"The issue of water will be taken seriously when our rulers overlook their own advantage and think for Pakistan" The Friday Times, Plot No 52-53, N-Block, Main Guru Mangat Road, Gulberg II, Lahore, Pakistan. 042.35779186; Fax: 042.35779186, email: ...


Stand with Meesha


I completely stand with Meesha Shafi in her recent disclosure of sexual harassment by Ali Zafar. If she wants to help other women then she must win this case, both in the court of law and in the court of public opinion. I hope she has planned things out. Losing this debate will only embolden men like Ali Zafar. Ideally, here is what should happen: She should tell her story to various organisations, over a period of weeks, covering multiple platforms and target groups. During this time, she should establish a support network, providing a platform to other women to come forward against Zafar. They can share their stories privately. You can share their tales without revealing their identity so as to protect them, especially women who are not as strong as you.

She should prepare for her legal case and plan how to fight it in the courts and how she will manage the publicity given to the case.

She should also continue working and preferably do large scale events, symbolizing that she can state her story without letting it affect her career.

I’m not an expert, but I have seen similar cases in the American media, where unprepared victims get lynched because the man is better prepared than the woman who is already traumatised.

Meesha, you have already done your part and if you control the debate and win decisively, the impact will be significant for the society as a whole.

Khawaja Akbar,

Via email.

Water and power


Our country is rich with resources, yet Pakistan’s population is deprived of some fundamental necessities, for example, power and water. We have such large amounts of coal reserves that we can provide for our people for more than a century. We can produce energy by utilising coal. It is also unfortunate that Pakistan has a huge water crisis. Pakistan has shown that it can’t make dams like India, which has constructed 40 dams for Jhelum and Chenab. Four of these area major dams and 16 are smaller. India is also building the world’s third biggest dam named Kargil.

Pakistan’s agriculture is reliant on water. The Kalabagh dam was to begin in 1985. In 2007 it was concluded that it will be constructed, however, it was postponed after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Kalabagh will produce 2400 megawatts in the first few years and 36,00 MW at its full capacity. Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority evaluates that yearly power created at Kalabagh will be worth 20 million barrels of oil.

The issue of water will be taken seriously when our rulers overlook their own advantage and think for Pakistan. We have such an extensive amount of national assets that we don’t need to ask for aid from other countries.

Marium Uddin,


State of public schools


Most public schools lack basic facilities, including safe drinking water and proper furniture. Like most previous governments, the present one is also spending a large chunk of the budget on defence. The primary education sector must be the government’s top priority. The condition of the government primary schools in the city and the quality of education being imparted there is going from bad to worse.

Many government schools exist on paper only. School buildings, mostly in rural areas, have been converted to drawing rooms for local landowners or cattle sheds while the children are forced to study under trees or out in the open.

An example of this is the Government Primary School, Shah Faisal Colony, which has no roof. There are a lot other public schools whose infrastructure is beyond dilapidated. Many schools have no furniture in classrooms, and lack teaching staff, toilets, safe drinking water and playgrounds.

Water has always been an issue for public schools. A number of schools in the city have no water tanks and some that have them don’t have drinkable water. The water tanks are not clean and are infested with insects. A number of public school students get sick after drinking water from these tanks.

As a result of these conditions, poor parents have found alternatives. According to the World Bank, 1 percent students leave public schools to attend madrassahs as they offer food and lodging in addition to religious education. Middle class people are compelled to send their children to private schools. These private schools charge high fees from the parents already labouring under hyper-inflation.

The government must concentrate on the education sector and take revolutionary steps to improve it. The primary education sector needs to be brought up to modern educational standards. This is the need of the country and its teeming millions

Neelam Waseem,


Trust Inzamam


Some people are shallow and narcissistic. With them, you can do 100 things, 99 of them good, but they will harp on the one bad or not-so-good thing you did. I am astonished how they forget that Inzamamul Haq has a great experience and he always did his best for our beloved country. So, if he made the decision of Fawad Alam’s exclusion from the squad, it is not the worst thing he has done. If we look back in last three seasons, there are players who have scored more runs than Alam.

PCB Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq says in a very nice and positive way that Fawad is a good player and we obviously can’t ignore his career average and that is why he was brought into the camp. He clearly says that dropping any player doesn’t mean we are disregarding them. How can we forget, during his tenure, he gave 12 to 14 players an opportunity and none of them have disappointed us? So, we should trust Inzamam and stop criticizing him.

Sania Saba,

Karachi University.