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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Revolution Within Reach

A few months back, an illustrious leader from his podium in London, fired a verbal missile, with special emphasis on a word called, "revolution." The electronic media and chatteriti, went wild with all the crazy and bizarre revolutionary models, best suitable for our nation. There were debates on whether a French or Iranian type revolution will solve our nation' s never ending saga. Experts after experts emphasised on the merits of such a sweeping measure. According to most of them, this was the call and the need of the hour.

No one bothered to really delve into, why any such a revolution was actually necessary. Of course, the buzz word as always was incessant "corruption" and our world famous, "nepotism." Added were some heavy duty "terrorism", and lack of "law and order" issues and you had hours and hours of mind numbing verbal altercations, between the so called experts.

Of course we have short term memories and selective understanding of certain concepts. It was not very long ago, when we were proudly marching on the streets of our nation, sending signals to a despot that his days were up. We were chanting and screaming off the top of our lungs to establish the rule of law and free our judiciary from the shackles of the dictator. Subsided our noise when the Chief of the Supreme level of justice was restored. Buried was our passion and enthusiasm in the midst of some midnight executive order.

The term "rule of law" is the actual revolutionary concept. 63 years and we are still struggling and grappling with this novel and such a unique idea. What is so hindering, that we are not able to come near this so called "foreign" and often termed as a "Western phenomenon." So we seek our solace in the idea of rolling back the clock and reliving the times of our religious leaders. We tend to think, by creating a facade of a certain look we can reach the eternal salvation. How naïve are we?

It is ironic that we beat around the bush of a system which is by all means based on the tenets of our faith. The concept of implementing, interpreting, enforcing and following the law is revolutionary in itself. The semblance to order follows immediately on its own, when this concept is embraced with all hearts and minds. Those who think that only boots and barrels can enforce such a thing in our land, should think again and look around the world. How come this works for the rest of the world and not for us. The only thought that comes to mind is, we must be the chosen ones. Chosen specially to ignore this very basic reality.

So save the mayhem, save the bloodshed. Save the age old rhetoric and save the never ending excuses. Let the people overlooking Thames River know, there is only one revolution which is needed. Being honest to ourselves and respecting and obeying the law of humanity. Humanity in itself is a divine law. One who understands and embraces it, always follows and respects the law of the land. The rest is all a figment of someones wild imagination.

Altaf Bhai's Martial Law Call For Punjab

As entertaining as Altaf Bhai's speeches are most of the time, the latest one for call for Martial Law in Punjab should be taken as is, for its entertainment value. A couple of days back, another entertainer cum astrologer cum politician, the honourable Pir Sahib Pagara had stated that an imposition of martial law was imminent for Karachi's peace.

So it seems like a response from Altaf Bhai to Pir Sahib or PML-N or GOD knows who. Of course Altaf Bhai is clearly hung up on his demands for a "French type" revolution. The revolution that Altaf Bhai wants to see, at least in our part of the world means a lot of bloodshed and destruction. The fundamental disagreement that I have with any such revolution is, after all is said and done, it will not achieve the objectives. Force and fear is not the answer to any long lasting peace and real change.

Altaf Bhai' s call to the military to impose Martial Law in Punjab begs another question. What would that do that almost 10 years rule of a military ruler, the infamous General Musharraf was unable to do? Altaf Bhai and his party whole heartedly supported Musharraf Sahib's rule and will perhaps be ready to cobble a coalition with him in the future. As there was a meeting of Farooq Sattar Sahib and Chaudhry Shujaat of Q League, where both of them agreed to form a "strategic alliance" between the two parties. Which brings us to another question, both parties were in partnership within the previous government, so there is an open understanding between the two. What was all that about?

The illustrious Altaf Bhai has emphasised that landowners and feudal must quit the politics and "ghareeb awaam", should be able to reach the power corridors. I agree with him partially. I am no feudal apologist and understand his basis. But in a democracy, every one has the right to stand for a political party. Now the comment should be, that feudals should not tamper with the democratic process and let the representatives of all classes, poor, working or middle to participate in politics. Having said all of this, last I heard a lot of PML-Q Leaguers are from feudal class as well. So how come Altaf Bhai wants to shake hands with the same feudal that he wants to get rid of?

So you can deduce that every "khitaab" from London has its own value. Lastly, he promised that if there was going to be a need, he will come back to Pakistan. Now if you like to bet (I don't), I would not bet on this one. According to him, the conditions are grave or let's call it "sangeen" in Urdu, how much more "Sangeeni" does he need to make his triumphant return to Nine zero?

Friday, January 21, 2011

PM Gilani Takes The Middle Road

Our PM Sahib reiterated at the Cleric Conference that no changes would be brought to the infamous Blasphemy Law. In the same breath, like a true politician, he stated that "no one would be allowed to misuse it either."

May be PM Sahib, was under duress or really scared around so many clerics, that he totally missed the boat, on the issue. The main reason why Governor Taseer was assassinated, was his comments about the misuse of the law. Historically, it has been used against the minority members of lower strata of the society, often to settle personal scores.

Amazingly, a supposedly liberal and democratic government is pinned against the wall by a seemingly simple issue. That's what we call the power of twisting the opinion of clueless crowd. Regretfully, most of the public when it comes to the religion, rarely thinks objectively. As they say that we are "full of josh, but very little hosh." We tend to mortgage our brains to the clerics, knowing full well that clerics will not be answerable for our deeds. We have to make our own moral judgments, based on our personal understanding of our faith. Our Holy Book, our Holy Prophet's life and his companions example is what we need to emulate.

The comical part of this story is that, PML-Q of all parties, is criticising the government for appeasing the clerics. Do we need to revisit the not so distant past, so determine what Q-League stood for with its allies like MMA? The Red Mosque radicals were multiplying exponentially under their watch and inside the capital, of all the places in our nation.

But no matter where anyone stands on this issue, the current government has somewhat disappointed many with its status quo. People give all kinds of reasons, primarily the government being too weak to sustain any new upheaval. The only saving grace has been Bilawal, but he is still young and waiting in the wings. By the time he is ready to jump into the foray, who knows where we all will stand.

We are completely polarised on this issue and without discussion, we will not move forward. The happy medium can only be reached, if this issue is resolved with open hearts and minds. Otherwise it will be the same old rhetoric. The rhetoric which has earned us the coveted and very apt title of, "Guftar key ghazi."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Securing The President

In the wake of recent brutal murder of Governor Taseer, by his own elite security guard, security of the VIP's has become a major issue. Undoubtedly, the act of Mr. Qadri is shameful and pathetic. Much has been written about his deceitful and remorseless behaviour. Equally deplorable is the bizarre outpouring and public sympathy for a cold blooded murderer.

When the President of the country cannot trust his own security personnel and he has to make a plea to the US government to provide him security, that speaks volume about the trust deficit we have in Islamabad. Undoubtedly, the President has many foes from the get go. He has been chastised (in some cases rightfully so), by his detractors on almost every single move he has made, after taking the oath of office.

Despite the political differences, the President holds one of the highest office of the land and should be protected by all reasonable means. The media has criticised this move as well, as it gives the impression that a common man is pretty much on his own. There is some weight in the argument, however another violent incident involving a high profile personality, would be a much bigger blunder.

If the President has to rely on Americans or some other country to provide him with trained and trustworthy security personnel, it should not become a political issue. Repeated political assassinations have tainted our history quite often. GOD forbid one more, would send all the wrong signals to the rest of the world.

Of course the US security personnel should be deployed on a temporary basis. They should train their Pakistani counterparts and a force like US Secret Service must be established. Their primary responsibility should be, to protect the President and the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers. People who take this move as some disgrace to the national pride, should relax a bit and think objectively. Even the darkest incidents provide an opportunity to mend or improve the areas where there is a need. This is one area where there is a dire need.

If we can organise and let a department emerge responsible for securing the key leaders of the country, it will demonstrate that Pakistan is a responsible nation. Securing the life of key personnel will avoid any potential vacuum and chaos, which is rather common in our nation. It will set a precedent for the rest of the nation as well.

Similarly, the foreign consultants should be brought in to conduct independent review of our law enforcement agencies. Based on their recommendations, sweeping measures to reform those agencies must be taken. Once the confidence of general public is restored, only then a common Pakistani would feel equally secured.
All this should be transparent and realistic expectations must be set for the public. This is not a process, which can potentially take effect overnight.

Seeking Jinnah's Pakistan In Zia's Pakistan

Jinnah Sahib's untimely death and Pakistan's loss of Quaid's vision is often debated at this forum. Many Pakistanis, including myself find it quite disheartening that a sound and solid ideology went completely astray after his demise.

It is an irony, that we as a nation never collectively, pay heed to the original ideas and reasons why this country came into being. Agreed that the subsequent leaders who succeeded Jinnah Sahib, were silenced by force and those who were left were not able to put it into a path that Quaid had envisioned.

Arguably, the blood that many gave to reach the Wagah border, hoping to reach their promised land, was shed in vain. The chaos that ensued after one blow or the other, the intrigues that followed and the bitter differences of opinions on form and function of government, led to the military intervention. It is nothing short of a miracle, that this country is, still on the map of this world, despite all the odds.

The often stated and debated role of the military behind our national degradation, is no secret. Their blind lust for power, unabated and ill conceived dictatorship has done the most harm to the ideology of Pakistan. Seemingly, the only institution which supposedly provided "order and stability", but in fact conspired to make the political and democratic mind set weaker and bleaker in the country.

After Jinnah Sahib, the only leader, with all his faults and blemishes was ZAB, who put the country back on some track. His biggest blunder, legislature's bizarre power to serve as an arbitrator on people's faith. Personally, I am a Sunni Muslim, but I certainly do not want the government declaring anyone Muslim or Non Muslim, based on its subjective interpretation. At other forums, I have weighed in on this a number of times. If tomorrow, Shias, Ahmedis, Bohris or Ismaeelis outnumber the Sunnis in population, and declare the Sunnis as "Non-Muslims", then how would that make the current majority sect feel?

Getting back to this discussion, our political pundits often bring America as the reason why we are in such a mess. Perhaps there is some truth to this, but totally blaming the US for our flight from Jinnah's vision is at least unrealistic and disingenuous. Bhutto Sahib's socialist ideas and dreams of Pakistan becoming a modern Islamic Republic, were shattered by a rather timid looking General Zia Ul Haq.

Zia's "Islamisation project" did the most harm to our country. His proponents argue that he had very few choices. US needed Pakistan to counter the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan and Pak military was providing the logistical support to the Mujahideen. The only way he could have assembled the resources from friendly Muslim countries was to give this military campaign a cover called, "Jihad." What followed later is common knowledge.

A democratically elected government in any such predicament, would have used diplomacy and would have set certain rules of engagement. The reason is plain and simple, a democratically elected government is answerable to the public and constituents. A despot and a dictator is answerable to none. One can assume that a democratically elected government, would have reluctantly joined the campaign but would have put the interest of Pakistan at the forefront. Regretfully, Pakistan's interest was put on the back burner.

This brought the influx of refugees, that Pakistan did not have adequate resources to handle. Zia Sahib bargained the sovereignty of the country, in the name of "Afghan Aid Dollars." The religious mantra was repeated endlessly for political purposes and each promise that Zia Sahib made to the nation on July 04, 1977 was reneged.

The political opportunists benefited the most from this 11 years of military rule. The country drifted from its original ideology completely. The state was busy in the business of war and hence the Islamisation suited the agenda of the Khakis. Any and every dissent was brutally crushed and hopes of any democratic elections dwindled.

The religious and political parties demonstrated their undying allegiance to the "Ameer Ul Momineen." The rather ironic fact is that, in our faith tyranny is considered completely unacceptable. Those who have doubts, must revisit the history of the events that led to the battle of Karbala and martyrdom of Imam Hussain (R.A.H). The grandson of Prophet PBUH who gave his life opposing the unjust rule of Yazeed.

The so called religious parties who were opposed to the creation of this country, played with the dignity of this country under the facade of the faith. The Jinnah's progressive Pakistan became supposedly the sole saviour of the sanctity of the religion. The nation was divided and subdivided into so many sects and groups that a cohesive nationalistic ideology and vision became completely blurred. Creating "better, pure and pious" Muslims became the primary responsibility of the state. If the August 1988 plane crash would have not claimed Zia Sahib's life, we would have seen his reign for perhaps another 11 or many more years.

The political parties post Zia, have not been able to come out of the shadows of Zia's legacy. PML-N was truly a continuation of Zia's conservative agenda. BB Sahiba's two terms were short lived and marred by the corruption scandals. Musharraf's enlightened moderation was the biggest joke, as it was clearly the policy of keeping both, "Ram and Raheem" happy, so to speak. Musharraf Sahib was trying to keep both the US and the conservatives happy. Lal Masjid was an exception, but it was a very poor execution of state's writ. Again, there is a difference in a statesman and a dictator. Musharraf Sahib clearly was not the former.

The current regime, although is a democratically elected government but very fragile and toothless. It almost seems like it is surviving on the direct blessing of Washington. It does not have any solid vision or agenda to put the country back to any real direction. It is treading on a safe path as it cannot weather any more storms.

Looking ahead we see a potential PML-N led stint in the coming years. Again, PML-N on the surface may have gained some political points in the restoration of the CJ days, but it is ideologically a direct descendant of Zia. It has always used the "Islamic ploy" to tap into its voter base.

The hopes of reviving Jinnah's ideals are in the hearts and minds of the true patriots. Their struggle is painstaking and laborious and will take many years. The way out of this political use of Islam strictly depends on the building of consensus. It is these visionaries, who would define tomorrow's Pakistan. The tides of change have started to emerge. The soil will witness the birth of those who will change the course. These people will unite the bitterly divided nation under the flagship of Pakistan. Agreed that it is in a silent minority at the present time, but the seeds of change are being germinated as we speak. A few more years and the change of generation will alter the landscape. The truly promised land for the significant majority of the Sub Continent.

Ghazi Mumtaz Qadri

The insane murder of Late Salman Taseer, was not enough of a shameful surprise this week. There was more in store for all of us. The blood of the slain leader had barely dried and there came an edict from 500 or so clerics advising people not to show remorse or sorrow for the departed soul. People were advised not to attend the funeral of Mr. Taseer and any one who attended his funeral was going to be fair game for the "Ghazis" like Mr. Qadri.

May the soul of Mr. Taseer rest in everlasting peace. Ameen. Personally, I did not agree with some of his politics in the province of Punjab. That's the beauty of democracy, not all of us agree on everything. We all have our positions and leanings. We can engage in a dialogue and either resolve our differences or at least agree to disagree amicably. My hat is off to him for his bold stance on Asiya Bibi's case. Of course his conviction was commendable and even though he knew the peril, he stood firm.

In our deeply misguided society, where a murderer is celebrated as a hero and has a facebook following honoring his heinous crime, any thing can be expected and quite possible. Our slain leader, was not even buried and people were referring to his personal life and criticising his lifestyle.

To add insult to the injury, when the accused Mr. Qadri, was brought to the Islamabad Court, he was welcomed by some lawyers who showered rose petals on him. If that was not enough, our valiant soldiers of law, chanted slogans in favour of Mr. Qadri. Arguably, in a free society, all have a right to express an opinion. But the legal fraternity has an obligation to uphold and respect the law and the basic writ of the law. The accused of course has committed the crime in front of witnesses and confessed to such an atrocious act. Here our legal fraternity, was siding with the wrong guy. Understood that this was just a fraction of the legal counsels, but it is definitely wrong. These were the same lawyers, who were supported by the people in droves, when General Musharraf's was crushing their movement to restore the Chief Justice.
But like many things in our nation, that are upside down, this callous and insensitive behaviour will be remembered for time to come. Have you noticed that we yell the loudest on things that we are absolutely clueless about. The question(s) that I want to raise in the end are:

A) How could a person who attacks an unarmed person become a Ghazi?
B) How could a person, who uses deception to kill another person become a Ghazi?
C) How could a person who dis obeys his duty and hit someone potentially from the back, become a Ghazi?
D) How could someone, who should be chastised becomes a hero and a Ghazi?

I am a totally ignorant person, when it comes to the faith, but I know one thing for sure, if my Prophet PBUH was with us, he would not call characters like the accused a Ghazi. My conviction stems from the historical events where Prophet PBUH was abused, ridiculed and even showered with filth by the non believers and he was the Messenger of Almighty. If he did not order his companions to kill any of those people in retaliation, then who the heck are these clerics to pass such judgments. Lopsided isn't it.

Right Or Wrong?

We take positions based on our views and our perceptions of the world. Mostly our views are guided by our domestic and external education, religion and morals, personal experiences and above all our environment.

We are a bitterly divided nation, like many other countries around the world. There is this constant tug of war that you witness around the globe, between liberals and conservatives. One trying to enforce their principles and ideologies on the other. Often this is an exercise in futility, as rarely any one parts with their core mental mapping.

Our country is no exception. Ever since its inception, there has been a conflict between these two distinct intellectual forces. In our case, regretfully the conservatives have used the religion as a moral compass to mold the opinion of the general masses. There is no denying that a faith is very significant factor in establishing the foundations of law and morality in personal and societal lives. But the basis of religion actually is a link between the Creator and the creation. A path that leads every individual to their personal salvation.

When religion becomes a tool to formulate an opinion which threatens the life and liberty of another individual on the basis of innuendo and perception, then a correction is badly warranted. Keep in mind, that its the faith which teaches us to better ourselves first. Passing judgments on others and their salvation or lack thereof, are not in the capacity of any human being. Those decisions are well suited for the "Ultimate Decider."

The recent murder in our capital raises a very important moral question. Taking another life merely on personal beliefs is whether right or wrong? This is not a right versus left debate. It is just a rude awakening for our deeply cancerous mindset which praises an atrocious act. Our religion teaches us to show compassion and mercy to others. When we face our Lord every day in our prayers, we beg Him to put us on the right path. Either the Lord has put us on the right one, and we are ignoring it, or our tall egos are preventing us from accepting that, what we are doing is utterly wrong.

Qadri Episode: Where All Of This May End Up

From an unknown Elite Policeman to a Ghazi, Qadri Sahib has been declared the new super hero of our nation by some misguided clergy. Any sane person can deduce that Qadri Sahib's action is considered a "Gunah e Kabeera" (great sin) in our faith. But all this commotion on the streets leaves you speechless.

People are gathering at Qadri Sahib's residence like it was some sort of a citadel to chant their meaningless slogans in support of his heinous crime. I said it at another forum, I will briefly repeat here, our misguided clerics are mixing apples with oranges. As little as I know about my faith, I know that in any case, my faith does not permit me to hit someone from the rear, who is unarmed and unsuspecting. Above all, if I am hired to protect him, then it is considered another sin, to dis obey my duty by deceiving and using deception to kill someone twice my age.

But all this is like no one wants to hear. Prophet PBUH' s name and its sanctity is being made an excuse for this pathetic behaviour. To top it off the victim had clearly and categorically criticised the misuse of the law, and not the law itself. But like anyone else, I am shocked at the callous and indifferent attitude of many in our land of pure and perfect.

Our hyper anchors of media may be twisting this saga into a liberal and conservative issue. I humbly disagree with them. It is more of a right and wrong issue. In any society, no matter which country, you do not glorify the act of murder. Keep in mind, at the day of Judgment, when GOD may forgive our sins, because HE is the most compassionate and merciful. Let's say the victim does not, and pleads to Almighty for justice, then we will have no where to end up, other than the ever burning hell.

The misguided clerics, despite the assurances of the government spokes hole, are carrying their million man march to demonstrate their street power. One wonders why we are in such a disarray , these are the people, who are supposed to be our role models and teachers of our faith. The pressure on the government will be immense and there is no way that our government will open a new front with this unruly segment. One can easily guess the fate of the poor lady, Asiya Bibi, who has been accused of making the blasphemous statement against Prophet PBUH.

By the same token, chances are that the accused, Mr. Qadri may get a life sentence at the most for the pre- meditated murder. Of course, there would be immense pressure to set him free and we may see more demonstrations and pressure tactics to convince the government to toe the line of the "self righteous." Who knows, some "foreign governments" may intervene as well to get an "amicable resolution." Any thing is expected and possible in our gifted land. The days ahead are going to be difficult and turbulent, to say the least. The fragile government will be facing the fissures of the very deeply divided and wounded nation.

Living In Two Worlds

Many Pakistani Americans were impacted adversely, when the twin towers of WTC Building collapsed, back on the ill fated day of September 11, 2001. Many decided to head back home as they felt, the American dream for them had turned into an American nightmare. They were petrified of the concentration camps, where some rumour mongers were eager to dispatch them.

The reality turned out to the contrary. Many who left for safe harbours in Pakistan or Middle East (read Persian Gulf States), returned back empty handed to the same good old America. The horror they supposedly ran from in the US, followed them in those countries. There was a common theme that each one of them narrated. They were either duped or conned into shady investments, were not able to find reasonable economic opportunity or some domestic strife came in their way.

The good old saying is always true, "home is where the heart is." Many people argue about what is so special about the good old US of A. I would simply put it, it is the freedom and the ability to reinvent yourself. My friends and family members, often criticise me for being divided in two nations. I think it is a good thing. I always say, you have the best of the both worlds.

The common gripe against us who have supposedly abandoned their mother land, is that we are indifferent and we do not care about our home country. We have sold our souls to the adopted countries. The truth is that in last three decades or so, not a single day has elapsed, when the word, "Pakistan", did not come out of my mouth. My friends at the some forums take jabs at the fact that, "I am a sell out, and I live in a country, that is not so friendly to the rest of the Islamic countries." To them I have always said, "get a life."

Often in our discussions, we bring the foreign policy of the US as a basis for our discourse. As a citizen of the US, I do not agree with a lot of international policy decisions of the US government. Similarly, if I would be residing in Pakistan, I would not agree with many foreign policy decisions of the Pakistan government either. In any case, that does not make me less of a Pakistani or less of an American.

A few weeks back, a very famous personality weighed in on the decision of her family to move back to Pakistan. The primary reason was to acquaint her children with their roots. I wish her and her family well. I have learned a lot about my faith in this Non Muslim country perhaps more than in my own home land. The Western culture, which is often ridiculed as a stigma can only influence you, if you allow it to.

Often when we return to Pakistan, our relatives ridicule with us as we seem to them like "bunch of weird people." Often in our interactions with shop keepers, we tend to say, "please" and "thank you" a lot. We prefer conversing in Urdu and move around in traditional clothes.

The fact is that being in two worlds simultaneously is a good thing. It keeps you well balanced and gives you a dual identity. Here in America, no one puts a gun to your head to frequent the bars, casinos or night clubs. No one forces you to engage in illicit relationships or turn a blind eye towards your faith.

Your identity and your values reside in your heart. It is up to you to let the rest of the world know, who you are and what you stand for. You carry your culture with you every minute of your life. The culture is not confined in any geographical boundaries. Be proud of who you are, no matter where you are. In the end, it is the personality and character, which trump everything.

The Killing Fields Of Karachi

Electronic media is ablaze with recent senseless killings in the Port City. Nobody knows, who comes from nowhere, kills people indiscriminately and disappears.

These victims are people who are in down trodden areas of the city, barely trying to cope with the insanity called life. The sight of living conditions, that many face in S.I.T.E area, Orangi Town, Baldia Township and Sohrab Goth, would make us all appreciate our lives. The question that often remains unanswered is why them?

These are not wealthy people, they have barely enough to buy the meal for the day. Why all of this then and who benefits from these so called, "target killings.". Our very own Interior Minister has been told by his "seventh sense", that there is a "hidden hand", a "third power", behind all of this recent massacre.

Immediately after such bizarre incidents, joint investigation teams are formulated. The administration reassures the citizens that, all will be done to bring the culprits to justice, but it seems like it is bunch of hot air. No one knows, about the outcome of any such previous investigations and hoping any thing from new ones is utter stupidity.

The grand politicians blame each other's parties for such lawlessness. Some blame it on "drug mafia" and "land mafia." All these statements seem to be quite ludicrous. If such incidents were occurring in affluent neighbourhoods, then such assertions would be valid. What would drug and land mafia gain from people who have nothing to spare. The land where they are barely covering their head in the most deplorable conditions, is not even theirs. Something defies intelligence here.

Some blame the local gangs for spreading the mayhem. Typically gangs in the slums have their turf wars. But in most cases those are targeted towards an individual. Not a spree that we witness in such often incidents, which are repeated quite often.

The law enforcement agencies, consider those areas as "off limits", and stay away from those war zones for the obvious reasons. It is often noted, that a rather calm and content Karachi can turn into a mini hell in no time.

The city faces way too many problems as its population is soaring and resources are running very thin. Yet no one can pin point, who is behind, these very targeted, "target killings." Of course one can always blame RAW and Mossad. Because, after all a "Muslim cannot kill another Muslim." Go figure.

Deweaponise Pakistan! But How

MQM's senior leader, Dr. Farooq Sattar, in the wake of recent Karachi killings, made an appeal to the masses. He wants to evaluate current laws on the books and introduce some new ones, to essentially de-weaponise Pakistan. The statement makes a very good sound bite and great headlines, but in essence sounds quite hollow.

The issue is not the legislation itself. I am sure that, there are plenty of laws on the books, forbidding use of illegal fire arms. The bigger issue is the effectiveness of all those verbose, yet. Ineffective laws. It all boils down to the implementation of these great yet meaningless laws.

Introducing more bills into the parliament, gives the impression that law makers are holding their end of the bargain. The fact is that this seemingly well intentioned idea is close to being impossible to apply on the masses.

Without naming the obvious culprits, the political parties have engaged into the warfare with latest weaponry to claim their territorial rights in a rather integral city of the nation. How would, they give up their turf of the much revered Port City. As they say, " charity begins at home", so who would drop the first coin in the bucket?

Then the "good old extremist", who have supposedly made it their whole and sole aim to play with the explosives, how will they be deterred? Who is going to the bell that proverbial cat? The elite class and their security guards have a lot of arms and ammunition, supposedly for their protection. The pervasive "royal culture" which requires a fleet of armed guards, in front of the palatial mansions. Who is going to convince them to give up their "birth right" of being the VIP's?

The criminals and the ransom gangs who abduct people at a drop of a hat, perhaps possess latest metal, which the law enforcers, such as police personnel can only dream of. Who is going to make them surrender their toys? How about student and labour unions, who thrive on klashnikov and TT's as their show of power and force. Who is going to remind them, that their hands should be on the books and assembly lines so, the economic growth rate of the country can improve exponentially?

Then there are certain areas of the country famous for manufacturing the replicated versions of guns and weaponry. How will those folks, for whom weapons are a way of life be swayed to part with their identity and so called heritage?

The easy answer is that, have the military conduct an operation in the recently impacted areas of Karachi. But is that the answer to the long standing, law and order situation of the city? Perhaps a band aid solution, but the situation will be temporary as usual. As soon as the operation will cease, the city will turn into the familiar war zone.
It is rather ludicrous, to expect the army to carry out an operation of disarming every single household of the country by force.

So as you can see, it is rather easy to pass a sweeping judgment with a rather well sounding statement. But when you try to reason with it, you know that it is more of a dream. My readers would be perplexed by now, where this whole thing is headed.

The everlasting solution lies, first and foremost in supremacy of the law. If the law is implemented, without any distinction and applicable to every one, regardless of their status or affiliation that would be the first step. A few convictions of every unruly segment of the society would send the right message to the citizens.

Most importantly a non violent culture has to be introduced from the kindergarten to the highest level of education. Where people are compelled to part with these lethal ornaments. Where people do not tolerate injustice and let the law of the land take its proper course. Where life of another individual will be more precious than anything. Only then we can de-weaponise this nation. Any other idea is going to fall flat on the surface, immediately after its inception. You don't erect a building with just mental sketches do you?

Well Done Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Although personally, I am against the dynasty politics, but Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's recent statement is commendable. A 23 year old has the guts to say what should be said by every real living breathing Pakistani.

The bold statement made by BBZ in favour of all minorities and calling the people celebrating the death of slain Governor, the real blasphemers, speaks volumes about the young man's character. We need people like him, who can speak from their heart and mind.

The recent showdown in the electronic and print media of this being a liberal and conservative issue is absolutely inaccurate. It seems like Bilawal repeated the lines that are running through many sane Pakistani heads. It is absolutely a right versus wrong issue.
As a nation, we are an inclusive nation, made up of citizens with varying beliefs. Yes predominantly Muslim, but all the rest of the people residing within or outside Pakistan, with their roots in this country are equally Pakistani. Our constitution, provides the same protection to them. They have the freedom to practice their faith as they choose.

Many would consider me totally out of touch from reality based on the last paragraph, no I am not. Yes, we have steered away from the vision of our founding father. However, all struggles continue on the hopes and aspirations of many who see injustice as wrong and intend to alter the course. With such a statement coming from a young
Pakistani, I see this glass half full. There are many more Pakistanis who have expressed their outrage at the cold blooded murder of Governor Taseer.
PTH has been instrumental in covering the voices of reason from around the globe.

Bilawal's statement can be considered a political rhetoric, but for right now it has to be accepted at face value. When the time comes and Bilawal, if elected reverses his stance, then we may discard him as another run of the mill politician. Until then, he deserves our benefit of doubt.

Yes he is young and naïve right now, but after the untimely loss of his illustrious mother, has shown immense maturity with this statement. Yes, he has the spark of his mother and his grandfather. The spark, that we badly need to get ourselves out of this dark ditch of hatred and intolerance.

Ultimately, a nation does not sustain itself or prospers merely on a uniform faith. It is the nationalistic ideology, common values, and inclusive vision, which binds us all together. One humble request to Mr. BBZ, please keep this going and stay firm on your words. Let's build a saner Pakistan.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gilani Express Back On A Crooked Track

Conspiracy theorist aside, Governor Taseer's untimely murder assisted to some extent, in softening the stance of MQM. The ever fragile democracy of Pakistan was about to go into another downward spiral, but it seems like the train wreck was averted, at least for right now. The key words are for, "right now."

The concessions that PM Gilani made to bring back the estranged allies, are beyond common knowledge. Only his close associates, such as Mr. Interior Minister Rehman Malik aka Shaitan Malik, know the real story.

MQM should be credited for their usage of political leverage, which some call their, "bullying tactic", but in the end it brought the PM and his team to negotiate at MQM's turf. At least many believe, that there was more bargaining done, behind close doors, at least more than what meets the eye.

As usual the statements were vague. MQM decided to get back in the Gilani Express, as gasoline prices were rolled back to pre Jan 01 and the Government was going to make a concerted effort to end the monstrous corruption. Madam Secretary Clinton, gave the PPP led government an earful on how poor the gasoline price hike decision was. At least I would agree with some analysts, which was completely out of place, on Madam Secretary's part.

It appears that this train has been put back on a crooked track and the days ahead are going to be, to say the least very turbulent. MQM will maintain its hard line stance on any slipping of PPP. The clerics have decided to come out with another rally against blasphemy laws in a day or two. The killer of Mr. Taseer is being glorified by a certain segment of our lawyers and the media. Any sentence awarded to the accused will create a new fire storm in our bitterly divided nation.

PM Sahib may have taken a sigh of relief for the moment. Without sounding like a pessimist, I see some major malfunctions ahead for the Gilani Express. I sincerely hope that I am proven wrong.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome To Pakilistan

Welcome to Pakillistan. Where we kill indiscriminately, any where, any place, any time, any way, when it comes to dissent. We kill people as it is a divine duty ours. We are the solely guided and only righteous Muslims that ALMIGHTY ever created on this planet.

We profess that we are the true Muslimeens. We don't care that ALMIGHTY calls HIMSELF, "AL-REHMAN" and "AL-RAHEEM." We do not have the words of compassion or mercy in our dictionary. Those virtues some how seem to evade us. We only see the GOD as GOD ALMIGHTY, full of wrath and fire. Knowing full well, that without GOD's compassion and mercy, we are not even able to exhale our next breath.

We are the judge, we are the jury and we are the executioners. On the entire planet, we are the only nation, on whom the ALMIGHTY has bestowed this burdensome, yet very righteous responsibility. We often tend to forget that there is a day of judgment ahead. Our patience is wearing thin, we can hardly wait for that day, so we give our judgment on any and everybody almost every day.

We believe that we our the only superior people GOD has created. Any body who does not subscribe to our belief system or the way we pray or address our GOD, has either no right to live or if he or she does, their life is not dear to the ALMIGHTY. We often ignore that it is ALMIGHTY who created the other beings as well and separated us by color, language, region and beliefs so we can be differentiated and identified.

We write our own rules and want the world to accept our way or it is highway. We glorify and sanctify the murderers as our true heroes. We believe that we have the right of taking the life of anybody at any given moment. We are the GOD's chosen people, who GOD wants to occupy his seven heavens. The rest of the people are all meant as fuel for GOD's ever burning Hell.

We bomb innocent people minding their business, kill women, children, helpless, poor or rich, unarmed or un alarmed. Heck we take pride in blowing up the graves of saints and the dead. Killing is what we excel in. Killing is what we are meant for. The day, we do not see some red human blood flowing on our streets, is the day, we mourn. We want the world to get it. The world is in denial. The world needs to know. As we know it all. Killing has become our business and if there was an index somewhere, we will be right on top of that index.

Welcome to Pakillistan, are you ready to be killed.!!!!! Let the killing continue.