Readers’ Thoughts

March 2023

Pakistan and Greater Agenda

This is with reference to last month’s cover story appeared in SouthAsia. In my opinion, the pursuit of a greater agenda by global powers that be should not be a matter of concern for a country like Pakistan as long as it is economically stable and its sovereignty remains intact. These are only the weak nations that easily fall prey to global conspiracies and malicious designs. As luck would have it, it’s still not too late for Pakistan to mend its way and put its struggling economy on track. Though it seems to be an arduous task at the moment, it can easily be achieved through an economically robust democracy and politically stable climate.

Prof. Ahrar-Ul-Hasan Rahman,
Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Pakistan-U.S. Relations

During the tenure of former prime minister Imran Khan, there was a significant coldness in bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United States, which deepened when Imran Khan called the no-confidence motion against him a conspiracy hatched by the United States. While the same kind of accusations were made against the institutions as well, the fact is that during the last few days, a clear change has been seen in the attitude of former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan. He has for now adopted a policy of avoiding repeating the accusations leveled at the US regarding the overthrow of his government. However, from day one, Imran Khan’s accusations against the US were an attempt to divert people’s attention and he hurt the sensitivity of the US-Pakistan relationship with his baseless accusations. It should be noted that the American delegation recently visited Islamabad, which seems to be an attempt to normalize relations between the two countries and it is hoped that bilateral relations will be restored soon.

Saima Altaf,
Islamabad, Pakistan.

State and Religious Extremism

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered an investigation into the incident of Nankana Sahib, in which the accused of blasphemy was set on fire by an angry mob. Before this, there was a horrific incident of terrorism in the Peshawar mosque. Our seventy-five-year history proves that some pillars of the state in Pakistan employed religious extremism as a weapon. As a matter of fact, our rulers have been using religion as a shield instead of a political solution to the problems from the beginning so that the demand for regional autonomy will die automatically. As soon as the Objectives Resolution was passed in 1949, religion started to be used as a shield due to which the identity of Pakistan started to emerge as an extremist country, instead of a modern, progressive and democratic state. Everybody knows that the file of the investigation of the incident of Nankana Sahib will also be thrown into the trash, but the incident leaves many questions behind.

Syed Sikandar Raza,
Lahore, Pakistan.

Need for Social Reforms

Today’s global village is rising above national, ethnic, religious, linguistic or gender and sexual prejudices with each passing day and every religion and every human being in the world is given equal respect. In this modern age and time, nobody is supposed to harm or behave in a hateful manner against each other. Every occasion of human love should be celebrated by all of us, no matter where it originates from. If social and cultural reforms are being made in Saudi Arabia today, why can’t it happen in Pakistan? The problem is to realize the seriousness of the issue and understand it with an open mind. If we want to change your thinking, policy or narrative and if we really want to bring about a fundamental change in the way we lead our lives, we will be able to find more than a hundred ways to make it happen.

Dr. Pervaiz Bangash,
Swabi, Pakistan.

Population Control

Contrary to widespread belief, population is not a significant obstacle in the way of development and prosperity of any country. If truth be told, the manpower, due to solid planning, acts as a driving force in the development process. It suggests the fact that it is not the increasing population in the world but the unjustified and unequal distribution of wealth that matters. Inequitable distribution leads to poverty and marginalization. Especially in the capitalist system, the essence of making maximum profit and the accumulation of wealth is the soul of this system. Today, modern technology has created so much efficiency that if it is used to its full potential it will enhance the productivity of the entire population.

Bilquis Sohail,
New Delhi, India.

Distortion of History

Global media is raising questions about Hindu extremism, as attempts by Narendra Modi’s government to distort the history of the subcontinent are continuing and the religious identity of Muslims in India is under threat. In this regard, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sangam Lal Gupta has written a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. In the letter, he has proposed to change the name of Lucknow to Lakshmanpur or Lakhanpur. Khanoo city has a population of 2.8 million with 29% Muslims and other minorities. Protests by Hindutva followers to change the name of the 600-year-old city are also going on. In the past too, the Modi government has changed the names of many cities. In 2018, for instance, Allahabad was renamed as Prayagraj, in 2021, and Hoshankabad was renamed as Narmadapuram. In 2022, Osmanabad was renamed as Drashiv, while Hindu extremist leaders are proposing to name Ghazipur as Vishwamitra Nagar and Bahraich as Baldev Nagar. Be it the Modi government or the Indian film industry, everyone has become anti-Muslim at the moment.

Hamid Ali Ansari,
Lucknow, India.

Importance of Education

Education and health are two fundamental sectors that play a key role in the development and prosperity of any country. Pakistan should pay more attention to the education and intellectual development of the youth, besides providing them with modern technology and skill training. Besides imparting professional education, our universities and colleges must focus their attention on personality development of their students along moral and ethical lines. In fact, our educational institutions are producing doctors, engineers, and IT specialists, but they are not making good people. It must be a priority of the concerned authorities to provide better opportunities to our students.

Rajab Ali,
Peshawar, Pakistan.

Reality Check

Pakistan does not contribute even one percent to environmental pollution, but the country is bearing the brunt of on-going disaster more than any other country or region. Due to the increase in the level of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane gases, the temperature of the earth has started to increase from normal. At the same time, the process of deforestation is in full swing while the rate of tree plantation is quite low, giving rise to global warming and climate catastrophe. Global warming, as a result, causes forest fires, melting of glaciers, increase in water volume, excessive rainfall, massive floods, landslides, and the rest of the large-scale destruction. Some effects of natural disasters are immediate and some tend to have an effect over time. Therefore, environmental pollution should be reduced and our lifestyle habits must be changed.

Shazia Humayun,
Gujranwala, Pakistan.