"We need an open culture where young models can voice their concerns and freely talk about their problems. There should be a platform where young models can raise their grievances" The Friday Times, Plot No 52-53, N-Block, Main Guru Mangat Road, Gulberg II, ...


Model’s death


The death of a 26-year-old model has shocked many people in the country, and particularly those in the entertainment industry. The young model allegedly committed suicide because she was suffering from depression. Although one cannot know if it was pressures of her career or her personal life that pushed her into taking her own life, it is true that working in the modeling industry is often overwhelming.

The need to look a certain way and maintain a certain size can be crippling. Many women are confronted with sexual harassment in the course of their career as well. In the absence of any institutionalised checks on practices in the modeling industry, many women become vulnerable to all kinds of cruelties. We need an open culture where young models can voice their concerns and freely talk about their problems. There should be a platform where young models can raise their grievances. A few years ago, a French model died because of the industry’s demand for skinny models. The model lived an extremely unhealthy life to maintain the weight demanded by the industry. This eventually led to her death. We should help protect our female models, as well as all women in Pakistan from this kind of scrutiny and judgment, so that tragedies like these can be prevented in the future.

Yasmin Noon,


Water crisis in Karachi


There is a severe water crisis in Karachi and it has gotten particularly worse over the last few days. About 40 percent of the city does not have access to water and are forced to buy water from water tanker suppliers on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately, many neighborhoods in Karachi have not had water in their taps and so a large number of households have to purchase drinking water as a substitute. The situation, however, is not entirely due to the shortage of water but due to poor management of affairs by authorities and disagreements between various offices. The new government must resolve the issue without any further delay. People should not have to pay water tax and also buy water from tankers.

Rafay Aslam,


VIP protocol


The government of Pakistan made a decision to prohibit VIP protocol at airports on August 26. This, in my opinion, this was a good decision. All people deserve to be equal before the law. In the past, ordinary citizens waited in long queues while politicians, legislators, military officials and famous journalists were rushed through because of ‘VIP protocol.’

One must remember, though, that previous governments also tried to prevent VIP protocols but were unable to implement their own rules. Regardless, the new government seems to have declared that from now on all travellers would be given equal treatment. It has also instructed the FIA not to harass passengers leaving the country. I commend the government for making this decision, and look forward to its implementation.

Myra Hashmi,


Women and CSS


The CSS exam is considered the most competitive and challenging exam in Pakistan. There was a time when a large number of men and a small number of women could qualify for this exam. For instance, in 2005, of those who cleared the exam, around 81 percent were men. However, in 2017, of those who cleared the exam, about 36 percent were women. There has been a positive change over the last few years, showing that more women are willing and able to work for the state.

Women’s participation in the civil bureaucracy is on the rise. More women should avail such chances and also join other fields. We need intelligent women running this country!

Mohsin Riaz,


Helicopter rides


When Imran Khan came to power, he did so on the promise to end corruption and end VIP culture, especially among people in government. Although he has not had much time to eliminate corruption, his work on ending VIP culture has not been very encouraging either.

Recently, we saw that the prime minister has been going to work on a helicopter. What made this worse was the information minister’s response to questions about this. He claimed that a cursory search on Google revealed that the helicopter journey could only cost about Rs50 to Rs55.

This figure is laughable and social media had a lot of fun at Fawad and Imran’s expense. Perhaps the minster of ‘information’ would have been better served double checking stuff he finds on the internet. Hopefully this episode will go a long way in ensuring that he does in the future.

Khadija Nadeem,


State of education


The prime minister’s address to the nation a few weeks ago was a breath of fresh air as he extensively spoke about the education emergency in the country and the need for reforms to address it.

It is admirable that the PTI government has prioritised education as an important agenda point. However, the new government needs to be mindful of the biggest challenge that it has inherited: the 20.5 million out-of-school children, 53 percent (or 13 million) of which are girls.

Pakistan has a remarkable law in the form of Article 25-A which pledges access to free and quality education to every Pakistani child between the age of five and 16 years. However, lack of motivation on the part of parents to invest in the education of the girl-child and an acute dearth of middle and high schools remain the biggest contributors to the staggering figure of 22.5 million out-of-school children in the country.

The current government must take an array of measures to increase the overall enrollment rate and it must safeguard the smooth transition of students from primary to middle and secondary levels by either creating new infrastructure or upgrading existing primary schools to middle and high school level.

It is my humble request to the PTI leadership to formalise an effective action plan to implement Article 25-A to address the issue of out-of-school children and ensure that all newly-enrolled students continue their education at least till grade 12. Overcoming the dismal state of education is the gateway to a prosperous and developed Pakistan!

Areebah Shahid,

Via e-mail.