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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Altaf Bhai Invites Taliban To Join Hands

If Altaf Bhai can only realize his immense potential as an entertainer, he would definitely give many Umer Sharifs and "Comedy Kings" of Bollywood, run for their money. Is it me, or has someone noticed this as well, there is always some "Yaum e This" and "Yaum e That", celebrated by our dear MQM walas, where we have the "jamm e ghafeer" of people dying to listen to our own Altaf Bhai, directly from "Edgware Shareef", giving his "fiery Khitabaats." The strange thing is that no one knows what the "yaum" is all about. It just pops every now and then, when Bhai has the urge to take the microphone in his hands.

Of course after failing to awaken the souls of "mohibbey watan Jurnails", Altaf Bhai has re routed his pleas to a different class, so dominant in our national sphere. This time he has requested, our "mohibbey watan Taliban" to join hands and put the miseries of our nation to an eternal end. (http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/19/taliban-asked-to-join-hands-with-fellow-countrymen.html)

Now Altaf Bhai wants our so skilled Taliban to join hands and take this country out of distress. One minor detail, which perhaps the speech writer for Bhai, forgot to add was, that our nation is going through this mess, just a very tiny bit (I mean tiny as a 1/millionth) of a dust particle, just because of these real heroes made of steel.

But we all know that Bhai is famous for what we call in the slang of Karachi as a "shurli", he just likes to shoot that "shurli", whenever he chooses. So I was moved like many, with this new plea of Bhai, and I was wondering that the Grand Mujahid, Mulla Umer would be thinking along the same lines. He would be gathering his elders for a consultative meeting to chart out the strategy.

A couple of years, down the road, we may get to see some "election walection" and TTP can join hands with MQM and give a whole new meaning to the "Muttahidda" of the name of our so called, third largest political party of the country. I was even thinking ahead and imagining the hoarding or a bill board with Bhai on one end and Mulla Sahib on the other, "joining hands" and smiling. People lining up in Sohrab Goth, Lalu Khait, Teen Hatti and Baldia Township etc. to cast their votes for the two "real leaders."

See all these other parties have got it all wrong. They just have to pay close attention to Bhai and his thought provoking lines. All the elite class just cannot tolerate, is the true champions of the "ghareeb awam." Some may call me cheesy, but I think the perfect "intikhabi nishan", for this alliance would be a "TT or AK-47." :)

Are We Ready For A Prolonged Middle Eastern Conflict

Life is ever changing, and this is its real beauty. Who would have known, hardly a few months back, that Egyptian and Tunisian regimes would lose their iconic dictatorial leaders. Morocco, Oman and Ye men would head for some major changes.

Till these lines are being written, Libya is the battleground central. If Qaddafi thinks that crushing the rebellion will be the end of his woes, then he is sadly mistaken. The spark of change, will ignite again and Qaddafi will depart or meet his fate as a "martyr", as he said so, in one of his passionate addresses. The change is only thing that remains constant.

On the same note, where it all began was Iran. The country which brutally silenced its dissent, a couple of years back. All of a sudden, has objected to the Saudis entering the causeway and heading to Bahrain, to save the "Khalifahood" of Bahrain. This is to say the least, the sheer hypocrisy of the Iranian regime.

Bahrain, a predominantly Shia country, where the Sunni Khalifas are trying to save their weakening grip. This of course is compelling Iran, to at least start the "war of words", with the Saudis Royals and Bahraini Khalifas. The sign of a conflict between the Saudis and Iranians is alarming. One does not have to be a major Political analyst to determine, that days ahead are very crucial and critical.

Should the Iranians jump in and the battle ensues between the two arch rivals, we are looking at a major turmoil in the Middle East. The oil markets will be very jittery and it is quite concieveable, that Obama Administration, does not want a full blown war in the Middle East.

The usual conspiracy theorist are pegging this one in the column of the US as usual. Their take is, that US is instigating this, so the Muslims destroy each other. When all is said and done, no more breeding ground will be left for the Al Qaedas of the world. The democracy would take root, and inequities would disappear.

The crux of the Al Qaeda grievance, is the American presence in the region. When most of the Muslim countries will be embroiled in the sectarian conflicts and wars, it will eventually be to the detriment of Al Qaeda like organisations as well. The focus of the Arabs will shift towards their own problems and US will be not on their immediate "hit list."

The fact is that US will try to protect its interest to its fullest extent, however it is not probable that it will jump in with any direct involvement. The policy makers in Washington are perhaps sweating bullets with the unprecedented developments. There is growing pressure on the US to intervene in the Libyan crisis and remove Qaddafi. Then the potential Saudi- Iranian conflict can potentially turn into an armageddon of sorts. All this means a lot of upheaval in various economies including US and needless to say sky high gasoline (read Petrol my Asian friends).

Where all of this will head, no one knows. But if I had my way, all the Kings, Amirs, Generals and Khalifas would retire (of course voluntarily) in no time, and would checking themselves in at a local Motel 6. Jokes aside, the entire Persian Gulf will change, sooner or later. The days of the so called monarchs around the globe are over. It is crystal clear at least to me, don't know how many others feel that way.

Davis Fallout And Our Hollowness

In our land where so called, "Ghairat Brigade", is trying to demonstrate its impotent rage towards public and private property, to vent the release of Davis, did someone think of this? The victim's families will be taken to the US, to protect them from the same people, who are supposedly on fire with emotions, uncontrollable passion and hollow sentiments. Their own people. How ironic this could be....

Isn't this an irony, that the families will have to repatriate to the same "Evil Umreeka", who was behind all of this. The one that everyone loves to hate so much. At the initial stages of this entire episode, I had mentioned this at another forum, all this rage and show of "qaumi ghairat" is a bit cheesy on our part. We take aid from the same "Umreeka" and it does not dent our ego one bit. Secondly, this noise is all about because a "Caucasian" man was involved. Some how we link the "Caucasian American" to the "British" who had ruled over us many, many years ago.

Let's assume, if it was a Japanese American, or African American or an Armenian American, in place of Davis, do you think that our sentiments would be at this boiling point. I think not. We tend to get all worked up, when it is a "White American or British", "Indian Hindu" or an "Israeli or an American Jew". Those are our patented enemies. That's how our psyche is wired.

If it was an Arab, we would have invoked our "brotherly ties", and let him off the hook, without a squeak. No immunity, no diyat, no questions. Heck his plane would have left Allama Iqbal Airport, the same day with VIP protocol. Its the same Arabs who take our juveniles to play as camel jockies for their sadistic pleasure. Many lost their lives being trampled, but their screams never reached our so perky ears. In case of an Arab, the families of victims would have gotten a check of Rs 1 Lakh from the Government, if at all. After all people are dying every day on the streets, what was the big deal, right....

Not to mention that it was our dear darling "Khadimain e Hurmain o Shareefain", who were brought into the whole episode as the brokers and guarantors. Perhaps the ones who provided the diyat sum for the victims as well.

The so called opposition laced with the lethal doze of "national honour" is trying to capitalise the whole situation to its advantage. It does not take one to be a genius to figure out, that this entire drama is being played and replayed to discredit the Government. It is clear as day that Kerry's visit to Pakistan is what set things in motion. From PML-N to the Military Establishment, Judiciary to the Provincial Government of Punjab were all on the same page to make this happen. But all of a sudden, it is deliberately being portrayed as the Government selling the souls of two poor Pakistanis for "dirt cheap" prices.

How hollow have we become, it evades any sane person's imagination. We have people dying left and right all across Pakistan everyday, yet there is no protest, no condemnation, just deafening silence from these righteous and emotionally charged individuals. Heck very recently Karachi witnessed another blood bath of a day. People shrug their shoulders and remain indifferent. It is termed as "a day as usual in Karachi", and every one moves on.

The holy places such as Masajids and Shrines were attacked repeatedly in the past, people were killed indiscriminately, yet no dent or bruise on the soul of our nation was ever felt. It was dismissed very casually by, another day in Pakistan or conveniently labelled as fruit of being the foot soldier for the "American War on Terror."

The drone strikes have gotten a huge significance and sparked a new hue and cry from these folks. These drone strikes are now being labelled as the price for the Davis incarceration, or "American show of gratitude." Well the drone strikes were in motion for quite some time. People who are trying to establish a link between the Davis issue and drones are certainly missing some thing somewhere.

The drone strikes are carried from the Pakistani soil, with of course the military being on board. The strikes are carried out aiming towards certain targets and depending on when the window of opportunity opens up. No one bothers to concentrate on one focal issue, why are the strikes targeted in one particular area. Who are these strikes seeking?

The same people who are crying foul towards the recent strike, have remained mute on the previous ones. How convenient that all of a sudden they have found this to be the transgression and violation of the national sovreignty. This is political point scoring at its ultimate level, to say the least.

The characters who are jumping up and down and on the streets causing harm to public and private property are forgetting one very important thing. Those shops or cars belong to hard working people, many living from day to day. They have nothing to do with Davis or "Umreeka." When those shops are not open for business, their families suffer. There are no insurance claims, which can replace the earnings of a daily wage earner.

Lastly, all the so righteous are so offended by the application of a law, which is supposedly allowed in certain cases. Again, stressing my earlier point, because it involves a "white man." Very rarely do you see same outrage, when the offenders are Muslims. I do not recall so many political parties and "Tehreeks" in action, when Mughees and Muneeb lost their lives in Sialkot, not very long ago. Any takers of that cause....I think not. Its the bruised ego of so many that sees a "firangi" doing a grave harm to us. Never mind and don't you dare remind us, what we do to ourselves.

Getting High On Davis, Diyat And Drones

Our so highly charged nation is somehow trying to establish a link between Davis, Diyat and Drones. The drones and their targets are absolutely unrelated to this whole Davis affair. Only a fool would have thought that drone strikes will cease, once Davis was released.

But as usual the right of the right and highly charged masses are trying to make an issue out of the non issue. I am not a proponent of such strikes, but somehow fail to understand, why all of a sudden, there is such hue and cry about these drones. The strikes were going on for ever. No one seems to ask a question, why are those drones targeted in one particular area? Who is there? Who are these drones seeking? All of a sudden FATA and its sovreignty is such a big deal. All along, the world was given this impression that we cannot do much in FATA, because it is a tribal area, only affiliated with us.

So something somewhere does not add up. A publication's editorial touched the real reason. It was a high value target, that was stricken with this recent attack. This really got the people on Pakistani Khakhi side miffed, because they were supposedly not brought on board. The US is perhaps saying, enough is enough, with or without your green signal we are going in, should a window of opportunity opens up.

The political parties are doing their circus as usual. This is their way to keep themselves busy. The comical surprises are, Altaf Bhai asking Taliban to join hands and eradicate all the injustices in our country. Bhai must be tad bit off base on this one, as Talibans are the ones, who have declared war on the innocent civilians of Pakistan. Or is it just political point scoring, or an attempt to bring TTP into the fold of civilised politics of Pakistan.

On the other side, the arch rival, Imran Khan has decided to join hands with Altaf Bhai. Wow what a surprise. Not very long ago, both were at each other's throat, stripping every thing from each other's body, so to speak. Imran and Altaf's joint venture is now focusing on release of Afia. Both should put their money, where there mouth is. Gather enough funds, challenge her conviction in US Supreme court and get her released. Otherwise just shut the heck up.

Then we have PML-Q, who not very long ago were trying to cozy up with PPP. Now, with the "qaumi ghairat" on the line, have decided to boycott the assembly session, where the President is supposed to address. One of their Senator, Ms. Memon wants Pakistan to declare war on the US. Hmmm...I really need the ticket to Ms. Memon's planet, as I think, you don't bite the hand that feeds you. Right Ms. Memon. Besides, who wants to be bombed to the stone age, if Mr. Musharraf is supposed to be trusted.

So we have a soup of crazy folks running around just mouthing off whatever to aggravate the already poor situation. Trying to drill some sense in the heads high on "honour" is absolutely impossible. Davis episode is closed, said and done. The relatives are going to start a new life. Is it me or has someone thought of this as well, they had to be taken out of Pakistan, to protect them from the wrath of their own people. Wow, that's what I call, "high on honour." But as always, everyone else's business is our business. I would borrow these lines from an Urdu saying, which aptly belong here, "Begaani Shadi Main Abdullah Deewana."

Getting Islam "Burbaad" In Islamabad

So barely two months and we have another brave human being murdered in the name of hyper religiousity. Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti, may your soul rest in eternal peace and the scum bags who killed you, get to face you on the Final Day. Amen.

The Quaid would be utterly ashamed of his Pakistan, if he was around today. It is a clear signal to the minorities of Pakistan and the sane voices left in Pakistan, that it is time to flee. It is no longer the country for sane men and women.

Field Marshall Ayub Khan, one iconic dictator in his own right, must have never imagined, what the new capital would turn into one day. One of the most beautiful and serene city of Pakistan, turning into a hellish and devilish town, what a pity.

The faith that I was born with and I was raised in, will get so weak one day that no rhyme or reason would be tolerated. I would have never thought of that. Growing up as a Sunni Muslim and going to a Catholic School with almost every sect known to Muslims along with Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Parsis, Budhists etc., was a rewarding experience. What ever I know till this day can be easily attributed to my parents and teachers. I owe every thing to them. Where being the better human being was the focus of my education.

I remember the basic tenet of my faith is to better myself first. I repeat, better myself first. As is every day, I cannot look myself in the mirror and tell myself if I am any better than yesterday. Just the fear of my sins, over shadow everything. If I cannot see myself in the mirror without shame, how in the GOD's name do I have a right to tell someone else to improve.

Getting back to where I was, the city named after Islam, much like my country made for a significant majority of India is bleeding profusely. We are killing each other in the name of my faith.

The faith that I know of, is being twisted, bruised, battered and murdered everyday. As we say in Urdu, it is being "Tabah o Burbaad" every day in Islamabad. I have memories of a Red Mosque in my Capital City, where the devout believers were building bunkers. The world saw a war, within a city waged from a mosque. Something somewhere was missing. The last I heard or believed in, was that people went to places of worship to seek mercy and it was treated as a sanctuary. Not in my gifted land.

Then in the neighbouring city, is where we saw my former Prime Minister, lose her life. We went into a shock and mourning. We vowed that never again we would let that happen. We were utterly wrong. The righteous had it right. As the festivities of new year faded in January 2011, we saw a Governor murdered in cold blood in Islamabad. We said enough is enough, we would not let this madness ever repeat itself. Little did we know that, we were dwelling in fools paradise.
The murder of Shaheed Shahbaz Bhatti, is perhaps the nail in the coffin of the "Jinnah's inclusive Pakistan."

It pains to say this, everyday when I turn my hand held on, in the early AM of the day and browse my favourite Pakistani publications, I pray that I do not get a painful surprise. It seems like my prayers have lost their strength. Very sadly my Islamabad is gaining fame for all the wrong reasons. As usual conspiracy theorist are spinning their web and twisting the facts. As usual, it is someone else's fault.

To all of them, wake up and face it. Pakistan is one tenth of a task for any major Super Power. If we alienate ourselves to this extent from the rest of the world, the only thing we will be able to buy and sell, will be each others head. May GOD protect my land, the land of my forefathers and many who gave everything for this land. Amen.

Let's Corner The Government Again

As expected the confrontational politics is back in vogue, in our mother land. The divorce of PPP and PML-N in Punjab is not a good sign. Each of them trading accusation and counter accusations at one another everyday like school children. Both of them are providing the hungry media more to make us all laugh and occasionally cry at their amateur stints.

So here we go again, as this scribe had indicated in his last scribble, fasten the seatbelts for another uneasy ride. The Libyan uprising has added more pressure on World Oil Markets. The thousands of barrels that Libya produced a day are impacted. Needless to say, a price hike is pretty much universal. It is obvious that we have restricted supply and hence, we are all paying for it.

A couple of months back, Pakistan tried raising price of Gasoline (read Petrol), Altaf Bhai and his jiyalas held the PPP hostage and made the PPP Government reverse its course. Of course it was hailed as a major victory for the masses. What Altaf Bhai and his party did for the "ghareeb awam", was just unprecedented. In other words, the Government had to subsidise the oil for the masses.

I have no clue about the credentials of the "jiyalas" of MQM, but they certainly are ignorant of certain Economic principles. The government, when it subsidises an item, uses tax payer money to provide a subsidy. Which means it has to forego something to make up for this. The old saying of "there is no free lunch", holds very true.

When Altaf Bhai and his jiyalas put pressure on the Government to ease the pain of the masses by cutting back on spending, perhaps they should put their money where their mouth is. It is no secret, that "jiyalas" have to part with 10 percent of their income to feed the "Royal Guest of Edgeware Shareef." How ironic, the poor and deprived have to feed the "party of the poor" and its chief. So that is an indirect taxation on the poor and penniless public from the "only sympathiser of such class." How about giving them a break, so they can cope with a legitimate price hike, our dear Quaid?

The recent 10 percent of Gasoline price hike is pretty much a standard hike around the oil consuming countries including the US. We are feeling the same pain as Pakistanis are. The Europeans are in the same boat. But of course, in the season of ultimatums, here comes a new one from the champions of poor and deprived masses to reverse the hike. President Zardari has intervened and wants to hold talks with MQM Supremo along with the Finance Minister.

In any event, the way things are going, more pressure would be placed on the Government to reverse the hike again. Something, somewhere has to give. The fear is that certain elements want this to be politicised to the maximum. In the end, it is not a good sign and scene ahead, no matter what.

Our Subjective Sense Of National Pride And Honour

Is it me or has someone else noticed this as well. We are very receptive to any Indian incursion in our territory and remain vigilant at all times. There are immediate exchanges of hot words, followed by the threats and the renewed promise of defending every single inch of the mother land from the "evil enemies."

But on the other hand, our brotherly neighbours from Afghanistan are allowed to wreak havoc on our streets and towns, with rather blanket impunity. No one cares about that intrusion and rarely display their sense of displeasure towards the, "national pride and/ or sovereignty" being desecrated by those folks.

Undoubtedly the drone strikes are catastrophically damaging, and the people who carry out those, often miss the intended targets. Hence, the backlash of that is felt vehemently from the so called "patriots." But the same patriots are muted, when the so called, "righteous" are leaving bloody trails on the cities of our nation. The "righteous" regard this as act of retaliation, a price that everyone has to pay for siding with the so called, "devil."
We never question the perverted logic of these righteous as all is fair in "misguided love and let's call it the holy war."

Our most trusted and revered institution for its "strategic depth", can violate the sovereignty of another neighbour, but it does not give us any sense of shame. Our defence for that one is pretty canned. It is a strategy that if we fail to follow, will benefit our erstwhile arch rival. Burning our own home, to give them a befitting response, seems to be fair game. Yet when in our skies, those rattling and pesky drones tend to violate the airspace, the immense itch of "sovereignty", engulfs all of us.

We earn a Rupee and spend 50 paisas to feed an institution to protect ourselves from the cunning rival. You don't need to be a genius and nobel laureate Economist to figure this one out, that there is a huge cost that our nation pays for such an inequity. It behooves us to figure out the reasons why, we are in such deprivation. There is an age old saying, that "there is no free lunch out there." Everything has a real and intrinsic cost. The cost is seen and felt, where one institution is thriving at the cost of the rest of country. Yet, our much talked about and worshipped sovereignty is always at stake.

When the empty coffers go up to the rest of the world to fill, no sense of shame or dignity over powers our collective national conscience. Yet, we want the world to be sensitive towards our dignity and pride. We make such a hue and cry about being held hostage by the shackles of IMF and the World Bank. We rarely come with tangible and real solutions to get ourselves out of such binds.

Rampant controversies and devious conspiracy theories envelope our national psyche at all levels. The common theme is as always, our precious and the unique, "Nuclear assets." We tend to be oblivious to the fact that our neighbourhood is full of such assets. Some of our neighbours do not shout off the top off their lungs, they are fully capable of displaying their "hidden talents", at an opportune time.

Often what escapes our imagination is, it is not the "Nuclear Assets", that feed the empty stomachs. Our "National Pride", may reside in Kahuta, but our "National Divide", hinges on the "Have and Have Nots", of the people all across the country. Things do not emerge on their own on our kitchen tables or feeding mats for that matter. Our population is soaring and the resources are shrinking day by day. Someone somehow has to pay for the bill.

Our expectations from the rest of the world are way too high and some how those "Eagles" that Allama Iqbal laid his emphasis on, are lost in some unknown skies. We renew our fervour on the anniversaries of our leaders, but some how stray away from their vision and rationale.

No sense of shame ever consumes our souls when we beat people to death on suspicion and innuendo or slay unarmed and unsuspecting people from the rear. We rejoice such cowardice with pride and bewilderment. Our collective conscience only wakes up from deep slumber, when people of a certain skin tone supposedly discharge their arms in self defence. No hue and cry is raised, when we behead such people and demonstrate to the world, our ultimate sign of civility.

We show our tacit sympathies and approval towards our own, who go out on suicidal expeditions, leaving the streaks of blood of so many, near and dear to us. But somehow, we disregard all of that as it is the despair, which is making our otherwise so positive crowd to react in this callous manner.

But in the end, it is the honour and integrity, our sovereignty and identity in the dire need of protection and preservation. We are willing to pay any cost for it. Believe me, we are paying a heavy cost for it. A cost which may lead to our isolation and perhaps total extinction.

Pakistan Bashing: Our Favourite Pastime

You get a few Pakistani families gathered for lunch or dinner, here in the US and there you have it. A perfect afternoon or evening in ruins, as someone will take a seemingly straight forward discussion to a unabashed, full scale, Pakistan bashing rampage.

You have your usual start from the current political situation, or any event at hand and soon you will notice the discussion turning into a major heated debate on the Pakistan Resolution and the major blemishes committed by the founding fathers.

No one is denying that a debate is necessary on almost any and everything to enhance understanding and resolve the discourse. But the constructive criticism often turns into ludicrous and base less rhetoric. This speaks a lot about our decaying mental state, where some of us associate all ills of the world to only one place, you guessed it, Pakistan.

Pakistan may not be the most tolerant, or most educated or the most technologically advanced country of the world. Yet it is a home for millions of people and not all those millions of people are Taliban sympathisers or ruthless beasts. The fact is a great majority of our people abhor the misguided and inhumane lifestyle, being imposed on them by these cowardly creatures.

The Pakistani people here in the US, occasionally tend to forget that they have made it to the US, based on the education and learning which was provided to them by Pakistan. The education may have not been so "advanced", but most of us get into prestigious learning or professional institutions, here in the US, based on that "impoverished mode of Pakistani education." We tend to excel in almost all walks of life here in the US, based on that "murky foundation."

Undoubtedly, Pakistan has a myriad of problems, some of those were inherited from the days of its independence and some were created by its leaders, who ruled with or without people's consent. It may not be the best country of the world. Despite all the odds, some inherited and some self created, it is a place which has fine poets, great artists, unparalleled educators and commendable philanthropists.

Its not all doom and gloom that often our media, electronic or print, tends to portray. Some of our friends here tend to criticise the inception and the idea of our nation. To them, I have always said, not all ideas are perfect. Even if for the sake of argument, the "two nation theory", was flawed, it is pretty much said and done. The Pakistan, whatever it is, no matter how flawed it is, it is our identity, it is the home of our elders. There is an anti Pakistani element, constantly disseminating lies, half truths and severe misconceptions. Agreed, that we have flaws and we have a lot of way to go and grow. The "Islamisation Project", of Zia has done the greatest harm to our country. All of this is true, but to call it worst place on the face of earth is a far cry.

As patriots it is our right to express our constructive criticism, but it should be meaningful criticism. Just hollow ignorant rants or completely down playing our national existence is not the smartest move on any one's part. Pakistan may be lagging behind in a lot of areas, when compared to India. But the question that remains unanswered most of the time is, "why compare it to India to begin with?."

The Collision Course

Many are blowing trumpets of another Martial Law in the "martial" state of Pakistan. Although, personally I disagree with that scenario, but anything is probable and possible in our land. Supposedly, the recent amendments in Constitution have closed the doors for "khakhi intervention." The argument can be made, that it may be all meaningless, as any time any such thing happens, the first thing, which is "suspended" or "put in abeyance" is our constitution. That it itself is a travesty.

The Government's recent bout with PML-N, the constant bickering and love-hate with MQM and somewhat head on collision with the Judiciary are ominous signs. Yes, all indications are that things are headed in the wrong direction. Regardless, it is the responsibility of the Government to tread on with pragmatism and statesmanship.

Here the most important issue is that all institutions, must remain within the boundaries. The Legislative, Judiciary and Executive along with Military must not infringe in each other's territory to score points. It is all part of political maturity, that we lack as a nation. We tend to function like tribes in this day and age, where tolerance and understanding of each other's respective duties are underscored to demonstrate the one up manship. The nations evolve as a whole, when there is a unity of purpose and consensus on the basics.

Any minor issue and we get to hear the usual ethnic rhetoric which to say the least, is very pathetic and damaging. The bickering of Sindhi vs Muhajir, Punjabi vs Sindhi, Pathan vs Muhajir is shameful, and painfully I must say the Balochs are often disregarded as they do not exist. All the ideals of unity are just repeated on August 14, for mere lip service.

Getting back to the PPP led Government, it has two more years on the docket. It is time to bring the stakeholders on the table and carve out a solution. The collision course is not going to lead us anywhere. Are you listening Mr. President?

A Response To President Zardari's Recent Washington Post Article

Dear Mr. President,

Yes Pakistan needs all of what you have mentioned in your recent article in Washington Post. Without sounding argumentative, how much patience do you have in mind?

You are absolutely correct in pointing out that your dear wife, and this nation's one and only two time elected female, Prime Minister was gunned down by fanatic extremist. Sir, it has been almost 3 years, that your party has taken the office, yet the investigations into her demonic murder are moving, to say the least, at shamefully slow pace.

This in no way shape or form is a criticism towards your resolve, but there are certain moves, which are absolutely needed to set certain things and records straight. The case and its various twists and turns are just sending all the wrong signals to the wrong set of people. Emotions aside, this is the mother of three of your precious children we are referring to. Your critics ridicule all this and regard this as your inept style. Perhaps, I may be stretching this, but the wheels of justice have to move a bit swiftly and the nation and world can witness that injustice is not tolerated in Jinnah Sahib's promised land.

The same goes for murderers who have brought down your dear friends Late Taseer and Bhatti. The murderers are gaining more footing as they know, the Government and the PPP led leadership is tangled with issues of all kinds. So besieged is the Government, that it is following the policy of appeasement towards the so called "religious right."

The sad part is that, the people have started to speculate on the name of the next victim, who would (GOD forbid), be the next target of these misguided and crazy beasts. This has become an ironical joke. The deafening silence of the so ordinarily charged media, towards the death of your colleague Mr. Bhatti is so loudly telling the world, where Pakistan is headed.

The hopes were extremely high with you and your party, when it took reins of the bruised, battered and plundered Pakistan, after a decade of a dictatorial regime. I must say with a heavy heart, Mr. President, all those hopes have dwindled. If the progressive party like PPP is caving in to the demands of the religio-fascists, then may GOD protect Pakistan, when the PML-N steps in for its innings.

Your initial flight after taking the office was pragmatic, but Sir very sadly, there has been a crash landing. Internally and externally Pakistan's image has tarnished. Yes, Davis case has been played endlessly by the right for its nefarious agenda, but you are the ultimate man. The buck really stops at you Sir. The buck really stops at you.

The "international community" wants to deal with a leader, one on one candidly. The dilemma of Pakistan is, that due to the long standing "military intervention", that international community is used to dealing with a "Khakhi leader", who they term as the "man in charge of Pakistan." Please prove them wrong by showing them that a civilian leader has a spine as well. Otherwise, Sir it would be a great dishonour to the souls of Shaeed Mohtarma, Taseer, Bhatti and many, who we have lost for all the wrong reasons.

The King Seeks Muslim Radicalisation In America

A few months back, Pastor Terry Jones from a very small church out in FL got instant notoriety, around the globe, for all the wrong reasons. Thank GOD, sanity prevailed and the plan to desecrate a Holy Quran was abolished. It was a divisive tactic, which hurt not only the Muslims in the US, but around the globe as well.

Here we are facing again another sling shot at American Muslims by a law maker, Mr. King from New York. He has initiated a hearing to probe into the so called, "radicalism" of American Muslims, in the name of "National Security."

While respecting the honourable Congressman's position, one has to wonder, why now Sir? What is that you want us American Muslims to prove, that we are as American as you are. Seven Million plus of us in and around the US, have been tirelessly working in all 50 states and enhancing and enriching the fabric of this multicultural and multi ethnic nation of immigrants for ages.

The ironic part is that, we love this country as much as the countries that gave us our birth. We have spent more time of our lives here than our actual countries of birth. Our children were born here and have never lived at any place other than the US.

Prior to the horrific day of September 11, 2001, no one had any doubts about our patriotism towards US. It has been a decade or so, countless wire taps, secret investigations, surveillances of our places of worship, infiltration of agents into our congregations have proven that we are who we are. Honest, hard working and dedicated souls, bound by our faith and culture to strive for best what life has to offer. Yes we believe in the Oneness of ALMIGHTY and by HIS mercy we are striving to leave a better legacy for our children.

The ugly, gruesome and barbaric attacks of 09/11, were not carried out by real Muslims at all. Let alone many American Muslims lost their lives on that tragic day. Sadly there are a very few from us, that you can count on your fingers have deviated from the straight path. They have shown ill towards this great nation. Statistically, those are not even a tenth of a single percent of our entire population, so how does this become so significant?

Yes you may carry out the hearing and dig all what you intend to dig to discover what millions of our fellow citizens know about us already. We were here prior to September 11 and GOD willing will be here to commemorate every September 11 ahead of us. May GOD bless America forever and the American soul. The land where freedom dwells and justice prevails.

The Mother Of All Conspiracies

In the land of Pure, where conspiracy theories are dime a dozen, let me throw one more, in that oozing bucket. This one may shock a few, offend a whole lot but what the heck.

The unstoppable stream of the channels on the "idiotic tube", has a subliminal message, played repeatedly for the average sucker. The mantra played over and over again is, "Both Islam and the only true Muslim country, Pakistan are facing existential threat from the Kafirs." That my friends is the "Mother of All Conspiracies."

1400 plus years or so, Prophet PBUH's message, survived not because of Pakistan or Pakistanis. Its purity and truth are independent of any geography or boundaries. Its message is fairly simple, meant for the entire mankind. Our faith and his predictions guide us, till the Final day, there will be people chanting, "There is no GOD, but the ALMIGHTY, and Muhammed (PBUH) is his Messenger."

So where does the general Pakistani public get off by claiming the "sole proprietorship" of the universal message of a Messenger of the entire mankind. Or is the mankind solely defined by the only righteous and guided people living within the confines of Karachi and Khyber.

Somehow our "National Pride and Soverignty" is being challenged by the infidels. The infidels feel threatened by the zeal, undying passion and the devotion of "True Muslims aka Pakistanis". Never mind if there are forty plus other countries, who have Muslim flags and follow the same message. Or is the conspiracy solely because, we have "New and Clear Assets." The countries around us cannot stand the last citadel of Islam having those unique assets. What evades our common sense very often, that all those countries around us are fully capable and ready to display such assets, should there be any need of such showcasing, at any given time.

The "Mother of All Conspiracies", is that our faith and our country is in grave danger. The root of all realities is that neither is in any peril of that nature. What is in peril is our sense and sensibility towards ourselves and the world around us.

If we continue to spin webs around ourselves of doubts and false pride, we are the ones who will be perishing soon. The world has shrunk with the demolition of the "Berlin Walls Of Ignorance." The choices we are making are extremely detrimental to our existence as a society and as a nation.

Did it ever occur to us that the faith we proudly follow is the most inclusive faith of this world. It was not meant for a certain chosen group of people or a particular lineage. Those who have any doubts, must revisit the "Final Sermon of our Beloved Prophet (PBUH)." Yes the reality is, "piety." Piety only comes, when we are cognisant of the fact that, this life is very temporary. Every single minute is extremely precious and we have a purpose of our existence. The purpose of our existence on this earth is to be the "Messenger of Good." Be humble and leave a legacy of betterment for the mankind. Rest is all a deception.

The followers of "Good" are the striving ones, who have undying faith in their Creator and their personal skills. Who seek excellence in every walk of life and emerge as leaders of the world in betterment and take charge of the humanity. Any deviation from this, is again a deception. Don't fall for this trap, The trap that leads to destruction and the abhorrent injustice.

The Potential Armageddon In The Middle East

Life is ever changing, and this is its real beauty. Who would have known, hardly a few months back, that Egypt and Tunisia would lose their iconic dictatorial leaders. Morocco, Oman and Yemen would head for some major changes.

Till these lines are being written, Libya is the battleground central. If Qaddafi thinks that crushing the rebellion will be the end of his woes, then he is sadly mistaken. The spark of change, will ignite again and Qaddafi will depart or meet his fate as a "martyr", as he said so, in one of his passionate addresses. The change is only thing that remains constant.

On the same note, where it all began was Iran. The country which brutally silenced its dissent, a couple of years back. All of a sudden, has objected to the Saudis entering the causeway and heading to Bahrain, to save the "Khalifahood" of Bahrain. This is to say the least, the sheer hypocrisy of the Iranian regime. Saudis, on the other hand, have jumped in to demonstrate their "superiority", in the neighbourhood, to control the "pro-democracy" movement in the neighbouring country, which is a direct threat to Saudis.

Bahrain is a predominantly Shia country, where the Sunni Khalifas are trying to save their weakening grip. This of course is compelling Iran, to at least start the "war of words", with the Saudis Royals and Bahraini Khalifas. The sign of a conflict between the Saudis and Iranians is alarming. One does not have to be a major Political Analyst to determine, that days ahead are very crucial and critical. If and when Iran, the major Shite Power in the Middle East, gets directly involved in this conflict, this will be a major disaster. Iran has a history of provoking Israel, and there you have it, a recipe for perhaps a Third World War.

Should the Iranians jump in and the battle ensues between the arch rivals (Saudis vs Iranians, or Iranians vs Israelis), we are looking at a major turmoil in the Middle East. The oil markets will be very jittery and it is quite understandable, that Obama Administration, does not want a full blown war in the Middle East.

The usual conspiracy theorist are pegging this one in the column of the US as usual. Their take is, that US is instigating this, so the Muslims destroy each other. When all is said and done, no more breeding ground will be left for the Al Qaedas of the world. The democracy would take root, and inequities would disappear in the Middle East.

The crux of the Al Qaeda grievance, is the American presence in the region. When most of the Muslim countries will be embroiled in the sectarian conflicts and wars, it will eventually be to the detriment of Al Qaeda like organisations as well. The focus of the Arabs will shift towards their own problems and US will be not on their immediate "vent list."

The fact is that US will try to protect its interest to its fullest extent, however it is not probable that it will jump in with any direct involvement. The policy makers in Washington are perhaps sweating bullets with these unprecedented developments. There is growing pressure on the US to intervene in the Libyan crisis and remove Qaddafi. Then the potential Saudi- Iranian or Iranian- Saudi conflict can potentially turn into an armageddon of sorts. All this means a lot of upheaval in various economies including US and needless to say sky high gasoline prices (read Petrol my Asian friends).

Where all of this will head, no one knows. But if I had my way, all the Kings, Amirs, Generals, Colonels and Khalifas would retire (of course voluntarily) in no time, and would check themselves in at a local Motel 6. Jokes aside, the entire Persian Gulf will change, sooner or later. The days of the so called monarchs around the globe are over. It is crystal clear to me at least, don't know how many others feel that way.

The Sheer Ignorance Of The "Ghairat Brigade"

If any one had any doubts about the shallowness and hypocrisy of our world famous "Ghairat Brigade", all those should be totally alleviated with the recent Davis settlement. When these so righteous and so straight as arrow, were given the taste of their own medicine, they are still crying fowl.

The attack on US Consulate or public and or private property, can only demonstrate their so obvious lunacy to the rest of the world. Deep down inside, there are these wounds shattering their ego about their despondency. What bothers them is, they have the best faith, yet they are way behind in this world. One may draw a parallel, to illustrate a point. You may have the best machine or equipment, which may be the state of the art, but if you are unfamiliar with its application, it is nothing but useless metal.

Let's dig a bit deeper, and you would agree with me, it is the "failure syndrome", which is the main reason why these idiots act the way they act. The fact is that faith or religion, is a road map to the soul and its true cleansing. Once you become a better human with a better perspective, only then you have a better and positive outlook towards life and others around you. If you think ill and negative, have doubts and grudges for everyone, the state of your mind becomes like a sewer.

Since these clowns, do not see themselves heading anywhere better, they tend to embrace the false notion that this world is not a place to live. Dead wrong on that one, as if this was not the place to live, then why were we given birth in the first place. Yes our lives should be appreciating, what we were given by the Almighty and making the lives of other better, by our speech and deeds.

The disdain towards "West" or anything "Western" stems from the same reason. The Western world has moved on with advancing in almost every sphere of knowledge and we are sitting on the sidelines trying to find the reasons for our failures by conveniently blaming others for them. The reason is fairly simple, we were misled by the some of the idiotic clergy and some totally lunatic leaders. Who have been creating this so called "East and West" divide. The conspiracy of Western world against Pakistan and Islamic world is nothing but some lame clergy or political leader's pipe dream.

Often we get to hear about the great history of the glorious Muslim past, but rarely we get to focus on our rotten present. Our rotten present is all due to our lack of acceptance and acquisition of modern skills. The West is way ahead of us and it is time for us to catch up with them. The whole world is for us to discover. We are busy wasting time in senseless rhetoric. By the way, which is strictly forbidden in the faith. The faith teaches us to be objective and realistic.

The priority for us should be education, skills and focus. If we have that down, much of our venom would evaporate automatically. The world would seem like a better place to live. Honest introspection and accounting of our abilities and shortcomings is not the need of the hour, but let's say the need of the minute. Its not the loudest voice that's in demand, it is the brightest mind which is totally appreciated around the globe.

Zardari Wooing PML Q Adding Insult To Injury

In Politics, as always there is no final word. Yesterdays adversaries can potentially emerge as allies, when push comes to shove. It seems like due to the bickering and fighting with PML-N and the constant tug of war with MQM, Zardari Sahib has chosen to woo the Musharraf's sidekicks. Not a good move at least politically.

PPP won by unseating the same people and getting Pakistan out of the clutches of an iconic charlatan, called Pervez Musharraf. The PML-Q was the brainchild of Musharraf and one can argue that so is PML-N, of course of another dictator par excellence, General Zia. However, the hatchets that PML-N and PPP had from the eighties and nineties were supposedly buried under the COD and infamous Murree Declaration. The nation was rejoicing this chapter of reconciliation within the two major political foes, and it was hoping for a better start.

President Zardari, made a few good moves, like Balochistan package and NFC awards and then came a lull with restoration of Chief Justice. Of course PML-N used that opportunity to score some political points and with its much touted "Long March", had the deposed CJ restored. So from there on the rift began and the gap has been widened, each day. All subsequent efforts of reconciliation, between the two have failed to materialise. The blame game is in vogue as usual from both sides.

Honestly, it pains me to say this, but greater responsibility lies on the shoulders of PPP. Being the largest party and truly the only party representative of the entire federation, it has to be more pragmatic and more flexible with PML-N. Many would disagree with me, and that is quite alright. But perhaps taking Sharif along would have been a bit better than partnering up with the opportunist, "lota brigade", at one point termed as "Qatil League", by Zardari himself.

The scenario is not pretty. Assuming this alliance will materialise, there will be a constant tension in the National Assembly as well as Provincial Assembly of Punjab. The two parties are ideologically poles apart. PPP being the anti establishment and the Q- League being the brainchild of the establishment. Some would argue that Politics is a game of chess and every single move is very critical. I would agree with that statement, but to give PML-N a "check-mate", checking in with the "pawns" of "Khakhis", may not be the best of the moves.

On the other hand, there is Judiciary on the case of PPP as well. Amazingly, the "Adlia" is very swift when it comes to PPP and takes impromptu notices. But when it comes to a lot of other stuff, let's say it moves at a typical snail's pace or not at all. So here we have another element that Zaradari Sahib has to deal with some finesse. Lately, the President has that in very short supply. Sorry Mr. President, but jut wanted to call a spade a spade.