Art of warfare: surprise
HISTORY rates “surprise” as the biggest factor in winning a battle or a war.
The Director General of Inter-Service Public Relations in his press conference of October 14, rejected the possibility of martial law or a technocrat government. He has assured the nation of the continuation of the present system according to the Constitution and law.
I am sure everyone agrees with the DG ISPR for the sole reason that the army is not in a position to open a new front when it is already faced with so many issues at present. But then, surprise still remains a major factor in achieving the betterment of Pakistan.
Col. (R) Khan Salman Baber
Regarding the construction of a highrise building in Block 9 Clifton, the most important issue is of air quality. According to WHO, 92 per cent of air quality worldwide is bad. It is most dangerous for unborn children, expecting mothers, young children and seniors.
Karachi is the fourth most polluted city in the world. With the acceleration of road building and building construction, we will probably soon head the list!
Children’s undeveloped lungs inhale 15,000 litres of bad air daily. Fine particles known as PM 2.5 and PM 10 destroy our lungs leading to asthma, bronchitis, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, kidney failure and strokes. These minute particles affect every citizen. The same WHO report states 10 years of our lives are lost to bad air.
Second, Karachi is located on three earthquake fault lines (Eurasian, Arabian and Indian tectonic plates). Unless the buildings we construct are of earthquake-proof quality, this city will suffer immensely when and if this happens.
Third, with the rise of sea levels, this coastal city is very susceptible to climate change. Buildings on reclaimed land will suffer like Miami Beach.
Citizens must be aware of the risks that Karachi is facing and its future.
Opening up the mind
WE have talked and read a lot about educating our youth if Pakistan is to progress. But this has not been addressed properly as the level of education in our society is very low.
Education plays a vital role in enhancing the mental abilities. The modern world’s requirements are much greater than what conventional education provides. Our youth desperately needs to be de-radicalised and become visionary and liberal.
But how is this to be achieved? Pakistan has limited resources when it comes to youth development programmes. Good strategies can bring better results, not merely the opening of more schools. Our schoolteachers, especially in the rural areas, teach only how to read or write, or how to calculate. This is just basic education, that too of a poor standard. Teachers are untrained, mostly closed-minded, radicalised, and even extremist.
I firmly believe that we can utilise our electronic media with the help of the ministry of education, Pemra, universities and scientific research institutes. We have TV sets in almost every household. Different channels air lots of programmes. Drama serials are viewed by the largest number of households. But they only portray only in-law, marriage and divorce issues, or beautiful faces and fashion. This is not helping our youth in any way.
The education ministry, with the help Pemra, must make it mandatory for every channel to devote 60 or 90 minutes of airtime every day to educational programmes. Further, the ministry can launch its own channel to promote intellectual curiosity.
These channels, with the help of university faculties and students, can air programmes that open up our youth’s mind. Interactive and interesting lectures and workshops must be televised. Our scientists, doctors, technicians and thinkers can participate voluntarily; Unesco and other international organisations can also provide material and research-based programming, which can be dubbed in our national and provincial languages.
The time has come to change our thinking, and let go of obsolete ideologies.
Fayyaz Ahmed Sheikh
Tomato, onion prices
THE authorities have failed to control the price of tomatoes and onions which have increased quite sharply in the past two months. One seriously wonders whether the government’s price control department has been wound up and citizens left at the mercy of profiteers.
I implore the federal and provincial governments to introduce measures where the prices of basic commodities essential for life are strictly monitored in favour of citizens.