Writers, activists and intellectuals hope Pakistan will be an inclusive society in 2022

Students hold candles as they participate in an event to say goodbye to 2021 and welcome 2022, in Lahore.
Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: For 2022, Pakistani intellectuals, human rights activists, writers and thinkers have expressed their wish that their homeland truly reflects what its founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah dreamed of in 1947 at the time of its creation of the new country: a tolerant and pluralistic society where believers of all faiths and religions would live in peace and harmony with one another.

French-born Pakistani activist working for women’s and children’s rights, Valerie Khan, said she wanted to see Pakistan aligned with Jinnah’s vision of an enlightened society. “In this new year, I resolve to continue efforts for peace and justice and to protect women and children,” she said.

According to Khan, the creation of 8 additional children’s courts, bringing the total to 13 such courts in Pakistan, was rather encouraging. Thus, ground-breaking case law has promoted freedom of religion, child protection and gender equality, she said, commenting on the major achievement of the past year.

Likewise, the Women in Law Awards and the Symposium on Diversity and Inclusion of the Department of Law and Justice are also an encouraging sign, as is the enactment of the Anti-Rape Law 2021, she said. declared.

“There is still a crucial step missing to ensure the access of women and children to justice and gender equality in our country and we could perhaps make a major step in this direction during the year 2022 “she said.

Khan added: “My wish for the new year is to see the year 2022, the year when a woman is finally appointed a judge in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”

The pandemic has remained under control

In the health sector, Pakistan has emerged as a leading state, especially in its fight against COVID-19 and when the coronavirus wreaked havoc in the life of the region and the world, Pakistan was seen as a relatively safe with less than 29,000 victims. and 1.29 million cases of COVID-19 to date.

Islamabad District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem Zia while expressing his wish for the New Year – the complete eradication of the coronavirus from Pakistan – said the accelerated vaccination, adherence to operational procedures standard (SOP) COVID-19 and the imposition of a smart lockdown were the key factors in enabling the government and people of Pakistan to rise to the challenge.

Importantly, he said that public cooperation and responding to the appeal of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his health team was the reason the COVID-19 positivity rate is now 1% in the country. , did he declare.

Vaccination target of 70 million achieved

On the last day of 2021, Pakistan also reached its goal of vaccinating 70 million people, or one-third of the country’s population.

However, warning of the new variant of the virus, Omicron, Dr Zaeem Zia said that this is a new challenge and requires a stronger response, namely vaccination and monitoring of SOPs. .

“My wish for the year 2022 is that we continue to follow the SOPs and thus make our country totally virus free,” he said.

A year of violence in the name of religion

The famous writer Hameed Shahid has said that the year 2021 will be marked by a period marked by violence and extremism in the name of religion.

Referring to the lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara in the city of Sialkot in the Punjab on December 8 and before that, the march of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Islamabad and the violence during clashes between protesters and the police, he said sadly religion instead of teaching us to be human and tolerant of others has been exploited by special interests to spread hatred in 2021.

“Pray that the year 2022 will see a Pakistan less violent and more tolerant of followers of different faiths,” he said.