Some TV channels recently showed the Punjab chief minister and inspector general of police using a helicopter to oversee security arrangements for Ashura processions. They were inspecting the challenges from 10,000 feet above and not on the ground. What was the point if they could not engage with the public and listen to their woes?
A helicopter view is generally an overview. Its origin is the ‘helicopter view’ that features on US television networks where high speed police car chases are a regular part of programmes.
According to Oxford dictionary, a helicopter view is a broad, general view or description of a problem. The Cambridge dictionary states that it is a general description or opinion of a situation rather than a detailed one.
Punjab needs leaders who have detailed knowledge of the various challenges and woes facing the province and our country. For this to happen, the ‘helicopter view’ will not work.
There are various opinions in the public sphere on the Sindh government’s recent decision to turn Metropole Hotel into a park for children and the elderly. Some say this move is visionary and that it must be supported wholeheartedly by all stakeholders.
I agree that it is an expensive proposition, but I am sure the owners can be compensated if we provide them with alternative land.
Alternatively, public-private partnership may be tapped for this project. The beautification plans by the Sindh government for a couple of roads can be put on hold.
Other people argue that it is sad to watch Metropole Hotel slowly disappear before one’s eyes. Many people remember its glorious and majestic days and are sad that this journey is ending.
There are already two parks in the area — Frere Hall and Jinnah Bagh. Has a study been done to see the rush of visitors or the feasibility of the suggested project? However, to make this project work, may I suggest a smog tower that eats away the pollutants and gives clean air? China and Poland have them and so can we. People will rush to the Metropole park and be thankful to be alive and breathe and breathe till their lungs are full.
Death in custody
The recent death of an alleged ATM robber in Gujranwala is a frightening example of the prevalent problem of custodial deaths in the Punjab police.
It is evident that Pakistan does not have any domestic laws criminalising torture. Article 14 of the constitution prohibits the use of torture for extracting evidence. But criminals, suspects and their families justifiably worry about torture in custody, especially given the lack of accountability for police officers who commit these abuses.
Unfortunately, it is common in our country that those from marginalised groups are particularly at risk of police abuse. While the police typically blame deaths in custody on suicide, illness or accident, victims’ family members frequently allege that the deaths were the result of torture or other ill-treatment. This brutal incident is a typical case of how ordinary people are treated by the police for petty crimes, whereas, corrupt and convicted politicians are treated like VIPs.
This is the reason a large number of people mistrust the law enforcement institutions. An in-custody death automatically intensifies suspicion of police brutality. To bridge the trust deficit in the people-police relationship, there must be strict accountability of police officers who commit abuses on the suspects.
The outcome of talks between Trump and Modi disappointed millions of Kashmiris who have been struggling for their right to self-determination since 1947. The Indian PM again rejected the offer of mediation made by the US president. He once again said that Kashmir was a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
New Delhi has never shown any seriousness in resolving the Kashmir dispute in a substantive manner. Now taking a u-turn, the American president felt no need for mediation as the situation in Kashmir is under the control of the Indian regime. His remarks sent dismaying signals to suppressed Kashmiris as they had pinned their hopes on him for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The US and other super powers must realise the fact that a peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute will bring peace and stability in Asia.
Human life continues and people seem to live even amid chaos and disasters. Every day unfolds a lot of drama and problems for people of the world and their countries. Despite having great technology in hand, the world community is now finding it difficult to cope with any crisis situation. It is obvious that are all dependent on natural resources which are running out.
A blazing fire recently engulfed the Amazon rainforest. This incident has been noticed all over the world, yet governments were slow in acknowledging the role of climate change in these disasters. We must demand that our governments take their commitments to combatting climate change more seriously.