Belligerent statement indeed

 

This is with reference to the provocative statement of Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat who boasted that the Indian Army is ready to occupy Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and simply awaits a signal from the Narendra Modi-led government. The Army chief’s remarks came days after General Bipin Rawat took over as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff with a mandate to bring in convergence in functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force and bolster the country’s military prowess.

India’s aggressive posturing and persistent enthusiasm to go to war with Pakistan is a grave threat for regional peace and stability. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan was fully able to respond to any Indian aggression in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi should not forget Islamabad’s befitting response to its aggression in Balakot last year. Pakistan would continue its efforts for peace and stability in the region despite India’s provocations. The Indian army has badly failed to suppress the indigenous freedom struggle of the brave Kashmiris. Kashmiri youth now seem determined to not let this divinely created opportunity go in vain and are continuously protesting against the brutalities of Indian forces to awaken the slumbering conscience of the international community.

The struggle in Kashmir is virtually beyond the control despite heaviest deployment of military and the phenomenon has become a dilemma for the entire Indian leadership. The BJP-led government faces sharp criticism from the opposition as well as the academia and sane journalists. Pakistan has continuously expressed its willingness to resolve and support the issue of self-determination of Kashmiri brothers. India on the other hand, is trying to bluff the world with the joke of strikes and the usual blame game against Pakistan.

AFIA AMBREEN,

Rawalpindi.

 

Data economy

 

Apropos the Article, ‘Facebook’s need to grow topped need for privacy’, published in The New York Times back in 2018 (the NYT International Edition, December 22, 2018).

Personal data is the ‘oil of the 21st century’, a resource worth billions to those who can extract, refine and process it effectively to their end-benefit as well as for society at large. Moreover, personal data has to be mined, it has to be gathered, it has to be sifted, it has to be analysed, and so forth.

In Pakistan, we have NADRA but it is a public entity, having the mandate to collect, foster, and regulate the official data of hundreds of millions of Pakistanis at home and abroad. In future, it is expected that we’ll need a super-company or organisation to take up those challenges which are beyond the scope, control, or comprehension of NADRA.

Likewise, our government should promote public-private initiatives both within and abroad with like-minded countries such as KSA, Turkey, UAE, China, Malaysia, UK, to gather and harness all sorts of ‘data’ for the good of society and the nation-state at large. Where such data is shared with or released to the public or commercial enterprises, a suitable levy/tax should be collected. As a modern nation-state with the vision to develop a fairly robust, cyber-technology-driven economy, the personal, commercial and consumer data of all Pakistanis should be developed, harnessed and utilised by stakeholders in the most effective manner. We mustn’t allow ourselves to lag behind our next-door IT rivals or the prominent distant ones such as Israel, Singapore, China, etc.

ABBAS R. SIDDIQI,

Lahore.