Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cultural Heritage Lost in Chaotic Pakistan

Tragic 28th December incident in Karachi, death of over 40 people during Muharram procession and aftermath carnage reminds me of Taliban. These days I am forced to think about Bamiyan Statue of Buddha, known as wonders of ancient world, I remember the way Taliban destroyed it, forcing my heart to bleed out of anger, pain and helplessness.

Great Indus Valley Civilization is lost in the dust of religious fundamentalism. Indus men smiles on modern day Pakistan, everyone is sad to see the way security establishment drags the green Indus land to get attached with extremist desertland of Arabia.

The road where carnage took place in Karachi has some of the finest historical buildings built during British rule, most of them burnt and destroyed. These buildings are just one and half kilometer away from historic KMC building and Merewether Tower. There are around 60 historical buildings, majority of them protected under the Sindh Cultural Heritage Protection Act.

It seems there is no place for art, culture, history and heritage when it comes to modern day extremist Pakistan.

Moen Jo Daro and Harrapa question us but we have no answer!! is anyone listening ???

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hmmmm, Golf is Real Sexy Game!!!

Golf always reminds me of one sentence “men and rats always find new holes”. When it comes to golf, it is all about holes, poles, wet, grass/bush, sticks and balls.

Lately my cute friends dragged me into golf, for a moment I felt as if to me golf was an arranged marriage, when I got into it, LOVE HAPPENED!!

Tiger woods reminds us of the best golf one could ever imagine, he was lately caught his pants down. So far, around 13 women revealed that they slept with Mr. Woods; no wonder 13 reminds us of 18 holes in golf. I am sure Mr. Wood must have been passionate about the game; poor guy, his brain is programmed to think about holes. At times I get scared because too much focus on different holes is not good for healthy relationship.

For men, holes make golf sexy but for women it gets sexier because of the sticks and balls. Many women hate men esp. those men who are categorized as PIGS, while hitting balls women get pleasure to take out their anger.

Few of my friends have gone to a level where they believe that golf is far better than sex because it is perfectly respectable to golf with a total stranger. If you are having trouble with golf, it is perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to show you how to improve your technique. Your golf partner won't keep asking questions about other partners you've golfed with. If your regular golf partner isn't available, he/she won't object if you golf with someone else. Nobody will ever tell you that you will go blind if you golf by yourself. There is no such thing as a "golf transmitted disease." Nobody expects you to give up golfing if your partner loses interest in the game. Your golf partner will never say, "What ? We just golfed last week ! Is that all you ever think about ?". When you see a really good golfer, you don't have to feel guilty about imagining the two of you golfing together

Another interesting aspect of golf is even if the course is wet and bushy one can still play :p

Lately I got to know that in golf, foursome is encouraged and another interesting aspect is you don’t have to cuddle with your partner when you are finished. Even if your equipment gets old and rusty, you can replace it.

Isn’t it real sexy game??? :p

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bangladesh Victory Day Celebrations, Corrupt PPP & NRO!!!

I was sitting in the smoking room, National Reconciliation Ordinance discussion followed me, watching TV, listening to FM radio and at coffee house with friends, and again NRO followed me like my shadow.

I tried to look beyond, was happy to see corrupt are made to face the judicial proceedings and people expect justice will prevail.

On the one hand it made me happy but on the other hand made me think, why one party again and again faces all sort of corruption charges. Well, one may argue they may be the most corrupt so that’s why they face the music, but I fail to understand every time we have elections PPP comes out as victorious. Maybe our poor, illiterate masses with their stinky sweaty clothes do not have conscious mind as our so called educated middle class civil society living in Karachi or Lahore.

NRO debate reminded me of history, unlike my middleclass educated urban friends I was not jubilant but storm of thoughts engulfed my mind.

Firstly it reminded me, ugly episode of early 90s, recent revelation of Brig Imtiaz, the ugly story of Operation Midnight Jackal, indiscriminate use of billions of tax payers’ money to topple an elected civilian government of PPP by security establishment.

It made me think, there is no justice and civil society is also dead, billions were used, misused and abused against the elected civilian government, is our justice only against PPP?????

On 16th Dec it was 38th victory day celebration at Bangladesh Embassy Washington DC, a photo exhibit was held. Exhibit displayed the photos of killing field of East Pakistan, as per independent account over 100,000 people were killed and over 200,000 women were raped by MUSLIM ARMY of Pakistan along with Al Badar and Al Shams killing squad.

It made me think, there was Hamood ur Rehman Commission, but NRO type all across pardon was issued, there was no war crime proceeding.

It also made me think, is Supreme Court going to cancel the 1970s NRO and re open the criminal proceedings against those who killed innocents, raped poor women in East Pakistan????
Following poetry makes me feel ashamed .....

Bangladesh, in the long nine months
Were you with child,
Like a pregnant woman
You felt nauseated at times.
You couldn't eat well
You could not toil hard as before,
You carefully covered your distended belly
Lest someone discover your condition.
Your co-wife -- the West Pakistan
Often laughed at you and was sarcastic and acrimonious,
You were disgraced, insulted and persecuted.
You'd cry out in pregnancy-related pain
And wish you were dead,
But the expectation of seeing your upcoming child
You would endure all with a smile.
Your child is born today
You've forgotten
All the past suffering, disgrace and shame.
As you had carried your child for nine months
So have you so much care, affection and attachment for him!
Nurture, tend and protect
Your adorable son 'Independence.'
Today you are separated,
Your co-wife will no longer be able to disgrace you.
Go forward with your head held high,
Your child will
Place you on a pedestal
Among the nations of the world.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Condoms for Climate Change!!

Copenhagen environment summit is the future of planet earth, rich countries raising their pledge on tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse emission by 25-45%.

On the one side people are calling it a landmark summit on the other hand environmental activist are out there demanding more action from rich countries.

This time an interesting idea discussed, it is not all about CO2 emission rather its about condoms for climate change!!

Interesting reports says "As the growth of population, economies and consumption outpaces the Earth's capacity to adjust, climate change could become much more extreme and conceivably catastrophic”.The world's population will likely rise from the current 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050, with most of the growth in less developed regions, according to a 2006 report by the United Nations.The U.N. Population Fund acknowledged it had no proof of the effect that population control would have on climate change. "The linkages between population and climate change are in most cases complex and indirect," the report said.

Ironically poor countries are on the forefront when it comes to producing babies, I guess strong message is for Pakistani’s to use condom and help environment.
Come on help save environment !!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Divine Love legend - Sheh Murid and Hani “Romeo & Juliet of Balochistan”

By Shagufta & Bijjar Baloch

Story of Sheh Murid & Hani is a symbol of pure and tragic love, it revolves around love, romance, miracle, mystery and human passion.

Story depicts the life of baloch, their emotions and philosophical idea ‘Good, Evil’

The story dates back to the 15th century, which is considered to be the heroic age of Balochistan and the classical period of Baloch literature. Sheh Murid was the son of Sheh Mubarak, the chief of the Kahiri tribe. At that time when a man was known for his arts, Murid was famous as having mastered the art of swordsmanship, horsemanship, and archery. For his skills and braveness he was ranked the highest in the army of Mir Chakar Khan Rind, the chief of the Baloch army.

Murid’s bow made of steel was so heavy & he was known as the “Lord of the Iron Bow”, because none but he alone could draw and shoot arrows from it.

Hani was the daughter of the Rind noble Mir Mandaw; some say she was Murid’s cousin.

She was a paragon of loyalty and devotion and everyone knew her for her good character and chastity. Hani was engaged to Sheh Murid and had been a childhood friend of Murid.

Legend says that one day when Mir Chakar and Sheh Murid were returning from hunting, they stopped at the town where their fiancées lived. Since a Baloch woman never appears before her betrothed before the wedding. Mir Chakar and Sheh Murid decided to visit each others’ fiancées.

Sheh Murid went to Mir Chakar’s fiancée, who brought him clean water in a silver bowl. Murid, dying of thirst, drank the entire bowl in a single gulp and became sick. However, when Mir Chakar went to Hani, Sheh Murid’s fiancée, she brought him clean water in a silver bowl in which she has placed dwarf palm leaf, properly washed. The chief was surprised by the pieces of straw, but he drank the water with care in order to avoid swallowing the straw. When he departed he found Murid vomiting and sick. Murid told him that the water had made him ill because he drank a lot of water on an empty stomach. Now Mir Chakar realized that Hani had acted wisely by putting pieces of straw into water.

May be that palm leaf ironically touched Mir Chaka'rs heart.

Some time later, Mir Chakar organized a gathering of poets where Baloch heroic poems were recited and chief from each tribe was invited.

Mir Chakar wanted to test Balochi values in invitees, asked each to take a vow “make a solemn Balochi promise” and stick it rest of the life, one may end up sacrificing a lot.

This was like, “the Balouch Honor” and for this they stand - their pride which eclipses the brightness of the Sun. A vow ‘solemn promise’ for which he will have to make the precious Sacrifice.

One of the Chief ‘Mir Jado’ swore that he would chop off the head of anyone who touched his beard at the assembly of nobles. Mir Chakar tested Mir Jado’s word by asking his young son to touch his father's beard during an assembly of nobles. The young boy innocently did as he was told; Mir Jado turned his face and moved the boy hoping no one noticed. However Mir Chakar encouraged the boy to repeat the action the boy grabbed his father's beard once more. The entire assembly became silent and looked towards Mir Jado. Will he be true to his word? Full of wrath, Jado unsheathes his sword and smites the head of his innocent son in the presence of all the Rind nobles.

Now it was time to test Sheh Murid and he hosted a festive gathering on his wedding and invited renowned poets to entertain the audience. And at the close of the festivities, Sheh Murid, was ready to depart with his possessions.

Mir Chakar asked for Hani. Sheh Murid was shocked; he thought that he would have asked for his bow which was a unique bow and he was a brilliant marksman with a strong bow. He was known as The Lord of the Iron Bow. With a heavy heart and much sadness he told Mir Chakar to take Hani.

The unexpected demand distressed him greatly, and Murid realized that he had lost Hani.

If he did not keep his vow he would be mocked and future generations would have contempt for his name. Soon after the annulment of Murid’s engagement with Hani, she was soon married to Mir Chakar.

Murid was so shaken by this turn of events that he abandoned his former life and passed the days and nights in worship of Allah. He also composed poems eulogizing Hani’s beauty and openly expressing his passionate love for her.

Later the scandalous news of Murid’s love for Mir Chakar’s wife became the talk of Balochistan. His father Sheh Mubarak tried to advise him, he composed a poem in Baluchi in response to his father’s advice;

My Shai mubark says, Oh Mureed leave your aloofness,Aloofness without purpose direction(purpose), For Chakar’s beautiful wife, In the assemblies you are not amongst your friends, You are like a walking corpse, Hani's love has blinded you, How will you carry on in this way, I replied, I advised my elderly father, I advised my respected father, Oh most honored father, Oh most esteemed, If you were in my place likewise, You would have left all your friends, And stopped going to assemblies and noble gatherings, You would have lost your mind, And not be aware of how you dressed,You would have clapped your hands, On your lap and be, In your own world, At least i am sometimes with it And sometimes not with it. Then Sheh Murid decided to leave the country and run away to unknown lands across the seas. Sheh Murid remained in Arabia for 30 along time during that time he truly became a beggar and lived the life of an ascetic.

After spending years away, he returned to Sibi in shabby clothes with his hair hanging down to his waist. In the company of a band of beggars he passed himself off as an anonymous mendicant begging for alms at the palace of Mir Chakar Khan Rind.

The maidservant gave bowls filled with grain to each mendicant, but when she presented this food to Murid, she saw that Murid’s eyes were fixed upon Hani. Hani recognized him at once but held herself back to avoid any suspicions, but Chakar saw a sparkle in her eyes.

How Hani felt I wonder the vows of a wife she has taken in one side and on the other side the part of her soul Murid. No body could recognize but Hani did, because they had played together as children. Hani recognized the mark on the upper left thigh, which her bracelet had made, and another one behind the eyebrow.

When the Rinds checked the marks, they at last recognized Sheh Murid.

Although Mir Chakar married Hani, however he was unable to consummate the marriage, whenever he approached Hani, he would freeze as if paralyzed. For years it was carried on this way and realized that Hani can never truly be his.

When he found out that Sheh Murid had returned, he told Hani that Sheh Murid was a great man and deserved her, so he divorced her and told her she was free to go to Sheh Murid.

Hani, who had not forgotten her first and only love, decided to go to him, she told him that Mir Chakar had realized his mistake and has now freed her so that they (i.e. Sheh Murid & Hani) could be together.

But Sheh Murid told her that he had now reached a different level and cannot step down from that to be with her. To Sheh, Hani was a mean by which he had reached closer to Allah.

He took left her and later he visited his father’s camel herd, chose a white camel, mounted her, and disappeared from mortal eyes.

He has become the immortal saint of the Baloch, and the common belief among the Baloch is that: ta jahan ast, Sheh Murid ast (Until the living world, Sheh Murid remains immortal and their eternal love remains.)

Love is such a blessing and it is Divine. Beyond any explanation or definition.

Disclaimer “Original post is edited by Imran Baloch for concise reading”

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sindh is in Bolivia!!! Not in Pakistan!!!!

I just got to know that pseudo intellectuals on Pakistani junk Urdu channels believe that Sindh is not part of Pakistan but it is somewhere located in Bolivia, Nigeria or in Papua New Guinea.

BBC Urdu bloggers are thought provoking; lately I came across an interesting blogpost written by Wusatullah Khan, he writes “President Zardari during his recent visit to President Karzai’s oath taking ceremony in Kabul, wore Sindhi cap, it is so sad that one local TV showed two pseudo intellectuals alleging Zardari for using Sindh card. They further discussed that representing country in regional dress is not at all acceptable”.

Another interesting argument I came across, whenever an Army dictator ‘we had so many, we are a Generals producing nation’ visits abroad in Army uniform no body mentions it as Fauji “Army Card”. If Prime Minister visits in tie suit, nobody dare to say it is Western Card. If any leader lands in Riyadh in Kameez Shalwar, no one mentions, its a Punjabi, Pakhtun, Sindhi, Seraiki or Baloch Card but pseudo intellectual thinks if one wears Sindhi cap, it weakens the essence of federation!!!

Same mindset, labeled Bengalis traitors, even they were on the forefront in Pakistan movement, reason was, they refused to wear Kameez Shalwar and Jinnah Cap. Around 37 years ago, when Sindh province wanted Sindhi to be provincial language, same mindset chanted slogans “ Urdu Ka Janaza Hay, Zara Dhom Say Niklay” “ Death of Urdu Language”. It resulted in bloodbath, one would never forget.

Wusatullah makes an interesting point, he mentions, “If we allow these pseudo intellectuals, they will remove Jinnah’s pictures in Lakhnavi Pajama citing that it was an Indian card, in Qurakali Cap citing it was Baloch card, in English hat citing it was an imperial card. They may burn Iqbal's picture in red Turkish cap, alleging him for playing Turkish Card.

Lastly he mentions that these pseudo intellectuals do no know that in 1947 when Sindh Assembly passed resolution for joining Pakistan, Muslim parliamentarians were wearing Sindhi Cap. These people don’t know that Sindhi cap is also worn in Punjab, NWFP, and Balochistan and in Afghanistan.

To conclude, how long we let these naïve pseudo intellectuals, who don’t know anything about history , culture and geography to come on TV and divide all of us ???

Monday, November 30, 2009

Women, Depreciation, Sperm Donor & Marriage Pressure!!

Ageing women, depreciation, asset utilization and marriage pressure revolves around time. Asset is utilized in time, better kept; everyone knows depreciation ends up with salvage value and ultimate disposal.

I am lucky enough that I have awesome thinking female friends, today we were sitting on comfy chairs facing grass on one side and sea on the other , discussion started with marriage age, family pressure and concept of depreciation.

It is general belief that older one gets, chances of getting better proposal diminishes. Sooner one gets a life partner better it is. Ageing women’s life is like a depreciating asset, older the asset lower the value. Well, without arguing, discussion continued.

We know that in the past average marriage age was 20 for woman, now there are many more financially independent working women, looking for happiness in relationship instead of getting married for the sake of it or accepting the family and peer pressure.

During the discussion I came across another phenomenon, peer pressure, married woman influencing career oriented independent minded single woman. Few of my friends believe that marriage is not all about getting a ring and sperm donor; rather it is finding a partner for happy living.

Fear of loneliness is another factor for independent minded single working women, they fear that what if their friends move on with their lives and ageing single women may end up living lonely life, to them marriage goal is companionship rather than finding a sperm donor.

There is no harm in getting into an institution of marriage or pursuing an independent single life until one finds the right partner. Family and peer pressure is and will always be there if someone defies norms.

I would rather say do not settle until you find true love or companion, happiness should be the ultimate goal beyond social pressure.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Modern Men Redefining Style!!!

You think being trendy and stylish is women’s domain, forget it, modern men are out there to redefine style.

Lately I was at L’Oreal launch in Karachi, I saw men in casual to formal and trendy dresses, but what really amused me was “Men’s Jewelry”.

Amin Guljee is one of the biggest names when it comes to jewelry design both for women and men, I still remember our interactions at SPA and his creative men’s jewelry designs always made me envy.

Lately I was in Malaysia, I got to see, designers are devoting more time, attention and store space when it comes to Men’s Jewelry.

I came across Men’s trend magazine, It says “men are showing desire to want to show their identity and they are at ease and confident enough to complement a watch with a bracelet, necklace or ring.

I always loved sporty stuff, Columbia sportswear watch has always been my favorite, thin lined leather necklace with rustic jewelry is too boyish, I never go for it. I find Japanese businessmen wearing stainless steel, black diamonds or titanium rings. I would rather say these rings are common among younger men with an urban taste.

Athletes have always been trendsetter in men’s jewelry but trendy stuff is getting into urban men.

Let us see, what come ahead for modern men!!!

I Hate You !!!!

Whenever I discuss social issues with friends and look around chaotic societies, such as ours, I come across a lot of burning desire inside people and society, one may call it hate.Frankly speaking I may dislike people or things but hate is not my cup of tea. At times I wonder what really hate is and why do we hate???
Today I was scanning the online newspapers and came across New York Times, freakonomics section article “Why Do We Hate” ??It writes “What makes hate tick? How can we stop it?” These are the questions that Jim Mohr, director of Gonzaga University’s Institute for Action Against Hate, asks himself every day as he develops a new field of study around hate.Mohr explains that hates may be by-product of fear, greed and the desire to belong.
I never imagined, our universities would be conducting detailed studies on Hate Science !!!Everyone knows anti-Semitism, Aryans, Bosnia to all across Africa, hatred based on religion or nationalism is caused havoc to human civilization.
I tried to find out the real meaning of hatred, as per Aristotle “hate is the incurable desire to annihilate an object”, whereas Sigmund Freud defined it as an “Ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness”Both definitions are deep enough to enable one to understand the emotional make up that is called HATE.
We know hate is part of all of us, but as civilized human being we have to learn to control it.People believe hate thrives in areas not illuminated by education, it is also believed that people dehumanize people and justify violence against others.
Let us wait for the hate study findings, hope we move forward as civilized and mature human society.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Women Suicide Bombers, Kill & Go to Heaven !!!

Women suicide bombers, a new phenomenon introduced during Iraq war. Every women bomber has different reason to go on killing spree, loved one’s death to religious reason.

Lately I came across an interesting article published in prestigious Guardian; its title is “Inside the mind of a female suicide bomber”.

It’s an interesting story of a woman, Baida, a suicide bomber jailed after her failed attempt to blow herself. She lost her father and brother; ironically she opted to blow herself. Her story is intriguing, living in an isolated community dominated by extremists, women in such areas are powerless, most of them have no control to make decisions such as whom to marry, how many children to have etc.

It is yet another interesting fact, women choose to become suicide bombers for the sake of special destiny i.e., heaven, most of them put on make up and dress up before blowing.

The surprising part I got to know was Baida’s explanation, she is clear “when it is halal ‘permitted’ to kill a person and when it is forbidden!!!! She justifies the killing of innocent American construction workers and she is willing to explode if anyone is Jewish.

Another astonishing aspect I came to know, when interviewer was about to leave, Baida mentioned, had she not known the interviewer, she would have killed her.

I just fail to understand, in certain societies, killing in the name of religion is so rampant, just to kill if one disagrees with others. There may be reasons but indiscriminate killing because of different faith or nationality is astonishing.

How long this killing spree would continue in the name of religion, ethnicity, heaven and hell ?????

Lisa Ray; Simple & Captivating!!!

Lisa is one of the most beautiful girls reminds all of us that beauty is not all about putting alot of make up and wearing heavy jewelry. Her aura is all about simplicity, late thirties but looks gorgeous with captivating looks.

I still remember her cool performance in Bollywood/Hollywood, she has her own individuality.

Her blue eyes make her different but the way she carries herself is superb.

She is beautiful, charismatic, when I see her, only one thing comes in my mind she can never go wrong when it comes to style.

Enough of hardcore politics and intellectual stuff, thought of exploring Masala stuff over weekend to lighten my mood.

Heard she is going to appear in a Masala Movie, fingers crossed.

Mumbai Nightmare!!!

It was 26th Nov 08, one of the scariest morning people of Mumbai could ever imagined.10 gunmen carried a deadly rampage, targeting the India’s economic capital, Taj Hotel, Train Stations, killing 166 and injuring 300 people.

It is one of the brutal acts of minority, killing innocent civilians, people of Pakistan condemn such acts and hope sanity prevails and hope the forces of violence would face defeat.

We always hope for a peaceful and prosperous South Asia.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Balochistan Package; Too Little Too Late!!!!!

Enough is enough, I am going to go to mountains, apologize, hug them and say Big Sorry to our Baloch brothers “President Zardari

I am all for development, I have developed Balochistan, look around mega projects, there are only three sardars against the development “President Musharraf”

The Balochistan is one of the regions with long history of struggle, pain, cry and blood. Finally we see yet another rhetoric 'time will tell' known as Aghaz e Huqooq e Balochistan “New Beginning for the Rights of Balochistan” has finally been presented in Parliament.

As per the package, Army would be sent back to barracks, people believe that army treated everyone in colonial fashion, the way Israeli army treats Palestinian in West Bank and Gaza.

Under contraction Army Garrisons would be handed over to Frontier Constabulary, people believe that everyone knows the role of FC; lately bullets were sprayed on innocent men, women and children in Buleda. FC is one of the most hated forces in Balochistan is going to be stationed in Sui.

Government promised to conduct an inquiry on the killing of Nawab Bugti, well people reminds everyone that there is a long list starts with brutal and forceful invasion of the State of Kalat on 28th March 1948. It began with the humiliation of Khan Karim then killing of aged Nawab Noroze Khan to killing of over 5,000 innocent men, women and children during 70s, killing of Bugti and displacement of over 80,000 people.

Ordinary people are skeptic and they believe, how would just one inquiry ‘we are not sure anyone acts on the findings’ heal over 60 years of pain and cry!!!

As per package FC would report to Chief Minister, Baloch reminds us that everyone knows that Chief of Army Staff reports to Prime Minister but poor Bloody Civilian could easily be toppled by twenty to fifty men in Uniform.

Package consists of constitutional, political and administrative clauses. It also talks about Political Autonomy but if one talks to people they do not want to hear the word Pakistan and their struggle is for the right of self rule.

It also talks about transferring gas development surcharge from 1954 to 1990; people on the other hand want to have control over their resources instead of waiting for Islamabad’s transfer of few billions. To them its charity and they want the ownership.

All political prisoners would be freed, people believe that State frorces have kidnapped hundreds and State denies that none is in the custody. Package says only people without serious charges will be freed, but people believe that every other person in custody has serious charges.

People are skeptic, its need of the hour to trace back kidnapped/missing persons, if they were illegally detained, strong measures to be taken against the brutal forces.

Scholarship for students announced but people want institutions not scholarships. 5,000 jobs announced, people don’t want jobs they ant to own the resources.

There is extreme mistrust between State and Baloch, people think they are at war; whole issue is about the rights of resource ownership and it revolves around national and democratic question of Balochistan.

People do not trust, they want UN intervention, a third credible party to ensure the rights of people.

Lastly, I lament that no nationalist politician in Balochistan or in exile was consulted .

Issue requires deeper understanding, to conclude, I would still say it is a good beginning to use it as confidence building measures but it is a long way to go!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

America We Hate –Love You!!!!!

It was early November last year; I was on my way to Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave for my US Visa interview. I came across a long queue, full of religious men and women, long beards and Hijab to rock stars and aspiring youth. Women reciting Holy Quranic verses and I could hear ‘good luck in Urdu, i.e., Inshallah Hojaega”.

But ironically, I read range of papers writing that majority of Pakistanis hate America!!! For me it is difficult to see, who hates and why, all my friends who hate America, they love to be in America. When I see McDonalds, American lifestyle, jeans, music, movies, Pakistani are deeply hooked. Deeply religious people along with their families are usually found at McDonalds; even KFCs Iftar meal was deeply supported by religious consumers.

Anyways, coming back from Islamabad, I got my visa, selected to represent Pakistan in US- Department of State International Visitors Leadership Program ‘IVLP’, I am glad I was one of the few lucky ones to be offered. This was a complete exposure trip and I got to see East Coast to Southern Biblical belt to Mormon Land in Utah to all the way to Seattle North West of US.

Trip enlightened me to experience US first hand; there are so many positives beside American foreign policy. I found Americans friendly, hard working, diverse yet united, amazingly autonomous at grass root level, a place where non governmental organizations and charity play an important role. On the one side, one may finds wealth but on the other side capitalistic foul plays and systematic oppression is also evident.

I came across an interesting interview on New York Times web, Pakistani rock star Ali Azmat to Noori showing hatred for America, but singing in American style. Blaming everything on US, fueled with conservative apologetics rhetoric and they deny condemning Taliban.

Even one of the largest religious party’s leader's grand daughter lives in US and grandpa is running Anti American campaign.

Only one word comes in my mind “Hypocrite”.

Most of the rich families, running hate America campaign, but their kids are at US universities, most of them speak English and their vacation destination is again US.

I came across an interesting article in Washington Post and Daily Dawn, it argues that elites are mainly running the Anti American campaign in Pakistan, their survival is in Pakistan, most of them mint money through corruption, tax evasion etc. Poor struggles for piece of bread and only the middle class struggles hard and looks for safer avenues to continue life.Everyone urges US to woo middle class for serious change in the country, largely affecting the reigon.

Within Pakistan, unless we have common goals benefiting all, the country will always teeter at the brink of disaster.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FIFA 2010- Fun is About to Begin.

Soccer is one of the most famous sports across the globe. FIFA world cup is the most awaited events, this time its big AFRICAN PARTY in South Africa . I have always been in love with Argentine, finally they made it, France and Portugal other two teams, had to struggle. Arab world is not there, Algeria finally made it. Qualifying process witnessed alot of heat, esp Egypt vs Algeria and now France is under fire, esp the Henery's hand ball and curcual goal.
Here is the list of qualifying teams ' double click following pictures to see the full page listing'

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Impressive Adhuna Akhtar , Hot Kareena & Fiery Shive Sena !!!!

My weekend Bollywood scan revolved around Adhuna Akhtar and Kareena Kapoor. Adhuna's individualistic aura impressed me alot, her hair style to dressing sense kept her apart from the crowd. I am always impressed with girls, building their own identity, confidence and self belief. Adhuna lately appeared in a Bollywood grand party, she had the coolest and the most different hairstyle, wearing jeans, loose shirt and also appeared on stage with a guitar. She also runs a saloon, guess she is bit older than Farhan but has her own presence, diverse and different.

On the other hand i was surprised to see angry Shive Sena, i thought only Pakistan has crazy bunch of fundos but India is no more less. Bebo 'Kareena' and Saif's latest movie Kurban poster has been talk of the town. Kareena's bare back annoyed the puritans "Shive Sena", they removed the posters and warned if movie contains sensual scenes they will forcefully stop the movie.I just fail to understand, why select few love doing social policing, we never let people to decide what to watch and what no !! Morality and limits to the acceptance of sensuality are different from person to person. It is sad, a piece of nude sculpture may look vulgar to one but other may find it a piece of art. So, anyways, all eyes glued to Kareena with zero figure in Kurban movie.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Confused Pakistanis Need Mullah Omar; Down With America !!!! Talibans aren't Monsters !!!!

Pakistani musicians believe, Taliban are not bad, they are non issue, it is infidel West and America 'Neo Cons' want to de-islamize the Pakistani society. I was shocked to hear, musicians represent the youth of Pakistan, influence them, coming up with the most cliched rhetorical crap along with lyrics based on conspiracy theory .To me, if someone says Gosh, Pakistanis do not deserve Taliban, i would rather say, no we deserve them.

They destroy schools, kill civilians but our confused nation lines up with range of conspiracy theories all the way starting from CIA to Mosad and Raaw. Well, if India can find Pakistani hands behind Mumbai attack, they simply take it to international court and convince international forces with evidence. Our Commandos 'Sipah e Salar' in media make so much hue and cry but no evidence of xyz involvement has ever been shared .

On the same issue, i came across an interesting New york Times article, it writes, "While Pakistani journalists, playwrights and even moderate Islamic clerics have boldly condemned the Taliban, the nation’s pop music stars have yet to sing out against the group, which continues to claim responsibility for daily bombings. The violence has no shortage of victims in addition to the dead: more than three million people have become refugees, and more than 200 schools for girls have been destroyed. And the musicians I spoke to have suffered as well, which makes it all the more surprising that they are reluctant to criticize the militants".

Balochistan is the example of gross human rights violation, as per Human Rights reports, hundreds have been kept in jails without trial, disappearance of innocent is the order of the day. Political struggle is all about poor people living on the richest land asking for their due economic share as per constitution.

Well, National Security State and its media simply sweeps it under rug through blaming India.

Media, educated middle class, pop singers and corporate zombies have merely become patriotic conservative Islamic apologist just blaming everything on America !!!!

I guess, our nation deserves Mullah Omar!!!!!

"Watch Ali Azmat and Noori with their Patriotic Crap"

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Meera & English Speaking Pakistani Class!!!

Meera has lately been talk of the media, recent video on facebook made me laugh on our English speaking proud Pakistanis.

Once the video was made public, it was loaded by every other person on the facebook. Meera was on a show with ‘I guess’ Tappu Javeri, she was struggling with English sentence and constantly pronounced it wrong. Uff Meera’s struggle with English made every other person on the internet to have laughing strokes but most of them survived.

Anyways, I am sure most of our so called partially educated English speaking class thanked God that they speak English and some of speakers with accent must had felt proud.

In no other country language skills considered superior than the substance or the thoughts of an educated person. Unfortunately, so called educated English speaking class lack social consciousness and substance, focus more on linguistics skills than the actual knowledge base. No one denies the importance of English in today’s world but it is not the only criteria to judge a persons skill or depth.

All of them who shared the video, must had been to colleges or universities and their comments made me laugh and depicted the depth of their academic profile.

I am sad to see this in Pakistan, in entire globe, for instance during my last trip to Japan, I saw people giving a lot of importance to education not English or the language. In Pakistan, most of the elite make it to English medium schools to learn the language, when it comes to substance; unfortunately hollow generation is being developed.

If English is the criteria than lets laugh out loud on majority of Pakistanis, I am sure they can not speak English.

Pakistan Fashion Week Goes Bolder!! We are Not Extremists!!

Whenever I talk to any of my friends in US, they think Pakistan is a place dominated by Taliban & their supporters. General perception is that women are forced to stay back home and streets are full of extremists with long beards and weapons.

No way, it is not our Pakistan, there may be small tribal areas one may find such pictures but when it comes to Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad, we are moderate as well as modern in our outlook towards life.

Lately Pakistan Fashion Week kick starts in my city Karachi, it was postponed, venue was changed, amidst threats from minority extremists but the show goes on. Karachi defies extremism and says no to barbaric minority " unfortunately its known fact that some elements in Pak security institutions do back such elements to maximize so called strategic gains, but Pakistani majority does not support all."

Karachi shows the true image of the people of Pakistan. Hope western media depicts the other side of the coin where majority belong i.e., moderate and modern Pakistani society.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pakistan Pakistan Pakistan !!

I came across an interesting poetry, just wanted to share;

سوچ رہا ہے پاکستان
نہ کوئی دھندا نہ کوئی کام
بم دھماکے، ٹریفک جام
جیتا مرتا ہے گمنام
ہو سکے نہ دونوں رام
طالبان، القاعدہ ادغام
مدرسے بند، تعلیم ابہام
این آر او صیاد کا دام
ساری تدبیریں ناکام
دنیا بھر میں پھر بدنام
ہوگا اس کا کیا انجام؟
سوچ رہا ہے پاکستان

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Love For Omar Khayyam !!

I came across Persian Poet Omar Khayyams Rubaiyat, preaching about living each day instead of worrying for future. His writings remind me the words STOP WORRYING AND START LIVING. His message is very powerful message and is still valid.

Omar Khayyam, Iranian poet, philosopher, mathematicians, astronomer born in 1048 AD. His work translated by Fitz Gerald in English, making his work available for rest of the world.

Here is his powerful Rubai, living life in Today instead of worrying for tomorrows reward.

Alike for those who for TO-DAY prepare,
And those that after a TO-MORROW stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."

Ah, fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn TO-MORROW and dead YESTERDAY,
Why fret about them if TO-DAY be sweet!

One Moment in Annihilation's Waste,
One moment, of the Well of Life to taste—
The Stars are setting, and the Caravan
Starts for the dawn of Nothing—Oh, make haste!

How long, how long, in infinite Pursuit
Of This and That endeavour and dispute?
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, Fruit.

To celebrate his writing there are various active Omar Khayyam Fan Clubs, they meet and share his writings.

Hillary’s Hijab & Nilofar’s Parachute Jump!!

Hillary Clinton wore Hijab in her recent Pakistan visit, showing deep respect and understanding for Pakistani culture. Americans involved in foreign affairs do go through rigorous process of learning about their area of interests’ culture, language and values etc.

On the one hand when I saw Hillary in Hijab, a question came in my mind, will any in US start calling Hillary a lady influenced by Islam, Pro Taliban or Pro Islam etc. On the other hand another question came in mind, if any Pakistani woman visits US, shakes hands, wear western dresses, will all of us ignore it, and accept it as if one was showing respect to US culture or brand her pro west and make hue and cry.

I still remember the hue and cry, once Nilofar Bakhtiar, former Pakistani Minister for Tourism, opted for charity parachute jump in France. I remember the clerics stated that it was "an illegitimate and forbidden act, and that without any doubt, she has committed a great sin, and that Muslim women must stay at home and must not venture out uncovered”.

We are so biased in our approach when it comes to women, we love regulating social behavior, and impose code of dressing etc, why don’t we let women to decide what to wear and what not !!!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pakistan's Drift into Extremism, Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror !!

War on Terror is getting bloodier, resulting into bleeding Pakistan, dying civilians, bomb blasts, insecurity and killing of innocent civilians.

Pakistanis generally believe that war on terror is imposed by Bush on Pakistan; invasion of Afghanistan is a scheme of US, India and Israel to destabilize Pakistan resulting in the break up and ultimate capture of nuclear weapons.

It is well known that Islamists have always been used to extend Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, it has always been considered Pakistani backyard that provides strategic depth.

It is also believed that in an environment of distrust and insecurity, it is imperative for Pakistani security agencies to find proxies to minimize insecurity posed by regional powers.

To buy security various groups were recruited as proxies “Sept 09 Newsline Magazine writes”, Madrassas nurturing armies of young Islamic militants ready to embrace martyrdom have been on the rise for years in the Punjab. In fact, South Punjab has become the hub of jihadism. Yet, some how, there are still many people in Pakistan who refuse to acknowledge this threat.

Four major militant outfits, the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), are all comfortably ensconced in South Punjab (see article “Brothers in Arms” in Newsline). Sources claim that there are about 5,000 to 9,000 youth from South Punjab fighting in Afghanistan and Waziristan. A renowned Pakistani researcher, Hassan Abbas cites a figure of 2,000 youth engaged in Waziristan”.

To me, it is logical that actions should be the by products of strategy, it is well known that strategically the extremist outfits have never been considered a threat by Pakistani security thinkers.

US so far failed to address the security mindset, failed to remove their insecurities. Instead of addressing the issue at strategic level, US focus is too narrow, pushing reluctant Pakistan to act, forced to cooperate at tactical level. In short US failed to buy security for Pakistan and it seems two allies are pursuing different goals, relationship lacks goal alignment.

Recent Hillary Clinton visit to Pakistan demonstrate that instead of focusing on changing the mindset , Ms Clinton again pushes reluctant Pakistan, New York Times writes, “ Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a visit meant to improve relations with Pakistan, strongly suggested Thursday that some Pakistani officials bore responsibility for allowing terrorists from Al Qaeda to operate from safe havens along this country’s frontier.

“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are, and couldn’t get to them if they really wanted to,” she said to a group of Pakistani journalists on her second day here. “Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.”

US actions requires two pronged approach, alter the mindset that finds security for Pakistan in nurturing the extremists.

US should work on convincing Pakistan that it is not in their benefit to use extremists, -help in buying them security esp. Indo-Pak ties and Afghanistan.

On the other hand, problem is so deep; Can Pakistan affords to detach itself from religious ideology, security mindset visualizes the world through religious glasses, it means choosing friends and foes on the basis of religion?? Can it survive as democratic secular, non interfering welfare state, having peaceful relations with neighboring countries or national security state is the answer???

It is complex, only a win-win approach is going to be fruitful, US strategy must buy Pakistan security, otherwise any action imposed, may have random results.

Extremist monster will haunt Pakistani society, region and result in an insecure world. It is time to act before it is too late.