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For the sake of our children
Sir: The environment of the house plays an important role in shaping the personality of a child. A child feels relaxed and comfortable in a house where all its members live in a cordial and friendly manner with one another. On the other hand, a child feels stressed and uncomfortable in a house where everyone is on the warpath with one another. Infighting between a husband and wife leaves a negative impression on the children.
Parents should avoid quarrelling with each in front of their children. Besides, they should also give a free and friendly environment to their children so that they can play in their houses without any fear of being punished. Using corporal punishment against children should be avoided at all costs. Otherwise, the young become rebellious.
ABDUL SAMAD SAMO
Family under attack
Sir: I wish to inform the human rights and journalistic community that our family is being harassed and isolated due to allegations of being ‘unpatriotic’ against my elder brother Habib R Sulemani. His yet to be published novel The Terrorland, which is partially set in the tribal area, has enraged the establishment, which obtained its draft by some means. Besides the harassment of my younger sister, attempts have been made to kill my brother and he has been living locked inside our home in Rawalpindi for the last four months.
A group of influential journalists, government officers and secret agencies are involved in this harassment campaign. We have knocked at the government’s door but to no avail. Even human rights activists are keeping silent in our terrorised country. There is a complete media blackout in this regard. However, we have maintained a group blog to convey our miseries to the nation and the world. I request the readers to help us bring these harassers to justice.
Sir: This is with reference to the letter ‘India shines?’ by Zafarul Haq Memon (Daily Times, July 20, 2010). Narasimha Rao belonged to the Congress Party and was prime minister during the years 1991-96. The Bharatiya Janata Party, under A B Vajpayee, coined the term ‘India shining’, and not the Congress.
Point to ponder on
Sir: The internees at the Fatima Memorial Hospital were taken for a visit to the Punjab Institute of Mental Health where they were to meet some of the patients. The experience was very disturbing to say the least. What made it more disturbing was the fact that some patients seemed normal. The doctor in charge told us that they have been trying to locate their families but they were either unable to or the families simply would not accept them back.
They are citizens of Pakistan and as such, have equal rights. As a Pakistani, I care for them and I have every right to question their presence in a mental hospital when they are perfectly fine. Just because their families are not ready to accept them, does that mean that no one else can help them?
It was very upsetting for me to see those depressed but hopeful eyes that were yearning for freedom. It has been years since we became independent. It is high time that these poor souls tasted freedom too.
HINA WAJAHAT AMIN
Parameters for censorship
Sir: Muhammad Abdullah’s letter ‘Is censorship the answer?’ (Daily Times, July 16, 2010) raises pertinent questions about the inculcation of patriotism among the people and the method used for it. Muzzling the media and forcing ideas down the throats of people simply cannot achieve this. Instead, a conducive environment should be created. The basic needs of the public will have to be met in order to ensure that this is effective.
However, the authorities in charge of censoring should take their decisions based on the aspirations of the people and the updated concepts of life and the world at large both in the present and the future. This calls for well-defined parameters for the members of the committee to follow. The members need to be mentally emancipated and free from biases, prejudices and fixations of all types so as to exercise their judgements objectively for the sake of the nation.
M SALEEM CHAUDHRY
San Jose, USA
Sir: Another round of talks between Pakistan and India has ended expectedly in deadlock and ‘confusion’ whether to include Kashmir in the final statement or not.
A foreign researcher, in one of his opinion papers, has recently made some very correct observations about Pakistan and the struggle going on in Kashmir. He pointed out that from an Indian perspective, prolonging the Kashmir conflict would be an effective way to bankrupt Pakistan so that India can subjugate its old adversary. It is not difficult to note that this has been India’s policy all these years and that it is working with the US to achieve its goals.
ABID MAHMUD ANSARI
Sir: In an interview to a private TV channel, Dr A Q Khan has revealed that the site for Kahuta Plant was selected on the recommendations of Mr Shakir, belonging to the Small Dams Organisation. For the sake of the record, I may point out that it is the same Mr Bashir Ahmad Shakir of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (one of the country’s most prestigious organisations) who rose to prominence in the 1970s and 80s as its director, and later, as the general manager of its civil works wing. A gem of an officer that he was, Mr Shakir along with a team of core professionals and true-to-task engineers and officers did an appreciable job towards conception, development and advancement of the present-day civil works infrastructure, plants, facilities, colonies, medical centres, etc.
I have had the honour of working under Mr B A Shakir during the early stages of my career, and am, therefore, privy to Mr Shakir’s vision, professional calibre, leadership, and great organisational skills. The entire nation today rightly owes much gratitude and credit to the services of Mr Shakir and many of his unsung colleagues.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Sir: According to media reports, about 0.75 million acres of forestlands located in various districts of Sindh is being converted to revenue land for general cultivation on the chief minister’s orders. This decision is appalling, to say the least. As per the government’s claim, the converted land will be allotted to female landless peasants, though there is a strong belief that it will later be taken over by influential land mafias of the area. Notwithstanding the government’s avowed claims, the status of forestland should not be changed and nor should it be allotted to private parties under any circumstances. In Sindh, most of the kacha land where once thick forests existed has already been usurped by the influential landholders by force of arms. Even the government finds itself helpless before these ‘mighty’ robber barons. If the remaining forests are also converted into revenue lands and allotted to private parties, Sindh, which already has scant forests, will be permanently deprived of its green cover. The deforestation, as a result of the chief minister’s decision, will cause not only climate change and global warming affecting human life and liberty but will also impact the inalienable right of livelihood of millions of people, which is a violation of the constitution.
R A SIDIKI