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We need a stronger UN
Sir: Undoubtedly, the American led invasion of Iraq is a severe blow to international system. We will witness the repercussions of this for quite some time. The failure of the United Nations to ensure world peace and stability and prevent the Iraq War has focused attention on the shortcomings of the international body. After the Iraq War, no small country will ever rely on the UN to ensure its safety.
The working system of the United Nations is far from satisfactory. The international community should now start thinking about reforming the existing structure and working of the UN to make it more effective.
The reform package should include enlargement of the Security Council — more countries should be made permanent members. This step will ensure that more countries and hence more people have a say in world affairs. It will also prevent any single world power from influencing or rather dominating the decision making process of the Security Council.
The new members should come from Asia, Africa and Latin America as North America and Western Europe are already represented in the council. The new entrants should be democracies and will bring different regional and international perspectives to the council. At least one Muslim country should be included in the council.
The permanent members should not be allowed the right of veto as this merely allows a single country to block the Council and prevent it from making decisions. The decisions should be made democratically by a majority of the votes.
The General Assembly is the true representative of the world. Its present role is merely ceremonial role and ineffective. The General Assembly’s powers should be increased. This will allow all the countries of the world to have a say in world affairs.
These are only a few suggestions. Perhaps experts can suggest other reforms that will improve the working and the image of the United Nations. A stronger United Nations is the need of the hour. Dismantling of the League of Nations did not contribute towards world peace. Similarly, getting rid of the UN or allowing it to continue as a body that is ignored or bypassed will not help either. This will only add to mess.
War and violence is unacceptable
Sir: Just one year after the war in Afghanistan, the members of Lahore LEAD Club are dismayed to bear witness to another war being waged on Iraq.
We wish to condemn war and violence in all its forms as unacceptable under any circumstances. In our eyes, the human race is greatly diminished by the acts of violence that we currently witness.
From within our group, members have been involved in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in the neighbouring country of Afghanistan. The anguish of its citizens due to the war and the damage caused to the country’s life supporting biological cycles is inestimable.
Unlike many political leaders who are focused on the short- term results of their actions, we are world citizens who are aware that our own lifetimes seem too short to effect the profound changes needed to bring the planet into balance.
Politicians must act to secure their next election victory, but we must prepare to answer the questions of our children and grandchildren. They will ask us about the deeds of the human race and the fate of the planet. For we believe that this earth is borrowed by us from the next generation and we are answerable for the destruction that we are wreaking.
In our work and ideals in pursuit of just development and ecological balance, we see war as a negation of our collective efforts. No matter where war is located it is never too far, for we understand the interconnectedness of all life and human societies.
We wish to call a halt to the machinery of self-destruction that the human race has manufactured. Fuelled by greed, its tool is the arms industry that is in the process of destroying living beings and all creation on earth as well as human ideals and aspirations.
We appeal to the United Nations as the institution founded upon the highest human ideals to ensure peace around the world. We resolve to redouble our efforts to work for sustainable development. We devote ourselves to global peace, development and environmental protection.
Leave before it’s too late
Sir: General Tauqir Zia tried to defend himself and his actions by flimsy arguments. The fact is that his tenure as the chief of PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) led to little improvement in Pakistan cricket.
I think he should have resigned himself after the World Cup debacle. However, one can hardly blame him for this. Unfortunately, there is no tradition of resignation in our country.
President Yahya Khan and his junta still wanted to continue ruling the country after their defeat in East Pakistan. They were compelled to resign.
The situation at the present is no different. However, I would like to make a request. Now that the army has ruined national hockey and cricket and the country by implementing the devolution plan please quit honourably before you are thrown out.
A thoughtful analysis
Sir: The article by Abbas Rashid (The Iraq war and US perceptions, Daily Times, March 29, 2003) was thoughtful and perceptive. Many people in the US question the premises upon which the Bush administration functions. The Internet is wonderful in that it allows us to find out what people in other countries are thinking. Perhaps it will help lessen our ethnocentrisms.
They don’t beat any one
Sir: A married couple had a five-year-old boy. The marriage had not been going well and the couple decided to get divorced. However, they could not agree on the custody of the child. Eventually the case was taken to court.
During the trial, the court decided to ask the child his opinion. The judge asked, “Son, would you like to stay with your mummy?”
The child said no. According to him, his mother used to beat him.
So the judge asked, “Would you like to stay with your papa then?”
“No,” replied the boy, “Papa also beats me up.”
Now the judge faced a dilemma. He did not know what to do. After giving the matter some thought, he came up with a solution. He ruled that the child would stay with the Pakistan Cricket Team because they never beat anyone.
MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR