Letters: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
It is disingenuous of Professor Akbar Ahmed (letters, 4 June) to dismiss the dangers of the Pakistani bomb as yet another example of "Islamophobia". Pakistan's nuclear weapons are more dangerous because they, unlike those of India, are controlled not by the civilian government, but by the army: an army itching to avenge its defeat at the hands of the Indians during the Bangladesh war of 1971.


London NW7

Tragic though it was, the 1988 Clapham crash is far from being Britain's worst rail disaster (report, 4 June). About 227 died in the 1915 Quintinshill collision and fire, and there have been eight further disasters with death tolls greater than that at Clapham.


Lewes, East Sussex

Consciousness may be difficult to define ("Does your pet have an inner life?" 8 June) but is comprehensible nonetheless. The difference between a malfunctioning washing machine and a sick dog is that, for most people, the former elicits irritation and the latter compassion. Anyone who denies that a dog has a consciousness is out of their mind.


Lecturer in Philosophy

Richmond, the American International University in London

London W9

P S. for those interested in the correlation between philosophers and pets, I am the proud owner of Sable, a black cocker spaniel.