RAWALPINDI"Draped in loose clothes, making mysterious gestures, bizarre appearances, fingers dazzled in luminous precious stone rings-number of Amil Baba (spiritual healers), psychiatrists, astrologers and tarot-card readers is constantly on the rise in the city. This also speaks volumes about a number of superstitions popular among the people. City is filled with these fake spiritual healers, astrologers, tarot-card readers and the so-called Aamil and such species are freely running their "business" around the city. These fishy characters after inheriting this shadowy business from their elders practise it without having any formal education. Be it problems regarding hindrance in marriage or failure to win beloved's attention, family tensions, loss in business or spell of black magic these guys are ready to rescue you from all such problems. Success in this business, which this scribe has witnessed from close quarters, depends on 'Aamils' catchy external appearance and face-reading expertise. They pose themselves as mysterious characters sometimes talking with the air. "The materialistic style of living, poverty, greed, selfishness, jealousy, lust for money and status consciousness have significantly contributed to the surge of frustration among people. Those who don't possess these characteristics, unfortunately fall victim to these quacks and Aamils," said Moulana Ahmed Ali who is Imam of a local mosque of the city. You are supposed to give them personal information including date of birth. Then they would profess about your past tell you about certain features of your star, which they have learnt by heart out of some astrological books. Then in the middle they tell you that you are under control of some evil spirits. At the same time they tell solution to your worries that could bread the spell of evil powers. After that they come to business that means one has to pay thousands in stead of hundreds in gratitude. Muhammad Hussain, 56, resident of Pakpattan district, serving as luggage carrier at railway station Rawalpindi is "under treatment" of an Aamil, whose shop is located at station road. Hussain told, " I have three daughters and I am worried about their future." Hussain went to an Aamil who in the first place demanded of him Rs1,500 to dispel the powers of evil from his daughters but in vein as Aamil told him that the evil powers were powerful and it needed 40 days religious course (Chilla) and a hefty amount of Rs10,000." Now Hussain is thinking about how he would manage the amount. Most of their victims are women who owing to their weak beliefs are easily trapped in their verbosity. These unfair spiritual healers claim that they are registered with the government or civic authorities concerned, advertise themselves on print and electronic media and looted the innocent people. There is an urgent need to address this issue by raising public awareness and sensitizing people about the negative ethical and religious consequences of these practices.