"PPP is bargaining with those instrumental in the tragic end of the Bhuttos" The Friday Times, Plot No 52-53, N-Block, Main Guru Mangat Road, Gulberg II, Lahore, Pakistan. 042.35779186; Fax: 042.35779186, email: tft@thefridaytimes.com *Letters must carry ...


Hate speech in the West


There are more than 1.8 billion peace-loving Muslims around the globe. The rise in hate speech against them is a serious issue. One of the reasons is the media’s depiction of Islam as terrorism and Muslims as terrorists. This stereotyping has led some angry emotional people to commit hate crimes.

Hate crimes may seem to be the consequence of random neurons that happen to fire in the brains of a few angry young men. But we can explain the rise and fall of anti-Muslim hate crimes based on what people are Googling about Muslims.

In November, there were about 3,600 searches in the US for “I hate Muslims” and about 2,400 for “kill Muslims.”

In 2014, according to the FBI, anti-Muslim hate crimes represented 16.3% of the total of 1,092 reported offenses motivated by religious bias. Anti-Semitism still led the way as a motive for these crimes, at 58.2%.

Muslims face racial slurs and mental distress daily. We all know what happened with the Jews. It all started with hate speech among the Germans, followed by the holocaust persecuting more than six million of them. We should work collectively to eradicate these claims about Islam being terrorism. We should spread awareness and end the stereotypical image that some people have of Muslims.

Shafin Ahmed,


RIP Stephen Hawking


Recently scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN in Geneva, collided proton beams into each other at three times more force than ever before. The measurements were at the combined energy level of 7 trillion electron volts. At last, the multi-billion dollar scientific experiment to smash protons moving at near light-speed proved successful. The scientists involved in the experiment deserve applause across the world.

The term Big Bang refers to the theory that the universe has expanded from an ancient hot and dense condition and still continues to expand. The CERN experiments could now lead to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, which is believed to have existed when the universe came into being.

Syed Ansaar Ahmed Shah,

Via email.

Sexual predators


What can be more hypocritical than tolerance for sexual predators in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan at workplace, schools, seminaries, hospitals and neighborhood of our cities, towns and villages. The latest such incident is the brutal murder of eight-year-old Zainab in Kasur, where in the recent past over 12 such heinous crimes have been committed against girls. When the law become hostage to criminals and the greed of corrupt police and civil bureaucrats, than serving civilians, people lost faith in government, which led to chaos.

If the District Administration and Punjab government had brought to justice the criminals accused of molesting young boys and girls in 2014 or the first rape and murder of a girl from Kasur, by 2017, the lives of 11 children could have been saved.

We have seen how the provincial government of Sindh, its police and city administration shamefully came to the rescue of Shahrukh Jatoi and his companions who murdered Shahzeb. It angered these spoiled children of influential feudal families when Shahzeb was called by his sister who was being harassed by their servant Lashari with the possible intent to molest her. If Shahzeb had allowed these scoundrels to have their way, they would have allowed him to live.

We have seen such predators in PIA, the police, district management and other state and private institutions. One such glaring case is of a PIA pilot whom a former PIA CEO accepted had a history of predatory behavior, ever since his recruitment to the airline. This predator had also submitted fake educational degrees at the time of his recruitment and his behavior came under scrutiny when he invited a foreign passenger into the cockpit on an international flight which in the post 9/11 era is strictly forbidden by the ICAO and even CAA. Yet this criminal continues to be on the PIA payroll.

Aneela Chandio,


Bilawal, Tipu Sultan, Pir Pagara


When Tipu Sultan’s close associates betrayed him only then could the British eliminate him. The tragic end of their father traumatized Tipu Sultan’s sons. Dismayed by their defeat, two of them switched their loyalties to the British, their father’s killers.

Nearly 150 years later, in 1943, the British hanged another freedom fighter, Pir Sahib Pagara of Sindh. He was the spiritual leader of the Hurs, which was a Sufi resistance movement against British rule. Two sons of Pir Sahib Pagara remained in British custody even after the creation of Pakistan. Eventually they were allowed to come to Pakistan and in 1952 one of them, Shah Ali Mardan Shah II, became the spiritual leader of the Hurs.

The new Pir Pagara first stood by Fatima Jinnah against the military dictatorship of General Ayub Khan. However, years later when another dictator, General Zia-ul-Haq imposed martial law on July 5, 1977, Pir Pagara became his frontman.

In fact, Pir Pagara had recommended the name of Muhammad Khan Junejo as the new prime minister following the 1985 non-party elections. On May 29, 1988, General Zia-ul-Haq sacked Junejo’s government but Pir Pagara stayed loyal to the military regime.

The history of Tipu Sultan and Pir Pagara seems to be repeating itself in Pakistan. A true opposition party of the past, the Pakistan People’s Party, appears to be following Pir Pagara’s footsteps. The PPP is defending the same gavel that was hit twice for the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. In fact, the gavel has not yet provided justice to Bhutto or his murdered sons and daughter. The PPP is bargaining with those who had killed Bhuttos or were instrumental in their very tragic end.

Siding with forces that had crushed the soul of Pakistan and the spirit of the Constitution, and had let Benazir Bhutto and Murtaza Bhutto’s blood flow on the streets of Rawalpindi and Karachi will be political suicide for the Pakistan People’s Party.

No matter what Asif Zardari, a self-proclaimed PhD in Politics, does, in my view, young Bilawal Bhutto wouldn’t want to become another Pir Pagara.

Sheraz Peracha,