"How can India, which boasts of being the largest democracy in the world, justify the curfew in Kashmir?"


More polio cases


It was heart breaking to read that five children — three from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two from Sindh — tested positive for the poliovirus despite positive efforts being made by the government of Pakistan. This takes the toll to 58 — 44 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab five cases each and Balochistan four cases.

I wonder what causes the poliovirus. A simple explanation is: polio virus usually enters the environment in the faeces of someone who is infected. In areas with poor sanitation, the virus easily spreads from faeces into the water supply, or, by touch, into food. Polio is a contagious viral illness that in its most severe form causes nerve injury leading to paralysis, difficulty in breathing and sometimes death. Although polio can cause paralysis and death, the majority of people who are infected with the virus don’t get sick and aren’t aware they’ve been infected.

Signs and symptoms, which can last up to 10 days, include: fever, sore throat, headache, vomiting, fatigue, back pain, stiffness and muscle weakness.

To parents, I would like to say: please get your child vaccinated. Don’t wait till it is too late. To the government, I request that they hold more awareness and vaccination drives so we can rid our country of this virus once and for all.

Asma Mumtaz,


No gas


My neighbour and I have been living without gas for more than a month. My woes began on July 25 when I found out that there was no gas. A few hours later, my neighbour also complained. Later, the connection was restored in the evening of July 27. However, our joy was short lived. On July 31, supply was disrupted again and me and my neighbour have had no gas since.

I have spent all my time ringing up the many numbers I was given and have gone to various offices in the city, pleading and begging but in vain. In the process, I have even managed to determine where the fault lies.

It is a gutter that has seeped into the gas line. Alarmed by the knowledge of this hazard, I informed the DHA vice president who got some gas officials to turn up after four days. They inspected our premises and the neighbourhood and promised to return the next day. They honoured their commitment and turned up and work finally began. Alas my troubles took a turn for the worse.

The gas leak seemed to be under the road and the gas utility could go no further because permission was needed for ‘road-cutting’ from the DHA. The date was Friday, August 9. A long weekend and the Eid holidays were upon us. I can’t even explain how me and my family spent our holidays.

Officials said that permission would be sought from DHA after Eid. I visited the gas company 10 days ago to inquire as to why my problem had not been fixed and was told that the road-cutting matter was being deliberated upon. I approached DHA and was told that the matter was under process. We are still waiting for the fault to be fixed.

Meanwhile, we are living in miserable conditions, using two primitive camping stoves powered by LPG gas to meet our cooking needs. If anyone can help, I would be eternally grateful!

Sheikh Ajmad,




Why are people surprised that Arab kingdoms are giving Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi awards?

If our economy was strong, then other countries would listen and give our leaders awards too. Look at what is happening in Kashmir. Our brothers are suffering but there is barely any news in Western media. Does this mean that Pakistan too should remain silent?

Safiya Zameer,


Important lessons


Polio is a global issue but the world has dealt with it leaving only Pakistan, Afghanistan and two African countries in a pariah’s list.

Pakistan needs to learn from India and Bangladesh which are now polio-free countries. The primary reason for their success is the commitment and integrity of their leadership in eradicating this menace. We seem to be doing everything wrong - from a lack of quality vaccinations, parental and community refusals, religious issues, poorly paid vaccinators, worsening environmental conditions and more. The list seems endless. If India and Bangladesh faced the same issues, then why has the slogan of polio-free Pakistan not yet been unachieved?

Murad Khan,


Kashmir policy


In 1971, the local population in East-Pakistan was against the Western wing. This resulted in Mukti Bahini, being backed by India, to jump in to help with the creation of Bangladesh.

A similar situation exists now with Kashmiri population, who have taken up resistance against the Indian government. What is stopping us now to infiltrate the occupied valley and end the miseries of the Kashmiri people as their saviours? Glory lies in bravery; not in cosmetic minutes of silence depicting cowardice.

While Pakistan’s main political parties, its establishment, the media and people have realised that they need to distance themselves and eradicate seeds of extremism sown by Zia junta, it is unfortunate that India is on a fast track to promote and institutionalise Hindu supremacist philosophies.

It is unfortunate that India was established by its founding fathers to function as a democratic secular state but is now fast deteriorating into a country where armed unruly mobs lynch members of minority faiths.

If this mind set prevails, it will engulf our neighbour in such deep trouble that its economy will slow down and insecurity of its minorities will boost insurgencies. India, with its diverse population cannot afford this, nor can the subcontinent.

One hopes that sanity prevails in India. How can India, which boasts of being the largest democracy in the world, justify the curfew in Kashmir?

Myra Shah,