How can there be honor in killing?


Hospital horror 


My wife and I are settled in Saudi Arabia. After considering that there are much better health facilities in Pakistan, I asked my pregnant wife to go to Rawalpindi for the delivery of our first child.

She started visiting a well reputed doctor at the Combined Military Hospital, and remained under her observation. Following her advice, my wife went to the hospital on May 6, 2014, at about 11:30am and completed the process of admission. She was shifted to the labor room at about 8pm and the induction process was initiated.

Around 10:50, a different lady doctor examined her and found an umbilical cord prolapsed. At this stage, the lady doctor declared an emergency and shouted at the support staff to make necessary arrangements as an operation was needed urgently.

The operation theater, located adjacent to the labor room, was locked at that time, so my wife was shifted to another operation theater situated about one kilometer away from the labor room.

The supporting female staff at the labor room did not have white sheets to cover my wife, screaming with pain and lying on a stretcher. So a blanket meant for the labor room was used to cover her. Moreover, the stretcher’s wheels were wobbling, endangering the patient’s life as it was not moving smoothly. And the ambulance driver did not pay much attention to the emergency situation, calling it a routine matter.

It took them about 35 precious minutes to reach the main operation theater, where the staff was unaware that an emergency had already been called.

After the surgery was conducted, an oxygen cylinder on a vibrating stand was taken to the operation theater to shift the newborn baby to the nursery in an ambulance.

Another lady doctor came out of the operation theater and broke the sad news that the baby had 5 percent chances of survival and she did observe that the delay should not have occurred.

Such massive blunders on part of the administration and the consultant doctor, in a situation, when a patient’s umbilical cord prolapses, are not expected from a prestigious armed forces hospital. The consultant doctor misdiagnosed her patient’s condition, and in fact should have taken care of her patient in the labor room.

Though I have lost my first son, I just request the authorities to probe the matter for the sake of other people.

M Omer Asghar,


One Zardari



In a good development for democracy and democracy lovers in Pakistan, an accountability court has acquitted former president Asif Ali Zardari in the polo ground reference. He appeared in the despite security threats. After spending 11 long years in jail, he forgave his rivals and raised the slogan of Long Live Pakistan when his wife Benazir Bhutto was killed. Like Nelson Mandela, Zardari has made great sacrifices for democracy, and his struggle continues.

There was a time when a section of media, various anti-Democratic forces, and puppets of the establishment would continuously spit venom against Asif Zardari. Their allegations turned out to be baseless. Those who used to defame him should be ashamed and must apologize for the media trial and character assassination.

Saif RK,


Double Jeopardy



Tax payers in Pakistan are subjected to double jeopardy, by levying uniform indirect taxes on purchase and sale of moveable and immovable property as applicable to tax defaulters, including those who do not have a national tax number (NTN). What can anybody expect from FBR, whose 1,200 officers out of a total of 1,743 have not filed their tax returns for years, nor are the assets belonging to them and their families acquired during the tenure of their service ever been probed by any regulatory body.

We live in a country where every top bureaucrat and public office holder owns property in some foreign country, either in his name or in the name of some member of his family, and as soon as they retire, they catch the first flight out of Pakistan to live off the billions they have plundered by abuse of power.

There are no privileges or facilities offered to individuals who pay taxes. On the contrary, this small percentage of population, less than 1%, are squeezed further by every government that comes into power. If a tax payer with an NTN, having paid all his taxes and submitting his wealth statement in accordance with laws, wants to purchase a motor vehicle, he has to pay a non-refundable amount in the head of Income Tax/Withholding Tax/ Sales Tax which is the same as that paid by non tax payers. The argument offered is that this is to promote the automobile industry. But the ugly reality is that this practice promotes tax evasion.

Tariq Ali,


Quit politics



According to newspaper reports, Maulana Fazlur Rehman seeks to ally with other religious parties in order to combat secular forces in Pakistan.  I am not secular, but I also do not agree with the interpretation the Islam that they want to impose in this country. We already know that in the days of the Quaid, religious leaders had opposed the creation of Pakistan as a homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent. They had opposed Jinnah and even questioned his faith. But when our homeland came into being, they began to tell us that the Quaid wanted an Islamic state, indoctrinating us with lies.

The Maulana laments that the religious parties are being blamed for spreading extremism in the country. Well the very fact that they rely on ‘street power’ is evidence that they are fostering it. They do not oppose the killing of minorities and do not support amending any laws that might be used to target innocent people. They do not denounce the blood thirsty people who have killed thousands of innocent people in the name of Islam.

Through your esteemed newspaper, I wish to request religious leaders to reconsider their notions. The interpretation of Islam that most of them want to impose on us has proven to be beneficial neither for them nor for the Pakistani nation. I request them to keep religion out of the affairs of the state. Islamic faith should be propagated by living and practicing it so that you become an example for people to follow, and not by forcing the society to lift a burden that they themselves are not capable of.

I request our religious leaders to practice what they want to implement, and set n example. The more you force people, the more they will drift away from you.

The best advice I can give to them is, quit politic.

Abid Habib,


Wise Nawaz



This is a response to a well orchestrated campaign to create a controversy about the prime minister’s wise decision to visit India. If memory does not fail me, even the military dictator Ziaul Haq undertook a trip to India in 1987, without waiting for diplomatic niceties of official invitation, to diffuse tensions between the two neighbors. It was perhaps amongst the rare good deeds he did, although he alone is responsible for terrorism, sectarianism and ethnic strife in this country, that he created only to prevent any united political opposition to his illegitimate rule.

At least Nawaz Sharif proceeded to India on an official invitation, just like Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he came to Lahore in Sharif’s second tenure. In the last 10 years, every visit to India by a Pakistani leader was undertaken on some pretext or other, to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal, or pay homage to Hazrat Nizamuddin of Ajmer Sharif, without any official invitation, all of them undertaken to diffuse tensions and jumpstart political dialogue.

There is no doubt that Narendar Modi was implicated in Gujrat atrocities, but the reality is that people of India, our next door neighbors, have elected him with a thumping majority and we have no choice but to deal with him, in order to restore some sort of sanity and strive to coexist in this region without being in a state of constant war and tensions.

It is surprising that elements who chose to remain silent when Musharraf or Zia visited India, without any formal official invitation, have embarked upon vociferous campaign spearheaded by retired khakis posing as defense analysts, and some anchors. The visit to India by the prime minister could only serve to help start dialogue and display to the world that Pakistan has always wanted to restore normalcy in the region and never harbored any offensive designs.

As a nuclear power, we need to be seen eager to continue striving for peace and forcefully assure all our neighbors that we will never allow our territory to be used for mounting terrorist attacks on any country and likewise expect our neighbors not to do so.

Ali Malik,


Tipu’s tolerance



The report that the great Tipu Sultan’s ring was auctioned for 145,000 British pounds has shocked all the admirers of the tiger of Mysore. The ring was allegedly taken from the slain body of Tipu Sultan at the end of the 1799 battle of Srirangapattinam, which Tipu fought against the British East India Company.

There are scores of Pakistanis in and outside the country who could have easily purchased this precious ring which speaks of a history of tolerance, equality,  justice, bravery, gallantry and religious harmony.

The inscription of the name of a Hindu deity on the ring clearly speaks of the liberal, progressive and radical nature of Tipu Sultan’s reign, whose religious mentors included a Muslims as well as a Hindu scholar. Tipu was exceptional in treating the prisoners of war, at a time when there were no Geneva Convention.

Throughout his rule, Tipu treated his subjects equally irrespective of religion, cast or creed, and this became possible only because of his superior educations.

Through these columns, I wish to convey to our media and our scholars that they should play their role in educating people about Tipu Sultan and his liberal views.

Aamir Aqil,


Your honor



The brazen attack on a young woman in the courtyard of Lahore High Court was such an extreme act of brutality that it shook every human who read or heard about it.

The killing was done in the name of honor, as if honor thrives on criminal acts. The entire concept of honor killing is detestable. How can there be honor in killing? Taking the life of a human being is the most despicable act under any religious or moral code.

A pregnant young woman was brutally murdered with stones outside the court and nobody did anything to stop the killers. Something like that could only happen in a society that has reached a state of moral bankruptcy. The forces of oppression and injustice always thrive in such societies. If you want to gauge the worth of a society, you should look at its treatment of its weaker segments.

Pakistan has failed to protect its women, religious minorities and the poor. As a consequence, it is gradually falling into the hands of anarchist self-proclaimed custodians of faith and morality.

How many more lives would it take before rulers of Pakistan do something to protect the weak?

In another incident, the Holy Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib was desecrated in upper Sindh – a province once known for its pluralistic, tolerant social values.

The center-left government in Sindh is celebrating the egalitarianism that existed in the great Indus valley civilization thousands of years ago, but has failed to notice of the plight of Hindus, Sikh and Ahmadis in the present-day Sindh.

The severity of the situation demands stern administrative measures and an insightful ideological strategy to counter the extremist trend rising in Pakistan.

Atif Mahmood Majoka,