The spread of the corona virus (covid-19) accompanies with it the spread of several myths. This is bound to happen in today’s information age where people not only consume but also produce immense amounts of information and also misinformation. WHO has clarified on several myths mentioned below that no longer holds true.

The spread of the corona virus accompanies with it the spread of several myths. This is bound to happen in today’s information age where people not only consume but also produce immense amounts of information and also misinformation. WHO has clarified on several myths mentioned below that no longer holds true.



A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available. There are currently no drugs licensed for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19
Eating garlic can help prevent infection with the new corona virus. There is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new corona virus.
The new corona virus affect older people only. People of all ages can be infected by the new corona virus. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
Antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new corona virus. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new corona virus is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
COVID-19 transmits through houseflies. To date, there is no evidence or information to suggest that the COVID-19 virus transmitted through houseflies. The virus that cause COVID-19 spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. You can also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.
Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body will protect you against COVID-19. Spraying and introducing bleach or another disinfectant into your body WILL NOT protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous

These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes.

5G mobile networks spread COVID-19. Viruses cannot travel on radio waves/mobile networks. COVID-19 is spreading in many countries that do not have 5G mobile networks.
The new corona virus transmits through mosquito bites. The new corona virus cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites.

To implement the National Action Plan for COVID-19 disease, a number of committees have been set up by government of Pakistan. These committees are responsible for the health security surveillance, detection and prevention mechanism. However, it is concerning that these committees are dominated by men with negligible representation from women.

Incorporating women’s voices and knowledge could be empowering and improve outbreak preparedness and response. Despite the WHO Executive Board recognizing the need to include women in decision making for outbreak preparedness and response, there is inadequate women’s representation in national COVID-19 policy spaces.

 

Committee Male Members

Women Members

 

Emergency Core Committee for COVID-19 15 1
Committee of Scientific Taskforce on Covid-19 6 1
Control Room Balochistan 9 0
Response Committee ICT 68 5
Response Committee Punjab 62 7
Response Committee Sindh 9 1
Response Committee KP 52 1
Response Committee Balochistan 62 1
Total 283 17

 

Your Name
1. Pakistan’s first English newspaper ‘Dawn’ was founded in?
2. ‘Common Sense’ a book advocating American independence from Britain was written by
3. Dr. Abdus Salam, who won the Nobel Prize in 1979, was a ____________?
4. Ghulam Muhammad dissolved the First Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on
5. Britain signed a 99-year lease agreement with China for the use Hong Kong in which year?
6. Five permanent members of UN Security Council are China, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and __________.
7. The 17th MENA (Middle East and North Africa) World Economic Forum held in
8. 36th National Junior Hockey Championship 2019 was started on
9. Chapter 1 of Part VIII of Constitution of Pakistan deals with
10. UN’s Universal declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly on
11. Narendra Modi is the _______Prime Minister of India
12. UNFCC, with respect to global warming convention, stands for
13. In the recent Canadian Federal Election 2019, which party won the majority of seats?
14. Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of United States of America (USA) was assassinated in
15. Kofi Atta Annan the former Secretary-General of UN won the Nobel Prize in 2001 in
16. The newly appointed Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations is

Your Name
1. Peace pipeline is between Pakistan and _________.
2. Who is current Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir?
3. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in
4. Who is current Chairman of National Accountability Bureau?
5. Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training is currently represented by
6. Planned completion year of One Belt and One Road (OBOR) is?
7. Who is current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Pakistan?
8. “The Art of War” is written by
9. Who is current speaker of Balochistan Assembly?
10. Who is federal minister for Energy in current setup
11. Pakistan has been member of World Trade Organization (WTO) since
12. Which provincial government has introduced E-Citizens Grievance Redressal System?

Have you ever felt weak and hopeless in front of government institutions in Pakistan? Have you ever performed excellent in an exam but later the mark-sheet displayed opposite? Have you ever been disqualified from a job despite of your success in tests and interviews? Are you a senior citizen waiting for post-retirement allowances and allotment of pension? Have you ever felt that, you cannot question the decisions of government institutions and your voice can never enter the doors of public bodies? Right to information (RTI) is a powerful tool to solve such problems; RTI can break the wheel of secrecy and authoritarianism.

Article 19-A of Constitution of Pakistan; protects citizen’s fundamental human right to know. It states that:

Every citizen shall have the right to have access to information in all matters of public importance subject to regulations and reasonable restrictions imposed by law.”

Through Article 19-A, citizens of Pakistan can have access to information held by the government departments. All over the world, democratic states empower its citizens by protecting their fundamental human right to know. This in turn, helps to promote transparency in government affairs, endorse citizen participation in policy making, enhances people’s confidence in the performance of government bodies and last but not the least, solves the issues of service delivery faced by common man. Though RTI is the fundamental human right but it is not an absolute right. According to federal and provincial right to information laws applicable in Pakistan, exempted information covers the subjects of defence and security matters, commercial matters which can affect economy of the state and breach of privacy etc. Rest of the information can be acquired through RTI.

People’s access to information held by government departments is significant because a major part of government’ revenue is collected from the taxes paid by common people. Therefore, common people are the owners and it is their right to know that where the money is going and how is it being used? Government works for the benefit of public, so one way or another all the information that government holds is related to us.

It is unfortunate that the implementation of RTI Laws in Pakistan is not satisfactory. Despite of enacting strong and progressive RTI laws, implementation is a big question especially in the province of Balochistan and Sindh. On the other hand, federal government and provincial governments of KP and Punjab are making continuous efforts to properly implement their respective RTI laws.

Lack of awareness about social and political rights in Pakistan is the reason of failure of RTI regime. It is high time that government, media and civil society in Pakistan join hands to raise awareness about RTI among masses. Now, citizens of Pakistan should be enabled and empowered to call for their fundamental human right to know because.

Written by:
Syeda Raheela Bano (Guest Blogger)

Note: The views expressed by guest blogger and the comments given by any visitor do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Pakvoter.

‘Right to Information’ (RTI) has been accepted as a fundamental human right by the United Nations. More than 123 countries have enacted RTI laws to facilitate their citizens with an easy access to government held information. This results in greater transparency, eradication of corruption, favoritism and nepotism in the system. In other words, the citizen’s right to information results in good governance.

RTI is a powerful instrument to fight against corruption. Good governance is characterized by political accountability, availability of freedom, bureaucratic accountability, availability of information, law abiding citizens and cooperation between government and society. Therefore, RTI is a natural corollary of good governance. Enactment of RTI laws paves way to an open and transparent form of government. In such systems every citizen has right to seek and receive information from government departments. Thus citizen can make administration more responsible and transparent leading to good governance.

Access to information is crucial for good governance as it reflects the activities of government.  If people do not know what is happening in their society, if the actions of those who rule them are hidden, then they cannot participate in the affairs of government.  Access to information not only promotes openness, transparency and accountability in administration but also facilitates active participation of people in the democratic governance processes. Moreover RTI is a powerful tool and its implementation ensures other rights already promised in the constitution.

In contemporary era, public participation in government matters, respect for  rule of law, freedom of expression and association, transparency and accountability, legitimacy of government, and the like which are the core values of good governance, can be materialized only if RTI is implemented in its true letter and  spirit.

Thus, it can be rightly mentioned that RTI is an agent of good governance and it makes administration more accountable to the people. It makes people aware of administration and gives them an opportunity to take part in decision making process. It reduces the chances of corruption and abuse of authority by public servants. Since RTI laws are enacted for people‘s interest, its success also depends upon how citizens exercise their right to know. Moreover, there is need of active participation from people,, civil society groups, government officials and departments to aware masses and raise demand for the implementation of RTI in Pakistan.

Written by:
Nabila Nazir (Guest Blogger)

Note: The views expressed by guest blogger and the comments given by any visitor do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Pakvoter.

Welcome to your Monthly Quiz - July 2019

Who is federal minister for National Health Services in current setup?
Pakistan joined the World Bank in
“The Wealth of Nations” is written by
Prevention of Smuggling of Migrants Act, 2018 was passed by
The effort to control or influence the conduct of government is called
The supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries is known as
Which country opposed Pakistan's membership in United Nations?
The opportunity to control one's own economic decisions is known as
The government in which the power rests with a small group of elite people is called
Who is current Deputy Chairman of Senate of Pakistan?
A system of government in which power is held by people who elect representatives is known as
How many people hold power in a monarchy?
Which of the following provincial assemblies have passed “Sikh Marriage Act” in March 2018?
What is an on demand Economy?
Elections Reforms Amendment Bill 2017 was passed to restore
Who is the current Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?
Who is current Governor of State Bank of Pakistan?
The latest in a series of anti-militancy military operations in Pakistan is titled
Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is currently represented by
Pakistan became member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in
Who is current speaker of Sindh Assembly?

1. Who is current Deputy Speaker of National Assembly?
2. When did the Parliament approve the National Action Plan?
3. An economic system in which the central government directs all major economic decisions is called
4. A country in which the territory of both the Nation and the State coincide is called
5. The 21st amendment of the constitution of Pakistan deals with
6. A system of government that gives all key powers to the national or central government is called:
7. Who is the current Governor of Balochistan?
8. The citizen has right and means to examine the decisions taken by the government, is known as
9. How many branches does the Government of Pakistan have?
10. Which of the following is the most visible institutions in a Democracy?
11. The 25th amendment of the constitution of Pakistan deals with
12. In Pakistan the court, which examines and determines if the laws of country comply with Shari'a law is?
13. The only Pakistani who has served as president of UN's General Assembly is?
14. Public Interest Disclosure Bill, 2017 tackles ?
15. Who is the current Chief Justice of Federal Shariat Court Islamabad Pakistan?
16. FATF, which was founded to develop policies to combat terror financing, stands for:
17. Who is current speaker of KP Assembly?
18. Who is Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue in the existing setup?
19. Who prepares economic intelligence assessments against economic terrorism to the Government of Pakistan?