"It is a war to establish and revive the stature of man"

A political miracle



If media reports are anything to go by, for some the Senate polls this year are more an auction than an election. Some free-wheeling politicians, turncoats and ambitious nouveau riche men are tainting the entire exercise.

But we must remember that most political parties have nominated time-tested and loyal leaders and workers for the upper house.

Among the nominees of Pakistan People’s Party is Engineer Gianchand Meghwar, son of a primary school teacher from the lowest echelons of the caste system, called Dalit communities or Scheduled Castes if we use the prevalent constitutional terminology. Experiencing many forms of untouchability in his childhood, Engineer Gianchand’s nomination is being seen by many as a political miracle.

Instead of mere rhetoric about the rights of minorities, the party has proved that it truly cares for the underprivileged and oppressed communities.

I will like to advise those in the media suffering from the glass-half-empty syndrome to highlight this historic decision, which sends out a clear message across the country, and even across the world – a message that Pakistan has a progressive and egalitarian political vision to follow, based on the principles laid down by its founding fathers.

Surendar Valasai,


Party games


The main purpose of having a Senate was that all the federating should have equal representation, because in the case of the National Assembly, a majority of members are from Punjab – where 60 per cent of the country’s population lives. Often, the political party that wins from Punjab forms the federal government.

Mainstream political parties are expected to set standards of morality and decency in politics, but they seem to be at the forefront in damaging the spirit of democracy, by giving tickets to persons from Sindh to be elected from seats reserved for Punjab, and persons from Punjab to be elected from Sindh. In some cases, seats are being sold, for up to Rs 250 million.

How can a person represent a province which he does not belong to? What is use of Senate when it cannot have real representative from all four provinces?

ST Hussain,


Save Seraiki


The Seraikis are one of the oldest nations in the world, and their language and culture are rooted in the great Indus Valley Civilization. The Rigvedas, written on the banks of Indus, speak about the intellect of the Seraikis. The River Indus, which flows quietly through the Seraiki lands, enriches them with fertility. Seraikis and the River Indus are made for each other.

Because of the rich Indus valley Civilization, India attracted fortune seekers from all over the world throughout history, including the British. But every fortune they made also caused a loss to the Indus Valley Civilization. Because of the role of Punjabi leaders before Independence, the Seraikis were left at a further disadvantage. That is the reason behind the recent campaign for Seraiki rights.

Events of 1971 are evidence that the use of force and conspiracies are not the correct way of dealing with this movement. Since then, in a country consumed predominantly with security concerns that put the military in charge of affairs, re-demarcating the boundaries of Punjab province seems to have been struck off from the national agenda, and the Seraikis’ legitimate and innocent struggle for their rights has been seen dangerous.  Despite being 48 percent of the population of Punjab, Seraikis are being considered second-class Punjabis.

That is why the Seraiki National Party has initiated a Save Civilization Campaign on the social media, to conserve the Seraiki language and culture.

Abdul Majeed Kanjoo,

Rahimyar Khan.

Life and death



On the one hand, the world’s population is increasing day by day, and on the other, there has been an increase in the number of people dying from fatal diseases. The two phenomena are related.

An uninhibited increase in world population is not good for the planet and for the environment, and worsens the living conditions in many parts of the world. Because of a lack of education, these worsening living conditions are causing more and more deadly diseases.

In order to deal with this problem, there is a need to make increase literacy and improve the quality of education worldwide. There is also a need for health awareness programs, campaigns and training sessions. That may help resolve both the related problems simultaneously.

A comprehensive health education program should be a part of the curriculum. We need to teach our children in schools how the increasing pollution is affecting their health and how they can protect it. The goal of health education is not only to improve children’s health but also promote healthy behavior. Children should be taught life skills, not merely academic skills.

In order to achieve that goal, parents’ involvement is also necessary. They should reinforce the principles of healthy behavior that their children are taught at school, and if their children’s schools do not have health education, they should pressure them to initiate such programs.

Hina Zahra,


On campus



Schooling is formal instruction under the direction of especially trained teachers. Educational problems are essentially social problems. For much of the 20th century, there were just two models for education in Pakistan – public schools run by the government, and private schools operated by non-governmental organizations. Some private schools expect to gain profit, but they are providing quality education to our children.

After the December 16 terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar, Taliban threatened to attack more schools and there was an alarming situation in the whole country. The government decided to take some new security measures to deal with this challenge. Security was enhanced in schools all over Pakistan, and staff and students were trained to handle such situations in workshops, seminars and lectures.

But one of the reactions to the threats was parents opting for home schooling. Home schooling is to teach children at home, with personal tutors, through online education, or some other way. Some parents think they can ensure their children’s safety and the quality of their education with home schooling. Given the poor performance of many public schools, no one should be surprised that a growing number of parents are stepping up to teach their own children.

Critics argue that a fundamental part of education involves children interacting with each other and a number of children in an environment conducive to holistic learning. Home schooling may also eventually reduce the amount of funding going to local public schools, and the state may begin to further ignore people’s fundamental right to free education.

If the war against terrorism is to be won, we need a better education system that will produce qualified people to contribute to the country’s economy to lead it towards progress.

Rabia Tabassum,


See no evil



Recently, I attended a parent-teacher meeting at a school and was alarmed to see a parent screaming and disrespecting a teacher for failing his son in the exam.

How can parents teach the value of respect to their children when they are disrespecting teachers in front of them? Children observe the behavior of their elders and repeat it. I am sure what the child witnessed that day, he is going to repeat it as well.

Parents are role models for their children, so they should set a good example for them. Otherwise they can’t expect their children to be good, well behaved human beings.

Syeda Unzela Mushtaque,




This is with reference to reports regarding the fudging of tax collection figures by the Federal Board of Revenue. Where else in the world is it acceptable that the elected and paid ruling elite defiantly indulged in perjury, false declaration of assets, massive tax evasion and land scams, be eligible to hold public offices of importance, deciding the fate and destiny of a county?

How can anybody expect the FBR to collect taxes when it is involved in fraudulent criminal practices which are not acceptable anywhere else in the civilized world. Can anybody imagine the fate of such officials in the US, Europe, or even India or Malaysia, if they had taken advance payments from commercial banks to bridge tax collection deficits, only to return them with an interest of over Rs 12 billion?

We claim to be a country where all laws have to be in conformity with Islamic principles of honesty and justice, but in practice what we witness is hypocrisy, abuse of power, injustice, exploitation, adulterated food and medicine, and laws becoming slave to whims of criminals.

Tariq Ali,


Not for profit


The terrorist attack at Lahore Police Lines is yet another in a series of attacks on law enforcement and security agency offices and installations located in busy areas within cities. Pakistan is fighting a war against home grown terrorists, funded from within and outside country and such reprisals should be expected. We need to realize that the terrorists we face are savages who consider any location associated with law enforcement or sensitive agencies soft targets for brutal attacks, with no regard for lives of innocent children, women and unarmed men. What we need to understand collectively as a nation is that we must prepare ourselves for long run and take remedial measures to prevent loss of innocent lives. This tendency to allow commercial profitable ventures, marriage halls, plazas etc to be constructed in vicinity of security installations and offices need to be eliminated and reversed.

When Lahore Police Lines was established at its present location, other than Don Bosco School, there were hardly any commercial buildings there. Over the years, unfortunately state land allocated for sensitive security agencies, law enforcement and government offices, barracks etc has undergone a sea change, with growth of profitable ventures permitted to be built. City governments and cantonment boards in the country, serving as regulatory agencies, have knowingly given permission for such commercial ventures, making them vulnerable to security lapses. Areas close to the border, which in 1965 constituted our second defense line, have seen housing societies, marriage halls and farm houses erupt. It is time that a line be drawn, between welfare projects and commercial profitable ventures. No state institution should be allowed to jeopardize the life of even a single ordinary citizen or member of uniformed services, under the garb or excuse of welfare.

Cantonment areas once exclusively used for state owned barracks, residences and CSD shops for men and women serving the country, have become commercial housing societies, with plazas, restaurants, and entertainment centers not just open to public but offered for sale or rent.

Ali Malik,


Karachi conundrum


Getting elected for a five year term is not like a contract a for fruit farm to a trader by a landlord, but is a voluntary role offered by individual or party to run public affairs in accordance with rules already laid down, with no discretionary power for abuse of laws, occupying private or state land or any transgression of authority.

The Sindh government should understand that they have a responsibility towards Karachi. There is hardly any trader or businessman in Karachi who has not paid extortion money to criminals, most of them patronized by political parties and religious extremists groups involved in this multi-billion rupee business, in full knowledge of the state and its various institutions.

Law and order is poor all over the country, but it is not so openly and defiantly trampled as it is in Karachi. Profits from this criminal economy are being transferred to foreign off-shore accounts, through irregular channels which are utilized by corrupt elite to buy expensive property abroad.

Abid Aleem,



Those who are deeply lost in serving humanity

Nothing is more beautiful than humanity for them...

It has its own sweet flavour and fragrance to the end,

That drifts up to the sky without any weight...

And fills the world with wonderful colours...

Then the world smiles to say, thank you... Oh dear for serving me


They know the value of service,

how each human being is pure

They are born for it and die for it,

And never feel that they have lost...


What I have felt and observed so far

I find my purpose

Not in my worldly-work...

But a beautiful work of humanity lies before me

That holds me in its lovely arms


The Almighty says...

Express your thanks not in words

But through service to humanity

And that won’t go waste

I promise you, my dear


I helped a sick man by taking him to a doctor...

I got a blessing in return

And I felt nothing is more beautiful than humanity

Oh I felt it is the best and above all other things

And my heart and soul say

“Nothing is more beautiful than humanity”

Pushkar Bisht,

New Delhi.

War and wisdom



Former British prime minister Winston Churchill delivered the following speech on September 3, 1939, at the outset of world war II. I believe that there are many lessons for Pakistan in his words of wisdom.

“In this solemn hour it is a consolation to recall and to dwell upon our repeated efforts for peace. All have been ill-starred, but all have been faithful and sincere. This is of the highest moral value – and not only moral value, but practical value – at the present time, because the wholehearted concurrence of scores of millions of men and women, whose co-operation is indispensable and whose comradeship and brotherhood are indispensable, is the only foundation upon which the trial and tribulation of modern war can be endured and surmounted.   This moral conviction alone affords that ever-fresh resilience which renews the strength and energy of people in long, doubtful and dark days. Outside, the storms of war may blow and the lands may be lashed with the fury of its gales, but in our own hearts this Sunday morning there is peace.   Our hands may be active, but our consciences are at rest.

We must not underrate the gravity of the task which lies before us or the temerity of the ordeal, to which we shall not be found unequal.   We must expect many disappointments, and many unpleasant surprises, but we may be sure that the task which we have freely accepted is one not beyond [our] compass and strength...

This is no war of domination or imperial aggrandizement or material gain; no war to shut any country out of its sunlight and means of progress. It is a war, viewed in its inherent quality, to establish, on impregnable rocks, the rights of the individual, and it is a war to establish and revive the stature of man. Perhaps it might seem a paradox that a war undertaken in the name of liberty and right should require, as a necessary part of its processes, the surrender for the time being of so many of the dearly valued liberties and rights. In these last few days the House of Commons has been voting dozens of Bills which hand over to the executive our most dearly valued traditional liberties. We are sure that these liberties will be in hands which will not abuse them, which will use them for no class or party interests, which will cherish and guard them, and we look forward to the day, surely and confidently we look forward to the day, when our liberties and rights will be restored to us, and when we shall be able to share them with the peoples to whom such blessings are unknown.”

Zahid Khan,