Readers’ Thoughts

April 2022

Dirty Politics


This is with reference to the cover story titled ‘March in March,’ which appeared in the March 2022 issue of SouthAsia.

I must say that the matter related to the so-called long march being staged at the platform of the Pakistan Democratic Movement has lost its sheen, because of the vested interests of both the PTI government and the Opposition. Though the outcome of the no-confidence motion coupled with the future of Prime Minister Imran Khan is not yet clear, what we can see today is the rise of dirty politics, ruled by opportunism, political expediency and Machiavellianism and nothing else. The people of the country are nowhere in the picture and their future is as much at stake today as it was in the past.

Shazia Humayun,
Quetta, Pakistan.

City Monument

Every provincial capital in Pakistan has a city symbol to represent it. Karachi is known by the Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum, Lahore by Mina-e-Pakistan, Peshawar by the Bab-e-Khyber and Quetta by the Quaid-e-Azam’s Residency. The only problem is that the Quaid’s Residency is located in a small town called Ziarat, some 130 kilometres away from the city of Quetta. Since, like the other cities, Quetta cannot be depicted by an outstanding edifice, the Ziarat Residency is depicted in its place. This is an occasion of shame for the politicians of Balochistan as well as the province’s bureaucrats and its people. In 75 years of the country’s existence, not a single building or monument could be constructed in Quetta that represent the city and the province. Had the city fathers thought about it, they could have built an imaginary monument in the city centre somewhere to signify the province. If nothing, a monument commemorating the nuclear tests of 1998 could have been built. The tests were conducted at Chagai, an area located in Balochistan where the borders of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan meet. Or a monument could have been created, celebrating the cultural diversity of Balochistan through depiction of Pashtun, Balochi, Brahvi and Persian motifs. In any event, the city of Quetta by something very local and not by a monument that is venerable in its own right but is located 130 kilometres away.

Jamil Khan,
Quetta, Pakistan.

Talking Club

The Muslim countries came together once again in Islamabad under the OIC banner and, as usual, paid lip service to their various causes, including those of Palestine and Kashmir but nothing came out in practical terms. This perfectly suits the West. They welcome talking clubs like the OIC so long as their own agendas are not disturbed. All Muslim countries do not agree on anything. They have their own axes to grind - and their own bridges with various Western powers. So they attend OIC meetings or, for that matter Arab League or GCC meetings, and go home to work on their own relations with their Western masters.

Najeeb Abdullah,
Manama, Bahrain.

One Voice

The Muslims of India are up against the wall. Events like the OIC Foreign Ministers’ meeting talk about Palestine and Kashmir but no one pays much attention to the plight of these 250 lack individuals. Narendra Modi simply wreaks havoc with the Indian Muslims but the world is not worried. Muslims in India do not speak with one voice because they are scattered all over the country and are not a united entity. What they need is a determined leadership that can effectively voice their problems and can call world attention to the sufferings being rendered to them by Modi and the RSS.

Adnan Ahmed,
New Delhi, India.


The newly inducted Chinese-made fighter jet, the J-10 C, was displayed at the Pakistan Day parade on March 23. However, the real attributes of the jet will only become apparent when it is up in a real war against its Indian counterpart, the French Rafale. For that to happen, both India and Pakistan need to go in a real war. Since this is not likely to happen any time soon, both these machines will only remain ‘exhibition’ pieces - and not real fighting machines.

Abdul Samad,
Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Cultural Void

A void seems to have developed in Pakistan where cultural growth is concerned. There is nothing happening on the art and culture front. There are literary festivals all over but no respect is shown to those who create literature. Literary festivals are merely family entertainment melas and nothing more. Perhaps there can be art festivals and drama festivals too but will they offer commercial viability? That is the big question - and that is what matters!

Asma Feroz,
Karachi, Pakistan.

Responsible Nation

That the so-called ‘India projectile’ turned out to be a Brahmos cruising missile and landed plump in Pakistani territory, is something that must ring alarm bells. If nuclear missiles, even if they are not ‘loaded’, go flying about as this one did, then the days of war would not be far away. All missile-operating countries must be wary of their warheads. If Pakistan had committed a similar ‘mistake’, it would have, by now, lost its nuclear and missile programme to Western and Zionist hawks because it would be stamped as an ‘irresponsible’ nation. India is of course responsible nation and any mistake on its part is forgivable.

Sunil Bose,
Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Covid-19 Precautions

Most of the world has lifted Corona SOPs and it seems the pandemic is running out of wind. Perhaps this is a little earlier in the day and some time must be given to the people before its confirmed that the disease has left the world for good.

R. F. Dharmalal,
Lalitpur, Nepal.

Future of Afghanistan

This is with reference to the article titled ‘Seesaw Situation’ by Dr. Saira Asad. The write-up appeared in the March 2022 issue of SouthAsia. As revealed by the Disasters Emergency Committee, over 8 million people in Afghanistan are on the brink of famine and are in desperate need of access to food and life-saving healthcare. According to the report, almost 95% of the population of the country does not have enough to eat. This must ring alarm bells in the international community as the situation could worsen in the summer, which is often hit by massive rains and flooding. To make matter worse, in August 2020 the U.S. blocked access to billions of dollars in Afghan central bank reserves and the ensuing freeze on Afghan central bank reserves is now severely impacting the Afghan people. This is the time to get the war-torn nation out of the current economic crisis that is speedily turning into a humanitarian disaster.

Rajab Ali,
Kabul, Afghanistan.