Subsidising diseases

Government subsidies are important and provide relief for the poor segment, especially when inflation is hitting hard. However, when these subsidies extend to unhealthy food items, the consequences for public health can be significant. Let’s discuss the health implications of subsidising unhealthy food items. Continue reading

Unveiling dyslexia: hidden struggles

Can you imagine a world where a child’s learning difficulties are not barriers but stepping stones to becoming a world-renowned scientist, a successful actor, director or a renowned journalist? Albert Einstein, the genius behind the theory of relativity, once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” If the remarkable minds of Einstein, Steven Spielberg and Richard Branson are any indication, dyslexia may hold the key to unlocking the boundless potential of the human imagination. Continue reading

Trans-fats: a silent killer

Cardiovascular diseases are considered a major health concern primarily for developing nations. Approximately 17 million people die due to heart disease worldwide every year. According to the recent WHO report on heart attack ratio in Pakistan, 240,720 people died from coronary heart disease in Pakistan in 2020, accounting for 16.49% of all fatalities. Unfortunately, Pakistan is ranked 30 in the world with a death rate of 193.56 per 100,000 people. Continue reading

Electoral violence against women

Violence against women during elections is a grave issue with a long-lasting impact on women’s participation in politics and public life. In Pakistan, many women face obstacles to participating in elections. These include cultural and social barriers, lack of access to information and resources and physical threats and violence. Women are underrepresented in decision-making roles and have limited access to power and influence. As a result, violence against women in elections undermines women’s equal access to the democratic process, whether as voters, candidates, polling staff, polling agents or elected leaders. Continue reading

Away from public gaze

Balochistan replaced its ineffective Balochistan Freedom of Information Act, 2005 with a more promising Balochistan Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2021, in February 2021. There can be no doubt that this was a move in the right direction, aimed at improving service delivery, transparency and accountability in governance. Continue reading

Evading accountability

The Right to Know Day is celebrated globally on September 28. The objective of the observance is to share ideas, strategies and success stories about the development of the right-to-information laws that have led towards genuinely transparent governance and provided a way forward for improving accountability around the world. More than 135 countries have so far legislated access to information laws. Continue reading

Right to Information landscape in Pakistan

Information is considered as oxygen of democracy. If citizens are unaware of the rulers’ actions, then they cannot take a meaningful part in the affairs of the society. In Pakistan, there exists a culture of secrecy that allows space for continued incidence of inefficiencies, mismanagements, corruption, nepotism, and embezzlement of public funds. These symptoms indicate to lack of trust between citizens and the state, as citizens’ participation in governance without an adequate flow of information is not possible. Right to Information has a unique importance in promoting civil rights. This right cuts across all other rights that any state bestows to their citizens, e.g., rule of law, freedom of speech, right to representation, right to equal opportunities and consumer rights. Continue reading