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Present regime and dengue!



A few days ago I was busy in a meeting in my office when I received a call from a friend on my phone. I didn't listen to that call due to my busy schedule and thought that I would call back after finishing the meeting, but then the same friend's call started coming again.

Imran Yaqub Khan Profile Imran Yaqub Khan

I hung up the phone again and texted him that I was busy with the meeting, finished and called back. As soon as I read this message, this friend of mine sent me a reply message that Imran Bhai is an emergency, so contact me immediately. As soon as I read this message, I called this friend and he almost cried and told me that my sister is very ill, her platelets are very low due to dengue and the doctors have said that if you take her life If you want to save, take the patient to a good hospital in Lahore immediately. Brother Imran! Do something for God's sake, or my sister will die. We have made every effort for ourselves. There is no bed in any government or private hospital. Help us for God's sake.

I comforted him on my own and said: "You hang up. I'll do something." As soon as I hung up, I called a very close friend of mine, a doctor who is the CEO of a well-known private hospital in Lahore, and stated my case. Expressing his helplessness, Dr Sahib said to me, "Imran bhai, you are well aware that if I have the capacity for one bed, I should be present, but what can I do?" There is no room available and no bed in the ICU. All the hospitals are full of dengue patients. After hearing this denial, I contacted the owner of another well-known hospital in Lahore, located in front of Gaddafi Stadium on Ferozepur Road, through another friend, but got a similar response from there. On the other hand, my friend was constantly crying and calling me to do something for the sake of God.

With every call of his phone, not only my responsibility was increasing but also my embarrassment was constantly increasing. It was increasingly why I could not help him in this troubled world. In the midst of this predicament, I contacted another friend of mine, a doctor who also owns a large private hospital in Lahore, and asked him for some special compassion and help in this whole situation. He was especially kind and told me that there was no room or ICU bed available but that I could do something to alleviate the anxiety of you and your friend in the side room next to the ICU. This patient is admitted and his treatment is started immediately. I especially thanked the doctor and told my friend to take his sister to the hospital immediately.

After going through all this process, I was forced to think why we Pakistanis are deprived of even basic facilities for treatment in case of any disease? Under the Constitution of Pakistan, when it is the responsibility of the government to provide health and medical care to every Pakistani, then why do we have to stumble, be humiliated and seek recommendations for treatment. Don't ask the poor, even though they have money and resources, they have to beg for treatment in private hospitals. Room rent in most private hospitals is higher than in five star hotels, but the people who are willing to spend that much money still don't get the facilities. The poor die wandering around in government hospitals seeking treatment, but no one cares.

According to the World Health Organization, Pakistan spends only 1.2% of its GDP on health, while the WHO suggests Pakistan should spend 5% of GDP on health. When Prime Minister Imran Khan was in opposition, he was openly critical of the lack of health facilities and government policies. He also claimed that after the formation of the PTI government, revolutionary steps would be taken in the field of healthcare in the country, especially at government hospitals where all the medical facilities would be available to the common man. Has this happened? If you ask the truth, the answer is no.

Per official figures released in May 2020, Rs90.1 billion were spent on the health of 111.12 million people in Punjab, the country's largest province. That is Rs818.99 per annum and Rs 68.25 per month were spent for the health of an individual. The Sindh province, which came second in terms of population, spent Rs62.5 billion on the health of its 47.8 million citizens, i.e. Rs1,305 per citizen per year and Rs108.76 per month per month. Balochistan has a population of 12.3 million and has a health budget of Rs15.2 billion, i.e. Rs1,231.32 per citizen per year and Rs102.61 per month. In 2018-19, FATA was not integrated into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to which KP had set aside Rs23.5 billion for its population of 35.23 million. Thus, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa spent Rs769.90 per person per year and Rs64.15 per month.

Speaking of Islamabad, the federation spent Rs12.4 billion in the health sector last financial year, which was for the citizens of the federal capital as well as for the areas under its jurisdiction. After Corona, dengue has raised more questions about the government performance. The PML-N has sharply criticized the government in this regard. Opposition leader in Punjab Hamza Shehbaz has even said the Punjab government is responsible for the spread of dengue in Punjab, which was pointed out by a report of the health department itself. This year's dengue campaign was ordered at a time when deaths were on the rise.

Whether the people trust the government or the opposition, the truth is that every Pakistani has a constitutional and fundamental right to access appropriate treatment.

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Pakistan, China sign MoU for water resources development

Ambassador Moin Ul Haque said: “The MOU will pave the way for bilateral cooperation in the utilization and sustainable development of water resources and environmental protection”.

Published by Noor Fatima



Islamabad: Pakistan and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for bilateral cooperation in the utilization and sustainable development of water resources and environmental protection.

The MoU between Chang Jiang Water Resources Commission and Water and Power Development Authority was signed in a ceremony at Pakistan embassy in Beijing.

Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin Ul Haque and Vice Commissioner of Changjiang Water Resources Commission (CWRC), Wu Daoxi signed the agreement.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Moin Ul Haque said: “The MOU will pave the way for bilateral cooperation in the utilization and sustainable development of water resources and environmental protection”.

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SC consolidates ECP election case, petitions against judgment review law

The court issues notices to the AGP, President Arif Alvi, the federal government, and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, ordering the joint hearing of both cases on June 13.

Published by Hussnain Bhutta



Islamabad: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Wednesday postponed the hearing of the Punjab election review case and the Supreme Court Review of Judgements and Orders Act 2023 until June 13.

The SC three-member bench, led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, combined the Punjab election review case and the Review Order Act case during the proceedings.  Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Munib Akhtar were the other members of the bench.

Chief Justice Bandial observed the court's intention to reach a decision on the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) plea for reviewing the verdict on the Punjab elections as soon as possible. He remarked  that the court received petitions and emphasized the importance of addressing the Review Order Act at this stage.

The Chief Justice observed that notice would be issued to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP), following which the bench would consider the ECP's review plea under the Review Order Act. The Chief Justice then asked PTI lawyer Barrister Ali Zafar for his opinion on the Review Order Act.

Barrister Zafar argued that the SC Review Order Act contradicted the Constitution. He contended that the issue had already been raised in the SC Practice and Procedure Act, which had obtained a stay from the Supreme Court.

According to the lawyer, the same stay should also apply to the Review Order Act. He further claimed that the SC had the authority to hear the ECP's review plea since the Review Order Act did not currently apply to the court due to the stay.

Justice Akhtar observed hat if the Review Order Act was enforced, the ECP's lawyer would need to present arguments before a larger bench. He questioned how the court could proceed with the Punjab election case if the Review Order Act had been implemented. The Justice also asked the lawyer to explain why the Review Order Act did not apply to the SC.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Bandial emphasized that a decision on the Punjab election review case was desired by everyone. He noted that there were certain limits for filing an appeal, mentioning that the ECP's lawyer had argued for extensive authorities. He added that the matter of elections was a national issue and implementing the May 14 orders was not feasible, but it represented a historical verdict.

Petitioners Zaman Khan Wardag and Ghulam Mohiuddin echoed the arguments presented by Barrister Zafar. They contended that the Review Order Act was illegal and required a constitutional amendment to extend the jurisdiction of reviews. The court acknowledged that a stay had already been issued on the implementation of the SC Practice and Procedure Act by a larger bench and scheduled both cases for a joint hearing on June 13.

Chief Justice Bandial announced that the SC would hold daily hearings on the cases after the mentioned date. The court issued notices to the AGP, President Arif Alvi, the federal government, and the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, ordering the joint hearing of both cases on June 13.

In regards to the Review Order Act, Advocate Riaz Hanif Rahi, the petitioner, urged the court to declare the Act unconstitutional, null and void, and issued without jurisdiction. The petition, naming the government as a respondent through the Ministry of Law and Justice Secretary and Senate Secretariat Secretary Muhammad Qasim Samad Khan, argued that the law was unconstitutional and had been passed for the government's personal advantage, disregarding public interest.

Rahi further argued that the respondents had exceeded their constitutional limits by considering extraneous factors and ulterior motives. The Review of Judgements and Orders Act 2023 came into effect on May 5, 2023.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar referred to Article 188 of the Constitution and defended the law, stating that it empowered the SC, subject to the provisions of any Act of Majlis-e-Shoora and any rules set by the Supreme Court, to review its judgments and orders.

 He emphasized that the legislation was procedural in nature and aligned with the spirit of Article 188 of the Constitution.

Regarding the petition filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which challenged the Supreme Court's authority to set a date for holding elections in Punjab, the previous hearing was indefinitely adjourned by Chief Justice Bandial after Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Usman Awan mentioned the review order. The AGP informed the bench that the review order had come into effect, leading to the conclusion of the brief hearing.

The ECP's petition argued that, according to the Constitution, the power to announce the date for general elections rests with bodies other than the judiciary, making the reviewed order a breach of the fundamental principle of the separation of powers and thus unsustainable. Additionally, the ECP contended that fair conduct of the general elections to the National Assembly was not possible in the presence of an elected government in Punjab.

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M&C Saatchi World Services clinches prestigious Gold Effie Award

The fifth Pakistan Effie Awards has been held at the Expo Center in Karachi on 3rd June 2023, organized by the Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS).

Published by Hussnain Bhutta



Karachi: The Effie Awards is a globally recognized symbol of advertising effectiveness, celebrating outstanding campaigns that demonstrate exceptional results and innovation every year. The fifth Pakistan Effie Awards were held at the Expo Center in Karachi on 3rd June 2023, organized by the Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS).

M&C Saatchi World Services' groundbreaking ad, "Let's Talk - Addressing Pakistan's Brown Bag Syndrome" for FCDO won the prestigious Gold Effie Award in the non-profit category. The campaign is part of the Delivering Accelerated Family Planning in Pakistan (DAFPAK)’s social behaviour communication change component, launched under KhairKhwah, a platform to improve access to family planning services for the most vulnerable in Pakistan and disseminate messages for the common good.

The campaign, under KhairKhwah, aimed to create awareness and initiate meaningful conversations around the pressing issue of population growth in Pakistan. Drawing insights from in-depth research, the campaign sought to challenge societal norms and stimulate constructive dialogue regarding family planning and its impact on the nation's future.

“This achievement is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our talented teams at M&C Saatchi World Services Pakistan and London and the client's unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on society,” said Imran Irshad, CEO, M&C Saatchi World Services Pakistan.

"As we proudly accept our first Effie Award, we remain resolute in our pursuit of future success and continue to make meaningful change through impactful communication.”

The Brown Bag campaign creatively employed multiple touchpoints to engage the target audience, leveraging traditional media, digital platforms, and on-ground activations. With its thought-provoking approach and measurable impact, the campaign has garnered well-deserved attention and acclaim within and beyond the advertising industry.


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