96 children from three fathers because birth control is a “heinous sin” – do you understand what’s happening, Pakistan?
By Shakir Lakhani Published: June 24, 2017

Gulzar Khan, who fled with his family following a military operation against militants in the North Waziristan tribal agency, pictured with some of his children in Bannu. PHOTO: AFP

When I read about Gulzar Khan, Mastan Khan Wazir and Jan Mohammed, the three Pakistanis that fathered 96 children, I was reminded of a man in our neighbourhood who had 17 children (from one wife) in the 1960s.

Most men in those days had six children, though one sometimes did come across couples with 10 or 11. In fact, I know a few even today who have nine or 10 offspring. Now these are not average illiterate Pakistanis. Some of them are engineers and doctors; one is a chartered accountant, while the rest are executives in banks and offices. If you ask them why they need to multiply so much, their responses are the same as those of the three fathers of 96 kids. One of the engineers said,
“The more Muslims there are, the more their enemies will fear them… Muslims should go for more and more children.”
I told him that Jews today number only 10 million (there are a 100 Muslims for every Jew on the planet)yet they are the ones who rule over the rest of the world.
“That’s what my maulvi says; they will get the best in this life, but after death they will burn in hell throughout eternity.”
How was I supposed to respond to that?
I remember when I got married and was asked how many children I planned on having, to which I said,
“Two, or at the most, three.”
“You’re mad!” said an oil company executive. “It’s best to keep your wife pregnant as much as possible, otherwise she’ll keep asking awkward questions like why you left the office at five and reached home at 10.”
Another said,
“It’s a heinous sin to practice birth control. You will regret it after you get old and there won’t be anyone to look after you.”
Although our average virtually illiterate clerics oppose birth control strenuously, there are scholars who say that it is not prohibited. But as long as our people continue to believe what their local clerics say, there is no hope for the country. Our masses will go on believing that limiting the number of their children will get them consigned to hell. The population will double within a few years and the country will descend into chaos, with millions dying of starvation.

Then there was a clerk from Shadadpur who wanted leave from work to get married. Upon pointing out the fact that he was already married, he said, “My wife has stopped getting pregnant after producing seven children, so my friends think I’m impotent. I’ll get more children from my second wife to stop them from saying that I’m no longer a man.”

Oh, but it only gets better, as the best is yet to come. A factory worker had the following to say on the topic:
“Here I am, away from home every day for 12 hours, and back home is my wife. I have to keep her pregnant most of the time, so she won’t even think of having an affair with the neighbour’s handsome son.”
Is this really the real reason why these men with primitive mindsets want so many children? Is it truly because they fear their wives will become promiscuous and immoral if they are not kept busy with taking care of their countless children?

One of my neighbours wanted a boy so badly that he went on trying until he had fathered seven girls. He then started looking for a second wife. That’s when I told him the gender of his children was not due to his wife being sexually stronger than him (as he thought), but she was giving birth to only girls because of the greater amount of the wrong kind of chromosomes in his sperm. In fact, I told him, “Even if you take another wife, there is no guarantee that she will give you sons.”
He wasn’t convinced, married again, and fathered five more girls before giving up.
During the floods a few years back, those who were looking after the displaced families noticed that most of the women didn’t even know how many children they had.
“I think I have 15 or 16, or maybe 17,” most of them said.
These desperately poor people don’t have TV sets or any other forms of entertainment, and cannot afford to pay for other entertainment activities either, so indulging in reproduction is the only fun they have. However, my three maids who live in the city and have a TV set at home, they too have seven or more children. The poor women commute for two hours daily, work eight to 10 hours, then submit to their husbands’ demands and get pregnant every two years. They earn barely enough to feed themselves and their existing children, yet they cannot see that having more children will make them even poorer.
Sending their children to schools is out of the question, so the male children are either given away to madrassas or they indulge in criminal activities. The girls of course are married off to the highest bidder as soon as they are old enough to bear children (around the age of 11 or even earlier).

But the most intriguing thing is that the father with 36 children from three wives, Gulzar Khan, wishes he had more time for leisure and making love to his wives. Here is a man who forces each of his wives to have more than 12 children and then talks of making love to them; because his wives have not endured enough already.

The most serious issue which Pakistan faces today is that of overpopulation. Even though we have 200 million men and women in the country, and increasing exponentially, the authorities are reluctant to address the issue, perhaps because they are afraid of the religious lobby. If our population continues to rise at the current rate, it won’t be long before we run out of water, and most of our food will have to be imported.

All I can say is that I’m glad none of my friends think it’s odd for a man to have only two or three kids.

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (


The atmosphere in the conference room was tense. The great NaMo was incensed that the Indian cricket team had lost the final match of the Champions Trophy to arch-enemy Pakistan. Gathered around him were some of his ministers (or “mantris”), with glum faces and somber expressions.

NaMo (to Mantri no. 1): you always said that Pakistan would never win another world cup or trophy. How do you explain their victory, even though they were the team least likely to win, and India’s team was the hot favorite (as well as the current champions)?

Mantri No. 1: we’ve done our best to ensure that Pakistanis remain the outcasts of cricket. For the past few years, we’ve made sure they never played in the IPL, and we also refused to play with them lest they learn how to play well. Somehow they made it to the finals, even though they were number eight, below even Bangladesh. After we arranged the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore, no team (except Zimbabwe) has visited Pakistan (which we have successfully managed to portray as a country which is teeming with terrorists).

NaMo (to Mantri no. 2): it was your job to arrange bomb blasts inside Pakistan. Why did you ignore their cricket stadiums? You should have got RAW to set fire to all their sports grounds so they wouldn’t be able to play any game, let alone cricket.

Mantri No. 2: I never thought they would bounce back, considering that RAW is carrying out bomb blasts almost every week in that country and our army keeps on firing daily at their civilians across the Line of Control. Yet their morale is high, which is inexplicable. I think it was some kind of black magic which helped them, and this did occur to me when Dhoni held the Pakistani captain’s kid in his arms. That must have something to do with our defeat.

NaMo (to Mantri No. 3): I have a strong feeling that some match fixing is involved. Why was Rameez Raja so confident that the final would be played between Pakistan and India, and that Pakistan would win?

Mantri No. 3: I’m sure no Indian player would take money to play badly.

NaMo: I’m not saying our team took money, it could have been the others, I’m referring to England, Sri Lankans and the South Africans, who lost their matches against the Musslas (I mean Pakistanis). It really hurts, after spending so much money to destabilize Pakistan, we lose to them. I wouldn’t have minded our team losing to the Australians or even Bangladesh, but this is something that will keep me awake for many nights. You have let me down, how will I be able to convince our voters that Pakistan is on the verge of collapse  due to our efforts?

Mantri No. 4: You can always tell the voters that we need another massive demonetization of our currency notes, to make sure that Pakistan is never able to win another cricket match. Indians are so gullible that they will have no choice but to agree.

Dear Murad Ali Shah, do you even know what Sindh’s tax collectors are upto?
By Shakir Lakhani Published: June 19, 2017
In the budget speech Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah noted that the current fiscal year has been a year of phenomenal changes both within and outside the country. PHOTO: APP

It is well known that if you want to get anything done in your province, you have to pay the right people. In most cases, the right people are the ‘baboos’ as they are the ones who can skilfully insert whatever you want in any document knowing that the person who approves it will do so without reading it.
Sometimes, if a baboo is not paid anything or not paid what he wants, he can do the opposite; he can get a tax imposed or increased on a particular commodity or service. This is what seems to have happened in the recently announced Sindh budget. Sindh now has the dubious distinction of being the only province in the country which recovers sales tax from the fledgling Information Technology (IT) services business. Even the federal government has exempted the IT sector from taxes. So what’s the aim of this harassment, do you want to kill the IT business or drive it away to the other provinces? If I were you, I would immediately transfer the baboo or whoever is responsible for this to the remotest corner of the province (where he will not be able to earn the millions he is doing now).

Sir, your recent budget has a deficit of Rs14 billion, which means that your expenditure for the year will be greater than your revenue by that amount. Being the finance minister of the province, you should realise that this deficit should be reduced to the minimum, if not eliminated entirely. I can, however, show you how it’s done, and how your budget can be converted to a surplus budget. I will not charge you anything for my advice. I only request that the extra money be spent to help save the starving people of Thar. And you might consider spending a few billion to clean up Karachi (which contributes 96% of Sindh’s revenue).

You can begin with restaurants. Do you know that there are hundreds of restaurants in Karachi alone whose owners don’t pay sales tax? Those that are registered with the sales tax department pay only a token amount which is a few thousand rupees to the government every year. They can get away with this robbery by bribing your sales tax collection staff heavily. To increase the revenue from such restaurants (many of which serve more than five hundred customers a day), all you have to do is to hire honest people to monitor the sales of these restaurants.
Obviously, you can’t ask your sales tax department personnel to do so, since they are already taking millions from the restaurant owners to look the other way. I suggest that you hire eunuchs who are erroneously called ‘transvestites’ to do the job. They should be persuaded to stop begging, and you can employ them to report how many customers eat daily at the restaurants in the province. This data can be compared with that submitted by the restaurant owners. You will be shocked at the large scale evasion of sales tax, if you don’t know that already. I’m sure the eunuchs will do a better job than Sindh government employees, and the amount recovered as sales tax from restaurants will increase to at least 25 times of what is collected today.

Coming to the most lucrative of them all; the property sector. Of course you must have some idea of the loot and plunder going on in the sale and purchase of property in Karachi. Your predecessor took over the Karachi Building Control Authority (KBCA) and renamed it the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), so that the taxes recovered from this sector would not be spent on Karachi. Out of the 25 directors in this authority, 21 are working in Karachi.

The price of a 500-square yard plot in Karachi is Rs70 million (equivalent to Rs140, 000 per square yard). However, the value fixed by your government (known as District Collector (DC) value) is only Rs1,980 per square yard. Your government therefore receives only Rs49, 500 as tax and stamp duty instead of Rs3,500,000 (which would have been the tax, if levied on the actual price). So, every time a 500-square yard plot in Karachi changes hands, the government loses Rs3,450,500.

Since hundreds of transactions take place in Karachi every day, the Sindh government loses billions every year. My estimate is Rs500 billion at least, if not more. If the DCs don’t know the actual value of properties, they can visit web sites like, and they will get a good idea of the quantum of taxes the property sector mafia is evading. And if the DCs refuse to levy taxes on the actual property values, you can conclude that they too are in collusion with the mafia and making millions every year.

Sir, if you do what I have suggested, you will be able to change the face of Sindh. Please, for once do the right thing, don’t be afraid of those who will be affected. Stop the loot and plunder, recover the due taxes from these two sectors and soon Sindh will become the richest province in the country.

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (