I WAS pleasantly surprised to see that Dr Attaur Rahman in his letter (Nov 20) now denies having said that HAARP, a US physics experiment using radio waves, can cause earthquakes.

He claims I had in my letter (Nov 17) deliberately distorted his article (Oct 17). In that, he says, he had only stated allegations made by others that HAARP causes earthquakes — but not agreed with them.

However, reading his original article, repeatedly, I still cannot see where he even slightly disagreed with the allegations. In fact, his concluding lines were: “Is the HAARP then a harmless research tool or a weapon of mass destruction far more lethal than nuclear weapons? We may never know.” This ominous message obviously suggests to readers that he agrees with the people he cites.

Dr Rahman has now back - peddled on half of his original claims. But he still insists that HAARP can cause weather change. No scientific arguments are given, but he says that 12 patents were granted by the US Patent Office to ARCO Power Technologies for atmospheric modification by HAARP.

However, it has been known for long that many means exist for modifying the atmosphere. For example, seeding clouds with silver iodide crystals induces rainfall.

What Dr Rahman fails to understand is that a world of difference separates the creation of small local atmospheric hotspots from the creation of continental scale atmospheric changes. Weather is determined by the trillions of kilowatts of power from the sun. Dawn

A typical storm carries millions of times more power than HAARP. When he hints in the article that Pakistan's floods were caused by HAARP, he does not explain how this feeble radio transmitter in Alaska could be responsible.

It is fascinating to see which authorities Dr Rahman has cited in his article: a politician (Chavez), homoeopath (Begich), economist (Chossudovsky), TV correspondent (Clarke) and cancer specialist (Bertell). Once again, he refers to concerns of the European Parliament about HAARP.

However, like Pakistan's parliamentarians, the European ones are usually not meteorological scientists. Dr Rahman does not cite a single academic paper written by a meteorologist, published in some referred scientific journal, which supports his claim that HAARP has caused weather change. Proper research papers buttressing Dr Rahman's claims are not known to exist.

PERVEZ HOODBHOY

Professor of Physics

Quaid-i-Azam University

Islamabad

Unnecessary talk The letter from Dr Atta-ur- Rehman “HAARP: a US weapon of mass destruction” (Nov 20) has rightly commented, “Dr Hoodhbhoy will be well advised to do some serious physics research and make some genuine contributions to science in Pakistan.” I have been reading Dr Hoodbhoy's letters and articles for the last several years and have often been wondering why such a capable person does not devote his time to obtain more US and international patents, he could break new ground for the electronic industry in Pakistan.

He could even be the father of the rapidly growing electronics industry in Pakistan. He could be a Nobel prize winner if he explored the frontiers of science of physics. Instead, he has been, most of the time, engaged in petty politics criticising the good work done by other scientists and administrators.

It is so tragic that one of Pakistan's most capable sons has been wasting his time and talents on unnecessary bickering and complaints.

HUMAYUN ZAFAR

Canada

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