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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Clearing Some Obvious Confusion

Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published: October 25, 2012
Original link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C10%5C25%5Cstory_25-10-2012_pg3_4



So when the Soviets moved into Afghanistan in the late 1970s, was it ‘America’s war’? Perhaps not, but we all know why the US had to get involved; and yes, Pakistan was used as a conduit to supply the arms and assistance to the Mujahideen. Then did we show two thumbs to the mighty US and said it was not ‘our war’, please seek another country for your Central and South Asian strategy. One of the distinct possibilities was that the Soviets would have reached our borders too had there been no resistance in Afghanistan. The bigger question is: was Pakistan in a position to tell the mighty US that it was not up for the task?

To some of our ‘boiling youth’ all this may come as a surprise but this is undeniable history. When the late Saddam Hussein moved into Kuwait in the early 1990s, was it America’s war, may I ask again? But our dear friend Saudi Arabia sought the assistance of the Yankees to liberate the neighbouring Kuwait. For that matter, was it Saudi Arabia’s war? Perhaps not. Had Iraq not pushed back, it was going to pose an existential threat to our ‘brotherly nation’. On the surface, Pakistan remained neutral but it opted to provide humanitarian assistance to Kuwait in that conflict.

The world and its geo-politics is always in an ever-changing state, but some facts remain constant. Even my second grader knows that he is not supposed to pick a fight with someone twice his strength. This is called common sense. The basic instinct of survival kicks in. The Mujahideen of yesterday were miffed for a whole sleuth of reasons with their previous benefactors. Hence, the shift in their policy towards their benefactors of yesterday created another conflict now widely known as 9/11.

Let me remind our zestful and ultra-patriotic youth that Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the only countries that recognised the regime of the former Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Therefore, before they get all excited about why we jumped into America’s war, I would urge them to get a few lessons in regional history and politics. But I am afraid this is the crowd who is fed that 9/11 was all planned to get to the riches and minerals of Afghanistan. Hmm...if conspiracy theories could sell on astock exchange, every single Pakistani would have been a billionaire.

Thus, when the US decided to take action against its former allies and present foes in Afghanistan, it knew the significance of our country. When it sent a clear and unambiguous signal to us, what was expected of our patriotic crowd? People who tend to mislead often disregard the intimate involvement of Pakistan in the affairs of Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal. For the sake of respect, I will not expand on this particular aspect, as it will offend a lot of them. Hence, when the infamous call of Mr Armitage came to Pakistan, what other choice did Mr Musharraf have? I guess he felt just like my second grader and decided to opt for survival.

Then our newly found political idol and his overly high on patriotic fervour followers have the audacity to call it America’s war. They make it sound like we should have opted for the conflict with the mighty US. No matter how high you may be on an ideal or a chemical substance, there is something called the ground reality. Slogans are good; one-liners and zingers make you feel great, but at the end of the day it is the same mirror you end up facing. Again, we were hand and fist involved in the affairs of our neighbouring country; how were we supposed to play dumb to the US? Can someone please enlighten all of us?

Hence, when the charged leader often misleads by stating that once the US leaves Afghanistan, the terrorism that engulfs Pakistan will evaporate, one has to dismiss that completely as untrue and here are the reasons. The US will exit from Afghanistan in 2014 but it will not repeat the mistakes of the 1980s. It will remain committed to the region. Whatever that means still remains to be seen, but Pakistan will not be taking a U-turn on its policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan either.

The menace of terrorism plaguing Pakistan will not go away with the US pullout from Afghanistan. It is quite naïve and simplistic of our former cricket champion to derive this wishful conclusion. The border between the two countries is quite porous and culturally both are quite intertwined. Therefore as a country Pakistan has to make some significant decisions regarding its future. If we continue to obfuscate and remain indifferent towards the deteriorating condition, then I am afraid that Pakistan we know as of today will be extinct.

Lastly, it is equally childish of that leader to propose that he will be able to communicate with the tribals of Pakistan. According to him, he is familiar with their culture and mindset. I will respectfully beg to differ with him on this one. If he has such a pull with the tribals, then why is he not pleading to them to hand over the culprits to our law enforcement agencies right now? If wishes could be traded on a stock exchange, we would definitely not look towards the US for the much needed economic aid. Say what you like, but things in real life are not so black and white. Ask my second grader and he will give you a few examples in a minute.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Triumphant Loser Part 2

Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published: October 18, 2012
Original Link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\10\18\story_18-10-2012_pg3_4

If you have been to a school, (which I am certain most people reading my gibberish have), you can recall your childhood squabbles with your classmates. When the fallout of the Kargil misadventure hit the nation, the Prime Minister (PM) at that time and his Chief of Army Staff (COAS), reminded us of two quarreling schoolchildren. A war of words followed and the usual blame game began. Of course, you and I were not in the power quarters of Islamabad, so we just have to rely on the reported ‘he said and again, what he said’.

A simple deductive reasoning begs us to dissect this so-called conflict between the two. The PM insisted that he was kept in the dark about the military operation in Kargil, feigning complete ignorance. The COAS rebutted by stating that matters of national security were discussed with the PM as per protocol. Hence, I repeat again, it was he said and again what he said. Who knows what was discussed behind closed doors, but it sure seems like it was a major embarrassment. Yes, deductive reasoning would lead us to believe that a civilian PM is the boss and a COAS is answerable to his civilian boss. There is a caveat to this: under normal circumstances in any other country that is the standard operating procedure. Those who think that Pakistan is any ordinary country ought to think again.

The macho PM was perhaps trying too hard to grow too fast for his boots, and that too, in a special country like Pakistan. I think I read somewhere that the former PM’s late father warned him about the ‘untrustworthy’ general. The general had paid a visit to the PM at his Jatti Umra ‘palace’ and the late Mian Sharif with his decades of experience may have read something in the general’s eyes that made him uncomfortable. The macho PM perhaps decided to give heed to the sage advice of his late father, but the way he went abount it was, to say the least, very unprofessional.

Indeed, it was within the constitutional powers of the PM to replace the general, but why did he wait for him to leave for Sri Lanka? Rumour has it that he had to summon the stars and medals that go on the chest of the chief from a supply store of Raja Bazaar in Rawalpindi. But had the PM dealt with this in a more professional manner, perhaps Pakistan could have been saved from another so-called bloodless coup. When I touched on this subject previously, at a different venue, I was told by one of my readers that General Butt was from a different division of the army and the top brass would have objected to his appointment. I sighed and said at that point that it is all about the top brass, isn’t it?

So from there on the macho PM just kept on repeating the comedy of errors, but I have a different take on the entire episode. As wrong and as unconstitutional as the outcome was, perhaps it was meant to be. It was perhaps divine intervention to show the PM that history could repeat itself. The PM, who was the product of another general, was deposed by none other than a general. In Urdu there is a line that goes like this: Dekho mujhey jo deeda-e-ibrat nigah ho (Pardon me for my poor translation: Look at me should you need to seek any lesson).

Supposedly, a general on a commercial flight from Colombo to Karachi was not granted permission to land in Karachi. He went into action ‘in the air’ and the PM’s government was folded up within an hour and a half. If you buy the story that it was all done hovering over Karachi, then I have to sell you the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China and the magnificent Taj Mahal, all three for the price of one dollar. Frenzy was created about the ‘hijack’. This was the first hijack in the history of all hijacks where there were no hijackers on board and had no demands. But again time to pinch myself, I am dealing with a special country called Pakistan.

From there on a triumphant ‘chief executive’ was sworn in by a rather very familiar figure. In a typical Mughal style, the deposed PM was thrown into the dungeons of the Attock Jail. We were told it was not a martial law. Thus, the moderately enlightened general started his journey by inventing the title of chief executive of the most profitable venture for a certain institution. Maybe he should have also renamed the place as Pakistan, Inc. The former PM was sentenced by rather familiar faces and sent to zindaan (dark prison), in a typically Mughal king’s fashion.

I remember seeing the former general justifying his act on TV: “How dare you remove a chief of the armed forces? Mind you, he is not a peon. It is not a joke.” Sure Sir, only in Pakistan this joke is possible where a loser (in the literal sense of losing a war and putting many in harm’s way on a flawed strategy) can turn around and become the king. It is one of those jokes that can only make you cry. Yes, I had tears in my eyes when I saw clueless people dancing on the streets of Lahore chanting, “Saddee fauj ayee pyari” (Here comes our beloved army) on the ‘triumphant return’. As clueless as the PM was, he was the leader chosen by the people. But legend has it, might often is right and tends to exert its right. Laugh or cry, it is your choice. After all, we are no ordinary people, are we? 

(Concluded)



The Triumphant Loser Part 1


Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published: October 11, 2012

Memories may have faded but this scribe clearly remembers it like yesterday. I think I have used this opening sentence in the past, but cannot think of another one as apt as this one to jog some rusty memories. The summer of 1999 was an extra hot one back home. The news and buzz was sizzling that some ‘changes’ were about to occur on the political scene. The late Pir Pagara took out his crystal ball and made the usually chirpy prediction about martial law on the horizon. Most people including this scribe dismissed the late Pir Sahib as being in one of his typically light and jovial moods. Behind the scenes, perhaps the groundwork had begun. In the mysterious town called Islamabad, things were turning. Most of the public was oblivious to what was really ahead of them.

Some of us may have conveniently forgotten but there was a war-like theatre opened at the heights of a rather unknown place called Kargil. Many gifted analysts and war strategists have written about that fiasco. I am a civilian, devoid of any military training or any know how of military strategy. The closest I can get to battle strategy is ‘Business Strategy’, which interestingly finds its roots in books on war strategy. Therefore, I am not going to bore the readers with inordinate details that will fly over their heads. The usually detailed and painstaking analysis that has so much jargon that an average person scratches his head, simply remaining confused and too embarrassed to admit it.

Here is the very simplified scenario in my signature style (if there is any such thing at all). Look back at 1965 when we launched ‘Operation Gibraltar’ with overly optimistic bets. What transpired from there is common knowledge. We celebrate every 6th of September as our Defence Day, but we very conveniently ignore the fact that we initiated that conflict with the hope of getting to Kashmir. The neighbour, like any other country, responded when it found infiltration into its territory. Kargil, which is now dubbed as a ‘misadventure’, was perhaps a sequel to that aforementioned operation. The goal was perhaps still the same:: to get to the disputed territory of Kashmir. Life permitting, one of these days I will touch on Kashmir as well, and both of my Indian and Pakistani readers (if any) will be equally surprised.

But going back to the subject at hand, in simple words, the Indians vacated a post at the heights of Kargil. Our soldiers decided to infiltrate and gained control of the post. The idea was perhaps that when we were in a position of advantage we could inflict maximum harm to the returning Indian soldiers, and perhaps from there make advances into the Kashmir Valley, which was again an overly optimistic plan in this simplistic strategist’s utterly unprofessional opinion. It perhaps discounted two very distinct possibilities. One, if the returning Indian soldiers outnumbered, let us say four to one, our occupying soldiers were going to be at the maximum disadvantage, because at the heights they were going to be paralyzed. The back up at those spots becomes next to impossible. Secondly, the grand plan of advance into enemy territory without being undetected was highly farfetched. Hence, how it ended is again common knowledge. 

Ordinarily, anyone behind this miserable debacle would have been court martialled, or to say the least would have been relieved of his duties with some sort of reprimand. But it was not meant to be. In our land, some men are not ordinary at all. Some are above from the rest, way above. They know how to change the narrative in their favour. No matter what. I think, in one of my previous write-ups, I had expressed my awe and gratitude for men who move in unison on one single order of their superiors. They embrace death with fervour as a call of duty. I will salute them until my last breath as their valour and dedication is unquestionable. Nevertheless, I often wonder about those who send them in harm’s way, knowing that the odds are so humongous that it will require divine intervention to overturn the inevitable. If my memory serves me right, close to 500 soldiers became the victims of this flawed strategy. But all they got was some minor recognition, a meagre pension perhaps to their loved ones and the eternal abode of six feet under.

The architects of this grand plan of death, of course, dubbed it a misadventure and called it a day. I wondered back then and will continue to question the strategy of advance to Kashmir. I will repeat I do not know much about military strategy, but as an ordinary person, I will question this much. Looking back at that particular year, was it wise to make that move when our neighbour had demonstrated its nuclear prowess? God forbid, if it would have escalated into a full-scale war, and that either side had exercised the dreaded nuclear option, what would have been left of this part of the world? However, this question or possibility was perhaps not in the contingency plan of the grand architects. Perhaps not. Perhaps until the powers from Washington gave the right signals and perhaps when the casualties of jawans (soldiers) and the inevitable retreat became clear as day.

(To be continued)

The Return To Jahiliya

Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published: October 04, 2012
Original Link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\10\04\story_4-10-2012_pg3_4

On a rare occasion, both my presidents came under the same roof in New York last week. I am referring to the UN General Assembly, where both President Obama and President Zardari spoke their minds. President Obama reiterated the American stance of free speech being the bedrock of our constitution. However, in the same vein, he clarified the American position about hurtful or blasphemous religious material, and most importantly, about the trailer of the shoddy anti-Muslim film on YouTube with strongest condemnation. He is absolutely right that it is offensive to not only all the Muslims around the world but many millions of American Muslims too. Yet America is unable to ban any such material. With that, President Obama condemned the meaningless violence around the globe, which engulfed a lot of Muslim countries. He mentioned Libya in particular, where a US ambassador along with a few others became the victims of an extremely wild mob.

Luckily, most of the western nations did not witness violent protests that followed around the Middle East and South Asia. The tragic and highly illogical reaction on Muslim streets speaks volumes about our immaturity. I was very disgusted by an image of a child holding a placard in front of the US Embassy, perhaps in Sydney, which read, “Behead all of those who insult our Prophet (PBUH).” There was another image of perhaps a 4-year-old boy with an automatic assault rifle questioning, “Who insulted my Prophet (PBUH?” that was retweeted on Twitter.

I was reminded of the year 1989. When a not so widely acclaimed writer by the name of Salman Rushdie shot to fame by writing a novel called The Satanic Verses. It was considered blasphemous and insulted our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was depicted in a derogatory fictional character. There were riots back then as well. The killings and mayhem made headlines. The decree of death was awarded to Rushdie by the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran. I was younger and a new entrant in the banking industry here. My coworkers questioned the behaviour of my co-religionists. I remember going through that book to respond to their queries. They were dismissing it all as fiction and I debated their limited knowledge about the events that brought Islam to the world of ‘Jahiliya’, what is now known as the present day Saudi Arabia. Had I not gone through that book (with utmost disdain and disgust), I would have sounded like a clueless, overly emotional and ultra-naïve Muslim. At times, the exchanges were a bit tense but highly civil.

I shared with my colleagues the story of the triumph of Mecca and the Prophet’s (PBUH) reaction towards his worst adversaries — the real ‘infidels’ — and they were shocked. It was amazing how little they knew about my faith and the inordinate amount of misconceptions surrounding their knowledge. An act of some bizarre novelist could turn into an opportunity for a meaningful dialogue about my faith I was unprepared for that challenge. My point here is that every adversity brings an opportunity to benefit from. Regretfully, we as Muslims take every such event as a threat to Islam, which in my humblest opinion is our biggest weakness. We as a whole have lost the essence of our belief. If we believe that the Prophet (PBUH) was sent as a mercy to mankind, then we have to follow his path. Did he kill, behead, threaten or abuse his abusers and worst of the worst, the blasphemers? I am often reminded of the ultimate scorn hurled at the Holy Prophet (PBUH), that his name would dwindle as he had no male child to carry his name and his word. I am an ultra-sinful person and do not know much about even a single verse, but I do know this much from Chapter 108, Al Kauthar, where in three simple yet extremely powerful verses, the Prophet (PBUH) was given the glad tiding by the Almighty. This is my belief that without a doubt, no matter what happens, what anyone says, the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) will be around until the end of time.

Regretfully, to this day, people in the US and around the world are ignorant about our faith. They get to witness our absurdities and tend to exploit them. We get miffed and blame a certain quarter for their malicious attempts to malign our faith. I beg to differ with that defeatist mentality. There is nothing in the world that stops us from demonstrating as individuals that we respond to offence with patience and perseverance, to an abuse, an insult, an allegation, scorn, with logic and reasoning. The honour of the Prophet (PBUH) is not in the hands of mere mortal human beings. He was awarded the highest places of paradise by the Almighty. His honour cannot and will never diminish because it resides at the ultimate heights. No Uzi, machine gun, AK-47 or any form of explosives are needed to defend it. Islam is supposed to solidify our faith in the Almighty and his Messenger (PBUH). To kill others to prove our point would in my humblest and perhaps flawed opinion, be a return to Jahiliya.

The 65 Year Old Infant Part 7

Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published: September 27, 2012
Original link:  http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\27\story_27-9-2012_pg3_3 





The irony cannot get any greater than this. Trying to establish a system of ‘justice’ by suggesting ‘injustice’ to some, and that too all in the name of a revolution. Kill a few to create a better society. Ignore the basis of law and order by enforcing ‘vigilante justice’ and hope that when your lust for blood is over, the society takes a 180-degree turn out of admiration for your ‘justice doctrine’. There are many who peddle this garbage and it is extremely ironic that perhaps a significant majority believes in this.

When you ask about the ones who will be impacted by such speedy justice and their loved ones, you get the typical childish response: “They deserved it.” From that point onwards, a utopian world is envisioned where everyone would have respect for the law. It reminds me of a jungle, I often say. But the eyebrows are raised and the usual stares follow when I say that human civilisation has evolved and the ‘jungle law’ will backfire too. The stares get uglier. You cannot have a ‘totally clean slate’, where you start anew and make people compliant with whatever ‘norms’ you perceive as ‘right and just’. Societies that justify violence fail to create an appropriate order, no matter what.

A nation so full of rage, incensed and inflamed by any and everything, is truly lost in some wilderness. One can easily deduce that anger and negative energy is pretty much the prevailing commodity in our land of the pure. It can be easily mobilised and geared towards whatever direction is the need of the moment. We are ready, willing and able like robots to charge and discharge that negative energy. Death and destruction is our ultimate goal.

Incidentally, this week, I was going to propose a solution related to the negativity of our nation. Before I could even jot anything down, Friday, September 21, 2012 happened. It was a day full of rage, mayhem, chaos and destruction, sadly very much reflective of our nation’s future. The readers may assume that as a scribe, I have lost my marbles, but I am only reading the handwriting on the wall. It pains me immensely to see and say that we are slipping down the cliff rather rapidly.

Following my thought process of the last few weeks, I had a solution to propose, but with due respect to the readers, I will refrain. Many would laugh at me, a few would be disappointed and I am sure a lot would be relieved as they would not have to see their ugly souls in the mirror. The death and destruction caused on Friday, all in the name of the holiest of the Holy Prophets, Mohammad (PBUH), should give anyone with an ounce of shame left in his body, many shudders. But sadly people are unaffected. Looting, rioting, arson and killing were glorified as an act of rage towards those who insulted our Prophet (PBUH). Need I say more than what a bunch of infants we are?

No amount of anger management therapy can fix our terminal illness. It has seeped into our DNA. The lost generation is glorifying violence and displaying their weaponry as a show of the strength of their faith. One has to be on a different planet to rationalise and justify any form of violence. This is a clear indication we are headed towards a point of no return. So disgusted and ashamed I am that, honestly, I do not have adequate words to display my true feelings.

I ask the learned revolutionaries and the enlightened how do you plan to make a model society based on the goodness of our faith, when people are heavily armed, highly dangerous and utterly illogical? When we are hell bent on the path of self-destruction, how do you invoke any sense in the rowdy and the insane? How do you calm the boiling rage of years of failure? I will repeat: a nation fed on fairytales and imaginary lullabies is bound to fail. We are on the incline and headed towards our ultimate destination of oblivion.

That ‘day of rage’ has truly enraged this scribe from within. I felt that our ideology was on a life alert. Let me correct myself: we as a nation are on a life alert, dead from within, on a high of a lethal superiority complex of the unseen world commonly termed as the hereafter. I said it once before, I will repeat it again. The test of the hereafter begins with this world and the life and legacy we leave behind right here. I would like to ask the people on the throne of the mighty capital what they were thinking. Has any protest related to faith ever been peaceful in our land in the past?

Let me leave those on that throne with a few parting thoughts. Next time around, when you face a situation like this, ask this nation to pray on that day. Fast like your Prophet (PBUH) did. Feed a hungry person. Pay some extra charity. Smile at your fellow neighbour and offer them something to eat. Load some naats on YouTube. Send some Durood and salam to the Holy Messenger (PBUH). Donate a book about him to libraries around the world. Teach our children his virtues of kindness, patience and steadfastness. But maybe it’s all my fault. I am expecting ‘infants’ to act like grownups, which I believe is my utter stupidity, to begin with. We do not need any solutions. We need miracles and I am afraid, I do not have the power to offer some.

(Concluded)

The 65 Year Old Infant Part 6



Original Article: Daily Times
Date Published: September 20, 2012
Original Link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\09\20\story_20-9-2012_pg3_3



There is a great deal of talk about ‘justice’ and its dire need in the ‘land of the pure’. What boggles my mind often is how you initiate any such so-called justice, when you have wounds of inequality, corruption, inequity and unfairness since your country was created. Where do you begin I ask often and get those very same empty stares that are a norm when there is no answer.

Consider this if you will. By the way, I am not a civil engineer and if I err somewhere in the intricate details, my humble request to my tech savvy readers is to overlook it. You have a building with major structural issues, yet you try to do some cosmetic repairs here and there. Then some new pied piper comes along and peddles the narrative of fixing the building from the top down. He feels that the issue is with the top. The top is where all the faults of the building are. A huge storm of passionate crowds fed on fantasies all these years tends to follow the mesmerising tune. Let us admit, everyone loves fantasies, because it takes us away from the cruel and ugly real world we live in.

If this example is still murky, let me add some real characters to it so that things become a bit clearer for everyone. There is an angry middle-aged man peddling such fantasies nowadays. The same nonsense of justice and ‘unmatched accountability’ that every military despot sprouted in front of a spellbound nation, glued to its idiot boxes. The usual defence about the ulterior motives of those conniving characters follows, but even if in this environment, a khaki or a non-khaki takes the people into a ‘field of dreams’, people in their desperation are sucked into the usual rhetoric without fail.

What I raise as a simple and logical question is what your meaning of justice is. In my flawed opinion, it is nothing more and nothing less than ‘political victimisation’. The holy ‘Hall of Justice’ in Islamabad is backlogged for years. Every Tom, Dick and Harry wants the ‘ultimate jurists’ to take his case and add it to the ‘Wall of Fame’ as the ultimategift to the entire mankind. With the burden of these cases, it may take a few more decades for our ‘guardians’ to dispense their landmark rulings. Until then, the base of the building may cave in and then everyone starts playing the usual blame game.

Simply speaking, the angry middle-aged man is offering a cosmetic, or let us say, knee-jerk retrofit from the top. My two cents worth on this is it is bound to fail. Period. The real rot is at the bottom. The injustice began at the time of the ‘holy division’. You cannot just ignore all that, focus on the present and briefly touch the very recent past. After adopting the One Nation Theory, the most important step is to account for every single historical wrongdoing since the inception of Pakistan.

Taking a cue from South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), we need to form one in Pakistan. It should consist of unbiased academics, historians, artists, politicians, professionals, jurists and religious leaders, all of them under oath with a singular objective to heal the entire nation. The commission should start from 1947 onwards and work its way up one year at a time. Whoever is responsible for atrocities, wrongdoings, injustice, inequity and plunder should be exposed without fear or favour. Let the people see the truth. Let the people reconcile with the past. Without accountability from day one, we are fooling the entire nation. If the creation of Pakistan was a mistake, then let us admit that and let us show the world what we have learned from our mistake. Wise are the ones who learn from their mistakes and foolish are the ones who cover up and pretend that they are perfect and could never commit any mistakes to begin with.

The constitution should be amended to allow our own TRC to uncover all skeletons hidden in the closet since the birth of Pakistan. The commission should have a certain timeframe like a maximum of two years to go over the entire 65 years of blemishes and atrocities. The recommendations should be forwarded to the entire nation online. One might argue what is the point. Most wrongdoers may be dead; the ones who are alive are perhaps ‘well-connected’ and nothing substantive will happen. The idea here is to find and relay the facts. The people are the ultimate judge. If the wrongdoers who are around accept their culpability in person, they should be granted amnesty, under certain conditions. As reprehensible as it may sound, incarceration of some or perhaps the death penalty for a few will not rid the wounds of many. Only acceptance and repentance will.

I am often amazed at the so-called patriots advising on Twitter that a ‘few should be hanged’ in public and a ‘few should be shot at a close range’ to be taught the ultimate lesson of ‘self-correction’. I often wonder what the founder of our nation would have thought of such utterances. The so-called ‘senior’ anchors ‘retweet’ for this garbage to echo as the ‘voice of the nation’. Now I will do an act of injustice to my English only readers quoting from the maestro Ghalib’s famous Urdu couplet a very apt line. I sincerely apologise as no phrase or translation in English can ever capture the essence of this line, which goes as following, Dil key behlaney ko Ghalib yeh khayal acha hai (To console the heart, this thought is good).