I WOULD like to draw the attention of the defenders of democracy to please agree to an election schedule that does not conflict with the upcoming annual SSC examinations even if the elections have to be delayed by a month.
The summer vacations or the last two weeks of May would be ideal as it would not affect the promotion process of students, ensure that children are safe at home, and school premises are vacant to accommodate polling stations.
Education is already suffering because of strikers and protestors who, of course, are fighting for the greater good but at the expense of reduced learning of the coming generation.
Another thought that I would like to share is that all public rallies, gatherings, civil, religious and political and even demonstrations and protests should be restricted to, for example, listed open grounds (Eidgah grounds adjacent to Quaid’s mausoleum) where the city government receives minimum 24 hours notice of event, the organisers pay a fee in the bank and in return get permission to use the grounds with minimum security arrangements and the city administrations ensures appropriate transport diversions etc.
Karachi cannot afford to be a victim of such organised chaos when its normal day is a chaos or I could say chaos within chaos. The media should take a stand and boycott covering any such events held at public places without permission. This stand by the media will definitely have a great effect.
Additionally, news orgnisations could organise national competitions, inviting suggestions or opinions to city and national problems, awarding prizes, instead of interviewing public off-guard where they are unable to respond in a productive manner.
A panel could be formulated of those who were formerly in an authority position, currently in position and those responsible for implementing the solutions, along with citizens from the business community to trap them in implementing the solutions.
Of course, the competitors would do research on the topic and on practices by other nations, etc., and hence this exercise would divert attentions of young minds to more creative thinking.
University students’ participation would also come into action. The media will then play a real part in developing Pakistan rather than organising talk shows with no outcomes.
MICHAEL DESOUZA Karachi