Islamabad: For 2022, Pakistani intellectuals, human rights (HR) 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 when of the establishment of the new country: A tolerant and pluralistic society where believers of all denominations and religions would live in peace and harmony with each other.
A 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 the 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, is rather encouraging. Thus, innovative jurisprudence 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 Diversity and Inclusion Symposium organized by the Ministry of Law and Justice are also an encouraging sign, as is the enactment of the Anti-Rape Act 2021, he said. she declared.
“A crucial step is still missing to ensure women and children’s access to justice and gender equality in our country and we may be able to take 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 will finally be appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
The pandemic remained under control
In the health sector, Pakistan emerged as a leading state, especially in its fight against COVID-19 and when the coronavirus was wreaking havoc in the region as well as the world, Pakistan was considered a relatively safe country. with less than 29,000 casualties. and 1.29 million cases of COVID-19 to date.
District Health Officer (DHO) Islamabad Dr. Zaeem Zia while expressing his wish for the new year – complete eradication of Coronavirus from Pakistan – said that expedited vaccination, adherence to standard operating procedures ( SOP) COVID-19 and the imposition of a smart lockdown were the key enablers for the government and people of Pakistan to rise to the challenge.
Above all, he said that public cooperation and responding to the appeal of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his health team was the reason why the COVID-19 positivity rate is today at 1% in the country. , did he declare.
Vaccination target of 70 million reached
As of the last day of 2021, Pakistan has also reached its vaccination target of 70 million people, or a third of the country’s population.
However, warning about the new variant of the virus, Omicron, Dr Zaeem Zia said it was a new challenge and required a stronger response, namely vaccination and adherence to SOPs.
“My wish for the year 2022 is that we continue to follow the SOPs and thus make our country completely free from the virus,” he said.
A year of violence in the name of religion
Renowned writer Hameed Shahid said the year 2021 will be remembered as a time marked by violence and extremism in the name of religion.
Referring to the lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara in the Punjab town of Sialkot on December 8 and before that, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) march on Islamabad and the violence during clashes between protesters and the police, he said unfortunately religion instead of teaching us to be humane and tolerant of others has been exploited by special interests to spread hatred in the year 2021.
“Let us pray that the year 2022 will see a Pakistan that is less violent and more tolerant towards followers of different faiths,” he said.