Dignity and honor are earned, not commanded


Dignity and honor



This is with reference to the statement by the army chief about the respect and honor of his institution. There is no doubt in any Pakistani’s mind about the importance of the armed forces and their role in the integrity of the federation.

But dignity and honor are earned, not commanded. The people of Pakistan cherish memories of love and common bonds that linked them with men and women who served in the armed forces with dedication and commitment to defend territorial integrity of Pakistan. They respect heroes like Major Aziz Bhatti and Major Shabbir Sharif, but detest villains like Admiral Mansoor ul Haq and General Ziaul Haq, who succumbed to temptation and greed.

It is time our gallant armed forces restore their image by cleansing their own stables. They must ensure none among their ranks are associated with notorious land mafia dons. Nor should any uniformed officer be seen running petrol pumps or other commercial ventures.

The army has a very sacrosanct job to do, which is far more important than any commercial venture.

Tariq Ali,

Washington, D.C.

How to solve Kashmir



This refers to an open letter by Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq published in the Indian newspaper The Hindu on April 9, as an appeal to Indian voters to take the gory Jammu and Kashmir issue seriously and responsibly while voting in the parliamentary elections.

Whereas the Mirwaiz has rightly emphasized the need for early solution to Kashmir problem (which has already claimed the lives, as per media reports, of about 100,000 people and still causing immense and avoidable human rights violations), he has been un-pragmatic (while relying on so-called serious, result-oriented and time-bound process of dialogue between the leadership of India and Pakistan, and of J&K). He should instead adopt a different approach, as explained below.

India cannot take over the Pakistani side of Kashmir using its military. Realistically there is no military solution to the Kashmir problem as far as India is concerned. The huge purchase of arms recently by India is to benefit the suppliers and even the influential officers and politicians among in the purchase, but will not help resolve Kashmir. Pakistan tried to unify Kashmir militarily in 1948 and 1965, and the Kargil war, but failed. Since the two countries are now armed with nuclear weapons, such attempts cannot be made by either side any longer.

The territory of any country is decided by its military or rather by the blood and lives of its fighters. Therefore Pakistan has a better claim on J&K as it has sacrificed about 100,000 Muslims for J&K.

In the present world, in view of Ukraine Crises (about self-determination and merger of Crimea with Russia), the Mirwaiz should endeavor to launch formally lobbying (after registering in the US in line with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 and other related US laws) with the US Congress and the US government for the right of self-determination for the people of J&K.

The US will certainly help J&K (especially due to India’s irresponsible and self-defeating non-support to the US on the Crimea issue at the recent UN voting) and will try to evolve a solution that will be helpful in finding a mechanism at the UN for addressing such problems in many countries of the world.

After initiating formal lobbying in the US, the UN should be moved by the Mirwaiz to decide on the issue of Kashmiris’ right of self-determination.

Weeping before the Indian voters is useless. It will not make the thoroughly communalized India to be serious about territorial, political and human rights issues of J&K.

Hem Raj Jain,


Juvenile justice



A great example of judicial activism was set in Pakistan when a nine month old was presented in court and that too in the most efficiently governed heartland of the largest province of Pakistan. An unprecedented precedence has been set by the police and the court, and the entire world including the Guinness Book staff is watching the display of the unparalleled commitment of the Pakistani ruling classes towards justice.

It is certainly a great effort to bring rule of law in Pakistan. People always complain that the law does not treat everyone equally in Pakistan. This landmark incident of dispensation of justice would certainly silence all critics of the Pakistani justice system. Every one witnessed how the law treated a grandfather, a father and a nine month old grandson alike.

The incident will go down in the history of the country as one of the greatest of its kind and will help to curb crimes in all times to come. Such dire and critical moments come in the history of all great nations and change the entire course of dispensation of justice in anarchic societies. Bravo to the police and the judiciary.

It would be extremely unfair if the Punjab government is not praised for their extraordinary display of efficient Guinness-Book recognized world class governance.

Atif Mahmood Majoka,


A woman of courage


This refers to the news report that Britain’s postal service company has issued a postage stamp commemorating Noorunissa Inyat Khan, a world war two heroine.

Noor, a direct descendant of Tipu Sultan, was one of the most gallant and brave women in the history of mankind.

In line with her grandfather’s slogan that living like a lion for one day is better than living like a jackal for a hundred years, she refused to surrender to the GASTAPO and sacrificed her life for a noble cause.

Britain’s Royal Mail should be applauded for having recognized the bravery of a woman who was a French national of Indian descent. Tipu Sultan had fought against the British and died in the Battle of Palasi. His bravery was even acknowledged by the British. Following in the footsteps of her great grandfather, Noor too died for her country.

Throughout her short life, Noorunnissa remembered and followed the teachings of her Sufi father. She was subjected to the worst kind of torture and humiliation by the German secret service, but she remained silent because she had been taught not to lie under any circumstances. She could have easily avoided the abuse by revealing the secrets she knew to the Germans, or by just lying to them, but she neither betrayed her country not tell a lie which they thought would be a great sin. She died because of German torture months before the end of World War II.

Noorunissa Inayat Khan was decorated by the British Government with the George Cross, their highest civil award, and by the French government with the Croix de Guerre, posthumously.

The latest honor given to her should be an eye opener for our government, political leadership, civil society and the media. When recognizing the sacrifices of the brave Noorunisa Inayat Khan, the British government paid no attention to the fact that her ancestors had fought against them.

It is tragic that the courage of this woman, who should have been a role model of our young generation, has never been highlighted in Pakistan.

Aamir Aqil,


Cyberstalking is stalking



The World Wide Web and Internet are great places to study, work, or even play, but there is an ugly side of cyberspace.

Cyberspace reflects the real world and some people tend to forget that. Cyberstalking and harassment are problems that a large number of people (especially women) are realizing. Just because an individual owns a computer and has an Internet account does not mean that person is considerate or respectful.

There are just as many stalkers in cyberspace as anywhere else. It’s just that their methods have changed. Some stalkers might harass you by following you through live channels not being able to take no for an answer and bothering you with email messages. In some cases this harassment may become a systematic campaign against you; where your harasser bombards you with threatening messages of hate and obscenities. The stalker may even trace your home address and telephone number, causing not only emotional distress but possibly physical danger. It should come as no surprise to you that the stalkers are making use of this technology to harass people and prey on the innocent.

There have been many examples of cyberstalking crossing over into real-life stalking. And the internet users who have been victims of cyberstalking always report that no one took the harassment seriously until it became real life stalking. People say things like “well just turn off your computer” and “you can’t be hurt on the Internet, it’s just words”. They don’t realize cyberstalking can be a devastating experience for a person online – just as frightening and distressing as off-line stalking, and just as illegal.

Anyone can be stalked online, but statistics show that the majority of victims are women. Women are the minority of the internet population, which means their attention is generally fierce competition between male users. Cyberstalking and online harassment are easy to practice than real life stalking. In cyberspace, a stalker can harass their victim without ever having to leave the comfort of their own home, or have any witnesses to the crime.

Online users are vulnerable to stalking in three areas. Live chat rooms are the most common place for cyberstaking. Message boards and newsgroups, and email are also used. A user has the ability to write anything and even attach files to the email. Another common area is at “.edu” sites, which are educational institutes, such as colleges and universities. One user might know another user personally and interacts on the internet anonymously starting the cybertalk. One student can enter the internet as easily as another student, therefore not letting his or her true identity be known.

If you are being harassed online by a cyberstalker, the chances are you are not the first person they have stalked. Cyberstakers, like other predators, are opportunists. They know what they are looking for and know how to get it. Stalking is a power crime, the stalker has the power to make you suffer and enjoys that power. A stalker’s self-esteem rises when they attack your self-esteem. The more pain and suffering they can cause, the better they feel about themselves. The best protection against becoming a target of stalking is not to reveal anything personal that you might have in common. A major clue to cyberstalking is when the stalker pushes for information regarding your personal life, private life, or life away from the net. A simple rule is to never give any personal information over the Internet.

Wareesha Khan,


Identity card crisis



My name is Arif Ali and I was born and raised in Pakistan, but I have not been able to renew my national identity card after filing three separate applications and paying thousands of rupees in fees over the last nine years.

I was born in Lahore on October 30, 1961. I completed my matriculation from Muslim League High School Lahore, my FSc from Islamia College, Railway Road Lahore, and Bachelor’s degree from Adamjee Science College in Karachi. My old ID card was issued at Lahore on June 22, 1980.

I applied to renew my national identity card for the first time from New York on May 15, 2005, paying the fee in US dollars. There was no response and the card was not renewed.

I applied to renew my card for the second time from Clifton Karachi. I paid my fee and submitted the application, but there was no response and my card did not get renewed.

The third time, I was in Dubai, where my daughter goes to school, and went all the way to Lahore to apply for a renewal. But no NADRA office was willing to accept my application. I went back to Dubai, where the Pakistani consulate accepted my renewal application. It has been several months but I have not received a response so far.

This is unacceptable. I have no choice but to write to newspapers and TV channels to reach out to higher authorities.

Arif Ali,

New York.

Snakes in the grass



American President Abraham Lincoln said in a speech on June 16, 1858 that ‘a house divided against itself can’t stand’. It was the time when his country was going through a civil war. They saved their house from division and today they are the most influential nation of the entire world.

Pakistan was attained after a long struggle and countless sacrifices. During the movement, there were many who opposed Pakistan’s creation. The same people are now working against its prosperity. They intend to divide this dear homeland on communal basis. They are actually snakes who are biting Pakistan this way or that with new faces, shapes, manifestos, agendas and slogans.

The people who called our country Napakistan at the time of its inception have now gathered under the umbrella of the DPC, and maligning the real defenders of this country. Every segment of the society, even the media, is full of such snakes.

Those who have killed more than 50,000 innocent Pakistanis are now saying that such killings are un-Islamic. What do they say about the bloodshed that they have already carried out? Who will be held accountable for those lives?

Corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, hoarders, and drug traffickers are benefitting from this situation too.

Only a complete, impartial, aggressive, and timely identification, and punishment of such snakes can put this country back on the path of progress and prosperity.

Zulqaranin Sewag,