Archive for June 24, 2011

Tax on agriculturists

THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Are agriculturalists holy cows?’ by Dr Mervyn Hosein (June 12). Sometimes it seems that Pakistan was created so that those who do not pay taxes can get elected and force the honest million-and-a-half registered taxpayers to pay taxes.
It is because of this that the country is in such a mess today. Most government officers, ministers, judges and even junior civil servants have feudal backgrounds.
And it is fairly easy to give an explanation about ill-gotten wealth: just say it is agricultural income even if you have half an acre of barren land. I won’t be surprised if a law is promulgated to penalise anyone who dares to suggest that agricultural income be taxed.



Published in DAWN, June 21, 2011

Holy cows.


The youth of Karachi are planning a huge Independence Day present for their compatriots this August when they will attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest number of people singing a national anthem simultaneously.

The present record – which was set in Pune, India, on January 12, 2010 – featured 104,637 people singing ‘Vande Mataram,’ one of India’s most popular national songs. However, some confusion exists about the 2010 record, because “Vande Mataram” is not the actual national anthem of India.

“We have contacted the Guinness World Records to rectify this record… We are waiting for their response and correct record details,” said Abid Beli, an entrepreneur with the heart of a social worker and one of the focal persons organising the record challenge in Karachi.

Should that record be set aside, the previous one set by 5,000 plus people singing the Philippines’ national anthem Lupang Hinirang would be recognised again. Either way Abid and his fellow organiser Waqas Pai say they and their volunteers will be prepared.


Karachi youth hope to sing their way into the record books and beat India while they’re at it.