Pres­sure horns make life mis­er­able

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

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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