"Mr Abbasi should have gone in our national dress" 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 addresses and phone ...


Trump’s statement


Last Monday US President Trump commented in the media that the United States has been giving billions of dollars to Pakistan, to help finish off terrorism but that Pakistan has deceived them. He also warned Pakistan that our nuclear weapons are being used against the United States by terrorists.

Mr Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan. He said that now in its 16th year, the war in Afghanistan is where the US has lost 2,400 soldiers and more than 2,000 service members have been injured in action and 1,200 civilian American contractors have been killed.

But unfortunately, why did he fail to mention Pakistan’s sacrifices? Pakistan also lost thousands of people where children, soldiers and civilians were killed. The state of Pakistan always been a friend of the US. Pakistan’s enemies are trying their level best to give us trouble, but we always bear with them. Now the government should do something against them.

GM Baloch,

Turbat, Kech.

Human cost


Pakistan has lost over 75,000 of its people in the war against terror since 9/11. The war has cost Pakistan over $1 trillion so far. Two generations have suffered psychological trauma and injuries with thousands being crippled. Yet the US president says America has paid Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. Is he saying he paid Pakistan for deaths it suffered in the war? Can a human’s life be equated to the value of dollars?

Does he consider the Pakistan Army a mercenary force? Do we fight and die for dollars? What a disgrace! Can Trump ask 75,000 American citizens to step forward and die, and in return they and their families be paid dollars as a price for their blood? Are Pakistanis not equal to Americans? Is the blood of a Pakistani citizen cheaper than the blood of an American?

Mr Trump, there is no price for sacrifice, friendship and sincerity. We fought the war to save you, your country and our country from the menace of terrorism. Our martyrs saved you. Yet you still say we are providing safe havens to your enemies? Show some wisdom.

Alya Alvi,


Afghan policy


How can Americans be defeated in Afghanistan, and how can Pakistan win the war against terror? This is something which the superpower is not able to digest. That is why they are shifting the blame for their own failures. But this is not the only thing. There are many more reasons.

What did the CENTCOM chief see in Waziristan when ISPR DG Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor took him to personally see how the Pakistan Army has cleared areas which were previously said to be occupied by even the Haqqani network? Why did he praise Pakistan for success on the ground and sacrifices in the war against terror? Why didn’t he say anything which President Trump would say now? Did he give a negative report back in Washington?

Wasn’t Senator John McCain taken to North Waziristan to visit the areas the Pakistan Army cleared of terrorists? At the end of his visit, the Senator told the media that he was satisfied with the successes. He praised Pakistan’s role and the sacrifices of its soldiers in the war against terror. Then what went wrong when he reached Washington?

Where are the superpower’s high-tech surveillance gadgets and satellite systems gone? Were they not supposed to closely watch and monitor troubled areas, terrorists and their safe havens? Where is the intelligence sharing and information mechanism? Why are Trump and Mattis and McMaster saying safe havens exist and America will go after them when the army says they have been cleared and two diplomatic visits said this much?

Their designs seem different. This is not Mr Trump backing out of an election promise to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. This is a long-term policy based on a grand agenda that has been in the works since President Carter and continued during the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations. This is not just face-saving, but madness on the part of the US that has not learnt lessons from history.

FZ Khan,


Reko Diq woes


Reko Diq is a town near Chaghi district which is a desert area. The town is located close to Pakistan’s border to Iran and Afghanistan. Reko Diq has natural resources, especially mines of gold and copper. The town is known as having the world’s fifth largest gold deposits. But despite these riches, its people have not been able to benefit in any financial way or by way of development.

The government has engaged international firms to do business and mining there but has not made the area’s people a priority. I request the government to pay some attention to this area as it desperately needs an improvement in its standard of living.

AJ Maqsood,


Karachi ranking


Karachi is one of the busiest cities of Pakistan. It was found to be among the least liveable cities of the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Karachi came 134th rank out of 140 cities only to be better than Port Moresby, Dhaka, Tripoli, Lagos and Damascus. The cities were ranked according to factors such as stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education, and infrastructure. This is not the first time Karachi has ranked this low.

This report should be taken as a challenge by the Sindh government that is said to want to reform Karachi with regard to these five aspects.

Fatima A. Ghafoor,


Rule of bad law


I expressed apprehensions in a July 8, 1993 piece about Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution under the heading “A new electoral system”. I said, “Many new qualifications or disqualifications for candidates were prescribed in 1985 by the arbitrary Eighth Amendment.

Several of these provisions are either vague or not practical and can lead to controversies regarding interpretations. Some of these provisions are: Article 62(f), Article 63(g), and Article 63 (h). These provisions may be deleted, amended or elaborated.”

The provisions of Article 62 (1) (f) are that: “he [sic] is sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and ameen there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law.” The crisis in Pakistan on account of these provisions is another explosion in the minefield which was laid in the country by Zia ul Haq who introduced these amendments. If these provisions are not changed to ensure the balance of power in Pakistan then it will become ungovernable.

Taraq Jazy,


New virus


The latest virus to be discovered in Pakistan, ‘Bacillus Phateecharious’ appears to be a variant of the deadly ‘Streptococcus Imranicus’, which has been active since 2013. Some scientists say it lay dormant since the late 1990s before developing into a deadly microbe. Despite the efforts of scientists to destroy Streptococcus Imranicus, it is dangerous for those still suffering from the effects of ‘Clostridium Nawazicum’, the virus that now appears to be weakening after the development of ‘Panamanium’, a highly potent vaccine. However, doctors warn that Clostridium Nawazicum could develop immunity to the vaccine and will continue to wreak havoc in the country for another five years at least.

Doctors say that Bacillus Phateecharious is likely to last another week or so, but those who are still suffering from the after-effects of Streptococcus Imranicus are likely to have mild fever and loss of memory for some time. Therefore, people are advised to stay away from those places where Bacillus Phateecharious is rampant, especially the locality known as Banicus Gallacus, which also hosts the still deadly Streptococcus Imranicus.

For those who may not know, Clostridium Nawazicum proliferated widely after the virtual elimination of ‘Haemophilious Zardaricus’, the deadly microbe that was well known for causing its victims to go into a coma for months on end. This once-deadly virus is now confined to the southern parts of the country, where it continues its nefarious activities, as a result of which the Sindh government has been in a coma since 2013 and the cities of the province are huge garbage heaps, which the victims actually seem to like.

Scientists say that these highly infectious microbes are aided by about 300 minor microbes of the genus ‘Nationalus Assemblicus’ and 100 other variants known as Bacillus Senatorius. Most of these minor viruses help both Streptococcus Imranicus and Clostridium Nawazicum in their efforts to immobilise Pakistanis and make them poor. Of course, if the vaccine Panamanium does prove effective and Clostridium Nawazicum and its supporters are neutralised, there is no guarantee that Streptococcus Imranicus itself would not succumb to it. Let’s hope for the best.

Shakir Lakhani,


The truth


Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has demanded a parliamentary commission investigate the claims of former ambassador Husain Haqqani that his connections made possible for the US to eliminate Osama Bin Laden in May 2011. I think first of all the Defence Minister should ask his government to publish the Abbottabad Commission report, led by Justice Javed Iqbal, as soon as possible so people come to know the facts and see the real story hidden behind Memogate scandal.

The memo is alleged to have been drafted by Haqqani at the behest of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari. The memo was delivered to Mike Mullen through then National Security Advisor James L. Jones. It is a great pity that some powerful people belonging to the civil and military elite always play with the sovereignty and autonomy of country.

In 1971, the whole nation faced humiliation when the Indian forces routed Pakistan in a war that led to the creation of present-day Bangladesh. The Hamoodur Rahman Commission was set up in 1972 to find the truth. Similarly, an inability to prevent an American incursion into Pakistan airspace on May 2, 2011 was a disgrace and shame for the nation. It appears in large part to be a story of complacency, ignorance, negligence, incompetence, irresponsibility and possibly worse at various levels inside and outside government.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went to the Supreme Court to form a commission against the Memogate scandal when he was in the opposition. Interestingly, the Abbottabad Commission Report was submitted to now former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 4 January 2013 but its findings have yet to be made public.

Famous businessman, philanthropist and self-help book author W. Clement Stone once said: “Have the courage to say ‘no’. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” Pakistani people want to live their life with integrity, truthfulness and sincerity.

Mansoor Ahmed,


Plastic bags


A 2004 study once said that the number of plastic bags used in Pakistan every year could come to 112 billion by 2015. It is 2017 and one can only assume that the numbers have gone up. Kenya is being lauded as the latest country to completely ban these bags and make legal severe punishments. Anyone found using them could be fined up to 40,000 dollars or risk going to jail for up to four years. It is the latest out of 40 countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single use plastic bags, including China, France, Rwanda, and Italy.

In Karachi and indeed our other cities, plastic bags have choked our sewers, polluted our waters and dirtied our neighbourhoods. They are not biodegradable either. We used to have a culture of using cloth bags for all our groceries. Surely we could do something to encourage this again?



Dr Ruth Pfau


Pakistan has lost its guardian angel Dr. Ruth Pfau. She passed away on August 10, 2017 at the age of 87. She was a German by birth but worked as a Pakistani doctor and transformed the destiny of leprosy patients here. In 1988, she was granted citizenship. It was her hard work that led to the declaration that Pakistan was a leprosy-free country in 1996. She is a role model and her exemplary work will always be remembered.

Sangeen Shahdad,


Breast cancer


Breast cancer poses a serious threat to women and men in Pakistan. According to one survey, the highest populated province Punjab has been identified with the highest incidence of this type of cancer. An estimated 40,000 women of Pakistan have been affected according to data written about this year and these are only the diagnosed cases. Yet there are no campaigns or organizations to disseminate information about this type of cancer to the public. Women aren’t told how to tell if they have the symptoms or develop lumps. They aren’t shown how to self-examine. They aren’t told that after a certain age they should get regular check-ups. Surely the government’s health departments in the provinces can divert some of their budgets to public service messages on this topic?

Shah Bakhsh Haheem,

Turbat, Kech.

The tie


I keenly watched our prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on his US visit. I was, like many others as I gathered from social media, rather surprised to see he was not wearing a tie when meeting VP Mike Pence. Abbasi responded by saying that he went to school in California. “So in California, they said you only wear a tie on the day you get married or [on the day] you die. So it’s neither of those events.”

I’d like to know how many senators who went to school in California meet Mr Pence without a tie. I’d also like to know if a head of state from Pakistan has to follow any rules of protocol. I’d also like to know if Mr Abbasi understands that he is representing an entire country. He should have gone in our national dress as he has made a point of doing at home.

Ghulam Sarwar,