Pakistan

The Breaking News Stint

Posted on

For last few days the debate that a guard should not have slapped the journalist has  been the hot topic, there is a division like there always is, this was show of patriarchy, he should be arrested, he should not have slapped her  that was fundamentally wrong.

This is not even a debate which covers the real problem,

  1. NADRA offices are not place to go make your 5 minute piece of news, those guys are always over worked and it’s not easy catering to 180 million population, making B-forms, ID cards, renewing ID cards, and all sort of things those people have to do. I have been there three times, first when we needed to register B-form and had birth certificate problem. Second for my CNIC and third when I lost my CNIC and had to get  new one. I did not see one person sitting and chilling, and belive it or not the waiting lines were pretty damn straight. Not saying every branch of NADRA is good, but if anyone noticed from the video it was the journalist who was over excited about slow working of the department, not the silent people standing there.
  2. Since when is it wrong for a constable to do his duty? Apparently according to media it is.  Telling them to get off the government property which was him just doing what he was supposed to do, they were not allowed there, were trespassing and it was within his rights to remove them with force.
  3. Pulling at FC’s uniform, crowding him, saying “tumhara ghar maa, behan hai ka nae”. As unprofessional as possible, attacking his modesty, insulting a man in front of crowd for doing what he is required to do. Where does “maa behen” reference comes in this show of bullying really  outrages me, when you talk about equality you don’t use crutches of “maa behan”. When you are calling yourself a “journalist” a professional, you definitely don’t use crutches “of weaker sex”.
  4. He slapped her, she pulled at his shirt first, how can that be ignored, this is Pakistan a country where no  ‘modest’  women wants to touched aggressively  by an unknown or known  male, and where no “modest” man wants to touched by aggressively by unknown or known  female. Not in Pakistan but such practise is strongly hated by all humans , animals and I assume plants too.
  5. Insulting a constable, a man whose qualification is only higher secondary, who has a salary which barely helps him make ends meet, who stands outside an office day in and day out, in all weathers, who only prides that he has “izzat(honor)” and “wardi(uniform)” what happens if someone takes all what, a working man has, in front of a crowd in front of camera for all the world to see? What about the right to pride of a such person, what about his right to modesty? Why is he required to show restrain and respect when a much more educated, more worldly person is not, even demonstrating an ounce of it? Better flush the modern education and exposure down the drain than.

This was not a twitter joke, it was not about women rights, it was not about how slow NADRA is, this was not some officer of Armed forces with attitude, this was just a constable  and asshole with camera and power of unforgiving, always judging jury of digital media.

Is not it ironic no matter whose side this jury sits on an ordinary person still loses?

Advertisements

Islamabad Literature Festival 2016 (1)

Posted on

This year was 4th ILF, but my first. Circumstances only allowed me to attend three and half sessions. But it was a really good experience. IT was my first time to actually attend a gathering of this sort where writers and intellectual from nearly all the fields are present.

(Faiz Ahmed Faiz Open Air Stadium: 3:30-4:30)

The session on Regional Connectivity and stability. Something as one of the audience directly pointed out to the one of speakers (Nasim Zehra: anchor person, columnist) as a topic never really discussed with vigor and facts it needs to be addressed with on the media.

5 speakers were present, Hina Rabbani Khar (26th Foreign minister), Anatol Lieven (Britsih Journalist, policy analyst), Nasim Zehra, Omar Zakhilwal (Finance Minister of Pakistan)  and Jean François. Mr Zakhiwal like a true politician droned on for long time trying to state that international investors should focus on regional projects. 

Nasim Zehra stated that asymmetry of power between military and government is the reason of setbacks on our economic growth she perceived that if we put behind chasing stability and focus on economic growth. Antol Leiven disagreed with this assessment saying if security and stability was not achieved, economic growth was not possible. Also the energy business due to sudden fall of fuel prices on international market has now become a very insecure investment for the investors. So if the security was not an assurance at a certain level such investments would not come easily. Hina Rabbani Khar said that during PPP rule their policy to start trade with India even with tension over Kashmir issue was an excellent decision and in which we got ever our regional issues for economic ones. In Pakistan or more like in south Asian region our basic problem is that economic issues are treated purely as political moves. Nobody moves forward or thinks further then 5 years of their tenure. Economic stagnation in the region is because territorial issues have over shadowed necessary progressive decision. Mr Jean Francois retold the history of France and Germany alliance on economic projects in 1951. Few years after the destruction of World war. The people already had fought two wars with each other, not mention the invasion of Paris by German, but French leadership understood that for regional peace and in hope there would now not be another war they initiated economical growth projects. They put people opinion aside and moved on, because they had a vision for the future. Same thing may not apply to our region but it could be partially adopted.  

Even though we have very tense relationship with our neighbors. When events like Yadev ( RAW Agent) and Pathan Kot ( Terrorist attack ) happen things seem to spiral further down. But events should not over shadow the strategies of nations.

Summarizing: Regional Connectivity especially for the economic projects and massive development along with minor ones to support and keep the system functioning are necessary. This needs to be pushed by media. CPEC is a very major project and of huge importance but it can not happen if regional security and stability is not completely achieved.  Political leaders should be strong and motivated enough to influence public opinions to get over prejudices and move on with things on economic front. The chances of political unity even for the interest of the country is in words of Pakistani Awam who have come to a sorry conclusion of  “absolutely not”.

It was a vast topic but when it comes down to it was a lot of talk and lack of action which is how many projects in Pakistan just become names instead of things which have physical presence.  A tradegy voiced by Hina Rabbini Khar on TAP gas pipeline a project on which “talks and discussion” started about 25 years back.

The session ended with people questioning would this generation see the economic growth of Pakistan or will it go down in wishful thinking. Will Pakistan be secure from international and internal sabotage long enough for CPEC to be fully functional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Coffee House of Lahore: A memoir 1942-1957

Posted on

I found this book in library last year, did not read it then but now I have.  I would recommend it to everyone. Here are few stories I have picked to share, I hope they motivate you enough to read this book.

K.K Aziz says about Coffee house. “I learnt how to behave with my age group, how to respect my seniors, how to make friends and keep relationship in good repair. The frequent discussion which I participated taught me the virtues of tolerance. They also taught me how to debate a point without losing temper, to sharpen my arguments rather raise my voice, to understand to understand other person’s point of view and give him right to express it and gain clarity in speech and lucidity in thinking.….There could not have be no better training in human dealings because human beings with whom I was interfacing were among themselves so different of outlooks…. I learnt to become flexible in what I said and what I listened to. Also I had to be patient with suffering fools, because in every society and group there are bores and people with stunted minds. I don’t know to which degree I learnt these virtues and I can’t be a judge of it. But I tried hard and I think I became fit for human company”

In its physical location the house was ideally placed. Within five minutes’ walk from it lay the University, the Mayo School of Arts (NCA later), the Punjab Public Library, the Lahore Museum, YMCA Hall, Law Collage, Oriental Collage and the Government Collage. Islamia Collage, Dyal Singh Collage and MAO Collage were within a 10-minute cycle ride. The House had been put right at the heart of the intellect of Lahore. The language of Coffee house was Punjabi and English purely, Punglish. Though written language was Urdu. It mostly was made up of Leftists but does not mean other were not present. What the Coffee house did have was tolerance.

This was the time period where population of Lahore was around 300,000 not more than 10 million.   

Now this book revolves around 100s of people, who all had one thing in common they loved to read and talk about what they read and drank coffee. The writer K.K. Aziz name which was given to him by Jamiluddin Hasan, who said “You know your first names are too long to encourage intimacy. It takes sustained breath to pronounce “Khursheed Kamal”. So right now, under the authority granted to me by our friendship, I hereby bestow upon you in a perpetuity the much smaller and melodious name of K.K to which I am sure you will get used you soon.”  

K.K entered Coffee house in age of 15 or 16 in 1942. But this book is more about a time period. A different time period a quieter time period. This book is littered with scenes and people most of us have not heard about. Some names are famous others not so much. There few scenes in this book that strike me as they are form another world “My friends and I had bought our tickets and were in a large crowd waiting on foyer for the matinee show to come to an end. When the show ended the audience began to come down the stairs to go home. At the corner of stairs appeared Champa in her white Sari. The chattering crowd in the foyer fell silent. There was a hush until she reached the end of the staircase, turned right and walked out of our sight. The elite was paying tribute to beauty. There was not a single wink, ogle, leer, even an audible breath. Those were civilized days.

Abdus salam a smart man not of science but also was interested in other contemporary subjects. K.K recalls his one meeting “We recalled our government Collage days; Salam Talked about what he had to endure at the hands of Sirajuddin and the officials of the education department. I asked him if all this was due to him being an Ahmadi. He doubted it and pointed out Qazi Aslam too was an Ahmadi and later become Principal of Collage.” A well-known scientist after the death of Abdus Salam commented whom K.K told him his sad tale of disappointed when nobody would sanction a scholarship in name of Salam. “You say the Ahmadis have not done anything to salute Salam. Yes, they haven’t. But aren’t they Pakistani’s too?”  So we are people who are jealous of other people who are better and brighter than us, this jealousy goes deeper, than any religious or cultural bonds what a tragedy.

I found this book in library last year, did not read it then but now I have.  I would recommend it to everyone. Here are few stories I have picked to share, I hope they motivate you enough to read this book.

K.K Aziz says about Coffee house. “I learnt how to behave with my age group, how to respect my seniors, how to make friends and keep relationship in good repair. The frequent discussion which I participated taught me the virtues of tolerance. They also taught me how to debate a point without losing temper, to sharpen my arguments rather raise my voice, to understand to understand other person’s point of view and give him right to express it and gain clarity in speech and lucidity in thinking.….There could not have be no better training in human dealings because human beings with whom I was interfacing were among themselves so different of outlooks…. I learnt to become flexible in what I said and what I listened to. Also I had to be patient with suffering fools, because in every society and group there are bores and people with stunted minds. I don’t know to which degree I learnt these virtues and I can’t be a judge of it. But I tried hard and I think I became fit for human company”

In its physical location the house was ideally placed. Within five minutes’ walk from it lay the University, the Mayo School of Arts (NCA later), the Punjab Public Library, the Lahore Museum, YMCA Hall, Law Collage, Oriental Collage and the Government Collage. Islamia Collage, Dyal Singh Collage and MAO Collage were within a 10-minute cycle ride. The House had been put right at the heart of the intellect of Lahore.

This was the time period where population of Lahore was around 300,000 not more than 10 million.   

Now this book revolves around 100s of people, who all had one thing in common they loved to read and talk about what they read and drank coffee. The writer K.K. Aziz name which was given to him by Jamiluddin Hasan, who said “You know your first names are too long to encourage intimacy. It takes sustained breath to pronounce “Khursheed Kamal”. So right now, under the authority granted to me by our friendship, I hereby bestow upon you in a perpetuity the much smaller and melodious name of K.K to which I am sure you will get used you soon.”  

K.K entered Coffee house in age of 15 or 16 in 1942. But this book is more about a time period. A different time period a quieter time period. This book is littered with scenes and people most of us have not heard about. Some names are famous others not so much. There few scenes in this book that strike me as they are form another world “My friends and I had bought our tickets and were in a large crowd waiting on foyer for the matinee show to come to an end. When the show ended the audience began to come down the stairs to go home. At the corner of stairs appeared Champa in her white Sari. The chattering crowd in the foyer fell silent. There was a hush until she reached the end of the staircase, turned right and walked out of our sight. The elite was paying tribute to beauty. There was not a single wink, ogle, leer, even an audible breath. Those were civilized days.

Abdus salam a smart man not of science but also was interested in other contemporary subjects. K.K recalls his one meeting “We recalled our government Collage days; Salam Talked about what he had to endure at the hands of Sirajuddin and the officials of the education department. I asked him if all this was due to him being an Ahmadi. He doubted it and pointed out Qazi Aslam too was an Ahmadi and later become Principal of Collage.” A well-known scientist after the death of Abdus Salam commented whom K.K told him his sad tale of disappointed when nobody would sanction a scholarship in name of Salam. “You say the Ahmadis have not done anything to salute Salam. Yes, they haven’t. But aren’t they Pakistani’s too?”  So we are people who are jealous of other people who are better and brighter than us, this jealousy goes deeper, than any religious or cultural bonds what a tragedy.

This book is filled with old Lahore and lives of writers, poets, artists, photographers, lawyers. People who with exception of few were poor but rich in culture. I would completely recommend this book. It is a very personal account of lives, might be one-sided in many cases. But this book is highly underrated and unknown. I mean a book about book lover 100s of them who got together on daily basis to have meaningful conversations. Is not that every book readers dream?

This book is filled with old Lahore and lives of writers, poets, artists, photographers, lawyers. People who with exception of few were poor but rich in culture. I would completely recommend this book. It is a very personal account of lives, might be one-sided in many cases. But this book is highly underrated and unknown. I mean a book about book lover 100s of them who got together on daily basis to have meaningful conversations. Is not that every book readers dream?

Somedays

Image Posted on

The day is ending and i just had “mug” of tea. Few days ago someone told me that always observe everything from people to places. One of the thing that I these days most think about, how quickly time passes, even when it seem like to long. Its not time which is ever too long its the distance which can be.  So today.

It was just another hike and just another Sunday, same people and same trail, we have practically learned by heart, now.

But today we went a little further then we usually do, which is we pat ourselves for actually coming to a hike and go back half way through.

Some how today we decided not go back but actually make it to top. well it was worth it.

Islamabad was covered in Haze, i wondered for a long time why a city with pretty much ideal traffic situation, no industry and whose wake up time is only 12 hours would be quilted in it?

20160214_114456.jpg

The feeling one gets while standing on a big rock at side of mountain it feel s good. Today i think destination was way better than path itself. Also nothing is as cool as writing one’s initials with coals and chalks like when we were kids. okay more like when i was a kid, so what if i am still doing it..

Margella hills people for all of these who have never been there have trails, which go “uphill” and because these trails have been cut in “hills” there are obviously rocky and even. So if you will come wearing heel s of any sort you probably will get applauded for that and if you come wearing a dress coat and people look at

20160214_125401.jpg

When hiking alone, well more like some of your companions speed up and other fall back and trail is not you think about things. As much one’s enjoy company there are moments when just walking alone is fun. Its nearly like childhood summer’s when you go out to play, when parents are sleep. When you don’t care how much hot it is it. I think children don’t feel the same way like adults do.

i felt like that, when you fall hard and bruise your knee and nobody is there to watch you quickly get up dust off, and pretend the it was tone’s fault and you laugh at yourself and it is fun because nobody else does.

20160214_125647

i think i know where Neverland idea came from, its all what you like to believe, the sun shining through branches, when you come across path which divides in two. 20160214_125805.jpg

We always choose archways and easy, over rocks and uncertainty. We do try to further our little fantasy not that we always achieve it. But it dos make smiling a lot more easy.

So i think i discovered why some people smile more than others. they can see all the little things which make walking down heaps of stones and while ones own shies are the cause of pain, and not always some one is there to help you down and that’s alright because serenity between bouts of life is worth it even if it cause few scrapes.

 

Lets talk about our I’s and isms.

Posted on

I am so bloody angry. I feel like am I am going to suffocate under all the hate that we have for each other in this country. I don’t know where the idea of Pakistan went so damn wrong. We might as well just nuke each other off. Its not we are doing anything with our “atomic” abilities any way .

First there are our “I’s” Pathan, Pashtun ( mind the difference) Punjabi, Sindi, Balochi, once upon time there were Bengali but now they have their own country.

I have seen more tolerance in street dogs when a another wanders in their territory than I have seen in most Pakistani’s for one another. Every single one of us is convinced that they have got it right. “12 kitabain parhta hai aur Aalim ban jata hai saray paraha likha jahil”.

The division in Pakistan is far more complex than most complex chemical formula. We just don’t have a sectarian problem in this country if we only had the sectarian problem life will be half less complicated than it is at the moment. We have a theism and atheism problem. We have liberal and conservative problem. We have a problem with the rich and we have problem with poor. We have a problem with elite culture and we have problem with middle class culture. We have problem with army and there are the ones who happen to worship it. We are democracy lovers and what we love more is making it fail. We have an obsession with freedom what we can not seem to get is freedom does not mean a license to act like wayward imbeciles. Then we have a problem how people dress, women who wear burqa or do niqab are “fundos” and who wear jeans and tees are “baegairat”. The “modern educated class” call the people with beards “taliban” or “harbourers of taliban” either as joke or seriously .You freaking assholes that is insulting! You do know that your Prophet(S.A.W) had a beard? Even Hazrat Issa (A.s) or Jesus Christ had one!

The other class call them moulvis or hajjis either as joke or so seriously that they think these people might be personification of angels (that is a exaggeration but lower income class trust in people with beard is quiet misled) and leads to things which are too shameful and screwed up to even imagine.

Then comes the “-isms” bane of our lives. There is Wahhabism, Sunnism, Shi’ism’, Barelvism, Ahle-hadith, Isma’ilism, these are the ones I know. Not to mention few whose correct spellings I am unaware of or am forgetting them. Honestly there is just not enough land to give everyone their own separate state.

But then came the educated class who love to talk about things they don’t really face. Some how we love our stereotypes. Extremist exist everywhere, in every single kind of sect, ethnicity and culture or what ever separation you happen to believe in. lets not even mention the role of electronic media whose sole job is to provide the news that really does not exist or to blow things out of proportion to a scale that out smarts most of the showbiz tabloids.

In our country the new popular culture and favorite status update seems to be of bashing religious people. On other hand we have the ones who happen to think “facebook” and “twitter” are the platforms to preach religion.

Seriously people wake up thanks to you all we have “Sunni-Islam” and “Shia-Islam”.

Here is a hint for everyone whatever you say won’t change the thoughts people who are prone to think you are a infidel. “itna naaike ka bacha hota na tum saab, tu facebook pa status upload karna wala halaat nae hota”.

So in good nice words get over your self and stop wagging your tongues on each and every incident and stop giving them shape they don’t really have. “khala ka ghar tum logo ka?” Freedom of speech ki maa behan aik kar ka rakh dye hai tum logo na.

There are things you say among friends. That is voicing of unformed ideas. That is thinking brainstorming. Printing your brainstorming for the world to see is really ridiculous. And more over they come off not liberal or cool but as naïve and prejudiced. You are not young enough to come off naïve and not old enough to be forgiven for your prejudices. Imagine every writer starts publishing his or hers first idea of novel? that would suck wont it. Even if it was Tolkein or Rowling or Grisham or who ever. You are neither of those people so imagine how much you suck.

Next time you feel like bashing anyone by that I mean anyone (excluding ISIS only people who no one have enough words to describe) just think that some one is dumping a bucket full of rotten eggs on you. The smell is disgusting just like your words who hurt people who feel insulted by them when they are being blamed for things they never did and never even thought. You with your “honest saying” and “so called truth” are brewing same hate and intolerance which is done by ISIS rockets and AK47s.

This post is for all the wanna be revolutionaries and liberals and free thinkers and smart people and conservatives who think social websites are perfect place for verbal vomits. Congrats facebook and twitter activists and the flag bearers of truth you have out done yourselves once again.

Between hope and distress

Posted on

The darkness spreads form east to west
Its cold make hearts shudder in distress
Evil arrests the concious of the rest
Hope slowly fades away in wake of dead
Pain engulfs the lives of those left
Silence of the dead is still heard by lifeless
Can you not feel our distress?
The dreams shattered by metal
Sons ripped from the mothers with cruelness
Slowly as life ebbs away I think of stars
Who shine long after a nova
I wish I was that life which if not live might light
The world’s of those I have left behind
I who have died needless..
In the war made by the faceless
Our saviors fight so that we can rest
Don’t take our fall as their fault
This is a losing battle
We fight till we can’t
To the day the we have upper hand
In this war against the man
In which we stand alone in hurricane
The eggs still break never the less
I wish I can say this will end
But I have learned better along with many dead
We are standing at the edge
They will say we have already lost
That we are just not ready to accept
I want you to remember that they are wrong
You are still here if I am not
That is enough if not all

Jinnah Of Pakistan

Posted on Updated on

 one of the history’s most tenacious enigmatic figures
Every Pakistani knows quiet a bit about Muslim League History and final 10 years before partition. We have to. But there are many things we never hear. Quaid started as Muslim-Hindu unity ambassador. Was young, intelligent and a great believer of the constitution. He spent 24 years of his life struggling for Hindu Muslim unity denying all those who thought otherwise. Every effort was repudiated by the Congress and its leadership. It took 24 years of endless arguments, debates, conferences, dialogues and destruction of his marriage and loss of woman he loved to convince him that his endeavors were in vain. While reading this book i realized exactly how much humiliation he faced. How many doors were slammed on his face and how many time he was discarded, along with his opinions. Even after all that he kept his head high, he knew how to keep his composure and never to lose an argument, even though those arguments fell on deaf ears and he lost most of his early fights.
Than comes the second phase of his life, in which he appears as proud, vain, whimsical man. who remained adamant on his “crazy” demands as dubbed by the British viceroys, secretarys and governors of late 30s and 40s. Most Britishers thought of him as self indulgent man, who wanted glory. He was unreasonable, never had a valid argument and was most uncooperative. By this time Quaid had figured out that wasting his strained breath on people who would never actually listen to him even when they claimed differently was useless. He had already spent too much of his life arguing with them and had been utterly fruitless. He in 40s isolated himself, hiding his deteriorating health. Also he had lost complete trust in Congress and had grown a bit paranoid even of his own party leadership. He was a man who had been betrayed one too many times and was not about to lose this time around. And he did not. He lost his health, and his only daughter but did not lose this final fight. Many thought that Pakistan was his obsession one last attempt to show his rivals who and humiliated him, his true worth.
But people have known to talk and they will always, had always, would always, one thing is for sure a country can not be built on a man’s vanity and whim. It takes determination, will and loyalty to a true cause. All of which he had. Quaid was nothing if he was not, strategic, persistent and intent.
Mountbatten, the reason of the bloodiest partition of Punjab. Termed Jinnah as psychopathic man, who wanted nothing more than to be Governor General himself, Odd thing for him to say as he had shown strong desire to be GG of not one but two subcontinental domains at the same time!! Never the less Jinnah made his point with Battens multiple times. In being photographed at Battens Jinnah insisted that Lady Mountbatten should stand between him and the lord but the Lord and Lady insisted that Jinnah must stand between them. Which Quaid termed as  a rose between two thorns  what i would not give to see the expression on the faces of those insolent people, when Quaid made that pun.
There are few things i had problem on in this book. Number one whenever it comes to loss of the life of Hindus the writer gave figures but when it came to the massacre of Muslims the writer took great pains to keep the figures and religion of the deceased fuzzy. Many Muslim unfortunately and shamefully acted as hooligans but the crime against Muslims were 3 fold worse and organized and that was just the year of 47. There is no accounting before that and not to mention the horribleness in Calcutta the year before. And district of Gurdaspur, a Muslim Majority area given on purpose to India where Muslims were killed so extensively that they were whipped out.
Also the presidential address of Quaid

 “You are free, you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to nay other place of worship in this sate of Pakistan…. you may belong to nay religion caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State, … we are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste creed or another. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we all are citizens and equal citizens of the State …. all members of the Nation.”

The writer questions what was he thinking about, when he said this? was he pleading for united India? why would he talk about religious harmony equality and unity and freedom when millions were migrating towards a “Muslim” state. Well answer is this Pakistan was to be free place for Muslims a place where discrimination on the bases given above would not exist and be condemned. He was not pleading for united India he was pleading for the brutality taking place on the both sides of border to stop. He wanted a Muslim state that stood for everything which had been denied to Muslims in one way or another. A state which would not treat its minorities the way they had been treated before.
All and all it was good book. There is not much on Quaid’s personal life, he was a very private man. Also a man who worked from 14 to 18 hours and even went to office at 8:30 in morning at age of 71 with cancer in his body hard for him a have a personal life. He had many allies eve more followers and even greater number of admirers but he had very few friends. And one companion his sister. He is the least talked about leader, least studied and least admired leader. Never the less he was a single man who brought the most unlikely people to work together and made a weak party into the 2nd largest party of the India and placed Pakistan on the map. If that man was not one of the greatest leader of the modern world than i do not know who is.