For the last week or so, the people in different parts of the Sindh province are wildly hunting for scorpions and snakes; this hunting melee is gaining momentum because of the rumors that the poisonous insects and reptiles are in great demand. The rates reportedly range from 50000 to 500000 for scorpions and half a million for snakes. Spin stories are abounding that these creatures are needed for medical treatment of cancer and other such deadly diseases. But there is no such catching spree going on in other countries or provinces of Pakistan which creates serious doubts. A notable expert, Ali Murtaza Dharejo, is of the view that news of the discovery of a new treatment with scorpions and snakes is baseless, and the mad rush for catching scorpions would greatly disturb the biodiversity as these insects and reptiles are eating anti-crop pests. The media should highlight this issue and the government must check this anti-environment drive.

GULSHER PANHWER,

Johi, July 2.