Month: February 2015

Rawalpindian…

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Back home, been gone to one of my favorite places in Pakistan, Lahore. Love the city mainly because it houses most loved people in my life. But cannot say it is not nice to be home. Rawalpindi or more commonly Pindi as we call it is more of a second home than permanent home for many. The urban area built entirely on population of rural area around it. There is not any special historical significance related to the city. Just an ex-British cantonment. Closest thing to historical and significance is the ARL refinery, and Presidency which is now FJWU.

ARL refinery old offices built pre-partition
ARL refinery old offices built pre-partition

Everything about this city and new or and fleeting. Nothing is there in Rawalpindi that you cannot find in other cities. But it grows on you, like the clear blue, the clam quiet organized Islamabad. Easy access to the mountains, the cool wind that blows down from the highlands after every rain, how the weather could be exceptionally pleasant during summer. The thunders during spring, and so much soundless lightening during fall that you might think that a wedding is going on in clouds. The soil is not fertile enough  for sweet fruits like mangoes but is for sour and sweet citrus. If it rains hard enough and then weather clears up you could see snow-capped mountains of Murree and blue outlines of mountain ranges beyond.

Glispe of mountain ranges on a not so clear day
Glispe of mountain ranges on a not so clear day

Rawalpindi has few modern age buildings but has numerous Churches and missionary schools at main squares of the city. Giving reflection of British Raj, and also only few markers of organized architectures in haphazardly built city.

Church on Adamjee road
Church on Adamjee road

What Rawalpindi is and always going to be is a cantonment . There is GHQ, 502 workshops, Qasim aviation Base, and 14 Askari and counting.

So Pindi is not a city it is collective set of many small settlements known as “dhoks” in Pothorhari. So it is not a big deal to have field of wheat or mustard next to your house.

There is saying about Pothohar.

” Zameen Hamwaar nae

Mausam ka Atibaar nae

Phaal mazedaar nae

Loag wafadaar nae”

Despite  every thing the not so green, bushy trees and plants,uneven landscape and brownish crumbling land. there was this person no train i heard say

A view of land in outskirts of Rawalpndi
A view of land in outskirts of Rawalpindi

“Shahzada alaqa hai hamara ” could not put that better myself home is home.

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Reign of Irrelevence

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Things have taken a very sharp turn in Pakistani politics that has become a general delusion in last few months. The only turn things have taken in last few months is for the worst if they were bad before. And our electronic media has not been very helpful in containing it. There are more than a half dozen channels who are dedicated 24/7 to news. Which is an extremely unnecessary number of news channels to have, considering the most of news they do deliver is completely baseless and irrelevant. Breaking news has become a joke in last few months. There was one every day, on nearly every channel in which one statement was provided which makes no sense and is repeated continuously, like there was a competition of vocabulary going on “who can say the same thing in most different ways”.

Journalism is supposed to be based upon factualism and realism, in which all the sides are of thing are analyzed and reported without biasedness. Everyone has opinions, opinions become a problem when they are more promoted as the truth. However the truth or the facts have become the most irrelevant things to deliver in today’s media. In the first months of sit-ins, certain private news channels gave 24 hour coverage of sit-ins in D-square without running any other news or advertisement. A very questionable behavior which went unquestioned. How can these channels claim to be objective and claim to authenticity if they cannot judge that all the other things going on in the Pakistan are irrelevant compared?

During September there was a brief flood last year which surprisingly got the coverage despite the sit-ins Devastation caused by it was readily blamed on the current government. What I failed to comprehend was why the Famine and drought in Thar did not get the coverage. Why the political and non-political people who have being claiming themselves to be the saviors of the suffering and the poor choose to ignore so completely thousands of people dying in the heat of desert from starvation, one of the worst ways to die from all the ways a person can die. Was the temperature there too extreme for the liberals and the open-minded freedom talkers? Or were these illiterate under privileged not the worth the time of educated and sophisticated class of Pakistan or the revolution and change was only for those who could finance it and help will be given only where there is a camera to advertise it?

During months of the sit-ins literally billions have been spend, all to bring about a change in the chain of thought, to break people out of their shells and make them care for their surroundings. While at the same time thousands were losing their homes dying of starvation. What change can be expected from those when the foundations of heir construction are built on what every other system had done before them? Ignoring and suppressing the voice of most needy and only doing what serves there best interest without taking them out of their comfort zones or challenging ay real enemies like Landlords of Sindh.  How much could have been done if this money would have been invested to the rehabilitation of the people of Thar. Would not that have been a change unheard of? What kind of revolution is it that everyday hundred thousands of rupees are being spent on food, fuel and promotion when few hundred miles south thousands are starving? Why is that not something that comes in every breaking news? Or does everyone need to die from a bomb blast to make anyone care anything less goes unnoticed.

Our anchor personal have started an unannounced campaign to unveil corruption, disgrace the political leaders, or to highlight all the things which are wrong with judicial system, if that is not enough they will pick some random religious cleric and start to prove how these religious people are spreading hatred and sectarian system. I have never seen this kind unity for cause, outside of cricket. What these claimer of honesty and provider of truth “based on facts” did not unite upon was and is unaccountable target killings and kidnapping happening in Karachi, or bullets fired by Indians, or how a people of Thar starved or while Festivals were being held or how a training CSS officer is burned behind locked doors and there is no explanation. We have lost so many good men in those violent and unjustifiable acts but no one unites no one executes these murderers in their talk shows like they execute the corrupt. Somehow they never can find the men made of flesh and blood or identify them or figure out who they work for, as they kill openly in middle of the streets, in daylight. But they can always find no- existent paper trail of corruption. Or what political people do in the privacy of their homes and deals done behind the closed doors. Truth has become an irrelevant accessory these days. Anchor personal are the most important people in our system they somehow have gained the right to execute the people and judge everyone without any consequences for their statements. They determine what is important and what is relevant. They can say whatever they want to whoever they want without any restrictions, moderation and censorship and their words lack an ounce of truth and it does not matter because everyone is en-titled to free expression as long it is made by someone who can sell themselves well.