"There is no legislation on private or public use of drones in Pakistan. One hopes our legislators are formulating the outlines to regulate this modern invention"


Climate change


Climate change is real and is affecting Pakistan. A recent Oxfam report titled Climate Induced Migration in Sindh, Pakistanranks the country 7th on the list of countries most impacted by weather-related events.

While the incumbent government has promised to work towards reducing the effects of climate change, nothing concrete has been done so far. Pakistan has a population of over 200 million and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that it does not remain vulnerable to climate-related threats.

Irshad Shah,


Child marriage


Child marriage is an unlawful and illegal practice in which underage boys and girls are married off before they reach a minimum age of adulthood. Internationally, underage marriage is considered a criminal practice as well as a human rights violation. In Pakistan, there is a Federal Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 and Punjab Child Marriage Restraint (Amendment) Act 2015 which allocates marriageable age for girls at 16 and boys at 18. These laws declare underage marriage a punishable offence. Unfortunate, these laws haven’t brought any considerable decline in early marriages. Since these laws have not been enforced, there has been little action against child marriages in the country.

This is why child marriage is so prevalent in Pakistan, particularly in rural areas. This issue is adversely impacting the sexual, reproductive, physical and physiological wellbeing of young women of the country. Almost one-third of girls in Pakistan marry before 18 years of age. Reportedly, the country has one of the highest numbers of child marriages in the world. According to a WHO report, 21 percent girls under the age of 18 and three percent girls under 15 get married in Pakistan. Huge numbers of young girls are forced to marry due to myriads of socio-cultural reasons in the country. According to UK’s Forced Marriage Unit, Pakistan with 439 cases, ranked the highest among top four ‘focus’ countries in 2017, followed by Bangladesh, Somalia and India.

There is no denying the fact that child marriage deprives women of their fundamental right to childhood, education, health and opportunity. Apart from the denial of basic human rights, it also leaves them the most vulnerable to physical, mental and physiological abuse. When girls are married at an early age, they are more likely to face domestic violence, early pregnancies and malnutrition issues. According to UNICEF, for child brides, the risk of domestic violence, early pregnancy and martial rape increases at an alarming rate. A large number of girls drop out of school and enjoy very few economic and employment opportunities.

It is pertinent to mention that the high ratio of maternal and infant mortality in Pakistan has a close link with early marriages. Child marriage is one of the leading causes of death among girls aged between 15 to 19 during pregnancy and child birth.

Underage marriage causes wide-ranging and deleterious effects on child brides’ by degrading their status and autonomy on socio-economic and educational fronts. Extreme poverty, gender inequality, patriarchal customs, cultural notions and lack of education and awareness are the primary reasons behind this harmful traditional practice. It is evident, early marriages will keep on leaving young girls in a lurch until these deeply-entrenched contributors of this criminal practice are not uprooted efficiently.

Myra Shah,


Question of privacy


It is a strange and disturbing sight to see so many drones and helicams being used by various news channels to give an aerial view of a site. To many viewers it is still a novelty, even for professional journalists and the channels airing these aerial views, are assured enhanced viewership earning more revenues.

It must be recalled that there is no legislation on the private or public use of drones in Pakistan. One hopes our legislators are formulating the outlines to regulate this modern invention. Meanwhile the entities using this technology should exhibit responsible behaviour in the absence of law.

They should ensure that there is no surveillance of private property. No-fly zones should be identified and respected like near airports and sensitive installations.

The organisations using drones should be registered and the scope of use should be identified. Individual and corporate privacy should not be compromised. Timely action of our government in this regard will save it from loss or embarrassment.

Aftab Tariq,


Devastation by floods


Recently, heavy rains in Skardu caused floods in Rigayool, Shagri Kalan, Shagri Bala and Tinjus. These floods destroyed irrigated areas, homes and fertile land.

Like last year, residents of Rigayool faced the greatest intensity of the floods. Many houses in Shagri Kalan and Tinjus were demolished because of this catastrophe. Life was at a standstill in these areas and people faced acute scarcity of drinking water. To make matters worse, the government’s rescue machinery went into action quite late.

The government should allocate funds for the affected areas and draw contingency plans to deal with such situations in future.

Niaz Shahid,