Pressure horns make life miserable
DESPITE rules banning use of pressure horns, these continue to play with our ear drums. In a letter to the editor published in this daily on Wednesday, the writer has rightly drawn attention towards the physiological and psychological havoc being played by the brutal use of pressure horns by motorists in our daily lives.
Although the use of these horns is strictly prohibited in silence zones, near hospitals, residential areas and educational institutions yet for the bus and truck drivers and especially those riding bikes, honking pressure horns is a normal activity. This not only shows their impatience but also their sheer insensitivity towards the rights of others. According to medical experts, noise pollution could cause irritation, hypertension, tinnitus, sleeping disorder, paralysis and continuous exposure to loud noise increases stress levels so much that it could induce heart attacks. According to the motor vehicle rules, two-wheelers should not use horns emitting more than 80 decibels. Similarly, for cars and petrol auto rickshaws the limit is 82 decibels, light heavy vehicles and diesel auto rickshaws 85 decibels and lorry and buses 91 decibels. However, in our country those riding bikes are using such high decibel horns that otherwise should not be used even in big vehicles. Though the relevant laws exist but still the concerned authorities appear to be least bothered to implement them. Periodically campaigns are launched by the police department on implementation of traffic rules but then we see them turning their back and resting to peace. Given the harmful effects of noise pollution, we will urge police department to launch a vigorous and incessant campaign against the use of pressure horns and impose heavy fines on their users. We can purge our roads and surroundings of these horns provided the police show the same kind of commitment the one exhibited by Islamabad Traffic police over the use of helmets by motorcyclists. Awareness campaigns should also be launched especially on the print and electronic media over the harms of pressure horns. We expect that both the Federal and Provincial authorities will fulfil their responsibilities in this regard as well as the motorists will also demonstrate the sensitivity to free the society from this nuisance. TThe HE term ‘Punjabi Taliban’ has an interesting background.
term was apparently first used by the Pakistan tribesmen, when Punjabi-speaking Taliban affiliated with various Punjabi based militant group first arrived in the tribal areas, after the US invasion of Afghanistan and Musharaf’s U-Turn on local militants. The term ‘Punjabi Taliban’ was increasingly used – to the chagrin of PML-N Punjab leaders – whenever an act of terrorism took place in Punjab. The term ‘Punjabi Taliban’ was also regularly invoked: whenever there was talk of conducting a full-fledged operation in Punjab against militancy.
The question of dealing with militancy in Punjab came up once again after the suicide bombing at Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park in Lahore, killing a large number of citizens. After this bloody incident, the Army decided to conduct a full-fledged operation against militancy and all forms of lawlessness in Punjab. The Punjab government had no choice but to join in. The operation, which was expected to start against religious militancy, somehow got bogged in eliminating the so-called Choto gang in Punjab’s Rajanpur district. Now that the leader of the gang Ghulam Rasool alias Choto has been arrested, and the gang sufficiently degraded, it is accepted that the operation against the real bad boys, the religious extremist or the so called Punjabi Taliban would begin in earnest.
To understand the myth and reality of the somewhat convoluted nomenclature, ‘the Punjabi Taliban’ it would be imperative to delve a little deeper into the origin and on wards journey of the non-specific group of militants, who had only one common denomination: that they spoke Punjabi and were from Punjab. There
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