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Friday, May 27, 2022

The Urdu Press: Disaster management

Muslims should have told all human beings that if they have faith in the day of judgement and they act accordingly, they would have solace and peace of mind even in times of earthquakes.

May 8, 2015 12:00:09 am

The recent earthquakes in Nepal did create a sense of shock and agony. But they also brought out some curious reactions. Separating the perceived attitude of Muslims from that of “others” in such disaster situations, Jamaat-e-Islami’s bi-weekly, Daawat, in its main front-page commentary on May 1, writes: “What should have happened was that with regard to earthquakes and other natural disasters, Muslims should have drawn the attention of other human beings to the belief in doomsday and what would happen on the day of judgement. These disasters make scientists of various disciplines realise their worth. That is why, Muslims should have told others, all human beings should submit completely to no one but the creator, act according to his commands and lead their lives according to his wishes. Muslims should have told all human beings that if they have faith in the day of judgement and they act accordingly, they would have solace and peace of mind even in times of earthquakes. They would be prepared for anything and would have no fear of death… But, unfortunately, we have not fulfilled this responsibility at any time in the past. There are momentary reactions (in times of disaster) but then we fall prey to the same inaction, same differences between creeds… We don’t learn any lessons… after earthquakes or other natural disasters.”

Reflecting on Indian TV coverage of India’s relief measures in Nepal, the editor of Inquilab, Shakeel Shamsi, writes on May 5: “Indian TV channels showed the Nepalese government in poor light and heaped praise on the work of relief teams sent on behalf of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi… A religious colour was given to the lack of serious damage to the Pashupatinath Temple, despite the fact that a large number of temples collapsed… An impression was created that real relief was being sent to Nepal only from India. This naturally caused anger among the Nepalese people.”

Sabeen’s murder

On the murder of Pakistani human rights activist Sabeen Mahmoud in Karachi, Hamara Samaj, writes in its editorial on May 1: “When Sabeen Mahmoud was attacked, she was returning after speaking at a seminar on ‘Breaking the silence in Balochistan’. The topic of the seminar explains the challenges she was facing from different extremist forces in Pakistan… Whether it is the rights of minorities in Pakistan or speaking out against religious extremism or the fight for freedom of expression, Sabeen raised her voice in favour of oppressed persons in a determined manner.”

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Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on the same day, writes: “There was some good news from Pakistan where, under tremendous international pressure, the government and its investigating agencies

had to nab the attackers of Nobel Prize-winning young social activist, Malala Yousufzai, and bring them to justice. On the other hand, the killers of Sabeen Mahmoud… are out of the reach of the police. If the government and its agencies want to put an end to terrorism in the country, as they claim, they would have to bring to justice the killers of Sabeen Mahmoud and other perpetrators of similar crimes.”

Inside job

Criticism of the Central government during the course of an interview with Karan Thapar by a former Union minister in the Vajpayee government, Arun Shourie, has been the subject of much discussion. Sahafat, in its editorial on May 4, writes that there is some truth in what he said. “The government has been trying to be in the headlines rather than concentrating on implementation of policies. With regard to the promises of a march towards development, everything has been against expectations… The steps for reforms in the realm of taxes too are inadequate… Shourie condemned the silence of the PM on the statements of some senior functionaries of the government and the ruling party, creating anxiety among minorities. People are concerned at the PM’s silence on these issues, Shourie has rightly said.”

Compiled by Seema Chishti

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