Sunday, August 30, 2009

Smokers’ Corner: Democracy’s last stand

Nadeem F. Paracha Sunday, 30 Aug, 2009 DAWN

During the tail-end of the first Benazir Bhutto government, a series of ads stormed the pages of the leading newspapers. These were professionally designed ‘anti-corruption’ ads pinpointing the areas where they claimed the Bhutto government was involved in practising fraud.

The ads were said to be released by ‘concerned citizens’, even though soon it became clear that it was the work of a bunch of businessmen, industrialists and Ziaul Haq loyalists in the ISI and the media. Even though there is evidence to prove this — starting with the confession of the former ISI chief, Hamid Gul, that his agency bankrolled the anti-PPP political alliance, the Islami Jamhoori Ithehad (IJI) in 1988 — there was also evidence to show that the first Benazir government was marred by corruption.

However, those bemoaning corruption at the time forgot to mention, rather purposefully, that corruption was very much part and parcel of the legacy left behind by the 11-year dictatorship. The Benazir regime’s main failing was not corruption alone; it was more its failure to put into practice policies that could have checked and neutralised the deep-seated culture of corruption it had inherited.

The press, due to the dictatorship’s many curbs, was left fighting dictatorship on a more macro, ideological level; the relative freedom that it got after Zia’s death made it go all micro now that it was able to name names. The press was right in doing so as the watchdog of society, but what was missed in the process was the fact that corruption scandals that suddenly erupted in newspapers and magazines were really not broken by objective reporters.

This was the beginning of a dangerous trend in which only those journalists who were said to have had dubious connections with intelligence agencies were able to get the best of most crackling stories—a practice that still holds true. Again, evidence is ripe, but it is also true that though much of the rancour was aimed at the two Benazir Bhutto governments, backed by the opposition led by Nawaz Sharif and the Jamat-i-Islami, it came back to bite Sharif himself during his second stint as prime minister.

By 1999 counter-democratic forces — politicised intelligence agencies and their lackeys in the industrialist/ business communities, political clergy and sections of the media — seemed to have decided that they had built the ground for democracy’s toppling, good enough to even send their once darling democrat, Nawaz Sharif, packing and bring back the normative fold of dictatorship.
A sudden eruption again in the media (mostly electronic) of various incidents of corruption (though not always incorrect), and a new set of buzzwords echoing in drawing-rooms, such as ‘minus-one formula,’ is reflective of the itch felt by counter-democracy forces. The electronic media has become explosively popular. However, it has yet to really come of age. It remains somewhat anarchic and thus continues to offer windows of opportunities to elements reflecting frustration among sections of society that refuse to tolerate even a year of populist democracy.

Funny thing is, for a year since the 2008 elections, these elements were cheering their former client, Nawaz Sharif, but since his reaction to the stinging he got in 1999 still seems to be fresh, suddenly he too has now come under the fold of the ‘eternally corrupt’ and ‘incompetent’ right, alongside President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani. No matter how loud the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly shouts, there is no doubt that the Sharif brothers now believe that they too are on the same boat as Zardari and Gilani, and indeed the ANP and MQM.

What is being ignored by the cynics is that, perhaps for the first time ever, nearly all democratic parties in parliament are on the same page as far as their understanding of Pakistan’s recent political history is concerned. This is owing to their understanding that each one of them will be a loser when certain counter-democratic moves are set afoot by exploiting the differences and grudges among them.

This is a refreshing phenomenon. It can be the main spoiler for counter-democratic forces bouncing between non-parliamentary parties and individuals, even patronising certain media men in their desperate move to send democracy packing — because the system breeds corruption.

Rational observers must remind themselves that there will be corruption, scandals, some good things and disasters during a lifetime of a democratic set-up. Action in this respect should be reformist not Bonapartist. Criticism should not bear the tone of a demagogue advocating government’s toppling, but that of a conscientious reformist.

The final decision must be left with voters. Let them decide when the time comes who or what was good or bad. The public’s right to effect change must not be handed over to a loud group of journalists, intelligence agencies, politicians with little following, mullahs and businessmen.

Imran Dating Avantika!

Aamir is one of my school time favorite, when he stunned everyone with his debut in Qayamat Say Qayamat Tak. Imran, his nephew became a star even before the release of 'Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na'. Well, he has already immense female fan following and usually get mobbed by his female admirers.

Imran is already into relationship with a girl who he met almost six years back. Avantika is the daughter of Vandana Malik, who heads the TV 18 Network operations in Mumbai. They both met at a mutual friend's house about five years and eight months ago to be precise, in Mumbai. Once they were introduced to each other at the party, to everyone's surprise, they got so involved in talking to each other that they forgot to talk to anyone else! They just didn't realize when time passed. "We know each other for almost six years now and they have been fantastic.
What I like about this relationship, unlike other Bollywood stars, Imran doesn’t keep his relationship private. Long way to go for couple .

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finally, Sexual Rights for Prisoners in Pakistan!!!

Finally, recent ruling allowed prisoners to have sex in Pakistani jails, along with privacy !!!! Sex is a taboo subject in Pakistan, if someone talks or writes about it; most of the people raise their eyebrows. Pakistan is a country with one of the highest childbirth ratio in the region. Sex is one of the popular leisure hobbies in the country; we keep producing babies yet deny talking about sex and sexual rights.

Finally, a sane Islamic court has ruled that prisoners in jails across the country must have greater conjugal rights and visits from spouses

Very logical conclusion based on the argument that, “lack of conjugal rights was behind rising levels of homosexual sex and drug addiction in jails”.

Another interesting aspect of the ruling, it asserts that there are no facilities in any jail across the country and privacy is the need of the hour and authorities were ordered to construct facilities so that families can meet with the necessary seclusion.

At last, as sane society we are moving away from ostrich syndrome, trying to address taboo subject in a rationale manner.

Hope sanity continues ……

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Who, Me!!!…Not Mugged Yet; Are You Sure You Live In Karachi!!!!!!



I hardly know any of my friends, who have not been mugged on the streets of Karachi. Every person has his or her terrifying story; the feeling of insecurity is the order of the day.

You go on shopping you get mugged, you stop on signal you get mugged, you visit someone you get mugged, you walk on street you get mugged, if your car broke, you get mugged…..there are so many situations I can go on and on. I was mugged yesterday on Main Shahrah e Faisal, lost my brand new Blackberry Curve along with few thousand bucks & It was my third such encounter in Karachi.
Feeling of insecurity leads to stress and it is one of the most common commodities produced in Pakistan. People, surroundings, society, politics, economy, media etc everything add their bit of contribution. The by product of stress is the social abnormality all around. Posttraumatic stress disorder (abbreviated PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to one or more traumatic events that threatened or caused great physical harm. It is a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme psychological trauma. Safety is one of the basic needs, no one denies, living life with feeling of insecurity creates extreme level of stress disorder. Many of us living in Karachi must be going through same, but compromised to live with it. Lately one of my friends house was robbed twice, she lost her life long work and over thousands of precious pictures stored on Laptop.

One of my friends husband was made hostage in his car and finally was mugged, leaving him in trauma. Other colleague also lost his blackberry on a bridge on main Shahrah e Faisal “its like Broad Way of Karachi’. Helplessness, fear, chaos, lack of governance is creating extreme abnormal behavior. Whole Karachi is engulfed with fear and insecurity, we are just living each day. Everyday on one side thoughts of leaving Pakistan occupies mind, on the other had career, family and friends stops. Whole nation is robbed, we are mugged directly on streets, indirectly by state, bureaucracy, military, police, politicians, cleric , you name it. At times I feel, an animal living in Namibian Jungle would feel more freedom than a common person living in Pakistan.

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Much is Too Much??? No Affection in Public!!!

Showing affection and love in Public is taboo, that’s what many people believe, in our society it’s considered criminal. If a couple on Clifton beach in Karachi, tries to smooch, get close, hold hands, sit next to each other and see in the eyes, they may be inviting the risk of public and police harassment. Police may intervene and end up asking for Nikahnama ‘Marriage Certificate’!!!
Such a sad society we live in , one can not show his or her affection, smallest bit of love, just holding hands makes people raise their eyebrows.

I fail to understand, how much is too much. Other day I had interesting discussion, few friends lament that they, at times feel like holding their loved one’s ‘wife or girl friend’ hand in public but everyone raises their eyebrows. My friends support public display of affection saying “Life is all about love, affection and small gesture makes a big difference”.

On the other hand, there are people who believe that seriously, what is cool about displaying affection in public? Is it not supposed to be something private and intimate? Why do some couples insist on sharing it with the entire world? One may agree that public display of affection starts with, a mother, holding her son and ending with two people making out. Most of the people still think about display in sexual way. Let me ask a question, what is wrong in holding hands for a while, a hug or a quick kiss and it depends how much is too much.

Very interesting discussion, I never knew, my married Pakistani friends miss so much displaying their affection to their wives or loved ones in public. They envy whenever they travel abroad.

I guess cultural norms and values are not infinite, it is time to re-look and get comfortable with nature.

We are humans, there should not be any harm in taking every chance to mean a little more to a person we love.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Of a Young Baloch Man


YAAR Jaan, a proud Baloch from Buleda village, near Turbat, has recently completed his BS in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology.

He did that in style standing first in the final year examinations. He got two gold medals; one for Best academic performance and the other for Best Overall Performance.

I had the privilege to interview Yaar Jan for a job. Here is what I learnt about him. Realizing the amount of effort that he had put in to achieve what he has achieved, my first question was, “What was the driving forced behind all this ?”

His answer was no less surprising than his academic record. He wanted to do something which will make his father and his village proud and he realized that the only way to achieve his objective was to get education. Key to education was English language and at a very young age he decided that must learn English.

He went to a school in Turbat and remained there till Class VIII. He had to get out of Turbat to study further. He came to Karachi and joined a school in Lyari, his resources would not permit anything else.

He passed his metric examinations in flying colors which enabled him to get admission in DJ Science College.

He was selected for admission in LUMS, However, he knew that business education was not his cup of tea; he must study science and technology. He applied for admission in GIK and got selected there too. Based on his record he got merit based tuition waiver scholarship from government of Balochistan.

He has recently completed a 10 week internship in Corrosion and Energy Storage Materials Laboratory in South Korea. Yaar Jan has not restricted himself to books and studies; he takes part in other activities as well.

He got selected for President’s Institute of Engineering and Technology, GIK chapter, and was also selected as the general secretary of the Society for the Promotion of Higher Education in Pakistan.

He organized electrical engineering conference and educational expositions at GIK. He was the only undergraduate to present a technical paper at the sixth International Conference on Applied Science and Technology held at Bhurban and participated in a six day Young Leaders Conference held in Lahore.

Yaar Jaan has not only made his fathers and village proud, he has made all of us proud. He is the future of Buleda, the future of Balochistan and the future of Pakistan.

Balochistan, please send more Yaar Jaans, we need them.

‘Zara nam ho to yeh mitti bahut zarkhez hai saaqui’

It was published in Daily Dawn Opinion section on 23rd August 09, written by Mr S Nayyar Iqbal Raza from Karachi.

Obama’s Ramadan Message; Positive & Promising


As a Muslim, when I saw Obama’s Ramadan Kareem message it reminded me of his powerful Cairo speech. Reaching out to Muslims, burying past, promising a better tomorrow and beginning with the process of better understanding through listening and reaching out.

Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic calendar, a time to practice patience and modesty, pray extra and refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn until sunset.
When he says “On behalf of the American people – including Muslim communities in all 50 states – I want to extend best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem”, we as Muslims feel that these words have deep meaning; it shows that US is moving forward and genuinely trying to understand and bridge the gaps between Muslims & US or West.

He also reminds the importance of the month, our responsibilities as human being to one another, he says “Ramadan is the month in which Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with a simple word – iqra. It is therefore a time when Muslims reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another and to God”.

It is generally believed that religion ‘Islam’ breeds hatred and terrorism, however, Obama shares that “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings. On political front, Iraq withdrawal is already welcomed by Muslim world, however US engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan is much needed to wipe out common enemy. Obama’s promise towards the isolation of violent extremists through empowering people is very positive and promising for regional peace, leading to global harmony.

Occasional ceremonial communiqué with Muslim World, have deep impact, it defeats the cynics and more concrete steps towards better understanding is much needed at faster pace. This would help us in getting rid of common enemy, it is not only a plague for Muslim world but for human civilization at large.

I hope we may see more concrete steps towards learning from each other, respecting to one another and seeking common grounds.

I am sure; America can be a partner with 1.5 bill Muslims around the world, as per the Muslim World’s aspiration.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shah Rukh Khan Detained in US; Have Heart Homeland Security !!!

Shah Rukh Khan’s detention at US airport sparked anger among the followers of mega Indian super star. Shah Rukh felt angry and humiliated after he was detained and questioned for couple of hours at Newark Airport in US.

People believe that a mega star had to go through such a hassle because his name is Khan and he is a Muslim. Such thoughts signal the racial and religious discrimination against Muslims.

Obama’s recent speech to Muslims world, calling for new beginning, connecting with positive vigor to fight distrust among Muslims vis a vis US.

Present leadership honestly wants to do away with past policies of Bush Admn, mainly discriminatory in nature towards Muslims.

Lately I came across few movies, New York and other one is Khuda Kay Liye, both critically highlight the discrimination of US security agencies towards Muslims.


One may urge Homeland Security to have heart and support Obama’s vision through removing biases towards Muslims, esp when it comes to airport security.

I found ordinary Americans, very very friendly, 9/11 nightmare is still fresh in their memories but there is hardly any discrimination. Muslims along with other ethnic groups are at leading positions, even in the government.

I have deep love for the country and people; I met amazing American home hospitality dinners, never felt as if I am a Muslim, may face discrimination, but always received with open arms, hugs and kisses.

Shah Rukh’s detention at Newark, reminds me of my flight from Newark to North Carolina, airport security is tight ‘it should be’, it was the only airport I had to go through red zone, but intense security with a smile did not make me feel bad.

I lament Homeland Securitys' attitude towards an Indian mega start due to his name and religion is extremely appalling.

It is time to bury the past and move on with new beginning, it requires an open heart, suspicions need to be buried, and one should understand that every Muslim is not a terrorist.

Hope Obama’s vision translates into action; hope Homeland security understands what it means when Obama was calling Muslims in Egypt.

One of the leading global news agency headquartered in UK (Reuters) also posted my current blog link on the great debate article on its web........ ( go to http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-in/2009/08/16/did-indians-overreact-to-shah-rukh-khan-being-questioned/ The incident sparked uproar among Khan’s fans in India, who vented their anger over the Internet and in protest marches) click on hyperlink over the internet.... text

PS:

1) Same blog has been published on US State Deptt International Social Network so that healty discussion could take place "http://connect.state.gov/profiles/blogs/shah-rukh-khan-detained-in-us"

2) Also look at Times of India debate Is the US unduly harsh to those with Muslim names? "http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/debates/Is-the-US-unduly-harsh-to-those-with-Muslim-names/debateshow/4896843.cms"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pakistan; Story of a Confused Person!!!!

Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a story of an old man, after living over 60 years still trying to find out the real identity. Old enough to stand, suffering from various diseases, yet, not sure either he is a Muslim, an Arab Descendent, an Indus Men, a Sindhi, Punjabi, Pathan or Baloch!!!! At times he needs religion “Objective Resolution of early 1950s” to justify his existence to attach himself with Muslim Ummah.

Barrister Aitazaz Ahsan tries to address the issues of Pakistani identity in his book “The Indus Saga and The Making of Pakistan”. He raises following questions;

“Is the Pakistani an Arab? Or an Indian? Or something of both? Or neither? Are his origins entirely central Asian? What influence has he imbibed from Persia? How is he different from the Europeans who ruled him for almost one hundred years? Does he have a distinct personality or culture of his own? If so, for how long has he had this distinctiveness? Was it first created by the Partition of the sub-continent in August 1947, or did it pre-exist the Partition of 1947?'

Text books justify the birth of the old man “Pakistan” on the basis of Two Nations Theory, Muslim and Hindus are two different nations with different outlook. However, two nations theory has already been buried when genocide took place in East Pakistan. Innocent Muslim Bengalis were massacred !!!!!!

Whenever I discuss with my corporate 'zombies' friends, neither they understand the background , the essence of independence nor they understand the dynamics of socio-political problems. Neither they read, know the historical facts nor they try to understand , see the big picture. Level of intellect is simply restricted to low quality sensational political talk shows. I doubt anyone reads the dawn editorials !!!!

After over 60 years, people are convinced that we are still facing external threats i.e., India or at large Israel and always rely on Messiah i.e., Pakistan Army to ensure security and we end up choosing guns instead of butter (i.e., spending more on defense than development)

Today’s problems are deeply internal than external, if Pakistan is mired with problems, most of them have been created by us, some by others but we have to solve them.
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, the author of Military Inc, believes that we have to solve our problems before they become chronic. We have potential, but so do Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda !!!!

I share the same argument with my friends that stop believing that Pakistan is the victim of conspiracy theory rather rely on reasoning and analyzing the facts. We as nation always end up accusing everybody else for our own misfortunes.

Today is the Independence Day of Pakistan but a black day is being observed in Balochistan. Dr Siddiqa believes that “there was an insurgency in Balochistan that had resulted from 62 years of nonchalant behavior of the federation towards that province. The problem with us is that we have kingmakers and bureaucrats who do not allow a healthy relationship between the federation and the provinces”

Internal problems are deep enough to shake the foundation of old and confused person, blaming others for ailment is not a remedy.
It is the day to think about underlying internal problems and reflect upon the negligence of over 60 years.

Time is too short to wait for the old person to find cure for ailment about to turn into chronic disease leading to death.

14th August is the day to reflect rather than mindless celebrations.

Please, No Scarf & No Swimming in 'Burkini'

Hey, you all have heard about Burkha, you might be wondering what is Burkini, well it is a covered swimming costume designed to spare the blushes of Muslim women worldwide.
Today I came across interesting yet controversial news; it says “A French mother was banned from wearing the three-piece outfit at her local swimming pool”.

First thought came in mind was, Ugh, liberal West is discriminating against Muslim women, later I read that it was banned not due to discrimination but it is simply a hygiene problem. I tend to buy this argument, because even people wearing shorts in the pools are also not allowed.
I still remember my interactions in Hot Jacuzzi, most of the members were not allowed to wear long shorts. I recall, one of my Italian friend raised his eyebrows, when a guy with long shorts sat in Jacuzzi, his response was “Ugh, why everyone washes their dirty laundry in this Jacuzzi”

Well, another issue that was in the media for long, was scarf ban, people thought its discrimination against Muslims. Later I read that French society has bitter past when it comes to religion. They not only banned Scarf but any religious symbol be it Star of David or Christian Cross or Sikh Turban, society in general feels display of religious symbol is against the essence of socio-cultural norm influenced by bitter past.



The intriguing part is that these Muslims are allowed to take their plea to the court and fight it out with convincing argument.

I am not blind follower of western social norms but if I compare western society with Muslims, I find Women are not as repressed in West as in Muslim societies. Just take the case of Pakistan, status of women is ‘in general’ merely a child producing machine.

On the other hand if I look at Saudi Arabia, no other religion is allowed to perform religion in public!!!! yet we criticize west for not ensuring religious freedom.

Don’t raise your eyebrows, let me share, US South, Biblical Belt is very conservative, Churches are all around but grand mosque is also allowed, Muslims are free to follow their religion ‘ agree after 9/11 things have changed’ but in general I found there is Justice and Freedom in west as compared to Muslims World.

Give it a thought !!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Balochistan & Pakistan; Relationship Gone Sour !!!

Today i came across an interesting news published in New York Times on 12th August 1947, just two days before the independence of Pakistan.

It was intriguing to note that Balochistan along with Nepal had option to remain independent and both opted for it. However, Balochistan was merged “alleged that it was forceful invasion” on 27th March 1948 with Pakistan.

Here is the news clip;

On 12 August 1947 The New York Times published Pakistan's announcement which read: "Karachi, Aug, 11, 1947 [AP] - Among the congratulatory messages read to the Pakistan assembly today was one from United States Secretary of State George C. Marshall. An announcement from New Dehli said that Kalat, Moslem State in Balochistan, had reached an agreement with Pakistan for a free flow of communication and commerce, and would negotiate for decisions on defense, external affairs and communications. Under the agreement Pakistan recognizes Kalat as an independent, sovereign state with a status different from that of Indian states". [The New York Times, Published: August 12, 1947, Copyright © The New York Times

Baloch accuse Pakistan for invasion, as agreed that they would respect the independence of Balochistan.

Well, it is clear the Balochistan was granted a special status as compared to other states. One may argue, but after the creation of Pakistan, a lot of negligence took place on the part of central government pertaining to the equitable distribution of national income. Balochistan remained the most backward, this lead to political animosity and discomfort towards centere, leading to the militant reaction.

It is the high time that Pakistani state, immediately address the concerns of Balochistan, initiate dialogue and deliver economically on urgent basis. If we do not keep our house in order, others will get an opportunity to exploit.

Confidence building measures is the need of the hour, hope sanity prevails, before it is too late.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Men are NOT Monogamous by Nature!!!!


Last week I was amazed to be part of a discussion with my Pakistani friends about women and relationship. I was surprisingly walked away after listening to various thoughts and many convinced that a woman is merely a sex toy!!!! I was taken aback and started thinking about all that.

I have come to conclusion that men are sexually vulnerable. I am not saying as if I do not get enticed but I approach relationship beyond sex.

The discussions started, a married guy was stuck with his kid at a function and he was roaming around. The guy indicated to me that after having kids, one has to go through the hassle of looking after kids whereas mother opts for fun. Anyways, my reply was simple, if I don’t like looking after kids then I may not produce them.

After the discussion, many friends believed that if one doesn’t intend to produce kids then relationship with women is merely about sex. To me, a relationship is based on multi-dimension, which, to me is sharing commonalities and cherishing life be it a small moment to an intimate one. Lately, I shared an interesting fact with one of my female friend, it was bit surprising though, I noticed around me, 90% ‘not exaggerating’ of my married friends are not into monogamous relationship, most of them are informally into polygamy but rarely one would find any married women into polyandry. Ironically most of the guys boast about loudly. Whenever I talk about relationship, words like respect and intimacy comes in my mind, most of my friends simply laugh out loud and enforce a one night relationship and believe that its about physical relationship, rest is crap !!! I came across an interesting article it says “Men are NOT monogamous by nature, society forced them to be......for millions of years, men enjoyed sex with multiple partners, without any social pressure. Monogamy is a new phenomenon !!!!!”

Study says,“You see, in any animal species where there are few offspring born, and the infant mortality rate is high (as it is with gerbils, whales, dogs, giraffes and humans), the males are "wired" to seek multiple females for mating. This is how they help to insure that their genes get passed on to the next generation.

Interestingly, females are programmed to "pair bond" - that is, to try to create and sustain a monogamous relationship! By having a second adult around to protect, gather food, and raise their young, this is how females help to insure that THEIR genes get passed along as well!

In actuality pair bonding is a relatively new thing to humans - we've only been doing it for 5,000 years! Since we've been on this planet, (6 million years), we've been doing it "nature's way" for 99.92% of the time we've been here!

So, what does this have to do with porn or sex? You see, men (males) are compelled to try to mate with as many women (females) as possible. However, they want to try to meet the expectations of society by staying in committed, monogamous relationships too.

There are people believe that , don't try to force men to be monogamous - you're just going against nature, and his natural programming, and you know what happens when you try to fight nature - nature wins! Instead, simply be the woman for whom he chooses to be monogamous!”. Interesting read, give it a thought.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Independence Day, Are We Really Independent????

Whenever its 14th of August, I see euphoric Independence Day celebrations I end up questioning myself, are we really independent??

Today, at work I received an Independence Day flag ‘badge’ when I looked at the flag; I again questioned the term independence. Few of my friends believe that US celebrates 4th July, why shouldn’t we????

Since childhood, I had been reading that with the creation of Pakistan, Muslims of India ‘present day Pakistan’ got rid of Colonial British oppression along with the dominance of Hindu culture, religion and society at large. Text book historians believed that Muslims were treated as third class citizens, it was also believed that independence would ensure that peoples rights are protected, freedom would mean respect and people would be the master of their own density.

When I grew up, and started reading history beyond academic text book, Initially I was realized that Pakistan was created on the basis of two nations theory but I witnessed “a country that had been ruled either by military dictators or authoritarian civilians who conflated personal with collective interest, ignoring the rights of common men in colonial fashion. Nothing changed for poor”.

I lament, so called educated lot “including most of my friends” are oblivious to historical facts, they are not aware that “any system based on oppression, coercion and authoritarianism [is] the first problem in the way of writing history”. Pakistan’s history has been dictated by politics and the personal ideologies of autocratic rulers.

Our ‘official’ history is riddled with prejudice, inconsistencies and huge knowledge gaps, so much so that there was a time when school textbooks made no mention of the break-up of Pakistan.

Even today they offer no detailed account of the causes that led to the creation of Bangladesh — the cultural, political and economic marginalization of the Bengali people or the atrocities committed in the eastern wing by the Pakistan Army.

Independent account reveals that Pakistan Army committed atrocities, including the systematic killing of innocent political workers, intellectuals and rape of thousands of innocent women. Famous writer and Oxford Graduate Tariq Ali, writes in his book, Pakistan Army considered Bengalis, partially Hindu, they wanted to implant pure Muslim sperms in Bengali women so that they could become true Muslims.

If we got independence on the basis of a separate Muslim homeland, then why did we commit atrocities in East Pakistan, why did we rape and kill them? Weren’t they Muslims?

I still remember, few years before the creation of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam painstakingly explained the basis of the demand of Pakistan to Gandhi and he wrote "We maintain" "that Muslims and Hindus are two major nations by any definition or test of a nation. We are a nation of a 100 million. We have our distinctive outlook on life and of life”.

I always end up questioning, what was that distinctive outlook, did it reflect in the break up of East Pakistan.

Let us read the International media report, the way we buried the concept of Independence;

  • Time reported a high U.S. official as saying "East Pakistan “It” is the most incredible, calculated thing since the days of the Nazis in Poland.

  • Bangladeshi authorities claim that 3 million people were killed.

  • The international media and reference books in English have also published figures which vary greatly from 200,000 to 3,000,000 for Bangladesh as a whole.

  • A large section of the intellectual community of Bangladesh was murdered, mostly by the Al-Shams and Al-Badr forces.

  • There are many mass graves in Bangladesh, and more are continually being discovered.

  • Numerous women were tortured, raped and killed during the war. The exact numbers are not known and are a subject of debate. Bangladeshi sources cite a figure of 200,000 women raped, giving birth to thousands of war-babies.

Lets move on to current situation, minorities in Pakistan are falsely brutalized with Blasphemy sword, we have already witnessed mindless killing in past such as in Khanewal city and in two villages around 1,500 houses and shops were torched, 12 Churches, one Hospital and One Dispensary was completely destroyed and 12 women were raped. Recent Gojrah killing is yet another evidence of killing of innocent minorities. Are they independent in Islamic Republic of Pakistan?

Let me remind you folk, I always think about Quaid –e- Azam’s 11th August 1947 speech, just think about it in the context of present day situation. I remember reading, he said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State... We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State... I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in due course Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”

Just think, are we FREE?????

I guess people are free in following sense, If i rephrase Quaid’s speech it would read following;

“You are free - you are free to loot and plunder, to take that which is not yours, and to build apartment complexes on land meant for parks. You are free to construct shopping malls on the sea-shore. The people of Pakistan don’t need parks and beaches. You are free to take commissions and kickbacks; you are free to siphon away your ill-gotten wealth into foreign bank accounts. You may have mansions and palaces anywhere in the world: that has nothing to do with the business of the state… in due course of time, you will be able to buy any government in power and return to the country as heroes. Remember, the people of Pakistan are morons and deserve to have leaders like you. So go ahead and plunder the country, you will never be punished, no matter how much you have looted Pakistan”.

Just think, are we FREE?????

People are unaware that East Pakistan like situation is being repeated in Balochistan, blame game was similarly used in East Pakistan case, as it is being used in the case of Balochistan.Resource rich province is the poorest, when people ask for due share, sardars are blamed, however, resources are distributed on the basis of population and Balochistan gets less than 10% of total national wealth. When they politically sit and talk with Mushahid Hussain or Waseem Sajjad Committee ‘formed by parliament’ to fight for legal and constitutional rights, a military dictator kills tribal elder and threatens Baloch that they would not know what has hit them. Is it freedom??? What is the difference between Pakistani State attitude towards citizen as compared to a colonial state?????

As per Daily Dawn, in Balochistan, thousands of innocent political workers disappeared, over 80,000 men, women and children internally displaced and women like Zarina Marri 'allegedly' constantly raped and brutalized.

Just think, are we FREE?????

I remember, one of my "the best" female friend, driving on Zamzama Street Karachi, an educated family rash driving in their SUV, when my friend protested they ended up threatening or insulting with abusive words. I am sure rich always walk away, she was right, when she mentioned that we are second class citizens.

Just one question, if a feudal, influential person insult and slap you in front of your family while you are on the road, do you think you are free to bring the influential person to justice??? I am sure not…..

Just think, are we FREE????

I would love Pakistan to be independent as per the wishes or vision of Quaid…..but somehow still I am not convinced about the Independence Day…….and celebration.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Male Prostitution; An Increasing Phenomenon in Pakistan!!

Prostitution in any form is looked down upon in civilized societies, largely termed illegal in most of the countries across the globe.

In the past we heard about the women prostitutes but male prostitution is becoming a grim reality. I came across a documentary on BBC regarding the prostitution in Pakistan. I was shocked to hear the recent phenomenon of Male or Gay prostitution, documentary claims that male prostitution is not a recent phenomenon but increasing day by day. Report suggests that British Explorer Richard Burton, who visited long before, documented a male brothel in Karachi. It is believed that many large cities have become virtual gay red light areas. Report says that clientele is from every class, age group and profession.



Documentary shows, homosexual men belonging to upper or middle class pick guys from restaurant, video game shop, cinema, parks, railway stations etc.
It was intriguing to note that black tinted glasses cars are mainly used; most of them have sex with guys in the back seat. Documentary shows, many guys get into this profession to save enough money to go abroad.

Male prostitutes are in the range of 15 to 25 years of ages; largely afghan refugee kids are involved due to economic conditions. Most of the guys have little education and earn around Rs 7,000 per month.
On the other hand male prostitution in elite is in vogue, mainly influenced by western society and movies. Report shows private farm house Orgy parties are held in the suburban towns of large cities.

Sex with consent was allowed until 1979 but afterward it was termed illegal and criminal act.

Social sickness is breeding many problems; male prostitution is one of its kinds, adding to social misery, disturbing social order.

Incest and AIDS spread are few underground exploding issues people are unaware. Every passing day our society is turning ugly, time will tell, what is next out there for us???

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fellow Pakistanis; I Want to Laugh Out Loud & Run Towards Jungle!!!!

This is the story of January 1999, when police arrests Raj Masih for alleged sale of illegal alcoholic beverages, a resident Shanti Nagar village of Khanewal District in South Punjab, Pakistan.

Police searches Raj’s house but could not find any alcoholic bottle, however during search operation, Bible was thrown on the ground, and it was sheer disrespect. Village Christian community came on the streets in protest, local administration dismissed few Policemen. Later, Police threatened them with dire consequences if Christians decline to withdraw case.

After three weeks on 5th February, a mosque in Shanti Nagar announces that Christians desecrate the Holy Quran, and few pages were found near the mosque. News spreads like fire in the jungle; around 20,000 people from 14 neighboring villages gathered and marched towards two villages Shanti Nagar & Tobba. In Khanewal city and in two villages around 1,500 houses and shops were torched, 12 Churches, one Hospital and One Dispensary was completely destroyed and 12 women were raped. As per Friday Times Magazine, police asked local Christians to leave their houses for safety, later allowed attackers to openly destroy everything. Human Right Commission termed the incident, one of the worst in the history of Pakistan.

Let’s move on.

This is the story of November 2005, about Faisalabad’s suburban village of Sangla Ball, where 90% of population is Muslim and 10% Christian. Yusaf Masih, wins hefty amount playing at an underground gambling center, losers were two Muslims. Next day one of losing gambler runs towards the mosque carrying an old Holy Quran, alleging that Yusaf Masih desecrated it and burnt few pages. News spreads like fire, around 1,500 people gathered, they torched 12 Houses, 5 Churches, 3 Schools, and 1 Dispensary was completely destroyed in protest.

Three months later, Anti Terrorist Court in Lahore set Yusaf Masih free, concluding that not enough evidence was produced to prove Yusaf guilty. Around 80 people, arrested for destroying the houses, were also freed, not enough evidences were produced.

Christians comprise of 1.5% of total Pakistan population. Since the inception of Blasphemy law, around 1,000 people have been convicted, out of which 90% were Christians. People believe that behind such allegations, real story relates to women, personal & political grudges, land feud & religious hatred. Blasphemy law is so sensitive, it simply requires an allegation. Before the legal proceedings, Pakistani Muslims decide the fate of alleged person. Generally, in such incidents last person to arrive on the scene would be Police.

In very few cases the crime is proved, however no one has ever been convicted for falsely alleging someone due to personal reasons. In many cases, alleged were freed but forced to leave the village or country. It is also well known that various alleged were also killed in the police confinement in the jail.

One element has added to whole drama, in the past, only alleged person was attacked but now whole community is chased, attacked and brutalized. Gojrah incident is a prime example of such communal attack.

In this context;

1) Whenever, media condemns the Jewish attack on Muslim population in Palestine.
2) Whenever local intellectuals call Bosnian Genocide in the hands of Serbs, a barbaric Christian act against Muslim.
3) Whenever our foreign office reminds us the killing of 2,000 Muslims in Gujarat in the hands of Hindu fanatics.
4) Whenever, cleric prays to God for helping helpless Muslims.

I feel like tearing my shirt off, laughing out loud and running towards jungle.

This blog published in Urdu on BBC website, written by Wusatullah Khan, it is so intriguing, that I ended up translating it in English.

Hey Girl, Don’t Wear Jeans or Face 40 Lashes on Your Butt!!!

It is simply absurd to convict a woman for wearing trousers in public, calling it un-Islamic or indecent.

Whenever I come across such news, one question comes in my mind, why the hell various laws in Muslim societies are used only to harass women i.e., Hudood Law etc.

In Sudan, thousands of Muslim women are punished with 40 lashes for wearing trousers!!

Reuters says “A Sudanese woman facing 40 lashes for wearing trousers in public made her first appearance in a court .There were chaotic scenes as Lubna Hussein, a former journalist who works for the United Nations, attended the hearing wearing the same green slacks that got her arrested for immodest dress.Indecency cases are not uncommon in Sudan, where there is a large cultural gap between the mostly Muslim and Arab-oriented north and the mainly black and Christian south.But Hussein has attracted attention by publicizing her case, inviting journalists to hearings and using it to campaign against dress codes sporadically imposed in the capital.Thousands of women are punished with lashes in Sudan but they stay silent. A number of women arrested and had received lashes.

I fail to understand why Muslim Cleric only Police women, they seem to be women phobic. Ironically they think women is a sex toy, they tarnish the sanctity of womanhood.

It pisses me off when they say guys follow religion; reward would be 70 beautiful women, unending ejaculation, and a stream of unending sexual orgasm.

Who says, Dark Age is over???? World is still looking for a renaissance!!

Burnt Alive; Simply Barbaric!!! Aaah Image of Pakistan!!!


Six Christians burnt alive in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Such news depicts a picture, only few words come in my mind, mind-boggling and simply barbaric.

Lately, I had been discussing with my Pakistani friends about the image of Pakistan in the minds of my foreign friends. I was trying to portray or share the true picture of progressive society of Pakistan, which is unfortunately not reported in foreign media.

Such sad incidents make me and my friends helpless in carving an image which is progressive “still largely is”.

Well, as per media reports “Six Christians have been killed in religious unrest in Pakistan's central Punjab, after days of tension sparked by the rumored desecration of a Koran”. The four women, a man and a child died as Muslim militants set fire to Christian houses in the town of Gojra, officials said.

TV footage showed burning houses and streets strewn with debris as people fired at each other from rooftops. Officials said the rumors which led to the unrest were false.

Desecration of any religious script is not acceptable but burning people alive on the basis of false rumor is simply mind-boggling and barbaric!!!!!

Neither Islam nor progressive Pakistani society justifies such acts.