FREELANCERS IN TROUBLE: For sure, Feb 8 was not the first time the country faced suspension of internet and mobile phone services. The disruption was but an extension of a negative strategy that always ends up hindering economic activities. Such a shutdown on election day led to lack of authentic information, which, in turn, facilitated anyone busy in floating rumours and disinformation. In late 2023, similar internet disruptions had accounted for a loss of more than a billion rupees in merely 24 hours. With an increasing number of economic problems, coupled with an unmeasurable decrease in the value of the currency, it is crucial to avoid any step that hinders the internet-based economy. Pakistani freelancers bring in precious foreign exchange into the country, and they deserve a better deal.
ONLINE PAYMENT: In the age of digital advancement, the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) is stuck with the traditional challan payment method, which requires a candidate to physically submit the fee challan at designated bank branches. Besides, candidates are required to keep the receipt safe for months, and present it at the time of sitting the test. In case of a lost challan, they find themselves navigating the bureaucratic maze of banks to obtain a duplicate. The FPSC should switch to online payment method to save the candidates from physical fatigue.
LACK OF SNOW: The mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) are covered in massive snow by December every year, but that has not been the case this year. The mountains look deserted and the locals have started to worry about the lack of snowfall. Most of the people in GB depend on glacial water and snow for irrigation and drinking purposes. The locals are unaware of climate change and its disastrous effects. The authorities should educate the locals about the phenomenon and its impacts. They must also take climate-resilient initiatives to mitigate its negative consequences.
Published in Dawn, February 13th, 2024