Showing posts from October, 2005

Moon sighting madness

Since the time of the first military dictator General Ayub Khan - the day on which Eid is to take place has become a matter of superstition. It is said that some fortune teller told the former dictator that Eid is going to take place on Friday, which is not good sign for his regime, he could be toppled from power. The dictator was so worried that he hastily formed a committee of mullahs called the Ruet-I-Hilal Committee. This committee was assigned the task of announcing when the moon is to be sighted. This committee announced that Eid would take place on Thursday and not on Friday. So there were two Eids - the official one announced by the committee and the second one which was according to the calendar.
Those who have absolute power become extremely superstitious. The Ruet-i-Hilal Committee still exists long after General Ayub Khan was ousted. People no longer bother to observe the calendar they just go by what the committee says. But in several parts of country Eid takes place o…

Earthquake and clueless Information Minister

When the Information Minister Sheikh Rashid was asked about the damage and in particular the loss of life, he was completely vague. As is the habit of military government to hide facts - the damage caused by the earthquake was not confirmed. Lot of questions would be asked as to why the roads were so badly constructed? Why there was no access to the worst hit areas. Lot of lives may have been saved and lot of damage could have been avoided if more money had been spent on infrastructure. Strangely enough there is not even enough money to conduct a domestic relief effort - aid it is being sought from abroad because whatever the government has is squandered on absolutely useless things. Only later was the information about the extent of loss of life and the devastation revealed. It is a long tradition of the government to avoid reporting bad news. The general perception is if such things are reported it may reflect badly on the overall performance of the government. Now with the accep…