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Sir: I want to protest the senseless killing of the leopard in Punjab by police commandoes. It is appalling that the wildlife department gave government officials permission to shoot the leopard, a protected specie that is illegal to kill. A number of questions arise. Why was the police involved? How was the police sure that this leopard was the same “killer” leopard? Why were no alternatives considered?
Instead of killing the animal, it would have been far more humane to capture it and then relocate it. The reason that this problem arose is because we, as humans, have not respected the territory of animals — by encroaching on and stripping the natural forests we have left these animals with few options for survival. Driven by hunger, they are forced to depend on livestock, and in extreme cases, even humans. Instead of resorting to mindless slaughter, we can follow the example of Nepal, which with WWF’s help, developed timber and fuel wood plantations and an eco-tourism plan to decrease the dependency of villagers on the resources of the forest. .
It is truly regrettable that this incident took place, and one hopes that next time the government and the wildlife department will think through matters rationally before they rush off to shoot animals.
Sir: This refers to letter to the editor (Open letter to PTCL chairman, Daily Times, July 7, 2005) in which the writer had complained about his out of order telephone number. The investigations carried out by the Customers Care department of the company have revealed that the letter is fictitious and no such complaints were lodged with any of the customers care offices.
The investigations have further revealed that the number mentioned by the writer belonged to some one else. The subscriber of the telephone number denied that his number was out of order or that he had lodged any complaint. In his letter addressed to the Divisional Engineer, he said, that his telephone number was working and he did not know who had lodged the complaint.
Sir: Following in the footsteps of the president and prime minister who recently decided to procure planes for their exclusive use, the WAPDA chairman is also shopping for an aircraft. WAPDA has issued a tender for importing an executive jet.
The nature of job demands that WAPDA should have a plane, and for long the organisation did maintain one. It was only during the tenure of the last chairman that the aircraft was sold. But purchasing a new aircraft at a time when WAPDA is in bad financial health will raise many eyebrows. The government has given a subsidy of Rs 107 billion over five years but WAPDA still requires another Rs 27 billion to meet its deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30. Due to cash flow constraints WAPDA was unable to service the federal government’s interest and principal loan repayments.
These loans have now been converted into the government’s equity. As this was not enough to bail out the organisation, the government has also decided to issue WAPDA bonds for eight billion rupees to partially finance its projects.
Under these circumstances, does it make sense for WAPDA to purchase an executive jet?
Sir: Various articles have been published in newspapers about poverty, inflation and unemployment. I was shocked to learn of the desperation of some people. Men are murdering their families because they cannot afford the rising costs of living.
I put the blame squarely on this government (although the previous governments were no better). General Pervez Musharraf is responsible for the increase in the prices of basic commodities, utilities, medicines and even transportation because of the economic policies that he has pursued.
I admit that poverty has been apart of our history but the extent to which it has increased now is alarming. Islam demands that we implement policies where the basic needs of all people (including the non-Muslims) are met.
Sir: Like secularism, capitalism and democracy, woman’s rights also flows from the West to the rest of the world. The various tentacles of the UN are dedicated to propagating woman’s rights as universal values. But it is wrong to cajole and bully nations into compliance. Women’s rights are predominantly raised to attack Islam and Muslims, even though the criticisms may be more applicable to other religions and cultures — indicating that the ulterior motive is to get political mileage against adversaries and not furthering the welfare of womankind.
Had Islam and Muslim men been the real oppressors of women, the feminist movement would have arisen within Islamic societies. Indeed, the origin of such movements perhaps reflects where the real oppression of women existed and still exists. No one can explain why Islam (supposedly anti-women) continues to attract more women than men.
We as Muslims have to set our own agenda and not be baited by mischief makers who have a malignant intent towards Islam and Muslims.
JUNAID ASLAM KHAN
Religion and society
Sir: It is time Pakistan became a modern state. As a son whose father was a freedom fighter for India (and hence also for Pakistan) I was aghast when India was partitioned. Subsequently, the death of Mohammad Ali Jinnah followed by assassinations and military juntas marred Pakistan’s early history.
I have met many Pakistanis since I left India some 40 years ago. I am impressed with their professionalism and hard work. It is unfortunate that Pakistan does not use its inherent talent for its people’s welfare. Pakistani people are my brothers and sisters and I care for every one of them.
Many people are of the opinion that religion should be separate from society but there is nothing wrong with religion being part of the society’s backbone. It is the fanaticism associated with some religious schools that is bad.
In the US, we have a constant fight between “creationism” and “evolution”. Luckily, the religious fringe has not prevailed in deciding school curriculum. I hope in Pakistan the madrassas will limit their activities to basic morality and leave science and technology to proper schools. A proper blend of religion and science is what any society needs.
Sir: The society and media have accepted absurdities in our national polity as part of life. A case in point are news reports suggesting that the country’s intelligence agencies are currently preoccupied with ensuring the quorum in national assembly sessions. Even if such news reports serve the purpose of scaring and disciplining the potential mavericks in the ruling coalition, it is a scandal of no less magnitude than Watergate.
Opposition Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the passing of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill by the National Assembly was a result of misleading information provided to NA members by the government. This borders on forgery.
I witnessed the proceedings of the NA standing committee on information and broadcasting that approved the bill. I was shocked that some clauses were specially added to the amendment bill before the committee meeting. By doing so PEMRA officials provided the modified version of the bill only an hour before the meeting and did not even disclose or discuss some of the new clauses. The committee members have complained on record about the lack of time to study the bill. These undisclosed and un-discussed clauses included section 34-A that empowers the police to arrest broadcasters without warrant for “repeat violation” of the ordinance.
Sir: The international media has desensitised the public to the plight of Muslims by its televised impressions of what is termed “Islamic terrorism”. They are intent on demonising an ideology to muster support for the pseudo “war on terror”, in which countless innocent Muslims have died. The Muslim fatalities now run well into tens of thousands and are cursorily reported by the media. However, in response to the retaliatory attacks by the sympathisers of victims of the US and UK’s oppression, the media beams pictures around the world, magnifying beyond proportion the victimisation of the West at the hands of the so-called “terrorists”.
The West has ravaged many countries around the world and has frequently orchestrated political unrest. Their policies have created unstable political situations in the Muslim world where they have plundered natural resources by installing puppet regimes. Now, the West is leading the crusade against the so-called “evil”. It is rather naďve to expect that the people who are wronged will sit quietly and endure the humiliation at the hands of the West in their own lands.
This in no way condones the horrendous events that transpired in the UK but the intention here is to put matters in perspective for those who have been brainwashed by the western propagandist media.