Sunday, March 28, 2010

Minority Report!!

Muslims are minorities in US & EU, when it comes to minorities in our own countries we are mostly silent; be it blasphemy law or equal treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan.

Yesterday, I was part of an interesting interactive session with Safiya; it was broadly on Muslims in West & minority rights.

Safiya has most recently served as the South Asia policy analyst at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) where she monitored violations of religious freedom in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and made policy recommendations to the Obama administration, the Secretary of State, and to the Congress with respect to matters involving the treatment of religious minorities.

Interesting discussion initiated with the word minority, when it comes to us being minority in US, we talk a lot about our rights, at the same time Christians & other religio-ethnic minority groups are brutalized and violently suppressed with the sword of vague blasphemy law in Pakistan with tough punishments .

Everyone understands the way minority groups are mistreated but interesting outcome of the discussion was, 'a learning from US experience' , the way Muslim minority groups are using various mediums to voice their concerns to alleviate post 9/11 fury. In 60s non white immigrants were subject to discrimination in US and after 40 years a black minority immigrants son is a president.
As civil society in Pakistan, it is our responsibility to mobilize, create awareness at grass root level for minority groups rights; either through writings or using various mediums “media” to push political parties to repeal vague blasphemy law.

At times I feel that as educated class, we do not question the authority and at times critical loyalty is looked down upon in Pakistan & people question one’s level of patriotism. Critical loyalty is the need of the hour to change social anomalies in Pakistan.

Just like any other forum or any talk relates to extreme religious behavior in Pakistan often leads to blame game and we end up doing nothing. During the discussion, participants believed that its US's role during cold war resulted in Talibanization “extremism” in Pakistan; others believed that Pakistan army was equally responsible.

Question comes, how to deal with the monster, on the one hand religion is so sacred & religious parties are supported by establishment; how could one dare to challenge blasphemy law!!! Discussion outcome was simple, one may use religious logic to counter extremists using religion but it may be a rough ride.

In the wake of all, at least educated middle class or so called civil society must gather around center left parties or so called pro democracy or anti establishment elements, to influence pro minority legislation or at least voice their concerns through whatever available medium.

We can make a difference.
Must check out the following link about the state of minority groups in Pakistan;

Happy Earth Day

Be gentle with EARTH.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Case of Exploding Breasts in Pakistan!!!

The Telegraph published an astonishing report which says “Breast implants packed with explosives could be used to blow up an airliner”

Report alleges that “Radical plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in the “lawless areas” of Pakistan, security sources are said to have warned”.

Report also mentions, Joseph Farah, a terrorism export, as per him “Women suicide bombers recruited by al Qaeda are known to have had the explosives inserted in their breasts under techniques similar to breast-enhancing surgery.”

Report further mentions that “Plastic surgeons may also have inserted the chemical into the buttocks of would-be suicide bombers”. It is believed that scanning machine at airports may not be able to detect breast explosive.

This will make travel cumbersome for female travelers from Pakistan, apart from naked scanning they may go through breast & buttock scrutiny!!!!!

Here is Telegraph link for further reading;

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

23rd March; Let’s Celebrate, shall we??

23rd March (Pakistan Day) always reminds me of something, to me, it is a day of false promises (Day of Betrayal), and those were made in 1940s and thrown in dustbin.

Today’s Dawn article written by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy raises interesting questions; he writes “PAKISTAN is not a nation although it has been a state since 1947. Missing is a strong common identity, mental makeup, shared sense of history and common goals. The failure to effectively integrate flows from inequalities of wealth and opportunity, absence of effective democracy and a dysfunctional legal system”.

He simply does not criticize but offers interesting solution. To him for Pakistan to succeed “it must want to become a normal nation held together by mutual interests rather than abstract ideologies. This is the only way to deal with the multiple civil wars that have started around us”.

Lastly he raises an interesting question, it makes me wonder whenever I see politically and socially illiterate people labeled as educated, I fail to find out the reasons. I never knew that such apolitical and naive educated class suits State and to sustain abstract Pakistani ideology. Pervez explains well, to him “Schools teach children to mindlessly obey authority, to look to the past for solutions to today’s problems, and to be intolerant of the religion, culture and language of others. Instead, we need to teach them to be enquiring, open-minded, creative, logical, socially responsible and appreciative of diversity”.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Young, Urban, Middle-class Pakistani’s Manifesto

Lately i had been reading, witnessing and encountering anti democractic, anti american, pro army and pro taliban attitude of Pakstani middle class.
Nadeem Paracha in his recent blog, explains it well for me and many others.
This blog was co-authored by Nadeem F. Paracha and Abbas Baloch;
The young, urban, middle-class Pakistani’s manifesto:
1. Asif Ali Zardari is the devil incarnate.
2. The Pakistan Army is the saviour.
3. The Taliban are resisting American imperialism.
4. We hate American foreign policy unless it suits us. We are against American imperialism if it means we have to ditch the Taliban as that would be against the aspirations of our founding father, Mohammed Bin Qasim. We will no longer shop at Marks and Spencer because they are somehow connected to Israel. However, that does not mean we will switch off our computers and cell phones whose chip technology has been made possible due to major contributions from Israeli scientists.
5. We don’t want to sell our honour for American money unless it is for our private hospitals, textile exports, NGOs, or for completing degrees at American universities.
6. It’s not just Zardari who is the culprit. It’s also Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Fatima Bhutto is fine, though; she is dating George Clooney.
7. It was all milk and honey till Bhutto came along. Damn him for nationalising my father’s 15 mills, seven textile units, and 11 banks! I still remember the good old days when Nani ji, Dada ji and their friends brought hundreds of textile licenses from Gohar Ayub for US $ 200,000 a pop. There was no corruption and no labour unions until this Sindhi feudal and closet Hindu agent named Z.A. Bhutto came along and enforced his Zionist agenda and made all our urban serfs so uppity.
8. We are against feudalism unless the feudals in question do not support the PPP and allow us to rape the ecology of Sindh and the Punjab on our weekend hunting trips. Some crates of mangoes from their farms also help.
9. Some of us feel we know what’s best for the PPP, i.e. to banish Zardari and his kids and ditch the legacies of ZAB and BB. We have never voted for or supported the PPP (actually we never vote all!) but we still feel that we are in a better position to understand the party’s dynamics.
Also, as educated, refined and objective leaders and captains of industry, we are against dynastic politics. However, we are fine with Fatima Bhutto, Hamza Sharif, Solaiman/Essa Khan, Monis Chaudhary as well as the privileged alumni of Karachi Grammar School, Aitchison and Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, ruling us. Just as long as they are not descended from the Zionist agent Benazir and her corrupt husband, Zardari.
10. Democracy is a deeply flawed system that has destroyed the world. Totalitarian monarchies with entrenched security and bureaucracies are much better and in line with our Arab origins. Please do not compare us to India. We have nothing in common with them except our DNA, culture, cuisine, language, music, and geography.
11. Our ideal form of government is the modern day Caliphate, or, as we like to call it, the rule of technocrats. In this form of government, our posh uncles will pass stern orders in their clipped Oxbridge accents and Italian suits that will be supported by a medieval council of jurists whom we like to call the independent judiciary.
12. Lately, we have been reading some Chomsky, Klein and Zinn (all five articles) and appreciate how these believing Muslims provide us with the intellectual ammo on exposing how the perfidious Jews conspire to rule the world.

13. We are essentially a good people who are suffering because the world wants to take over our nukes and is conspiring to destroy our country. They are using the Taliban, who themselves are essentially good people who are bravely fighting American imperialism.The Taliban just suffer from bad press, and we know who controls the press abroad. Here, the press is controlled by democratically elected anchors and media analysts who are fighting for justice and against corruption.
14. The Taliban who are killed in the drone attacks are simply pious Muslims who are doing charity work, such as digging canals in arid, mountainous zones – it’s called the Mars project.
Also, the burning of Christian villages by Taliban affiliated and state-sponsored sectarian militias is a figment of the imagination of the liberal fascists. They are doing their best to curb crusaders of truth and justice such as Geo TV. The real problem is Blackwater/Xe, fools.
15. The Taliban are an expression of Pushtoon nationalism as they have done their best to cleanse the United Emirates of Peshawar and FARTA from pagan Pukhtoon influence. The Taliban are a legitimate resistance movement against the occupation of the United Emirates of Peshawar and FARTA by ANP, Shia parachinaris, Sikhs and, of course, female students. The only genuine Pathans are Imran Khan, Hamid Gul, and Zaid Hamid.
16. Sipah Sahaba, Jaish, Lashkar Taiba, Lashkar Jhangvi, Jamaat Islami … who the are they? Figments of the imagination of liberal fascists. We should be more concerned about the Ahmed Rashids, Kamran Shafis, Amir Mirs, Arif Jamals, Najam Sethis, Tarek Fatahs, Irfan Hussains, Pervaiz Hoodbhoys, Fasi Zakas, Ayesha Siddiquas, and Nadeem Parachas.… They are CIA agents.
17. India is stealing our water and is destroying the country via its Sindhi/Balochi/Pushtoon/Gilgiti/Hazara/Hingora/Makrani/Seraiki proxies. Damn this fifth column riff-raff. We brought them the glorious Islamic civilization from the latest Nasim Hejazi novel and look at how uppity they have gotten since. We gave them commerce (Gujrati), language (Urdu), and agriculture (Punjabi) and they still want to maintain their identities and celebrate their vernacular religious practices which our pure Arab background forbids. Feed them to the Taliban.
18. We, the members of civil society, are essentially a liberal lot who are imbued with socialist values. Our ability to engage in massive socialising (through Facebook) makes us socialist in the true sense of the word. Lately, we have also dabbled in Marxism at cafes where we blow off half a month’s average national salary on lattes and cappuccinos whilst we construct our neo- Marxism around the tacit acceptance of the Taliban’s superior Arab cultural identity. We salute Abul Ala Marx, Lenin Bin Laden, and Mulla Mao!

19. These are difficult times for civil society. While the tyrant Zardari is destroying the country with a ‘progressive agenda’ (another Zionist conspiracy) that involves legislation about women’s rights and the enfranchisement and autonomy of minority provinces, our brave and independent judiciary is fighting a Herculean battle to free the champions of our true Arab identity like Hafiz Saeed, Maulana Aziz, and Masood Azhar. These tireless crusaders are fighting our battle against Hindu hegemony in Pakistan. We need to applaud the efforts of the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court in exposing the Hindus.
20. As Zardari loots and pillages Pakistan via the nefarious use of his handle bar moustache and cheery demeanour, we have to appreciate how our Taliban investment is saving our economy by killing thousands of our citizens and costing billions of dollars in damages and lost investment and trade opportunities. We are a financially and arithmetically gifted segment of society that can expand US $66 million to $1,500 million if it means that we can lynch Zardari (and free Aafia).
21. While our existential adversary India is investing billions of dollars in Afghanistan’s infrastructure and municipal training, we are using our billions to create the ultimate strategic depth in Afghanistan: macho Islamist brutes who will eventually recreate the Islamic State that made Afghanistan the model of peace and prosperity from 1996 till 2001.In conclusion we would like to part with a speech from one of our greatest representatives, Zen Farman Wamid, which he made at the historic Dillee Kebab House. The topic of this grand speech was, “Today Dillee
Kebab House, tomorrow Delhi Fort”:

“Assalamualaikum, my dear and superior Muslim Pakistanis. By the grace of God, I am proud to announce from this wonderful kebab house that we are now ready to invade India. This invasion has taken a lot of planning and effort by my young upwardly mobile comrades and for this we would also like to thank our friends in the electronic media and inspirations such as Yahya Khan and Ziaul Haq. Dear muscular Muslim boys and petite Muslim girls, I had been planning this invasion for a very long time, even before my blessed birth when I was just a spirit floating over Pakistan – even before Pakistan was made. My spirit swooped down when it saw the great Muhammad Bin Qasim invading Sindh and defeating Hindu scoundrels as well as Mohajir, Sindhi, Balochi and Pakhtun nationalists.
We will vanquish them in the Islamic Emirate Caliphate of Punjab … I mean, Pakistan. Damn those who say that Pakistan was made in 1947. That’s a lie, I tell you. It was made in the seventh century, when Kalashnikov Bin Qasim, Allama F-16 Iqbal, and Inzimamul Haq defeated a million-strong army of that secular tyrant and usurper Raja Bhutto and his side-kick Mohindar Singh Dhoni and announced the creation of the Islamic Caliphate of Punj … I mean Pakistan. So wake up, Pakistan, and let’s invade, loot and plunder like those great Muslim leaders, Mahmud Ghazni and Mr. T.
My next address to you all will be from Delhi Fort and anyone who disagrees is a traitor, a Hindu agent, or a student of the Peshawar University. Allah Hafiz! Punj … I mean, Pakistan, marhabba marhabba.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Faiz Ahmed Faiz in Indian Jungle!!!

Maoist rebels in India listen to Faiz Ahmed Faiz poetry on their iPod!!!
Rebel wants to establish a communist society in various states in India. Bloody struggle resulted in thousands of deaths.

Armed struggle is the route they follow, they are called revolutionary Marxists, and some call them anarchist and social bandits.

Dawn newspaper shares an interesting story “ Comrade Sukhdev asks if he can download the music from my Ipod into his computer. We listen to a recording of Iqbal Bano singing Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’ (We will Witness the Day) at the famous concert in Lahore at the height of the repression during the Ziaul Haq years. Fifty thousand people in the audience in that Pakistan begin a defiant chant: Inqilab Zindabad! Inqilab Zindabad! All these years later, that chant reverberates around this forest. Strange, the alliances that get made”.
Here is Faiz's famous poetry Hum Dekhein Gay;

India, Pakistan; You Don’t Deserve Heroes???

Why South Asian heroes are thrown out by own society? Be it Abdul Salam or famous Indian artist MF Hussain.

At times one question haunts me, does South Asian society deserve heroes?

Lately I came across news that MF Husain is contemplating Qatari nationality, he is no longer an Indian citizen.

It is sad to see India’s the most celebrated artist hounded out and everyone looked silently and it was all in the name of religion.

If one remembers, 13 years ago Hindu hardliners attacked his painting of nude goddesses; well India is a secular country but fails to protect the most famous artists.

Case of Sachin Tendulkar is also well known, the way extremist right wing Shive Sena threatened him.

Abdus Salam, one and only Pakistani Nobel laureate, bullied and made an outcast on the basis of religious belief.

Will South Asian society ever emerge as progressive global society without defeating the right wing narrow minded religious extremists in India and Pakistan????

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Middle Class Needs Dictatorship in Pakistan!!!!!

It was warm evening, after tiring day I felt like having coffee but I settled for facebook. I came across an interesting video link, Kamran Khan, Geo TV anchor playing the role of an economist.

He compares inflation, atta, ghee, fuel prices along with dollar, sales tax rate and suicide bombing during Musharraf & Zardari era; through his hypothesis he tries to prove that dictatorship is the only solution.

I was shocked to see our educated middle class on facebook, jumping with slogans such as Jeyee Musharraf, Zindabad (Long Live Musharraf) . It was the height of naivety; the way hollow economic rationale attracts our people

It was funny, under the sun no one bothers to find out the exogenous variables causing the change in prices, no one asks about the reasons behind the inflation.

If that is the case I can take the example of Saddam vs Noori Al Maliki and still prove that a dictator was the best answer. I can also prove that Mullah Omar (Taliba Leader) was the best answer than Karzai using random numbers or indicators!!!!!!! Even I can make Augusto José Ramón Pinochet look Hero through Knit Picking random economic performance indicators.

It is sad to see no one questions that during Musharraf era, thousands of people disappeared, inter provincial rift increased??? Compare Balochistan & NWFP before Musharraf and during his tenure!!!!

Energy prices have contributed a lot to inflation, prices gone four fold, what was Musharraf's energy investment?? No one questions that his lack of planning affected Pakistan!!!

Everyone has forgotten what he did with judiciary and the way Steel Mill plundering was planned? Geo TV cites stock market, ugh, stock market….that was a bubble, I fail to understand, why these anchors play around with areas they do not know anything about i.e., Economics.

I won’t be shocked to see Kamran Khan doing an analysis on genetic decoding & social influence!!!! or may be on Kinetic Engineering !!!!!! I wonder how come these anchors manage to talk about the cockroach skin problems to politics and genetic sciences.

Has anyone compared the powers of military vs democracy (glorified municipality) to influence the course of events in Pakistan? Read famous books, Military Inc and also Military & Mosque.

I would still say, let people vote him out instead of finding quick middle class solutions; else we need to declare that let men in Boots decide the fate of 180 million people.

No wonder our middle class follows Zaid Hamid (an extremists in modern attires, with hollow slogans, to turn Pakistan into a caliphate)!!!!!
(My friend Jawaid wrote an interesting blog on same topic, worth reading)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Killing; seems like a sport!!! Is it India, Jews or America!!!

Cricket, Hockey & Squash, all sports are on decline; there was a time we were known for these games. Over the years, killing game has become so popular that we have neglected other sports.

Let me share a story, It was an exciting day, cool breeze and pleasant Karachi evening; I received a call from one of my intellectual friends to join him over walk .I left office around six to join him at Nisar Shaheed Park “it’s in Defense Housing locality in Karachi, Pakistan”. He was walking anti clock wise, to catch him I walked clock wise, i was about to meet him, all of sudden security personnel locked all the doors and directed us to get out of the park. I heard that some spooky person “may be a suicide bomber” entered inside the park. Men, women and kids all started running towards gate, completely terrifying scene.

I came out and saw contingent of police surrounded the park.

The next day we heard over 50 people killed in Lahore, series of small intensity bomb blasted in residential Iqbal Town Lahore. Everyday, series of suicide bombing or target killing takes place, mainly killing the innocent civilians.

Today, I was driving for lunch along with a friend, she mentioned to me ‘ Imran its so easy for anyone, an armed personnel can kill as many people as possible and walk away’, it shows the level of aggravating security situation in Pakistan.

Our media and leaders just say one sentence (All is Well), Down with America, its bloody Jewish Lobby, no….. its India……well it’s so easy to be apologetic and leave the responsibility on others.

Isn’t it states responsibility to ensure the safety of people?

Everyday we get to hear that one of our friends is migrating (safe) from Pakistan, even without knowing the career path and one may face abroad but right now everyone is running away safely.

Even an optimist, person like Abdul Sattar Edhi “well know philanthropist” sees a gloomy future, as per him Pakistan is at the stage of make or break .

The way remedial measures are progressing, I am afraid it may be too late.

We may end up reading horror stories about Pakistani women and families in novels, the way Afghan stories are selling in US & Europe.

Wake up......... before its too late !!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Women’s Day

Hey women….you face hardship, harassment, discrimination, disrespect, violence and abuse….. Yet you face all with courage, nothing stops are unique and blessed with great capacity of love and capacity to feel the pain…….. Happy Women’s Day...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Marriage of Convenience, Contract & MOU!!!!

It was relaxing last day of the working week, one of my friends raised her eyebrows when I mentioned that marriage is a contract and engagement is Memorandum of Understanding. She felt my words were bit too crude.............Well it made me think. I still remember, back at business school, one of the Harvard School of Law graduate teachers used to mention that “In law, a contract is a binding legal agreement that is enforceable in a court of law or by binding arbitration. That is to say, a contract is an exchange of promises with a specific remedy for breach”.

Legal literature suggests that “all spoken contract should be called an oral contract, which might be considered a subset of verbal contracts. Any contract that uses words, spoken or written, is a
verbal contract”.

If one falls in love, shares feelings, verbally commits to a relationship, to me it’s just like any other contract, paper maybe missing "if comapred with marriage" but essence is same. On the other hand there are many who enters into "marriage" relationship, signs on legal documents yet get into infidelity.

A contract paper may have its value but to me relationship is beyond piece of paper, it’s all about honesty and commitment.

Many ‘including me’ believe that “marriage is a sacred contract, its like sharing your life with someone or giving yourself in a special way that we typically don’t do”. It’s like giving something to a partner that is only reserved for her or him.