Can education help Pakistan counter Taliban?

A reader says one way to defeat terrorists in Pakistan is to put greater emphasis on education. Zohra Bensemra / Reuters
A reader says one way to defeat terrorists in Pakistan is to put greater emphasis on education. Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

The school massacre in Pakistan by the Taliban is shocking and painful (Taliban in Pakistan school bloodbath, December 17).

Nothing could be more heartbreaking than watching the cold-blooded slaughter of innocent children. My heart goes out to the distraught parents, who sent their children to school in uniforms and found them in coffins hours later.

This act clearly shows that these terrorists are opposed to education. One of the ways to counter them would be to open more schools in their areas of influence. This is why Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for children’s education is so relevant. Only educated youth can challenge the reign of terror of these illiterate beasts.

The saddest part of the story is that there are many extremist religious groups in Pakistan that sympathise with the Taliban and justify their barbaric behaviour. Many others are carried away by the religious terms and slogans that terrorists use to advance their objective of establishing a barbaric state they call “Islamic”, thus tarnishing the image of Islam.

Innocent children have never been so vulnerable. Governments around the world must come together and act fast to protect them and all civilised society from these terrorists.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

It is sad that such terrorist attacks take place in Pakistan on a regular basis. It is such attacks on the innocent that discourage people living abroad from going back home.

Fatima Suhail, Sharjah

The Taliban’s dastardly act will worsen the already tense situation in Pakistan.

This tit-for-tat, which started a few years ago with the bus attack that resulted in the death of schoolchildren, and which nearly killed Malala, is more than just an attack on the regime. It is aimed at ending education, mainly for women.

This round of terror, on top of the ISIL battles raging in Syria and Iraq, is a stark reminder that global terror, whether an isolated attack like a lone gunman’s siege in Sydney or a massacre by Boko Haram in Kenya, will polarise the mostly peaceful Muslim populace.

A war on terror meant to stifle militancy has now claimed more lives post-September 11 than in any other period since the Second World War.

AR Modak, South Africa

How to stem rise of divorce

There are solutions to the issue of rising rates of divorce (How can the state reverse Emirati divorce rates? December 16). For example, as mentioned in the article, there can be more marriage guidance centres in each emirate.

In the UK, people are normally separated for a period of time before they are allowed to divorce. This, in the hope that some sort of reconciliation can occur.

Another way to approach this issue would be that if either party has caused the split due to adulterous behaviour, then a law should be passed stating that the offender is not allowed to marry again within the next five years.

Usually, people who cheat on their spouses are serial offenders and such behaviour is a character-trait. So this might help reduce the divorce rate.

Additionally, another point raised was this question – “Is greater earning capacity giving people the opportunity to leave unhappy unions that they would once have endured?” This may be true and for both men and women today. More and more women are entering the workforce today and rightly so.

However, some of these divorces could be triggered by either family if they are traditionalists and advise their children accordingly.

Times are changing and the way marriage worked in the past cannot work today. In today’s world, pressures of work and economy demand that both parents work to provide a comfortable life for each other and their offspring.

Name withheld by request

Was taxi drought worse in past?

I refer to John Henzell’s opinion article Waiting for the taxi in Abu Dhabi? It used to be much, much worse (December 15).

Unlike the well-groomed, English-speaking drivers in today’s silver taxis, the drivers back then were a mixed bag. They varied from friendly and excellent to surly and recalcitrant.

Jeshrun Philip, Abu Dhabi

It wasn’t that much worse. The only things nowadays that are charged at anything like what they should be, all things considered, are water, petrol, taxis and tobacco.

It is time people realised this is not Hong Kong, London or Sydney.

Sammie Waiwhakamukau, Abu Dhabi

Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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