The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced the poll timings on May 11 to be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this time frame of eight hours could be insufficient for the registered voters. There are several factors that need to be considered. Firstly, starting the polls early and concluding it sometime near Maghrib would be suffice. Secondly, this time the elections are being held in very challenging circumstances in the face of growing election-related terrorism. Long queues of voters at polling stations could turn out to be a soft prey for the terrorists. Thirdly, some 40 million new voters have reportedly been added to our electoral system. Large number of charged youths is also expected to show up for the polls. In the light of these observations it will be pertinent if the ECP announces extension of polling timings at least from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the country.
I would like to draw the attention of the authorities towards a serious matter that is corruption in Pakistan. The position of Pakistan is in bad shape, the devil of corruption is reining every field of national activity. The condition of Government offices is very deplorable. Police, railways and transport are the departments, which are supposed to provide efficient services to the people, but you cannot expect a slight action in any of these departments without spending illegal money. There are many such departments where corruption has become a norm of their life.
It is clear that unless this trend is checked, the country cannot make any progress, it cannot achieve the goal of prosperity and self-reliance. It is about time that the Government should take a bold step to discard and uproot its forces, before it becomes too late for us.
Elections are round the corner. Party campaigns are at its peak. Parties in the race are making tall promises to the electorate that they will bring an end to all the predicaments that confront Pakistan today. They are promising to bring an end to problems of this country. They are making strong commitments to bring the economy of Pakistan back to its feet. Undoubtedly, all their rhetoric vis-à-vis the predicaments of the masses of this country are close to reality. The electorate vividly remembers these commitments, and that is what makes it difficult for them to believe in the tall promises that parties are making to them. Is there a way out of this for the people? Yes, there is. People should use their right to vote judiciously; vote for only those who are sincere and have a good past track record.
The president speaking on the ‘World Earth Day’ has said, ‘I am pleased to learn that Pakistanis would be joining the international community in what is the largest environmental event in the world today’. Then he talked of climate change and recurring droughts, massive food shortages, potential starvation, floods and other natural calamities.
While he was talking of saving mother earth, his party (PPP) was coming out with full page advertisements lamenting that Benazir’s agreements for more IPPs had been cancelled. More IPPs, burning more oil is not what will save the earth. Benazir should not have rejected the Kalabagh dam which would have given us pollution free power.
I wonder if the president can see the huge contradiction between his professed love for mother earth and what his PPP is saying, and what, in fact, he himself has often said.
ENGR KHURSHID ANWER
Sarabjit Singh, a farmer from an Indian village near Indo-Pak Punjab’s’ border was arrested near Pakistan’s border on August 29, 1990. However, eight days later he was charged for involvement in 1990 bomb blasts at Faisalabad and Lahore which killed 14 people. He was sentenced to death based on the testimony that Sarabjit planted the bombs. Singh tried to prove his innocence that he strayed across the border under the influence of alcohol. His petition against death sentence was dismissed by the Supreme Court. President Zardari tried to release him on humanitarian grounds in 2012; however, under intense pressure from religious groups, decision was reversed within four hours. Last Friday Sarabjit was attacked by fellow prisoners with bricks and metal rods, which later resulted in his death. What a shame for Pakistan!
Jubail, Saudi Arabia
A successful livestock operation accounts for expenses occurring at the farm. The entire profit potential of any successful operation revolves around the foundation of sound and economical calf rearing programme. Rearing young calves is a labour intensive and costly segment. From birth to weaning, milk shares highest cost of feeding along with the health issues associated with hygiene and sanitation of milk feeding utensils. These items, if done improperly, can lead to severe consequences; like higher cost of milk feeding, increased incidence of scours and drenching resulting in both time and economic loss.
Pakistan is blessed with a huge population of cattle and buffalo (36.9 and 32.7 million heads, respectively). However, majority of livestock farmers are currently using conventional practices which are inefficient, higher in cost, and result in higher mortality rates. Conventionally, buffalo calves are kept with dam, fed on seasonal forages, and weaned around one year of age. Inadequate milk feeding and poor husbandry practices result in high mortality rate (85.2 percent), and lower body weight (60 to 80 kg). Further, conventional rearing of buffalo calves is higher than cattle whereas, market price of a weaned buffalo calf is lesser than the cost of milk feeding. Therefore, farmers have developed a wrong concept that rearing of young calves is not profitable enterprise and prefer to sell milk instead of feeding to calves. With increasing meat prices, livestock farmers are adopting new strategies to improve calf performance at a lesser cost of production.
To reduce the cost of feeding, early weaning from milk is practised. Recently, we weaned buffalo calves from milk at 12, 10 and eight weeks of age. We reported that early weaned (eight weeks) calves grew at the same rate, consumed less milk and reduced the cost of feeding by 22 percent to those weaned later. Results might help to mitigate issues like poor growth and low returns associated with traditional calf rearing practices. We concluded that buffalo calves can be successfully weaned off milk as early as eight weeks of age without negatively affecting growth performance and significantly reducing the feeding cost. Results suggest that adopting early weaning strategies might be useful to reduce the age of puberty in buffalo heifers, which at the moment is around 3-3.5 years. Further, better growth rates of male calves can improve the supply of quality bulls. The investigation will help us to mitigate gaps between conventional rearing systems and modern feeding strategies.
MUHAMMAD AFZAL RASHID,PROF DR TALAT NASEER PASHA
Indeed, no virtue is greater than justice. All holy books, books of ethics and human history testify that all prophets came for one main thing, and that was “Justice in Society” and it was, in fact, the talk of justice which irritated the ruling elite who in turn became their sworn enemies.
Doubtlessly, justice is the soul and essence of humanity. That’s why, Hazrat Imam Ali Ibne Abi Talib (AS), once said, “A state can run and prosper on the basis of Kuffer but no state can survive on the bases of Zulm (Injustice).
Once someone asked from Hazrat Ali (AS), “what is the meaning of Zulm: To this, Imam Ali (AS) replied,” Zulm is when things are not in their designated places”.
If we explore into the backdrop of this interpretation given by Hazrat Imam Ali (AS) then, it becomes manifest that our society is not just and fair. We confront poverty, hunger, diseases, corruption, organized crime, target killings, honor killings, bonded labour, economic injustice, environmental injustice, intolerance, violence, militancy and chaos in our society because there is no justice. Had our society been just and fair, many talented and God-gifted people would not have become the “misfits”, many would not have perished in this society and mediocre would not have been appointed against the key positions in different walks of life.
Injustice and oppression will continue till the Doomsday where all of us will appear in the apex court of the Lord of this Universe and there will be no injustice with anyone there.
How right was Musharraf, when he said that he will never shed off his uniform, for we now see the real man in the skin, minus the uniform. A man whose lawyer pleads crying that his client’s aged old mother being unwell in Dubai, wants to see his son.
This is a former military dictator who brought into disrepute the sacred institution of our armed forces, whose officers and men today are insecure because of threats of terrorism, a consequence of a war the General hastily lead this nation into, without any planning or discourse to analyze the consequences of such an act. His obsession with an ill-planned Kargil operation cost this country lives of over a thousand sons of soil and diplomatic shame. Here is a man who felt no remorse in accepting that he handed over citizens of this country to foreign forces, instead of trying them within this sovereign country, where there existed laws, a constitution and a functioning judiciary. He has no regrets for his mistreatment of a daughter of Pakistan, Dr Shazia Khalid allegedly raped in Baluchistan. This is a man who unlike a gentleman and an officer broke the oath of office that he took to uphold constitution and never take part in politics.
He played to the international galleries to perpetuate his illegitimate dictatorship. He created another shameful feat when he sacked the judiciary, confined them with their wives and children to their homes. This is a man who stood up on 12 May 2007 and raised his fists glorifying the mayhem in Karachi as a show of force, an act which makes him guilty by confession of planned mass murder just the crimes committed by Pol Pot. His treacherous abuse of power, such as ordering murder of Nawab Bugti, has helped an insurgency to gain foothold. His crimes are innumerable and unpardonable, yet like a bad sore or a cancer, this country needs to surgically erase his memory, even if that means sending him into exile for life. Let it be remembered that people of Pakistan allowed a criminal to get away on pretext of visiting his aged old mother, although justice demands that he be tried under Article 6.
MALIK TARIQ ALI
The unfair policy of Sindh education department, for the recruitment of teachers has become a serious matter. Every time, a large number of candidates take part in the recruitment tests. On the one hand the candidates who are not based on merit get the jobs through bribery while on the other hand candidates, based on merit are unlucky.
Recently, Sindh education department (RSU) has given jobs based on NTS results. This time the selection of teachers is based on merit and vacancies in the union council.
The main purpose of this department is the betterment of education. Why every time they play a trick on the candidates if they don’t have vacancies for educated people?
It is necessary to take this matter seriously. Bribery must be cut down from its roots, and preference must be given to the deserving candidates.
The removal of Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Mr. Muhammad Ali by the Supreme Court has come as a victory for the corporate mafia who were working hard to engineer his fall for their own ends. A slanderous campaign was visible in certain sections of the media just days before the Supreme Court decided to take action on grounds that his appointment had not followed the laid down processes and procedures.
Mr. Ali had performed well during his two and a half years tenure as the chairman of SECP, adopting a balanced and fair approach in discharging his official obligations without targeting any specific business group; in the process enhancing the institutional enforcement capacity of SECP. His action against some entities involved in unfair trade practices earned him the grudge of those implicated who cleverly identified the available legal opportunities to get him out of their way. Though side lined by the Court orders seeking transparency and adherence to laid down procedures, Chairman SECP’s removal has harmed the public good rather than enhancing it.
MAQSOOD AHMAD GILL
I went to NADRA office with one of my director. As I entered the office, I was quite shocked when I saw the faces of the people. People were facing various problems during the issuance of CNIC. Before this I want to let you know, how difficult it is to make CNIC just because of the centralized data system of NADRA. I am not criticizing the centralized system of NADRA, I just want to tell you about those people who are working in different NADRA offices. They know the fun of how to fool the people. Innocent people come to get their identity cards and the representatives of NADRA say a number of stupid sentences, why are you coming here, this isn’t the day of mail, today the person who has issued the token hasn’t arrived so come tomorrow, sorry the token time has closed at 12pm while the timing is on 5pm. I want to let you know one more thing that the main office of NADRA in Karachi is situated in Shara-e-Faisal. We go with a positive thought that our problem will resolve but unfortunately, as usual the representative are also trying to make us fool that your parent’s CNICs are tampered. I replied, that it is your work to know that it is tampered or not. You have to find out. Even my Director have Original Driving license, original CNIC, original Passport, I didn’t know that corruption has crossed the limit.
In the nut shell I request to the concerned authorities, kindly, representatives of NADRA, work for people not for taking bribe. They should do their responsibilities with truthfulness and loyalty.
Karachi generates about two-thirds of revenue of Pakistan and thus plays an important role in building the economy of the country. An unstable Karachi means an unstable Pakistan. Karachi’s major problem is its dense population, which needs resources to be provided to citizens to control security issues. The second problem of Karachi is its being mini-Pakistan, in which people from all over the country are living, although controlling different communities is a difficult task for law-enforcement agencies. The third problem of Karachi is the law and order situation which becomes difficult for security agencies to maintain. The fourth major problem of the city is sectarian violence and discrimination of people on the basis of caste and religion. As mentioned above, different languages are spoken and different people from inside Pakistan are living in Karachi. Different parties have been formed on the basis of religion and caste and, as a consequence, these have created problems for citizens who are forced to observe strikes and wheel-jams. All these affect the economy of Pakistan very seriously. Moreover, as a result of targeted killings many people have lost their lives. Therefore, the government and law-enforcement agencies should do their best in order to overcome Karachi’s acute law and order problem.
A bill to facilitate reproductive healthcare and health rights has been approved by the national assembly. This is a welcome step to promote and protect these rights in accordance with the constitution and international commitments made by the government of Pakistan. With the effective implementation of the approved bill, everyone would have access to information related to reproductive rights and responsibilities within a gender perspective free from stereotyped and discriminatory practices. These interventions would surely be beneficial especially for younger generation as access to this information will guard them against abuse, exploitation and will improve their knowledge and access to modern contraceptives to reduce chances of getting infected with various diseases including HIV. Now, responsible stakeholders including government departments and media should play their role in translating these words into reality to ensure required execution of related laws and legislations for the protection and promotion of basic youth rights in the country.
It was good to learn that the Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso is a man who simply wants to concentrate on the job. His stand, not to get involved in extraneous activities when general elections are just a couple of weeks away is both sound and based on proper reasoning. When the senate passed the resolution on the issue, Musharraf didn’t take the first flight out of the country. He stayed in Pakistan for quite some time during which the government could have taken the action but failed to do so. We know in Turkey and Egypt, the civilian leaders have limited the military to its conventional role but this feat has been accomplished by ‘real’ leaders with untainted past. I think it is about time that those in authority, and the coming government, adopt a positive attitude, do things that would be beneficial to the country and the people.
As the election campaigns of different political parties for the general election 2013 are on full swing, different terrorist groups have begun to target major political parties in Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi to sabotage the election. It has not only caused deaths and injuries, but also frightened people who wish to cast votes on election day. Therefore I request the Interim Government and Election Commission of Pakistan to take highest security measures in order to overcome security lapse, for a free, fair and peaceful environment for the elections.