Tag Archives: Pakistan

International Men’s Day slips by quietly in Pakistan

  • How International Men’s Day fared in Pakistan
  • A women’s right activist on International Men’s Day
  • How International men’s day 2016 coincided with interesting developments
  • What is it really about?

 

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Trending on twitter for a few hours on twitter was the only thing International Men’s Day could manage in Pakistan. It was not mentioned in the media, save for a blog and a single TV report.

The trend of being ignored is somewhat global, with people often complaining that the International Men’s day gets less attention than women’s day.

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But people in Pakistan expresses their views against the day very strongly, maybe because Pakistan is ranked 147th out of 188 in the global gender inequality index.

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A Pakistani feminist on men’s day

Dr. Farzana Bari heads the Centre for Excellence in Gender Studies at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad. A keen and vocal supporter of women’s rights, Dr. Bari has a very clear view on the whole International Men’s Day affair.

      “This is simply retaliation, no men are being discriminated against in Pakistan”

She added that the lack of any active body pursuing men’s rights is the reason International Men’s Day is celebrated in Pakistan, dismissing the whole thing in the end as a “Non-Issue”.

Development: Men’s Rights on the horizon in Pakistan

Just a few days before International Men’s Day 2016, Sahibzada Zahid Mehmood Qasmi a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology came up with something new. In a letter to the chairman of the council, Qasmi asked for a men’s rights bill to be passed. He said:

“There are crimes against men too, mostly by their wives”

Although his letter was not inspired by International Mens Day, he does not see anything wrong with it.

“If women have a day of their own, why not men too”

So, what is it all about?

The complaints about men’s day are understandable, probably because male domination is so obvious all over the world.

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From 9gag.com

But it is actually about how masculinity might actually be hurting the males all over the world. The theme for this year’s International Mens Day was suicide, as more men kill themselves all over the world.

However, while the debate on whether International Mens day needs to be celebrated or not continues. Humor might be the way forward.

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8 brands that should have official outlets in Pakistan

 

Official outlets mean absolutely no doubts in the authenticity of the product. Pakistan needs more than used imports or cheap remakes of products that the world lives by. Here are 8 outlets that we need official outlets of.

8. Gibson Guitar Corporation

Used by greats such as Jimmy Page and Slash, Gibson guitars are known for their iconic rock sound around the globe. Music played on Gibson guitars has been reaching pakistan for a long time, it’s high time the guitars came to.

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(http://giphy.com/gifs/led-zeppelin-jimmy-page-zoso-bOgOrfxqos0Zq)

7. Harley Davidson motor company

The American Motorcycle company has been identified with lone rangers through the years. Motorcyclists in Pakistan need to have access to better machines to cruise through the country.

2016-harley-davidson-fat-boy-s-fat-custom2-small

(http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2016/2016-Harley-Davidson-Fat-Boy-S-Fat-Custom.htm)

6. Lexus

Lexus makes cars that are at once, reliable, high performing and stylish. Pakistan has only limited access to parent company Toyota. While Lexus does not make cars for every segment, there are still a lot of people who would buy them in Pakistan.

 

 

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(http://www.lexus.com/concept/LC/)

5. H&M

The company’s logo is ‘fashion and quality at the best price’. Well we want fashion and quality too, not to mention better prices.

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(http://www.stgeorgespreston.co.uk/stores/hm/)

4. Mont Blanc writing instruments

The German maker of pens and inks is just whats missing from our professional lives. With no official outlet, we’re stuck with cheap local makes that are just not upto the task.

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(https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/ballpoint-pen-guide/)

 

3. One Plus Mobile Phones

One Plus is known as a reliable manufacturer of budget phones. Opening an official outlet would give options against low quality Chinese phones that are readily available in the market.

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2. Starbucks

Being one of the largest coffee companies in the world, Starbucks is a major name missing in Pakistan. Having better coffee might make our workdays easier!

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1.  Apple

This may come as a surprise since we already see so many Apple products lying around, the American tech giant still has no official outlet in Pakistan. If we get one, rates might become lower and services might become improved.

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The Genius of Amnesty

The recently announced tax amnesty scheme for traders will go a long way in increasing the tax base in Pakistan.

With the words tax and amnesty in the same term, the only thing that comes to mind is a huge compromise. Not that the accusations are unfounded. With a history of Government schemes benefitting only their political parties, it is fairly reasonable to say that Tax Amnesty scheme announced in 2016 will go the same way.

But it is not just a scheme, it’s a wondrful trap. The inherent genius of which is undeniable.

You see, once you pay the nominal tax on your black money worth 50 million (or more) you don’t just turn it white; you also show up on the national tax database. After that, no running and no hiding.

And if you don’t avail the scheme, you will have to pay 0.3% tax on every banking transaction worth more than Rs.50,000.

Another masterstroke is addition of the word ‘Voluntary’ to name of this scheme. A psychological hit perhaps, aimed at telling the traders that they will benefit most from the scheme. No forcing, no pushing. The government has very clearly told the traders that they are allowed to be part of a scheme that will suit them.

By limiting this scheme to traders only, the government has perhaps tried to block the pipes for any corruption that might seep through. This will ensure that criminals of all sorts might not use the scheme to go white. Yes, all non-filers are criminals in way, but some of them like the traders can be forgiven.

The immediate response of the Pakistani Media was predictable and disappointing. The scheme was dismissed as ill-intentioned and ill conceived. Headlines screamed ‘Kala dhan safaid karlo’ (turn your black fortunes white). Most failed to realize that removing penalty for traders who have not paid tax is the cost of this scheme, not the objective.

Indeed, it takes an objective and a non- politically aligned approach to really understand what this scheme will do. The objective is to assign traders tax numbers and then tax them continuously. By not enforcing penalties for non-filing, the government is paying for the mistakes of past governments. The revenue which should have been collected as tax in past years, will be officially written off. However it will turn over a new leaf for the payers and the collectors.

The scheme was direly needed. Figures quoted by Federal Board of Revenue officials in the parliament suggest that out of 2.8 million traders in the country only about 625,000 file tax returns. At 22% it is better than the overall taxpayer situation in the country, but still not good enough.

Critics question why the scheme is limited to traders only. The answer is that the scheme would otherwise have been labelled as self-facilitating, as it comes from a parliament full of non-taxpayers. Plus, the government had to start somewhere.

The worries of opposition parties regarding the misuse of the scheme are understandable. Anyone posing as a trader can take benefit of the scheme easily. The only answer is an effective checks and balance mechanism. We can only hope that the FBR comes up with a good solution, the non-filers themselves cannot be relied upon to follow the scheme guidelines.

Unveiled on January 1, the scheme is not perhaps the best new-year gift. It is however, one of the better plans this government has come up with. It has been met positively by the traders.

The scheme has been fiercely opposed by the opposition parties in the parliament. If it helps to turn more people into taxpayers, even at the cost of removing claims on non-paid taxes for the past many years, I say do it.

We hardly need to go into the benefits of a broadened tax net.