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Pakistan: A country where there is no water, no electricity but huge amount of mobiles. by Faiza Latif

Yesterday, I switched the television on out of sheer boredom. While surfing through the channels, I came across the advertisement of a mobile phone launched by a new company notorious for its electrical appliances. Immediately, a thought struck me: is our part in this race of amelioration across the world confined only to introducing new, unique and inexpensive mobile phones?

Nowadays we can see a bevy of mobile phones in almost every show on the television, especially in live transmissions. The hosts of such shows fling the mobile phones to the audience and distribute them gratuitously as if it requires no cost to manufacture them or we’re a country so developed that the value of a mobile phone is not less than a gimcrack for us. No one from other countries will ever believe after watching such type of superficial shows that Pakistan is among the top ten countries facing rising inflation and poverty. Around 60.19% population in Pakistan lives below the poverty line.

In this era when all the developed nations are competing to make a mark in the world by launching new and useful technology everyday just to make the lives of their people easier and salubrious, our local companies are busy in competing with each other by launching exotic, captivating and appealing mobile phones. What if these companies spent the same amount of money in manufacturing economical and inexpensive electrical appliances like food processors, ovens, toasters, iron, fridge, generators and fans that would be affordable to each and every one in Pakistan and people from every sector of society?

Pakistan must be the only country in the world where the number of family members is not enough to use all the mobiles in the house. Our children learn how to use mobile phones even before they can speak properly and the dilemma is; we consider it as a sign of their intelligence. Our youngsters do not even know about the 14 points of Jinnah but they are fully contended with the knowledge of using new apps and gadgets. Is this the Pakistan that Iqbal dreamed of?

The question is: why is every company exhilarating the public by providing inexpensive mobile phones? Is it becoming our a basic need for us? Or is it a sign of progress and development? We are a nation with no electricity, no water, no jobs but plenty of mobiles. And the fault lies with our people.

What can these companies do when everyone stands in long queues to buy their mobile phones? 80% of our nation does not use the same mobile even for a time period of one year. Actually we are compelling these companies to manufacture more mobile phones by raising our demands. Mobile phones have secured the top position in our list of preferences. We cannot even imagine a single day of our life without our mobiles. Just imagine if the government establishes a mobile enumerating committee to count the mobile phones in every house of Pakistan… no doubt the number will be double the total population of the country.

The only solution to this problem is that we should stop spending further on mobile phones and change our priorities. The government should ban extraneous companies from manufacturing more mobiles. Instead it should entice them into producing any other scalable and impactful product. We have already wasted an ample amount of money on mobiles and if we keep on going at the same rate then one day we would have nothing except mobile phones!

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yumna Iftikhar

yumna Iftikhar