“Goodbye 2021” | Peshawar Today

By: Saqib Ali

No doubt, 2021 has been an unforgettable year full of historic changes and hardships, but if you’re reading this then that means you survived. Despite the many obstacles that probably came across this winding path toward a great unknown, you’re still here—and that’s worth celebrating. 

Tough the 2021 and 2020 have been tough years but at least the recent past year was better than 2020 regarding the pandemic and global economic perspective. According to a global survey, despite the arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, people around the world are feeling surprisingly positive about the new year. Many Pakistanis are also seemed optimistic that 2022 will be a better year for them than 2021.

No doubt, in the recent past year, Pakistan’s faced many challenges like terrorist incidents, economic losses, skyrocketing inflation, and so many other things which caused confusion, fear, and uncertainty.

If we take a short look at last year, in January, a massive blackout occurred that left 90 percent of Pakistan without electricity. In the same month, PIA won when a Malaysian court ordered the release of a PIA Boeing 777 which was seized over a British court case.

In April, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan TLP undertook a series of street protests calling on Pakistan to cut diplomatic relations with France. On June 7, Millat Express and Sir Syed Express collided which killed 65 and injured 150. In August, a suicide attack took place on the convoy of a Chinese crew working on the Gwadar Expressway killing Two children.
In September, there was another suicide attack in Quetta that killed 4 FC personnel and injured 20 others. In October, TLP began another series of street protests. In December, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) won the mayoral election both from Peshawar and Kohat.

From an economic perspective, 2021 has been the toughest year in Pakistan’s history. Because a record Inflation was seen in 51 essential items in 17 cities of the country up by a hefty 19.49 percent over the past year. Electricity up by 84 percent; cooking oil up 60 percent; washing soap up by 46 percent; petrol up by 35 percent.

In national debt: Pakistan’s crossed the Rs50 trillion mark for the first time in our history.

The rate of interest that stood at 7.5 percent was hiked to 8.75 percent in November and then to 9.75 percent in December. In the same month, our imports stood at $7.9 billion and exports amounted to a meager $2.9 billion resulting in an unprecedented monthly trade deficit of over $5 billion. Apart from this, we also saw a 48 percent devaluation of the rupee over the past 40 months of the PTI government.

Indeed, the time is constantly changing, with every passing year the public expect economic and political stability from the government but unfortunately every moment the people have faced dissatisfaction. After suffering from all these difficulties, now is the time for the government to have mercy on the people and save these poor people from further inflation and poverty.

No one can deny the fact that the ruling party has lost its credibility and significance, a glimpse of which we saw in the defeat of the government in the local body elections last week, which was the outcome of the public towards government failure.

Now, what the government needs to do something for the people apart from making baseless claims and to carried out tangible steps regarding inflation and economic growth to make the people happy at the beginning of this new year. Indeed, the recent past year has been pretty tough for most of us but the COVID vaccination had slightly aroused the hope of survival for humans on earth.

Now it’s time for the public to look up at the stars, no matter how challenging and chaotic this past year was, it’s time to re-empower yourself and reignite your happiness and stay optimistic for this wonderful year 2022.

This article also published in ”The Khyber Mail magazine”.

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