Making Sense of Nonsense

Once Zardari told his aides: Fellas! It’s time to make history, and sent his interior minister on a mission; Rehman Malik came back after some time and confirmed that Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving attacker of Mumbai attacks, was a Pakistani citizen. It was also the first time that I came to know if you are a Pakistani Muslim and caught doing Jihad in India, then you can seek mercy from Bhagwan instead of Allah: “Bhagwan mujhe ni maaf kare ga”, was the words of Kasab in his confessional video (now you can also watch it without using a proxy). History making didn’t end there, after the Mumbai Attacks we prosecuted Hafiz Saeed and he was released as should have, some others also went for trial, and last year Lakhvi ‘The Mastermind’ was also released on bail. Our court also rejected the findings of a (Pakistani) commission that visited India, because they weren’t allowed to “cross-examine the prosecution witnesses”.

Then came Nawaz Sharif and in his part came the Pathankot, this time it was Nawaz Sharif telling his aides the same story: Fellas! Let’s make some history this time, from this time onward we will not allow our land to be used against our neighbors (and it’s our neighbor’s choice to stop using their land against us when the time is right). So they started working on ‘evidence’ given by India and filed a FIR , this time Indians wanted the Masood Azhar, not the Hafiz Saeed, maybe because change is the only constant in life. Nawaz government took the right step on his way towards making history, but Indian defense minister came in the way and said FIR isn’t enough.

Before deciding what’s enough for them, let’s put it this way: India want justice and we aren’t providing it. What if they don’t want justice at all? If they wanted the justice then why RVS Mani, Indian home ministry’s undersecretary, claimed Mumbai attacks as an inside job with the purpose of strengthening the counter terrorism laws, in his affidavit submitted in an Indian court. If justice is that sacred to Indian government then why their ex interior minister is saying that Afzal Guru case “wasn’t correctly decided” and there were “grave doubts about the extent of his involvement” in the parliament attack. If justice was the case then probably they would start providing it from their own home.

So what do they want then? I think this latest statement by the Indian defense minister will clear some air, he said: “Pathankot attackers had the state support [of Pakistan]”. See, justice isn’t their ‘target’; state of Pakistan is. This isn’t new, whether it’s Modi proudly mentioning his role in breaking Pakistan in 1971, or blaming us for Samjhota express fire and Makkah masjid (India) blast, and then finding Hindu terrorists behind the attacks by their own investigators.

Sighs! Could anybody have imagined of this day when India is demanding us to ‘Do More’, and the worst part is us complying with their demands. So what’s wrong with them? I think ‘Nothing’; they are doing what a country does to its enemy. Did you just say that it’s the extremist government of Modi and some lunatic ministers? Maybe you are right, but remember Manmohan Singh calling Pakistan “Epicenter of Terrorism” while addressing the UN annual session? They consider us as their enemy from the start; the situation won’t change by denying the fact or by looking the other way (I’m not talking about 1.2 billion Indians but a minority that always rules the India).

So is there any hope that our leaders will talk to their Indian counterparts by directly looking into their eyes? Nah, who will counter-argument them? PPP? Maybe when all the resources of Sindh will dry up, they might think about it. Maybe Imran Khan? didn’t he proposed the idea of a ‘mutual nuclear plant’ at Indo-Pak border, and Khan think trade will solve all the problems (wondering how Indian funding to Pak terrorists will be halted by trade), or maybe MQM will show eyes to India, I think pressers of their (ex) leaders are enough to anticipate their response, or maybe Nawaz Sharif will tell them enough is enough, but only after his business deals are secured and Sajjan Jindal get access to Afghanistan and central Asia.

It seems like we masses can just hope that one day our leaders will talk to Indian rulers in a tone that they understand and in which they talk to us, or maybe one day we will find a solution to this nonsense in some Indian movie.

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If It’s Not Happening Here, Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Happening*

Before coming to actual topic I want to describe the spectacular view that I am enjoying right now. I’m sitting on a height of almost ten thousand feet; right in the middle of a beautiful jungle, the view is so amazing that I wish time could stop so I can enjoy the scenery for hours. Sun is getting smaller in size and golden in colour, in front of me mountains are spread in such a way it looks like a whole empire is visible to an emperor, and he is not only watching it but also enjoying it. A combination of golden, gray and white clouds is on the sky, it looks like a plane spreading colours in an airshow and showing audience both its beauty and power, and if this is the aim of the sky to show its beauty and power then I must say the sky is the winner. The wind is blowing in a way that it’s not only touching my body, but also attracting me to listen to her and to play with her. Now night is at doorstep and ready to cover everything with dark.

But is everyone able to enjoy the sunsets? Do people enjoy every day sunsets or do they spend another night in hope of a better future? From our own Tribal Areas to Syria and Iraq, and from Somalia to Palestine, the Muslim world is in state of war. The biggest tragedy as a result of war is in the form of refugees, number of refugees and displaced people is increasing day by day. According to UN, current number of displaced people is touching an alarming figure of 50 million which is the largest after World War 2. Only .45 million people are displaced as a result of operation ‘Zarb e Azab’. Just imagine for a moment the sufferings and difficulties of Internally Displaced People (IDP’s). Due to war they have to leave their homes and have to shift in IDP’s camp established by government. They have to wait hours to get food, their children can’t go to school, and there is great risk of outbreak of any disease at any time. In simple words life itself is misery inside those camps. Other provinces are also trying their best to rub salt into the wounds of IDP’s; provinces have stopped the IDP’s from entering into their territories. Even after the end of operation the damage to infrastructure will be irreversible. Same is happening in Syria and Iraq; people are travelling hundreds of miles to flee the war.

Only four to five years ago no one could have imagined about the current situation. The same ‘Al-Qaeda’ which America is chasing for more than a decade, suddenly became freedom fighters in the eyes of America and West when they start fighting against Bashar al Assad. But when the same group entered into Iraq a few months ago, they turned into ‘terrorists’. Sadly major (powerful) countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, America, Russia etc. are either supporting Sunni opposition or Shia regimes. Tragically the war is now turned into a Sectarian War; a war with no borders and with no visible end. The war which our enemies always wanted us to fight; a war in which there is no shortage of men, money and arms, everyday hundreds of men are slaughtered because they belong to other sects. Another disturbing fact is that young men from all over the world including Europe (from both Sunni and Shia sects) are joining the war. Islamic heritage that was preserved for almost fourteen hundred years is now under attack, many Holy places have been destroyed as a result of fighting and many other are vulnerable.

If today this is happening in Middle East, then God forbid tomorrow this can happen in our country. The map that is released by the ISIS (Islamic State in Syria and Iraq) showing that they want to establish an Islamic emirate that spread from Saudi Arabia to India including Pakistan. The only way to stop this war from entering our streets is to understand the greater agenda that is behind this fight. Neither Sunnis can execute all Shias nor Shia can do this to Sunnis. But what both can do is they can live with peace, both sects also have to stop those so called scholars who are fuelling the war through hate speeches and literature. In the end; I think it is our moral obligation to help those IDP’s who need our help and also to prey for the safe return to their homes.

*The title is taken from a video made by ‘Save the Children’

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The Foundation has been laid

A career with full of hurdles and storms, suspended job and house arrest, finally Iftikhar Chaudhry has retired. I feel lucky to see his tenure, not just he performed his job sincerely but he also showed us some light ‘at the end of the tunnel’. Like many others I am also following his career from lawyer’s movement through his statements, remarks and judgments.

Looking from one angle; by hearing cases, taking suo motos and by providing justice, Mr. Chaudhry didn’t perform any astonishing work; it was his job against which he was handsomely paid. But in a country in which “politicians declare corruption as their right, a government which can raise price of anything at any time, a police which can kill innocents without any fear, an army whose top personals are involve in mega scams and a country where killers and gangsters are honored”, providing justice in that kind of country is really an extraordinary job. I think Mr. Chaudhry’s actual achievement isn’t in the hearings and proceedings of mega scandals, but his stance to stand firm in front of those who think of themselves as above the law.

Just for a moment think of last five years of Supreme Court without Iftikhar Chaudhry, or with Mr. Dogar as chief justice; the prices of fuel and electricity are tremendously high, ‘matric’ pass and corrupt people are heads of public organizations, twenty-thirty target killings in Karachi every day, corruption of billions every week, dozens of new missing persons every month and secret memos by Hussein Haqani every year and army still looting institutions without being exposed.

Many critics argue that Mr. Chaudhry interfered in other (institutions) businesses; somehow that argument is right, but when institutions fail to fulfill their responsibilities then someone has to come forward and ‘rescue’ the people. Another great achievement of Iftikhar Chaudhry was to give a new identity to Supreme Court, it’s his hard work that now even the critics describe the Supreme Court as a powerful institution. Credit for the ‘rebirth’ of Supreme Court doesn’t only go to Mr. Chaudhry, but also to his team of judges. The judges, who also refused to take oath under PCO and joined hands with chief justice to solve the unsolvable.

After-all Iftikhar Chaudhry isn’t an angel, he also performed some acts which in my opinion he shouldn’t. It is a fact that he had security threats; he was also a target of bomb blast in July, 2007. But he enjoyed a lot more protocol and security than needed. There are also reports that he gave illegal extension to his staff especially the registrar of Supreme Court. Arslan Iftikhar case also brought shame for chief justice but Mr. Chaudhry didn’t have anything to do with it. Nevertheless, even his worst enemies can’t label him as corrupt or dishonest. In the end, nobody is perfect in this world.

Finally new chief justice has sworn in; his tenure will be limited to just seven months. On his first day of work he took suo moto notice and ordered his security staff not to stop the traffic on his route. This definitely is a good sign of new beginning. A beginning whose foundation was laid by Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, a beginning in which prime ministers can be dismissed, where army and secret agencies  are answerable to courts, a beginning in which there is hope for poor and fear for thief, a foundation has been laid.

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A City Difficult to Understand

After crossing trucks, traveling on rough road and passing huge storage houses we were finally at beach. Fortunately or unfortunately the weather was cloudy and water level was pretty much high. The sound of the water was a bit scary, but the colour of sea was amazing; a mixture of blue and green, and when sun appeared from the middle of clouds, waves turned shiny and the whole scene was breathtaking. Brownish sand of the beach was looked like a smooth carpet. In simple words It was extraordinary, not only the beach but the whole Karachi trip.

Before our trip we were really worried about the situation in Karachi, but thanks God that we came home safe and secure. Karachi is much busier, nosier and polluted than Islamabad; however I really liked the city, its style and the accent of the people. People of every age group chewing pan and chali and painting ‘abstract art’ on walls. On almost every signal, every street light and on every wall you will find flags and banners of political parties. Finding a wall without wall chocking in Karachi is like finding water in the middle of a desert, now even popular brands are using wall chocking for their product advertisement (although they are painting the walls in a much proper way). In Karachi taxis are very rear, they are replaced by ‘cng rickshaws’ which are cheaper and comfortable then old ones, the interesting thing is about the variety of rickshaws, from three seater to eleven seater. If you are from Islamabad then it’s better for you not to know about the traffic in Karachi. ‘Signals without bulbs, policemen without respect, cars without indicators and roads without crossings’. The thing that they really have and they use it with open-heart is ‘horn’ and its use. One more specialty of citizens of Karachi is the arguments and the exchange of both ‘kind’ and ‘unkind’ sentences in the middle of driving. Despite all the things Karachi is a city with ‘variety’. According to EIU (economist intelligence unit) recent survey Karachi is the world’s cheapest or least expensive city. The food, transport, rents are all affordable. One of my favorite hobbies in Karachi was to ask rickshaw divers or shopkeepers about his views on Islamabad, according to them; “Islamabad is a beautiful city, but it’s expensive”.

These were the some of my personal observations during the trip. But talking about the political scenario in Karachi, situation is getting messier and uglier day by day. Almost every political party of Karachi is directly or indirectly involved in every type of crime. Political parties turned into mafias, each party’s aim is to capture more areas and strengthen the position on occupied territories. When police itself protecting the criminals and when politicians themselves are the receivers of ‘bhatta’, then how can you bring peace in ‘mini Pakistan’? I have much more to write on Karachi, but for that purpose I will need a whole new blog. For time being; sit tight, watch the ongoing ‘targeted operation’ and hope for the best.

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They Are Back

After almost ten days of ‘battle’ between different ideas in my mind, at last I casted my vote. I was thinking, and still think that this (democratic) system isn’t the ideal governing system. Democracy is the way which leads towards the path of ‘capitalism’, and we all know that the capitalism is one of the main reasons behind the serious ongoing economic crises in (European) countries like Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Portugal. America is also facing same kind of economic crises. I was also amazed by reading the speech of Quaid e Azam given at the inauguration ceremony of state bank, according to him; “only a miracle could save western economy from disaster”. He totally rejected the western economic system and wanted an economic system truly based on Islamic principles. On many occasions Quaid also said; ‘today Islamic principles are as applicable as they were fourteen hundred years ago’, and that is a clear cut answer for those who spend their energies to convince the people that Quaid e Azam was secular and wanted a secular country. He also formed a committee to complete the job of developing an Islamic economic system and said that ‘he, himself will monitor this work’. Unfortunately he didn’t complete that job and passed away.

Making my story short, I casted vote with some ‘reservations’. More than a week has passed since the elections, and the official results have been announced. Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed in making a ‘naya Pakistan’ but the Sharifs are back, they are back with their ‘team’ which consists of fake degree holders, dual nationals, tax defaulters and mafias. Now we are back in ‘purana Pakistan’. After elections there is ongoing debate about ‘rigging in elections’. Definitely there was great rigging in general elections, by analyzing different reports issued by domestic and foreign organizations, which were monitoring the elections; we can say that almost ten percent polling was rigged and unfair. But rigging isn’t unusual in our country; it happens all the time. If you are voting in Pakistan, then you should have to ‘leave some space’ for rigging. Believe me, I’m not saying or trying to say that rigging is a good thing, or it should happen. Definitely rigging is totally injustice with the voters and the candidates and it shouldn’t be acceptable. What I’m trying to say is that if elections were totally free and fair, then results would remain almost the same. PML-N would be the majority party and Nawaz Sharif would be the PM. But in free and fair elections MQM could see a major setback. In our voting system rigging isn’t the real problem; the real problem is that ‘on what basis people cast their votes? Majority of rural population cast their vote on ‘baradri system’, (sixty five percent population of Pakistan lives in rural areas) despite the fact that the candidate is dishonest or corrupt. In my opinion, with changing the mind and thoughts of the people we should also work or at least think about the change in the system.

I think it will be unfair not to mention Nawaz Sharif’s good attitude before and after elections like postponing his campaign for one day after Khan’s fall and visiting him to the hospital. In the end, these elections also brought some positive changes in our society. Imran Khan really brings a change in the mind of our youth, first time in our history upper middle class have participated in political activity. In Karachi, political parties openly condemned and protested against the mass rigging done by MQM. People which Altaf Hussian calls ‘burger-juice guys’ and which we know as ‘our youth’ are protesting for several days against rigging in different parts of the country. Power full horses like Chaudry Nisar, Perviaz Ashraf, Yousaf Raza Gilani etc. were defeated from their constituencies despite the fact that they really did a lot of development work in their areas; they were defeated from their strongholds because of the ‘change’ occurred in the minds of the people.

And yes, for the next five years watch and enjoy Nawaz Sharif building greater relations with ‘India’ and Shehbaz Sharif constructing ‘bullet trains’.

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All Good Things

It’s January and it’s cold in Islamabad. I think there are two ways of spending your winter time; one is to sit tight inside your house, hands in front of heater and eating peanuts. But, I dislike this way; I think that we should enjoy the winter. I love to walk in cold and also love to feel it, because when you feel something then you also enjoy it. Ten in the night, you go to the market, exhaling smoke from your mouth again and again. On returning back to home, nobody here and there, just you walking alone and disturbing voice of your chappal.

The point that I’m trying to make is that ‘there is always second side of everything’, usually which we don’t see.  Same ‘dual face formula’ apply to Pakistan; in today’s Pakistan we mostly know and discuss bad situations. I’m not saying that there is no bad that people are discussing. Definitely there is bad, or even much more than good, but good is also there. Let’s start with our judiciary. I, myself is a very big fan of CJ (chief justice). I heard many people saying that “what we got after the restoration of judges?” In my opinion, It’s not the duty of judiciary to provide “roti, kapra aur makan” to people. Their duty is to provide justice, and they are doing their best. Just few years back, can anyone think that ISI appears in front of Supreme Court and accept the illegal arrest of prisoners? Court took action against Hajj corruption and save people from trouble, which went later on Hajj. They took action from Karachi killings to Balochistan unrest. There are very large number of cases and judgments which directly affected people’s life. I am not writing these lines for discussing judiciary performance, but I’m writing this to highlight some ‘good things’. We have snooker champions like ‘Mohammad Asif’, who go for world championships without any government support and return back with the title of ‘world champion’ of snooker. We should be proud of people like Abdul Sattar Edhi, who donated their whole life for Pakistan and for his people. We also have persons like ‘Umar Saif’, whose name listed on the “world top 35 young innovators” (by MIT) and now he is serving to Pakistan. There are lot of good things around us, what we have to do is just to look around. So don’t worry, take a sip of coffee and enjoy the season.

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The Lost Memories

Last year, I lost my grandmother and this year, I lost my grandfather. After the death of my grandfather, I’m convinced that after losing someone you realize their importance. When my grandma passed away she wasn’t living with us, but my grandfather was. Soon after his departure, I didn’t realize his absence due to the presence of our relatives. But, after two to three days when life came to normal, I missed him.

In my childhood I read something about ‘dreams’. I read that the things we saw in our dreams are actually those situations, about which we think in our daily life. I saw dadi in my dream on the night she died. I saw her, lying on the hospital’s bed and I was sitting on the sofa, watching television. In that dream I found myself some sort of guilty for not taking care of her truly. On the night of dada’s death, I thought that maybe dada will also come in my dream, and I was right, on my five hour sleep(I usually sleep seven to eight hours)I saw him in my dream. He was also lying on the hospital’s bed and I was holding his hand, I saw his hand moving. I was glad and informing my uncle that he is alright.

Now, there is no voice of radio, the voice that we used to hear from five am to ten pm. Now, I don’t have to worry about his lunch and dinner, his bananas and biscuits. Sometimes, I think that I didn’t take care of him as I should. I could spend more time with him and take care of him more effectively. Then, instead of becoming sad, I recall the good memories. Like serving him the lunch and dinner, taking him to the washroom etc. I am telling you all this because it may also happens with you. Therefore, instead of being shameful; just recall the good memories, because ‘you always have the good ones’.

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