"New talent on merit must be promoted to see the same results in future" 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 ...


Rumble strips


Through your esteemed paper I would like to bring a very serious problem to the notice of the National Highway Authority. The rumble strips that are used in the world to alert drivers going off the road are being used as speed breakers in Pakistan.

Longitudinal rumble strips (also referred to as raised profile edge lines or audio-tactile edge lines) can be used to delineate the edge of a road where driver fatigue is known to cause crashes. As well as providing visual delineation, longitudinal rumble strips can also be heard and felt by drivers and riders. When a tyre runs over the rumble strips a noise and vibration is produced. This tells a sleepy or distracted driver that their vehicle is starting to leave the road. But on GT road they have been installed horizontally across the road to act as speed breakers. It should not comes as a surprise that they are called land mines by drivers.

In addition to rumble strips, cat’s eyes are being used as speed breakers as are alligator teeth which are supposed to be used to enforce one-way traffic. The cat’s eyes protrude 2 to 3 inches above the road’s surface. I have also noticed that at many places the cat’s eyes have broken but nails that are used to fix them turning the road into a spike strip.

Umar Khalid,


Tremendous victory 


The Pakistani team has made history with its scintillating shots all over the ground against furious Indian opponents in the Grand Finale. The scoreboard of over 300 flabbergasted cricket lovers as it didn’t seem possible at the start of inning but the tremendous opening partnership broke all records. The team batted audaciously and put the opponent under immense pressure. The belligerent bowling attack by the Greens dismantled the world’s best batting on 158 only.

The Pakistani team showed remarkable resilience in all three departments which brought about the fabulous victory of 180 runs. The dazzling performance exhilarated the entire nation. This is surely a blessing in Ramadan and the result of the prayers of supporters. The tenacity, teamwork and determination throughout the tournament must be celebrated. The young guns have showed their class. New talent on merit must be promoted to see the same results in the future.

This victory against the world class team will always be remembered. It is a comeback for all that unabated criticism. It is the beginning of our glory. Stand up for the Champions. Thanks Team Pakistan.

Haider Ali,


Women at work


In all civilizations, women have been playing their role in families. Since the beginning of time, women have been a part of the development of society in one way or another. While talking about women’s empowerment, however, the common perception is that this phenomenon benefits women only. However, the beneficiaries of empowering women are men, women, society at large, communities and indeed the economy as well.

Pakistani women have faced the challenge of ever-increasing responsibilities but shrinking opportunities. Many of them live narrow lives with no exposure to society at large. Like men, women are also entitled to live with dignity and they also require freedom to live. What we see, however, is that the people in power, opinion makers, reformers, social analysts and political thinkers talk about it but are unable to really make a difference.

Women are held responsible for doing all the housework, bringing up their children, feeding their families and in many cases, especially in the rural areas, they have to work side by side with the men. They work on farms, take care of the harvest etc. And in urban areas they do jobs, work in factories, or as domestic help, and once back home from work they take care of their family. In spite of all this, most of the time their efforts and struggle are taken for granted. To be treated with respect is every woman’s fundamental right. It’s also her right to be cherished for all the effort she makes for her family. But, a majority of women are deprived of this right.

According to the latest statistics, the female population in Pakistan is 49.2% whereas women’s participation in the labour force is only 28%. Clearly this ratio is extremely low. Women’s empowerment can play a marvelous role in the economic development of Pakistan and as any economist will tell you, this is not possible without women or half the population. Today’s women are educated, confident and willing to work. Motivation, support and resources can make them do wonders. It’s time to recognize that enhanced women’s participation in society is essential to ensure a prosperous economy.

Gender equality is a basic human right and women’s empowerment is a critical aspect of achieving it. It involves increasing a woman’s sense of self worth, giving her decision-making powers, access to opportunities and resources, and in many cases day care for her children. It has to be noted that no country has fully achieved gender equality to date.

Faryal Yaqoob Mughal,


DHA teachers


I met a DHA school teacher at a computer printing and photocopying shop where she was getting her school results and paperwork processed and was paying for it herself. Obviously, it was sad to note that DHA school teachers are told to get copying works done from public shops on their own expense rather than DHA providing them the facility in its schools. Needless to say this policy is not only undesirable and unfair but also burdensome for the teachers and a threat to the school’s educational confidentiality.

Will the Director of Education and Administrator himself look into this and provide photocopying and printing facilities to their teaching staff on campus?

Mazhar Butt,


Grenfell tower


At points in time, weighty issues that demand the attention of the governing elite seldom make it to the main headlines, and only do so when an unparalleled tragedy strikes, shedding light on pertinent concerns conveniently swept under the carpet by those in power. This reality stands true not only for developing countries like Pakistan, tainted with corruption, nepotism and faulty priorities of its leadership but also for the so-called progressive West where social disparity comes across as a palpable indicator of how some lives qualify as precious in comparison to the others.

A grave manifestation of this point is the disheartening Grenfell Tower Tragedy, where after being engulfed by a deadly fire, the tower left around 80 people dead and many unaccounted for. The tragedy could have been easily averted had the fire alarm systems been functional and enough heed taken by the management to install sprinkler systems. This was repeatedly requested and demanded by the people who lived there. However, the fact that the tower was part of social housing in contrast to the plush private residential housing that receives regular maintenance, speaks volumes about the attitudes of the local administration in addressing the genuine concerns of poor people in Britain.

Marria Qibtia

Sikandar Nagra,


Turbat dates


The temperatures are at a peak in the city of Turbat. The temperature touched 53.5°C. Previously, the record was 53°C in Larkana on May 31, 1998. According to the Met department, the previous highest temperature in Turbat was 52°C recorded on May 30, 2009.

Turbat is, on the other side, famous for its sweet dates which impress whoever tries them. But I wish to bring to your notice the phenomenon of heated air locally called ‘Gorich’ which has destroyed all the dates in Turbat city and nearby villages. While speak to a farmer from village Herronk, I came to know that he invested Rs20,000 in dates but his farm was scorched in the heat and the dates were burnt. The man is poor and had taken a loan from a bank. This natural disaster has struck him badly and he wishes that some modern technology could have been available to save him and his crop. Turbat’s farmers need cold storage facilities.

Ali Jan Baloch,

Turbat, Kech.

Corruption perception


According to the 2016 results of the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, Pakistan ranks 116th out of 176 countries and finds itself in the top five of the most corrupt countries. People still argue that without bribes nothing is possible as corruption has seeped into every government department. If you pick up a newspaper or turn on the television corruption seems to dominate every aspect of life. I want to draw the attention of the authorities to this  as there is a growing need to reform, hold accountability and place anti-corruption policies at higher levels.

Hazari KB,


Baloch in Qatar


Qatar is one of the Muslim countries of the world that is a source of income for a number of families in Pakistan. But owing to the unrest and sanctions that have recently been imposed on it, the Baloch who live there have been unable to visit their families on Eid. Eid is such a festival that everyone wishes to spend it with family but our brothers who are working there find themselves stuck.

So I request the authorities look into the matter.

Amber Gul,


Pakistan is back


After losing the first match against India by 124 runs at the Champion’s Trophy, the Pakistani team put on an everlasting performance against the world number one, South Africa, in Birmingham on Wednesday to defeat it. While chasing 220 to keep their hopes alive of qualifying to the next round, the Men in Green were 119 for three at the end of the 27th over, 19 runs above the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method when rain interrupted the match.

I really appreciate all players for their brilliant performance against South Africa, especially young pacer Hasan Ali and debutante opener Fakhar Zaman, who impressed in the do-or-die encounter for Pakistan. It is hoped that Pakistan will produce a much better performance in the field against Sri Lanka in their last match, where they will need a win to cement their place in the semi-final.

Bakhtiyar Baloch,


Congratulations Pakistan


I wish to congratulate the Pakistani cricket team for winning the Champions Trophy which was played in England. The game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan was a quarter final match for both of them where after a great fight Pakistan won over Sri Lanka by 3 wickets. The captain’s knock of Sarfaraz Ahmed can’t go unnoticed. Under pressure, he scored a match winning 61* to lead the team from the front. The highest 8th wicket partnership from Sarfaraz and Mohammad Amir (28*) helped Pakistan reach a comfortable win. Earlier, Junaid Khan impressed cricket lovers with his spell of 3 wickets which he took in a crucial stage of the game. Hassan’s 3 wickets, Fahim’s, Amir’s wickets played astonishing roles in the game.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the national cricket team for the win.

Ali Jan Maqsood,


Divided Muslims


Pakistan bleeds internally because of the fallout of our involvement in the Afghan War and the treacherous role played by Zia ul Haq in getting Pakistan knowingly involved in a proxy war by the CIA to avenge their defeat in Vietnam. In his book, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the NSA in the Reagan Administration, admits that a trap was laid to lure the Soviet Union into sending their troops into Afghanistan and Zia ul Haq was allegedly party to this conspiracy.

Zia exploited religion to hoodwink innocent young Muslims to get involved in this jihad, while he and the others in his junta went from rags to riches. He gave sanctuary to extremists on the sacred soil of Pakistan in violation of the oath he had taken to defend its sovereignty and territorial sanctity. Zia’s links with the CIA date back to his days in Jordan where he chose to launch a massacre of innocent Palestinians living there in refugee camps to please the King and the Zionist lobby. It is also a tragic fact that earlier on, Maj Gen Nawazish, the head of the Pakistan military mission in Amman, his commanding officer, had refused to accede to this request because it was against the mandate given to him by the Government of Pakistan.

History has proven that no country, including a superpower like America, with all its military might can win a war if the people of that country have the will and determination to stand up and defend themselves, which is what happened in Vietnam. Another bitter lesson of history is that countries which engage in other nation proxy wars, suffer and bleed internally, if they allow their territory to become a sanctuary for foreign fighters. Pakistan today suffers because of the greed that blinded Zia when he thrust this country into America’s proxy war, As always happens, such countries are always abandoned to face consequences, once their foreign masters have achieved their objective. The torment, humiliation and suffering the Muslim world has undergone after the emergence of the US as a sole superpower, which Zia helped them become, is there for all of us to witness. When elephants fight it is the ants that get trampled. No person in recent history has harmed Pakistan more than Zia ul Haq. The hundreds of thousands who have been killed and the millions displaced were because of the follies and sins of Zia. At the end of the day, after he was used, he also became a liability and was eliminated.

Gul Zaman,


A tribute


After so many years, I turned on the TV,

Only to see the exciting Champions trophy.

Before today, I had totally stopped watching cricket,

By international standards, our team was a misfit.

Against all odds, Pakistan was in final,

That too, against India, our arch rival.

I didn’t have any unrealistic expectations at all,

The probability of India losing was too small.

Neither was there the pace of Shoaib Akhtar,

Nor was there anyone with Waqar’s yorker.

No Wasim to set opponents at unease,

Nor a classy spinner of Ajmal’s expertise.

No captain of Imran Khan’s calibre,

No Inzamam-ul-Haq or Saad Anwar.

The match started with our batsmen looking very shaky,

Our opener was out but it was a no-ball; how lucky.

Slowly and gradually, Azhar and Fakhar began to click,

Mature temperament and good technique did the trick.

Only an unfortunate run-out broke their strong stand,

But Fakhar kept on playing as if it was his homeland.

Eventually, the young man went on to make a century,

A new kid on the block had arrived in our country.

Contrary to all opinion, Hafeez too came out all guns blazing,

As unpredictable as ever, we made 338 in a great inning.

However, India had the best batting without a doubt,

But even a target of 400 couldn’t rule it out.

With hope, I prayed before breaking my fast,

that Allah (swt) may grant us victory at last.

It seemed the heavens did listen to my heartfelt request,

Brilliant Amir dismissed Sharma, Dhawan & Kohli, the best.

Soon, Yuvraj & Dhoni too were back in the pavilion,

The backbone of India had undergone destruction.

However, it was Pandeya who shook Pakistan with fear,

His heroic efforts gave India something to cheer.

Yet, even he too couldn’t take his team to victory,

The scorecard said, “158 all-out in 30.3.”

The underdog had become the champion,

The Muslim team fell in prostration.

With so much chaos otherwise, only this sport unites our people,

It is high time we experience and cherish joy of such level.

With people like Nawaz Sharif in control,

Pakistan has indeed lost its soul.

But 18th of June, 2017 is a historic day,

To prosperity, may Allah put this nation on its way!

Adil Farook,

Via email.