Undoubtedly, this beautiful country of ours is full of veteran politicians and charismatic leaders who cater to more than 200 million people. Pakistan is first and foremost a Muslim state. Punjab the largest province as far as population goes has had many in the ruling seat. Yesterday, I had the honour of visiting the Punjab Assembly with an influential friend. While walking towards the Assembly building I was thinking that this place is where the fate of millions of people is decided.

As I entered the building, I was surprised to see some officials of Punjab Assembly saying their Zohar prayers in the veranda, some were busy in official business and walking to and fro from the building, passing unconcerned in front of the people who were praying. I remembered a famous Hadith “One should not cross before the person who is saying his prayers.” My friend told me that there was no mosque in the Punjab Assembly building, this shocked me to the core! How is it possible that there was no place for prayers in our own Assembly building? Are we not practicing Muslims and is not Pakistan a Muslim state? The very ideology for gaining Pakistan is based on a separate Muslim state where we could practice our religion without being molested. It is embarrassing thatthere is no place for prayers in a place where our elected leaders take decisions which affect our daily lives.

The outside of the building has a large Quran in a dome and yet inside there is no mosque. I believe that this speaks volumes about the kind of hypocrites we are. Millions must have been spent to maintain the Assembly building and no money can be spent on building a mosque? I would like to request our current Chief Minister Punjab to look at the matter and have a Mosque build soon.

MUHAMMAD AZHAR BASHIR,

Lahore, May 1.