.

https://dailytimes.com.pk/282258/respecting-vote-for-better-democracy/

Democracy is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a form of government in which power is not concentrated in the hands of only one person. People elect their representatives through their right to vote and in turn expect them to serve them honestly. Though democracy is secure in Pakistan, but the recent wave of political instability has created many misconceptions in the minds of people regarding the meaning and the purpose of the vote in democracy. A number of speeches are being delivered by many politicians to highlight the importance of vote.

It is important to realize that vote is in democracy, democracy is not in the vote.  Democracy is a broad concept. It is the philosophy of life and the vote is just a small but an important part of it. Let us take the example of a car. It is true that a car cannot run without the steering but all of its parts need to work properly in order to ensure its proper functioning.  In the same manner, democracy has a number of aspects. It is a sad fact that many political leaders say VOTE KO IZZAT DO but don’t explain the true philosophy and purpose of the vote. It is not wrong to say that vote is another name of trust. When people elect leaders by using their right to vote, they trust them hoping that these people will work to solve their problems. This trust directly gives a right to the common man to judge the performance of these leaders. A common man can raise question regarding the performance of the political leaders during their tenure.

 We need to analyse who actually disrespects the vote. A person who is elected by votes but indulges himself in corruption and inefficiencies instead of working for the well being of the people is the one who actually disrespects not only vote but also the trust of the people. It is easy to make promises but difficult to fulfill.

During election campaigns, candidates try to convince the people that they will work for the prosperity and rights of the people. Their speeches are always full of promises. As a result people trust them and elect them through their vote. When the time comes to fulfill the promises, many of them do not bother to listen to the complaints of the citizens. Amid this scenario, it is not wrong to say that such leaders do not bother to give respect to the vote and indeed disrespect it badly.

Another point to be discussed here is that many candidates do not feel reluctant to take advantage of the miserable condition of the poor. Some of these candidates give them money and in turn get votes. Such contestants prefer to buy votes rather than getting votes through their performance. It is imperative to realize that meritocracy is important for the survival of democracy in Pakistan. So it must prevail properly. Our constitution gives us the right to speak and express ourselves. So, when people find that the elected leaders are not fulfilling their promises, they can express their disagreements openly. It is a dilemma of our country that when people try to ask questions from such leaders and want to make them accountable they are termed as traitor. Such politicians must not forget that they are supposed to serve the common men. If they neglect this fact, they will definitely be held accountable.

The vote does not give the license to rule as a king or a queen. All the leaders must realise the fact that they are subordinate to the constitution and answerable to the people. The vote is itself a huge responsibility. When the politicians who are found guilty of corruption are asked about their allegations, they take it as their insult and start preaching the notion VOTE OF IZZAT DO instead of telling the truth about these allegations. People cannot decide about such factors on the streets so they take the matter to the court where decisions are made according to the law and constitution. So if a political leader fails to proof his innocence in the court, it is wrong to blame the courts and instigate the people to speak openly against the judges.

Accountability is the beauty of democracy. It plays an integral role not only in sustaining democracy but also securing it from all evil. It is immensely imperative to the progress of Pakistan. It is important to overcome the menace of corruption so it must be across the board. Now the people of Pakistan are well aware of the fact that a strong and independent judicial system can maintain proper check and balance that further ensures better performances of the institutions. The founder of Pakistan was also a staunch supporter of democracy. All the institutions should work together to strengthen democracy as it guarantees the progress of our country. Democracy is the solution of many social, economic and political issues. Recently, the Chief Justice of Pakistan denied the rumors of judicial martial law and emphasized the importance and stability of democracy. Moreover, our army leadership seems a staunch supporter of democracy as well. Our media is also playing its responsible role to make people aware of the benefits of democracy. Now it is the responsibility of every citizen and all the higher authorities to present themselves for accountability without uttering harsh words against the judiciary. The only way to give respect to the vote is in working for the well-being and the rights of people. If any one is found guilty of any unlawful act, he disrespects the vote and the voters.

The writer is a clinical psychologist and can be contacted at annieaman052@gmail.com

Published in Daily Times

Dark side of india-Pakistan separation.

It is said that when we divide a thing into different parts, it loses its originalty, charm and chrisma. When our motherland was divided into different parts, it was not just a division of land but also of hearts, desires and love. It was not love but hatred that was spread all over the subcontinent. Some were anxious, some were shocked. Also, it is quite difficult to say that some were happy, but it can be true in some cases. Amid all such situation, people living in mental hospitals were completely oblivious of the fact that their homeland was being divided and many relatives who used to come meeting them now might would never come again. One day when they were told that subcountinent had been divided, many of them who were to some extent able to understand things, kept writhing in pain all the day long. Some of them fumed with annoyance. Some were anxious to know whether they were in India or Pakistan. Many wanted to know what country became the fate of their howntown. As per government notification, many of them were exchanged and were forced to leave the place where they had been living for age. We must not forget the price that our forefathers had to pay just to get this so called freedom.

Water Crisis in Pakistan

Originally Published in Jahngirs world times magazine

http://jworldtimes.com/jwt2015/magazine-archives/jwtmag2018/july2018/water-crisis-in-pakistan/

Water is one of the basic necessities of life. No life could have been possible on the planet Earth, had there been no water. However, it is a sad reality that we do not bother to take proper measures for securing and preserving our natural resources unless crises start knocking at our door. Although water is one of the most important natural resources we have, the world is facing a grave crisis of its scarcity, owing mainly to the global warming and Pakistan is also no exception in this regard. At present, Pakistan is confronting a number of issues but perhaps the most daunting of them is the shortage of water. This problem is aggravating with each passing day. According to a recently released International Monetary Fund report, Pakistan ranks third among countries facing water shortage. One of the major reasons behind this issue is absence of proper measures to conserve water. Around 30 million acre feet (MAF) of water is wasted due to poor management. Economic cost of this water is in billion dollars. Due to this issue, the per capita availability of water in Pakistan is consistently on the decline. Pakistan possesses only a thirty-day water-storage capacity. Besides, the Pakistan Council of Research on Water Resources (PCRWR) has warned that Pakistan would reach absolute water scarcity by 2025.

There are a number of reasons behind the shortage of water in Pakistan. Before blaming the rulers and concerned authorities, we must blame ourselves for our carelessness and slackness in saving water. We don’t take proper measures while using water for household activities. That is why the gap between availability and demand of water has increased manifolds. We should turn all the taps off while we are not using water. Moreover, there is an urgent need to educate the masses on proper use of water. The role of media is imperative in this regard. TV channels should air different programmes to create awareness among the people. The need of the time is to take steps at individual level.

On a larger scale, we must construct new water reservoirs and construction of dams is also imperative to overcome the issue of water shortage. We have to realize that this acute problem cannot be overcome unless dams are constructed. Unfortunately, our government is not paying heed to this fact. Currently, there are only 150 dams of above 49-foot height in Pakistan.

Deteriorating situation of our dams is another worrisome phenomenon. Mangla Dam and Tarbela Dam became operational in 1967 and 1974 respectively, and these are now reaching dead level. But, not even a single major reservoir has been constructed since Tarbela. Now, there is a dire need to construct major reservoirs in Pakistan. In addition, the construction of small dams in different suitable areas could help us overcome the chronic issues of energy crisis and water scarcity. It is worth mentioning here that the current per capita availability of water in Pakistan has reached 1016 cubic metres and if it falls below 1000 cubic metres, Pakistan will become a water-scarce country.

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Human rights in Pakistan

https://dailytimes.com.pk/277623/human-rights-in-pakistan/

originally published in dailytimes

Human beings are born free but are encountering a number of issues that eventually snatch their freedom and make them slaves. The worst form of slavery is the inability of people to think independently and rationally. This kind of slavery grows when people stop demanding their rights.A nation can never become prosperous till basic rights for its citizens are ensured. A number of efforts have been made both at national and international levels to provide and protect fundamental human rights. However, many people, both in developing and developed countries, are still deprived of them;Pakistan is no exception. Followed by the right to quality education and employment, freedom of speech and expression has also become a rare commodity, whereas the constitution of Pakistan guarantees equal provision of rights.

The worst form of human rights violation taking place in Pakistan is child abuse. According to a private media report, around 3,445 cases regarding the sexual abuse of children were filed in, 2017. The actual number is most likely much higher, as child abuse is a sensitive issue that many parents feel reluctant to report. This happens due to lack of awareness among masses. This menace is increasing with each passing day. However, if a child abuse case is exposed, a number of promises are made by the authorities concerned to adopt proper measures in order to protect children. Speeches are delivered to put an end to this curse. But, after a few days another incident of the same nature takes place. Serious efforts are needed to eradicate this evil. This form of violation cannot be ended until the offenders are given exemplary punishments, to create future deterrence.

Moreover, women are considered an integral part of any society. Equal participation of women is important to put our country on the road to prosperity. Followed by domestic violence, honour killing is another issue that needs to be dealt immediately. Moreover, lack of employment and educational opportunities have paved the way for gender discrimination in our society. It is believed that when a woman is educated, positives impacts can be seen on that particular society. Our country can never be prosperous until Pakistai women are empowered. It is an alarming fact that women’s labour force participation in our country is around 22.7 %. Since female literacy rate is less than the male literacy rate, women don’t get equally employment opportunities. Many women are working on less than minimum wages.According to the Global Gender Gap Report (2017) Pakistan ranked as the second worst country among 144.It is the responsibility of our government to ensure the presence of women at educational institutions and work places by solving the issue of gender inequality. It is a sad fact that many organizations prefer to hire males under the assumption that that men are more competent and hard-working than women. Such biases deprive our women of their basic rights. Such factors show that human rights are deteriorating badly.

Also read: Does technology present a challenge?

Moreover, the freedom of speech and expression is almost nonexistent in many areas of our country. If a particular group raises a voice for the rights of its people, it is rarely encouraged. According to article 19 of our constitution, every citizen has the right to express himself. The sad plight of this right is not a hidden secret. Many times people are killed or beaten to death if they give their opinion against the poor performance of the authorities or institutions.Moreover, many human rights activists are still absent in many areas of our country. Such circumstances make other people fearful and deprive them of their right to freedom of speech and expression. Sometimes people do not feel reluctant to take the law into their own hands, as proved by the murder of Mashaal Khan. Most of the time, such situations arise when people are not allowed to think critically and analytically. Unfortunately, our education system is far behind the needs of modern times. At our educational institutions students are not encouraged to raise questions that need to be answered. Even if a teacher tries to teach his students to think independently and critically, he faces dire consequences. It is not the certification, but learning that is the main purpose of education. At every educational institution, there must be different societies and platforms dedicated to providing every student with a chance to express his opinions. Such factors can decrease extremism, especially madrassas.

In a nutshell, the provision of human rights guarantees not only peaceful coexistence of citizens but also prosperity for the country. Pakistan cannot be prosperous until its citizens get all their fundamental rights without any discrimination of race, class, creed and area. All the policies must be people centric rather than area centric. No one must be deprived of any of his rights. We will have to accept this fact before visualizing a better future.

The writer is a clinical psychologist and can be contacted at annieaman052@gmail.com

Published in Daily Times, August 4th 2018.

Education System of Pakistan

Originally Published in Jahangir’s world Times Magazine.

http://jworldtimes.com/jwt2015/magazine-archives/jwtmag2018/may2018/education-system-of-pakistan/

 

Education is the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world. It enhances not only analytical abilities but also critical thinking of the students. Unfortunately, being a developing country, Pakistan faces almost all sorts of socioeconomic problems. One of the major reasons behind all these problems is low literacy rate of our country. According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2016-17, overall literacy rate has declined from 60 percent to 58 percent. Moreover, overall net enrolment rate at primacy level was recorded at 54 percent. The data further show that literacy rate remained higher in urban areas (74 percent) than in rural areas (49 percent). The United Nations Global Education Monitoring Report 2016 revealed that Pakistan is 50 plus years behind in its primary and 60 plus years behind in its secondary education targets. Moreover, 5.6 million Pakistani children are out of schools. All these issues call for an in-depth analysis of out education system so as to find out a workable solution.

There are a number of reasons behind the bleak and worrisome situation of Pakistan’s education system. The most important thing is that ‘Education For All’ commitment is not being fulfilled properly. Federal and all four provincial governments seem unwilling to take serious steps in order to achieve set targets of education.

Other than this, terrorism also holds children back from schools. Between 2007 and 2015, there were around 870 attacks by different terrorist groups on educational institutions of the country. It is a bitter reality that Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) closed hundreds of schools in country’s northern areas.

Poverty is another hurdle in the way of high literacy rate in Pakistan. Almost 30 percent Pakistanis are living below the poverty line. It is a sad reality that the number of children at different workplaces is more than the total number of children at schools. Amidst all the financial issues, the poor parents find it advantageous to send their children to work in order to earn a few rupees. Let it be very clear, the issues of education cannot be resolved unless poverty is controlled. Though government initiated a few schemes to provide free education at school level but it must be realized that this is not a long-term and sustainable solution. The government provides free books and a few other facilities to the students of public schools, but many of these books are in English, whereas many teachers, especially those belonging to rural areas, do not have proficiency in the English language. As a result, they ask students to buy the same book in Urdu. This shows the importance of training that must be provided to all the teachers.

In addition, all the appointments must be made on merit and all the teachers must be competent enough to train and teach their students in a better way. Moreover, in many areas, school buildings are without proper boundary walls and lack other basic amenities. Students are made to sit in open areas even during harsh weather conditions.

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Overpopulation Demands Good Governance

Originally published in Jahangir’s world Times Magazine

http://jworldtimes.com/jwt2015/magazine-archives/jwtmag2018/june2018/overpopulation-demands-good-governance/

Pakistan, being a developing country, is confronting a number of issues, at present. Among them the multidimensional problem of burgeoning population is of critical importance. Total population of Pakistan, as per the latest census, is around 208 million, making the country the 5th most populous in the world. Amidst a growing population, the rate of unemployment is also increasing with every passing day. Around 30 percent of Pakistanis are living below the poverty line. The issues related to distribution of food and water are yet to be resolved. Although Pakistan is a resource-rich country, yet these resources are depleting owing to gross mismanagement by the authorities concerned. Unfortunately, hardly any of our strategic policies is in line with the issues emanating from the menace of growing population. However, it is indubitable that all these issues can be solved only through good governance.

Education is the backbone of a nation. But, the deteriorating situation of education in Pakistan is worrisome, to say it mildly. With the increase in population, the total number of out-of-school children has also increased. It is a sad reality that around 5.5 million Pakistani children are still out of school. The Government of Pakistan spends around 2.5 percent of the national GDP on education. No palpable change in budgetary allocation for education to meet the demands of fast-growing population has been seen. Amidst all these issues, the rate of literacy still remains at a meager 58 percent. The progress of Pakistan can never be assured unless literacy rate is increased.

Another issue confronting Pakistan due to the overpopulation is the deteriorating situation of health sector. The fast growth in population demands not only the construction of new hospitals and healthcare centres but also the availability, therein, of new and modern medical equipment. The bad condition of public sector hospitals in terms of management and provision of proper facilities is not a secret now. Total number of beds and health facilities available at government hospitals do not meet the demand. It is important to note here that Pakistan ranked 149th out of 179 countries in 2015 on the Maternal Mortality Ratio Index. Followed by a sheer lack of awareness, unavailability of food, polluted water and hygiene problems have given rise to a number of health issues in our country. But, despite all these issues, the health budget is still around 0.9 percent.

In addition, water resources of Pakistan are also depleting due to mismanagement. Owing to lack of attention on construction of new water reservoirs, the issue of water-shortage is getting aggravated day by day. By considering the fact that population of our country is rapidly increasing, the need of the hour is to ensure a strict implementation of the recently-announced National Water Policy for better water management. The need to enhancing the country’s water-storage water capacity was never as acute as it is today. It must be remembered that the provision of clean drinking water is imperative to control the ratio of infection and disease among the masses. Pakistan is already on the list of water-stressed countries. It is frightening that the current per-capita availability of water in Pakistan has reached 1016 cubic metres. If the availability of water falls below 1000 cubic metres, Pakistan will be classified as a water-scarce country. Around 45 percent Pakistanis do not have access to clean drinking water. Our population is increasing rapidly but no serious steps are being taken to solve the chronic water issue.

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