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.
Lives should matter
We are reaping the harvest of betraying Quaid’s vision and the seeds of extremism, ethnicity and sectarian divide, sowed by Zia and its nourishment by Musharraf junta. Instead of Quaid and Iqbal’s modern democratic welfare state, what we have is a country where the constitution and laws are slave to the whims and greed of a few. The biggest threat to national security is the failure of state institutions to perform their constitutional tasks.
Irrespective of whether the brutal murder of Hazaras in Machh was instigated by foreign enemies, those responsible and paid to protect lives have failed repeatedly. The brutal killing of a young man Osama Satti in Islamabad by trigger happy men in uniform is an unpardonable crime. How can police and others responsible for law enforcement justify their incapability to stop a mob from damaging a Hindu shrine in Karak?
Images of the cold-blooded murder of a family captured on video near Sahiwal, including a 13-year girl still haunts public memory. These cannot be termed as Collateral Damage, nor dismissed as accidents, but plain simple criminal heinous murder. Those who lost lives were human beings, whose lives should matter as much as the lives of the elected or paid elite of this country. Merely calling ourselves an Islamic State is hypocrisy.
Ordinary law-abiding citizens are falling prey to criminals, who manage to kill and get away on one pretext or another. A State that fails to perform its primary responsibility of protecting life of citizens is a state that needs to cleanse the mess within its corridors of power and the paid servants of, who have repeatedly failed to perform constitutional obligation to protect life and property of citizens. All state institutions exist to serve the people, otherwise why should their salaries be funded by tax-payers.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
Thousands of residents living in bungalows and high-rise buildings in Gulistan-i-Jauhar blocks sixteen to 20 are facing a shortage of gas for domestic use. The pressure starts decreasing from 10:00 am and also supply stops fully from forenoon till afternoon only to come after a long time for short intervals. This disrupted gas supply deprives the residents of warm water in winters and creates hindrances in activity basic family chores, like cooking. Families are forced to buy food from restaurants that is an additional money burden.
Despite many complaints lodged with the Sui Sothern Gas Company Complaint Centre, there has been no action by the utility service that has left the consumers in a miserable condition. The SSGC and relevant authorities should ensure a speedy resolution of the problem because the customers regularly pay bills, however, get poor and interrupted gas supply reciprocally.
Since mask is mandatory to avoid Coronavirus, some masked men are enjoying liberty to rob public in broad daylight. This is pandemic situation and police must keep an eye on such elements. Traders and members of civil society have been outraged over surge in robberies and say that police have been unable to control these incidents and request the government to take notice.
The dense fog across central Punjab has been causing great trouble and disruptions for commuters using railways and motorways. A few days ago, I had to travel to Lahore to take some professional examinations; I opted for the train due to the closure of motorways. As there was no fog between Jhang and Faislababad, I reached there in time via road and started my onward journey by train from Faisalabad.
Owing to heavy fog, the train couldn’t attain its routine speed even for a minute. Due to increased train accidents and loss of lives in recent times, the train driver drove cautiously and slowly in an almost zero-visibility environment that he deserves our appreciation. It took me more than 3 hours to reach Lahore, and that I couldn’t take the examinations that I had undertaken the journey for, but I was grateful to driver and the management of Pakistan Railways for prioritising safety over anything else.
Smog has become a growing problem due to climate change. Despite being the third most affected country in terms of climate change, we are not doing enough to control it. When the train passed through the Ravi Bridge, the development could be seen clearly on highly-polluted water. That’s what needs to be taken care of rather urgently.
Mischief of media
Media plays a vital role in society by emphasizing injustices and thereby allowing those who raise their voice and demand for justice and transparency. The identity of victims of rape should also be protected. Unfortunately, some media outlets, particularly TV and social media sites, disregard this kind of professional ethics as they strive to achieve higher ratings. They do not understand the effects of their findings on the victims.
The latest incident in Cashmere has led to the posting of a troubling video on social media. It is demand of the time that people and practitioners need to be sensitized to play a responsible role in society.
Outbreak of Covid19
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has realized the worth of doctors who are in the frontline in the war against the deadly disease. And now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, our healthcare workers, doctors, nurses, EMTs and support staff who risk becoming infected themselves, are making extraordinary sacrifices to care for the rest of us.
They do so, most infuriatingly, even as they have been put at greater risk than necessary by the avoidable shortage of masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment. No doubt, they even risk their lives for saving the lives of hundreds and thousands of people. It is true that they need the government’s encouragement and proper facilities to work with zeal and zest in everyday duties in their respective hospitals.
Pongal, also referred to as the harvest festival, is observed mainly by the people of Tamil Nadu. The idea behind celebrating this festival is the gratification of people towards their god — the sun — for bringing about the season of harvest, which is a boon for them.
Pongal is one such festival, that is celebrated to thank the Sun god and Lord Indra for helping farmers in getting better-yielding crops. This harvest festival is traditionally celebrated for four continuous days. The first day of the festival is called Bhogi. The second, third and fourth days of the festival are Surya, Mattu and Kannum.
A few days before the festival, people, particularly women, clean the entire house and decorate it with flowers. They use swastik and kumkum to embellish big earthen vessels. The pit is filled with water and rice by either the youngest or the oldest member of the family. As per tradition, it is of paramount importance to add some milk to water in which the rice is to be cooked, which is then offered to the Sun god.
People who get involved in cooking rice take utmost care of cleanliness. They are not supposed to step over the rangoli which is done for decoration. The celebration of the festival dates back to 2,000 years, as early as the early Chola empire. Celebrated on the third day of the Thai month, it is important to most Hindu families in Tamil Nadu as they pray to Surya, the Sun god and to Lord Indra.