March 01, 2011A3
The Prophet is Born At a chaotic period in history when the murky clouds of impropriety covered thefirmament of the world; when injustice, tumult and turmoil was rampant; when human dignity was atits lowest ebb, when young girls were entombed alive for being female, when the crevice between theexploiter and exploited was incessantly mounting; when corruption, lascivious modes of behavior,moral degeneration were increasing; when superstition, racial discrimination and oppression was theorder of the day … at that time, a Prophet was born; descending from the dynasty of Abraham theidol-breaker, Moses the pharaoh-fighter, and Jesus the benevolent (peace be upon them). “Four yearsafter the death of (Roman emperor) Justinian, in 569 A.D., was born at Makkah in Arabia , the manwho of all men, exercised the greatest influence upon the human race, Muhammad” [Anglo-Ameri-can historian and philosopher, Dr John William Draper, A History of the Intellectual Development of Europe ] Sunnah of Compassion Allah refers to this greatest influence upon the human race (pbuh) as“a mercy unto all existence” and as an “ideal exemplar”. These appellations were not mere titles givento the Prophet, but were rather apt descriptions of his character and attitude. Some scholars havetherefore gone as far as to declare mercy as the central ethos of Islam. Those among us who claim towalk in his footsteps need to ensure that we reflect that mercy in our own lives. An integral part of our manifesting his sunnah (practices and mannerisms) is that we give priority to those aspects of socialengagement that he himself most concerned himself with. Each one should ask whether the poor, theneedy, the orphan and the oppressed are areas of our concern. How much of our religiosity is informedand shaped by Prophetic statements like … - “One who strives to help the widows and the poor is likethe one who fights in the way of Allah. I shall regard him as the one who stands up (for prayer) with-out rest and as the one who observes fasts continuously.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] - “He who takescare of an orphan, whether he is his relative or a stranger, will be in paradise with me like thesetwo”. The Messenger of Allah raised his forefinger and middle finger together by way of illustration.[Muslim] Do we ever include in our prayers Prophetic sentiments like “O Allah, let me live amongthe poor, die among the poor and be raised on the Day of Judgment among the poor”? It must be notedthat this is not a prayer for poverty, rather an expression of the desire to be connected to those lessfortunate and downtrodden. The most pervasive sunnah of the Prophet has always been one of com-passion and benevolence. Ideal Exemplar This best role model for all humanity had outstanding vir-tues and characteristics, he was an extraordinary husband, a perfect father, and a unique grandfather, agreat statesman, judge, and spiritual leader. His most distinctive quality, however, was the fact that hewas a blessing to all in both word and deed. He infused justice, love, and dignity in all those aroundhim. In the words of the Hindu scholar and historian, Professor Ramakrishna Rao, “The personalityof Muhammad is most difficult to get the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of him I can catch. Whatdramatic succession of picturesque scenes? There is Muhammad the Prophet; there is Muhammadthe General; Muhammad the King; Muhammad the Warrior; Muhammad the Businessman; Muham-mad the Preacher; Muhammad the Philosopher; Muhammad the Statesman; Muhammad the Orator;Muhammad the Reformer; Muhammad the Refuge of Orphans; Muhammad the Protector of Slaves;Muhammad the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad the Judge; Muhammad the Saint… In all thesemagnificent roles and in all these departments of human activities he is equally a hero.” [Professor Ramakrishna Rao, Mohammed: The Prophet of Islam] Perpetuate the Legacy When we consider our situation today; over fourteen hundred years after the exemplary mission of the Final Messenger, werealize that we are more than ever in need of such inspiration and motivation. We are indeed more inneed of such a role model who represents the best legacy of our human heritage; a heritage of care andcompassion; and whose life message was an embodiment of the universal values that we all can share.
Pakistan cricket is very unpredictable.
By Syed Ali Anwer
The writer is a former journalist of a leading English daily and cur-rently Editor of the TCP.Corruption is a way of life in Pakistan, an accepted norm which iswidely practiced in government departments such as Police, Exciseand Customs and various other government agencies for as long asone cares to remember. However, over the years it has seeped intoother areas also where previously it was not conceivable that it couldpossibly happen. Cricket in Pakistan is almost a religion where de-vout fans go into a virtual frenzy whenever the national team comesout to play and cheer their team on frantically because for manyPakistanis cricket offers a sense of joy, a feeling of pride as it is theultimate opiate which helps in escaping temporarily from a worldof daily grind and drudgery, from the violence and crime pervadingthe nation. Fans virtually idolize their cricketing heroes from boththe past as well as the present where names like Imran Khan, Wa-sim Akram and Javed Miandad are known to every Pakistani whileShahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Mishbal-ul-Haq and Shoaib Akhtar aretheir present day heroes. It has therefore come as a stunning shock which the nation is still reeling under when it came to light that threeof the current cricket heroes namely Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and the new wonder kid Mohammad Amir were found guilty of spotfixing by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and slapped witha ten-year, seven-year and five year ban respectively. The decisionhas sent ripples of shock waves in cricketing circles throughout theworld where reaction has been varied from shock, disbelief humilia-tion condemnation and sympathy. To add fuel to the simmering firethe trio has also been implicated in a Crowm Prosecution Servicescase in London which has instituted criminal charges against thethree and the major provocateur Mazhar Majeed who enticed thethree into spot-fixing. There are some who opine that the ban was abit too harsh particularly in the case of Mohammad Amir who is only18 years while others called for a life ban on the players for sullyingthe nation and Pakistan cricket. What makes it more difficult for thenation to accept is that the ban has come at a time when the nationdesperately needs the services and talent of the trio as s cricket’sgreatest extravaganza the World Cup 2011 starts in hardly two weeksPakistan has a large number of problems, the problem of unemploy-ment stands out as a significant one with the increase in the popula-tion, and the problem is assuming serious proportions. We find alarge number of people in Pakistan, floating here and there in searchof the jobs. Due to unavailability of proper career guidance, Paki-stani youth and our Memon community youth also faces tremendousdifficulties once they complete their graduations. Definite statisticsare not available on the subject, but statistics are badly required toprove what is obvious to every one. The fact of unemployment issomewhat hidden by the joint family system where every one issupported out of a common pool of income, and the religious in-stitutions which support a vast majority of people. We have threemain types of unemployment, namely agricultural unemployment,industrial unemployment, and unemployment amongst the unedu-cated people. The causes of unemployment in agriculture are nu-merous. Firstly, the pressure of population on land is increasing andthe farm can no longer employ and absorb the increased numbers.Secondly, the lack of subsidiary industries in the villages, adds to theunemployment. Thirdly, the agricultural operations keep the farmer busy only for a part of the year and for the rest of the months he isunemployed. This fact is referred to as under-employment, in our agriculture. Lastly, the uncertainty and vagaries of Pakistani Mon-soons render the agriculturist unemployed whenever the crops fail.That is why the Pakistani agriculture is said to be a gamble of theMonsoon. Due to all the above reason, the state of unemploymentin agriculture is growing worse every day. As far as the causes of industrial unemployment are concerned, firstly our industrial systemis unable to absorb the growing population, because the industrialdevelopment is not commensurate either with the vast resources of the country or with the growth of its population. Secondly, the loca-tion of industries is defective and uneconomic. There is overcrowd-ing in certain areas which results in the rise of cost of production.If the geographic distribution of the industries had been rationallyplanned, the industrial structure would have been more economicaland its capacity for employment would have increased tremendously.Thirdly, the periodic occurrence of depressions in the industry bringsabout unemployment. Fourthly, the export industries have not beenable to maintain their hold on foreign markets. Thus there has been adecrease in employment in the export industries which is transmittedto other industrial sectors. The remedy for industrial unemploymentlies in stepping up industrial efficiency. Also the scope for the de-veloping various industries is immense. Agriculture is already over crowded and so are the liberal professions. Thus industry is the onlyhope for rooting out unemployment from the country. To achievethis, a complete overhauling, re-orientation and rationalization our industrial system is needed. Unemployment is increasing in Sindh:Unemployment in rural areas as well in Urban is the most daunt-
Unemployment IN PAKISTAN And It’s Remedy
By Shoaib Habib Memon
ing challenge being faced by the new Sindh government. The ruralareas are fast losing their agriculture-based employment potentialdue to persistent shortage of water and land degradation. Almost14 million people in rural Sindh directly depend on agriculture astheir major source of livelihood. However, this source of livelihoodand employment is under severe pressure due to variety of reasons.Drought, faulty water distribution mechanism, poor management of water resources, land degradation, lack of research and inept mar-ket policies are the few among the long list of reasons taking toll of agriculture economy.The situation can be gauged from the following table showing thedecline in area under cultivation. The table show the decline in areasown under important crops from 1995-96 to 2004-05 Decliningproduce has a direct bearing on rural poverty and employment. AWorld Bank report, “Securing Sindh’s Future-The Prospects andChallenges Ahead” paints a very grim picture of unemployment inSindh. It reveals that due to growing population, rise in literacy andmigration, and nearly 600,000 additional people would be enteringin job market each year in Sindh. This is in contrast with the long-term annual job creation rate of 350,000 in the province. Over therecent decade, Sindh has been frequently denied its due share in wa-ter distribution. Growers have been complaining that water shortagein canals and distributaries of Sindh has become a perennial prob-lem. The new government would have to tackle this issue througheffective representation in IRSA and Wapda . Only judicious shareand efficient use of water can improve agriculture-related employ-ment in rural Sindh. However, climate change effect is likely to in-crease in the coming years and availability of water in river systemwould continue to be a question mark. To manage this risk, there isa need to diversify employment opportunities both in rural as wellas urban areas of the province. The Sindh government needs toexplore non-conventional avenues to create employment opportuni-ties apart from revitalizing its agriculture sector. Agro-based indus-try could provide some relief but incentives are required to attractinvestment in rural areas. Poor law and order conditions and weak infrastructure has also been a barrier to growth of agro-based indus-try. The industry in Sindh is mainly concentrated in Karachi excepthandful of units in Hyderabad, Kotri and Sukkur. Presently, about11,500 small and large industrial units are located in four major industrial areas of Karachi, providing employment to over 2.5 mil-lion people. Since rural Sindh has predominantly agriculture basedeconomy, human resource required for industrial sector has not beendeveloped there. No significant investment was made in infrastruc-ture required for promoting rural industry. Due to lack of demandand poor administration, institutes of vocational training and jobskills are also in bad shape in rural areas. Presently, 45 polytechnicand mono-technical institutes are operating in Sindh having about18,000 registered students. However only 8,000 of them studiedin institutions located outside Karachi. Likewise, the Directorateof Manpower and Training is operating about 33 training centersincluding technical, apprenticeship and youth vocational trainingcenters. Most of such centers in rural areas are dysfunctional dueto various reasons. Proper training through revamped institutionscould open doors of urban- based employment for rural youth.Quality education institutes in the rural areas also deserve atten-tion for creating human resource with advanced degrees. Publicsector universities in rural Sindh are victims of lack of resources,quality faculty and infrastructure. Graduates from these univer-sities cannot compete with graduates from urban-based privatesector institutions. This is resulting in frustration among qualifiedrural youth. Quality education institutions are mostly centered inKarachi, which are too expensive for lower and middle class fami-lies of rural areas. Presently, there are 25 HEC recognized degreeawarding private sector institutes in Sindh; 23 of them are locatedin Karachi and remaining two in Hyderabad. From 2001/02 to2005/06 these institutions produced over 36,000 graduates, allfrom Karachi except 900 from Hyderabad. Information technol-ogy is a promising sector offering wide spectrum of jobs nation-ally and internationally. However, rural areas are deprived fromany significant benefit from this sector. According to a researchreport of Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), this sector isproviding jobs to about 138,000 employees and the number of jobopportunities is expected to be around 235,000 in 2009-10. Ruralareas are far from the scene. PESB website shows 1,161 registeredIT companies in the country. This includes 412 in Karachi, 331 inIslamabad, 418 in Lahore and remaining in other cities/towns. InSindh, some 25 institutions offer degree courses in IT sector; 23 of which are in Karachi alone and one each in Hyderabad and TandoAllahyar. Due to such gap of access to IT education, rural youthhave very limited opportunities to benefit from this fast growingjob market. It is time that quality education centers in IT should beestablished in all district headquarters to create more job opportu-nities for educated youth from rural areas. The Sindh governmentshould devise a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenge of unemployment specially in rural areas. It would be advisable setup a ‘human resource development and employment authority’to execute long-term strategies for creating job opportunities for rural and urban youth to reach out to national and international jobmarkets.To create a socio-economic balance in urban and urban areas,there is a dire need to provide basic educational training facilitiesand employment opportunities across the province.time in South Asia. So the question arises is this the beginningof the end of Pakistan Cricket as we see it. TCP, spoke to a crosssection of society to sum up their opinion from sports journalists,experts and just common people who have one thing in common,a passionate and undying love for the game of cricket. Speak-ing to TCP, Rishad Mahmood, the Sports Editor of Daily Dawn,Pakistan’s leading English daily expressed his views that theban was aptly expected as more or less it was predicted that theban would be as specified. Asked if this was the end of the trio’scareers, he stated that it would be difficult for Salman and Asif tomake a comeback while Amir had a chance because of his youngage but that too if younger and greater talent was not discov-ered in the five years. About what the role the PCB should playto avoid recurrence of such ugly incidents, Rishad pointed outthat PCB should establish a code of conduct and ethics wherebyplayers are not allowed under any circumstances to associate or fraternize with outside elements whatsoever especially on foreigntours. Another prominent cricket analyst and broadcaster who