Articles and letters may be edited for the purposes of clarity and space. They are published in good faith with a view to enlightening all the stakeholders. However, the contents of these writings may not necessarily match the views of the newspaper.
Religion and politics
Reports by media suggesting that both main opposition political parties have decided that religion should not be used or exploited as political strategy should be welcomed. If true, this is a good and wise decision, provided it is implemented in letter and spirit, by not just these two parties, but all others, including all state institutions.
It was none other than Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who in his 11 August 1947 speech to the First Constituent Assembly stressed upon this. Unfortunately, neither his vision of a modern democratic welfare state, nor a country where all men, irrespective of their caste, creed, faith, sex or colour should be equal before law, enjoying same rights and opportunities as citizens of Pakistan exist. Instead of facilitating and ensuring that Constitution is adopted with urgency that MAJ desired, the Objectives Resolution was adopted. To this date there has been no government, civil or dictatorial, which has even attempted to adopt even semblance of what Islamic Welfare State should have been.
This country has witnessed the hypocrisy and exploitation of Islam by Zia, whose junta misused sacrosanct practice of Jihad to recruit innocent young men to wage a proxy war funded by CIA against the Soviet Union. Pakistan continues to bleed till to-date with almost 100,000 fatalities, millions displaced, economy shattered and the country hostage to extremists and terrorists. We have recently witnessed a few thousand followers of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, armed with batons lay siege on Islamabad, while Tahir Qadri, with his cult like followers, came with cranes and weapons. Both of them are in hibernation, ever-since Kashmir was annexed Pakistan has suffered enough and religion of Islam, which preaches peace and tolerance been exploited and its image tarnished.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
UN and Muslim world
UNO was founded on 24 October 1945 after the deadly WWII because think tanks thought that world can’t bear such immense loss and massacre on tiny issues, so they founded that organization. The principal mission of UNO is to maintain world’s peace and to provide a platform for dialogue that is why its motto is “It’s your world “. Unfortunately, we can see this biggest organization unable to provide certain relief to the Muslim world which is its prime duty and aim of creation. Kashmir issue is very important and sensitive that has been discussed many times in the UN General Assembly and resolutions are also passed but there is not any practical action, relief and justice for poor Kashmiris. Recently PM of Pakistan Mr Imran Khan defined each and every malevolence and inhumanity during his address at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly with regard to the atrocities and brutalities being done by India, ironically the response of the world body is mute yet.
Now its necessary for UN to perform its due/real duty and provide assuagement to the Muslim world as provided to the adherents of other religions or else we, the Muslims, would feel that the world’s biggest organization only shows partiality and has been made only for others except Muslims.
GHULAM SHABIR SIYAL
Dussehra is celebrated all over India by people belonging to the Hindu religion. But in the place where I reside, loud music accompanied with dancing goes on even after midnight during the nine days of the Navratri festival, although the deadline to stop music as declared by the court is 10 pm. Complaining to the police does not help as they (the police) are bribed by the organisers to let the music play even after midnight.
If this is the case, then Christians too should be allowed to play music in their church halls or in the open spaces of their church compounds after 10 pm during weddings and other church functions. Relaxation of rules should apply to all communities and not just to a particular one.
The cancer of corruption does not only shake country’s ‘ very foundation, but also donors’ trust and also maligns the image of the state and society – the country and countrymen. Indeed, corrupt people are curse for any society. Only the other day, I happened to come across a Country Director of one donor agency in a local hotel with whom I enjoyed a profound professional and deep intellectual understanding when he was based in “My Islamabad, The Beautiful”.
During his stint in Islamabad as Country Director of his organization, often and on he pushed for transparency and good governance and showed reluctance to give funds to Pakistani donation seekers both governmental sector organizations and non-governmental organizations. His donor agency used to ask the donor seekers to give their need assessment and they will purchase everything for them. They will donate them in kind/material, not cash as it was in practice for quite some time.
Now the same person is heading the same donor agency in Dacca, Bangladesh, and according to him that he never shows his reluctance to give funds directly to the donation seekers both from the private and public sector organizations because his agency’s trust is not shaken there.
Against this dismal perception and prevalent corruption in the society, the PTI-led coalition Federal Government and provincial governments are requested to make some sincere efforts to fight corruption so that image of the country is not tarnished abroad and the funds are used fairly and the technical assistance provided by the donors in the form of instruments, appliances and equipment are used effectively, not dumped in the store rooms/ godowns as we see and hear nowadays.
Issue of PSM
Through the esteemed columns of your newspaper, I would like to draw attention of all stakeholders toward a crucial matter of our country which is Pakistan Steel Mill. The PSM is the largest steel mill in Pakistan. Unfortunately, steel mill is stuck in perpetual loop of increasing dues, overdue debts and unpaid employees. The crises started in 2009.
As the steel mills remain non-functional the employees had many problems because not only their wages haven’t risen since 2010 but they also haven’t been paid for three to four months. Even the retired employees did not receive their pension entitlement within three years. The government must take some worthwhile action to revive the Mill. Privatizing it seems the only possible way to revive it. However, before making any such contract, the government should be careful to set terms and conditions to protect our local workers and economy.
I hereby request that this matter should be taken in hand seriously by relevant authorities. Government should take action to overcome this crisis and solve the problem of wages and employee contributions on retirement. Looking forward for a positive response regarding this matter.
SHIREEN AZAM KHAN
Plastic bags have been known to cause a lot of environmental damage. They not only have adverse effects on our natural habitats, but have also been found to be responsible for the death of many animals, mainly on account of the suffocation encountered on eating them.
Not only animals, but even infants and young children have been reported to have lost their lives on account of eating plastic bags. Since plastic bags are thin and airtight, children often end up blocking their mouths and nostrils with them. The only way to get rid of them is to burn them up.