FRICTION WITHIN: The United Nations General Assembly on Oct 27 voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution called for an “immediate, durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities” and “firmly rejects any attempts at the forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population”. It also stressed the need to avoid a wider escalation of hostilities, and demanded increased humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza. The resounding 120 votes in favour out of 193 countries indicated the massive support for the Palestinians. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should have reached out to all the countries that had voted in favour of the resolution, but it did not. In fact, the world saw frictions within the OIC itself as the days went by.
UNEMPLOYED ENGINEERS: Unemployment is prevalent in the country, while our institutions of higher education keep churning out graduates as if they do not know that there is no place for these graduates that may hire their services. Qualified engineers are no exception to the prevailing scenario. According to an estimate, around 100,000 engineers are currently unemployed. Many of them have started looking around for greener pastures, and will soon be leaving the country for good.
REDEFINING DEVELOPMENT: The impact of development projects on local communities, especially on pedestrians, should not be ignored by the relevant authorities. For example, cancer patients are struggling to reach a hospital due to a new signal-free project in Lahore’s Jauhar Town area. It seems that our planners forget about pedestrians, and prioritise motor vehicles when designing urban development projects. They should be aware of the impact of their projects on local communities, especially on hospitals, and how to facilitate patients.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2023